This time out the red-haired, irascible Macbeth has left his tiny Scottish village for a holiday with his dog, Towser. True to form, Macbeth doesn't venture far from the highlands he loves, just a few hours away to Skag, a forgotten North Sea resort town that offers run-down guest houses, a fish-and-chips shop, the haunting sound of its singing sands, and murder. Until his recent demotion from sergeant back to constable and the end of his engagement to the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish Macbeth had been a contented man. Now every face he meets in Lochdubh is dour with disapproval at the man who broke that poor girl's heart. Escaping to Skag is meant to raise Macbeth's sagging spirits. Instead, he finds that Friendly House, described as a charming inn a stone's throw from the sea, is not as advertised. The ambiance is dismal, the food inedible, and his fellow guests an unpromising lot that includes the spinster Miss Gunnery, two tarty girls, a retired military man, a London family, and Bob Harris, who so nags his wife, Doris, that everyone wants to kill him. And then somebody does. Unfortunately, Macbeth himself is overheard threatening the man - right before he is seen punching him in the nose. As the leading suspect, Macbeth must now clear his name by finding out who at Friendly House is the real killer. But this vacation taken on the cheap will cost Macbeth dearly. The secrets each of the guests wants to hide will provoke desperate deceptions, and another unexpected death will touch Macbeth's own life with tragedy. After his engagement is broken, Constable Hamish Macbeth is looking forward to rest and relaxation in the coastal town of Skay. But when he arrives at the somewhat dismal bed and breakfast, his fellow guests include the annoying Miss Gunnery, a London family, and Bob Harris, who so nags his wife that everyone wants to kill him. And then someone does.