In Death of a Gentle Lady, you will find a psychologically worn-out Hamish Macbeth. He's going through the motions. When his police station is threatened by newcomer Mrs. Gentle, Hamish takes the easy way out by proposing a marriage of convenience to Mrs. Gentle's maid, Ayesha. The marriage will keep his police station, and Ayesha can become a legal resident.
Why does Mrs. Gentle have it in for Hamish? He unexpectedly heard some hint of family secrets while making a courtesy call. What could Mrs. Gentle have to hide? That question becomes the source of much of the book's mystery.
In the process of untangling that mystery, Hamish also finds himself dodging attentions from his ex-girl friend, Elspeth Grant; his ex-fiancee, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe; a Russian police inspector, Anna Krokovsky; and Aileen Drummond, a police constable. In the process, the villagers decide that Hamish may have become a health hazard.
If that weren't enough, Detective Inspector Blair is after Hamish again, and the challenge is one of the most serious that Hamish has faced.
I found the story was a little over-packed with subplots. As a result, some of them didn't get as much attention as they needed in order to be fully developed and satisfying, especially the marriage of convenience subplot. Personally, I would have dropped two of the subplots if I were the books editor and I think the story would have worked a lot better. The story also goes over a lot of familiar ground so that there's not enough new. In that sense, adding the Russian inspector was a good breath of fresh air for the series.
But if you are a sincere fan of the series, you'll probably think this is an above-average outing for Hamish. I certainly did. I thought the book was an improvement over Death of a Maid.
If you haven't read any of the books, do go back to the beginning and read them in chronological order. You'll get more out of the character development that way.