Knock, Knock, You're Dead!

A Hamish Macbeth Short Story


By M. C. Beaton

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This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around February 9, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Hamish Macbeth, Scotland’s most quick-witted but unambitious policeman returns in a new short story from New York Times bestselling author M.C. Beaton

Knock Knock, You’re Dead! A Hamish Macbeth Short Story

Mrs. Morag McPhie hits upon the idea of selling some of her old furniture to raise money to visit her daughter in Australia. But when a dead body turns up, Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth wonders if the antique business is even more cutthroat than he thought…


It was a glorious autumn day in the highlands and the normally lazy Police Constable Macbeth was moved by conscience out of the deckchair in the front garden of the police station in Lochdubh to make some overdue calls on some of the outlying croft houses.

He periodically checked on the old and the single to make sure they were not in need of any help. He put his cat, Sonsie, and his dog, Lugs, into the back of the Land Rover and set out from the village of Lochdubh in Sutherland and up into the hills.

The sky was clear blue, turning the loch behind him to sapphire and the soaring mountains of Sutherland ahead of him into ranges of blue, from light to dark stretching into the distance. His first call was on Mrs. Morag McPhie, a widow, who worked as a crofter. As he drove up to the low croft house, her sheep were cropping at the thin grass and her two sheepdogs were basking in the sun outside the front door.

The door was open. He called Morag. She appeared wiping her hands on her apron.

Morag McPhie was a small, round, sturdy woman in her fifties. She had rosy cheeks, black hair flecked with grey and light grey eyes. She was wearing a T-shirt over a long black skirt and serviceable boots.

“It’s yourself, Hamish,” she said. “Come ben. I’ll be glad of an excuse to put the kettle on and sit down. Unless you want a dram?”

“Not when I’m driving,” said Hamish, removing his peaked cap. “But tea would be grand.”

As Morag seemed to be in the best of health, Hamish felt he really ought to move on, but golden days like this were so rare in the highlands, and the stone-flagged kitchen, gilded with sunlight, was so welcoming that he decided to stay for a little.

Morag came back with a laden tray. “Help yourself to some of my fairy cakes,” she said. “My, that hair of yours is like a beacon.”

Hamish grinned and ran his hand through his fiery red hair.

“So how are you getting on?” asked Hamish.

“I’m fine. I got a letter today from Elsie.” Elsie was Morag’s daughter, who had moved to Australia. “I wish I could go and see her, but I can’t afford the fare. There’s not much money in sheep these days.”

“Hardly worth the work,” agreed Hamish, who had sheep of his own.


On Sale
Feb 9, 2016
Page Count
12 pages

M. C. Beaton

About the Author

M. C. Beaton, hailed as the "Queen of Crime" by the Globe and Mail, was the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Agatha Raisin novels—the basis for the hit series on Acorn TV and public television—as well as the Hamish Macbeth series. Born in Scotland, Beaton started her career writing historical romances under several pseudonyms as well as her maiden name, Marion Chesney. Her books have sold more than twenty-two million copies worldwide.

A long-time friend of M. C. Beaton, R. W. Green has written numerous works of fiction and non-fiction. He lives in Surrey with his family and a black Labrador called Flynn.

Learn more about this author