Is Beaton using a ghost writer? This Hamish Macbeth book is not that good. It has offensive language and attitudes that, while they might fit in with other types of novels and books I read, don't fit in with Hamish at all. Priscilla and Elspeth only appear briefly, for the sake of appearing. Too many puzzles and people that are a little hard to follow. Hamish Macbeth books are written to a formula - mess with it and you've lost this fan.
I think the author is in her eighties - perhaps it's time to leave Lochdubh behind. (it would be nice to learn about what happened to Sonsie, though!).