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Death of a Gossip Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1999


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Mass Market Paperback, Feb 1 1999
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books (Feb. 1 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446607134
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446607131
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 16.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 100 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,846,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
If you enjoy following the exploits of Hamish, you will enjoy this read. Outwitting his superiors and the reader at times, Hamish lives up to his reputation.

Easy reading and compelling to find the murderer.

A good summer read.
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Format: Paperback
This is the first book in the Hamish Macbeth cozy mystery series. While not the strongest book in the series in that both the mystery and the characters are not that well articulated or developed, it does set the groundwork for the books that are to come in this most enjoyable and utterly addictive cozy mystery series.

This book introduces to the reader Hamish Macbeth, a Highlander and local constable for the village of Lochdubh in Scotland, as well as the woman to whom he will lose his heart, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. The mystery involves Lady Jane Winters, a notorious gossip columnist who meets an untimely death while vacationing in Lochdubh with a local fishing club. It seems that someone wanted desperately to silence her vicious yattering by whatever means necessary.

The reader sees Hamish bumbling his was around the powers that be in an attempt to solve the mystery that his boss and nemesis, Detective Chief Inspector Blair, is unable to solve. The methodology that Hamish employs to expose the killer is less methodical than in the rest of the series, as the character of Hamish Macbeth is still in a somewhat nascent stage. Still, it gives the reader a glimmer of the treats that are to come with this series, which is one that fans of the cozy mystery genre will enjoy.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on Dec 15 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Death of a Gossip is the first book in the Hamish Macbeth mysteries by M.C. Beaton. I decided to read this book after having found many of the references to Hamish Macbeth's motives in the later books to be obscure and puzzling. I was pleased to find that Death of a Gossip does a fine job of setting up the premise for the series; outlining the characters of Hamish Macbeth and his friend, Priscilla Hallburton-Smythe; and establishing a plot structure for the future murder spree in the small village of Lochdubh in the northwestern Highlands of Scotland. If you want to understand those underpinnings, you definitely need to read this book.

However, the book is quite unlike the others in the series in important ways:

1. The premise behind the murder is much more thoughtful and better developed than in the following books.

2. The tension between the victim and the other characters is also better developed.

3. The interplay between Hamish and Priscilla is awkward and embarrassingly at the edge of prurience for burlesque purposes. In later books, this relationship is much better grounded and more interesting.

4. The detection involved is clumsy and disappointing. It's as though M.C. Beaton had missed the last class on how to write a mystery story. In the later books, the detection is a rewarding element of the stories. So this is an unusual false start.

I mention all of these things lest you fail to realize that you have better books ahead of you.

If you have read none of the Hamish Macbeth stories, I recommend you start with this one and read through them in the order that they were published. You'll enjoy the character development better that way.

Here's a thumbnail of the set-up.
Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book in the Constable Hamish Macbeth Series. The story takes place in Scotland and revolves around the people who are attending the Lochdubh School of Casting: Salmon and Trout Fishing. The school is run by John and Heather Cartwright who are working hard to make the school a profitable endeavor. The guests include an American couple, an attorney, a secretary, a 12-year-old boy, and ex-army major, and a debutante. These people would have probably gotten along if it had not been for Lady Jane Winters. Lady Jane knows a guilty secret about each of the guests and she is not hesitant to proclaim the secret to everyone. The guests all loathe her, so it is not surprising when she shows up dead, on the end of someone's fishing pole. Hamish Macbeth, the village constable, comes on the scene, but he is not nearly as interesting as Agatha Christie's inimitable Hercule Poirot. Also the solution to the identity of the murderer is pretty straighforward and doesn't have the clever twist that many mystery writers add.
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By S. Schwartz on July 2 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of the Agatha Raisin series, and I am a great fan of M.C. Beaton's style of cozy, but this is the first Hamish Macbeth book I've read. They are as different from Agatha Raisin as could be, but just as enjoyable. Macbeth is a poky Scottish village constable who appears to not know how to even tie his shoes, but when he sets his mind on discovering a murderer, he shows that he has a mind like a steel trap. He has the Miss Marple knack of being able to compare people and situations to those he is familiar with, and he has the added help of many relatives throughout the world that he can call on for information. In this book Hamish solves the murder of a very nasty woman who has come to the village for a week long fishing school. It turns out that she is a gossip columnist for a tabloid newspaper, and she is at this school to dig up dirt on the other students. A very nasty character indeed, and there is certainly no lack of suspects. Great fun!
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