By M. C. Beaton

Unique booklet: 1999

Christmas is an historic Roman pageant, to not be celebrated by way of respectable folks within the Scottish Highlands. Police Constable Hamish Macbeth has continually enjoyed the festivities, yet this yr his kin is touring in sunny Florida. he's caught with the lengthy, lonely Christmas shift in freezing Lochdubh. A cranky previous girl kicks off the vacations by means of reporting her cat lacking. Then the Christmas lighting fixtures and tree in a close-by village disappear quickly after the neighborhood council voted to permit undefined. As Hamish unearths the way to convey Christmas to the Highlands and make a bit girl's desires come precise, he reveals -- to his satisfaction -- that he has the simplest Christmas ever.

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See,’ Adnan whispered in my ear. ’ ‘Up yours,’ I whispered back. Adnan left the table and I groaned with relief, leaning back in my chair, arms crossed. It was still weird that these people had a claim on Mum. For so many years we’d been our own independent unit. Unlike so many mothers and daughters, we were friends. But now everything was changing. I was relegated to the sidelines. I checked my mobile—no reply from Kathleen. Merisa stood. ’ Auntie Zehra asked. ‘To the toilet,’ Merisa replied.

Seeing my confusion Brian translated. ’ I asked after Jesse went to gather his books. ’ Brian put his Maths book away. ’ ‘Jesse’s not a weirdo or anything. He uses fantasy to deal with the bullying. ’ ‘Good to know,’ I said. I was putting my books in my backpack when Jesse placed his books on the counter. ‘This is a new title,’ the librarian said as she scanned it. ’ Jealousy cut through me. At my old school I’d been the librarian’s favourite and got all the perks. I’d been allowed to borrow over my limit and got let off fines.

I was putting my books in my backpack when Jesse placed his books on the counter. ‘This is a new title,’ the librarian said as she scanned it. ’ Jealousy cut through me. At my old school I’d been the librarian’s favourite and got all the perks. I’d been allowed to borrow over my limit and got let off fines. It sucked being the new kid. At the end of the day, on my way to the library to type up a story, I heard Dina calling me. ’ She pointed to her mum waiting in the car. ’ I waved to her mum and walked on.

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