We're approaching 30 novels in the Hamish MacBeth series. It's tough for any author to get this deep into a continuing series ANY continuing series. The audience will drop off if you continue to rehash the same material over and over again, BUT if you change too much and/or change the wrong thing(s), you can turn off your readership, too.
With Death of Yesterday, I believe that the charming M. C. Beaton is looking at a critical juncture in her Highlands series. What do I maintain? What do I evolve, and how quickly? What do I drop altogether? I suspect that the title of this book may reflect the author's preparation for the next phase in Hamish's life and in how she relays it to her readership.
I include these thoughts in my review, because it is critical to my opinions I felt Death of Yesterday was stale. We've seen so much of the subplots and subtexts from this book in the earlier Hamish MacBeth books. We have our colorful Highlands characters although, in my opinion, less colorful in this particular book than in most others. It felt like some made a cameo or were even just referred to in order to check off the box that someone's favorite appeared in this story. We got to experience Will he or won't he with Priscilla, or Elspeth, or with some altogether new lassie? We got police politics, with the Chief's social snobbery and Blair's anger management issues and Jimmy Anderson's cooperation in return for a wee dram unless potential promotion is on the line.
Yes, we have a murder. In fact, we have several more than most other books in the series. And, of course, our village copper helps in the resolution of the matter with his unorthodox ways. What we didn't have, darn it, was enough new content to really make me feel like I made a good investment of time with this installment.
I apologize profusely, Miss Beaton, but I cannot in good conscious give this more than 3 stars.