The aromas of wild thyme and Highland heather waft through Lochdubh, home to M. C. Beaton's eccentric policeman, Hamish Macbeth. Yet what the irascible constable smells in his latest case is the acrid scent of fear as an entire town is entrapped in something dark and deadly.
Yet, as he deftly investigates the summer's high crimes and misdemeanors, he attracts the attention of his superiors. They feel a promotion and transfer will give him a larger playing field than Lochdubh, but that's the last thing Macbeth wants. Now the laconic lawman needs a clever way to quash the move without losing his job entirely.