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Death of a Gentle Lady [Hardcover]

M. C. Beaton
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 24 2008 Hamish Macbeth Murder Mystery (Book 23)
Mrs Gentle has fooled everyone into thinking she is as sweet as she sounds - Gentle by name and gentle by nature. But local constable Hamish Macbeth isn't fooled. He believes this little old lady is actually quite sly and vicious, but he's in a minority of one. Or is he?When Mrs Gentle dies under unusual circumstances the villagers of Lochdubh are shocked and outraged. Chief Detective Inspector Blair suspects that members of her family may be involved but Hamish thinks there's much more to the story - and is willing to get rough to solve the riddle of Mrs Gentle's mysterious demise.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Full of the author's trademark zest and wit, bestseller Beaton's 23rd Hamish Macbeth mystery (after 2007's Death of a Maid) finds the 50-year-old Scottish detective taking pity on a beautiful Turkish maid named Ayesha in danger of being deported, and asking her to marry him. When Ayesha goes missing and her employer, Mrs. Gentle, turns up murdered, Hamish discovers that his bride-to-be wasn't exactly who she claimed to be. The villagers thought Mrs. Gentle was a sweet old lady, but why would such a nice woman be the target of blackmail? Threaded throughout the ever-twisting plot of the murder investigation are the ongoing saga of Hamish's love life and the vendetta against him of his nemesis, Detective Chief Inspector Blair. Beaton fans will be delighted. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Review

"* 'It's always a special treat to return to Lochdubh' - New York Times * 'Superb entertainment, as rich and warming as a fine malt whisky, and every bit as addictive' - Houston Chronicle * 'Recommended for all mystery collections. ' - Library Journal * 'Readers will relish a well-paced, warmly sentimental picture of the people--and the character and rich accents--of Lubdoch, as seen through Hamish's loving eyes. Unpretentious fun for all.' - Kirkus"

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Subplots Galore in This Story-Packed Mystery Feb. 18 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Scotch on the Rocks April 11 2008
By Ted Feit TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
When an author creates a character that's so appealing, with all the human emotions and foibles and the ability to bumble into solutions to murders and crimes, it is mandatory that the series continue on and on. Such a protagonist is Hamish Macbeth, the constable in the sleepy village of Lochdubh, Scotland. This novel is the 23rd, and it is still as fresh and entertaining as the first.

In Gentle Lady, Hamish encounters a recent resident to "his" town who is much adored by the people for her sedate manner and promises of donations, for example, for a new church roof. Hamish, in performing his perceived duties, pays her a welcome visit and apparently antagonizes her for some reason he can't fathom. As a result, she undertakes a strong effort to get his one-man police station closed.

In an effort to stay in his beloved village, Hamish blunders his way into a foolish situation. Then two murders take place, giving him the opportunity once again to prove himself.

A delight to read.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Subplots Galore in This Story-Packed Mystery Feb. 18 2008
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended reading for any mystery buffs March 23 2014
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is another addition to an excellent series. I love this series ! the main character, Hamish , is a man content with his lot & more than happy with his life, someone I feel I have something in common with. I highly recommend this series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars well done Jan. 30 2013
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am thoroughly enjoying her books about hamish; ties in previously books/girlfriends/history. WEll done. I am going to continue reading her stories.
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