Death of a Gossip Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 1999
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Beaton, a Scot herself, excels at giving readers a taste of Highland life and creating a believable character in the lonely, brilliant, continually frustrated-in-love Macbeth. Booklist An enchanting series...M.C. Beaton has a foolproof plot for the village mystery. New York Times Book Review Recommended for all mystery collections. Library Journal Superb entertainment, as rich and warming as a fine malt whisky, and every bit as addictive Houston Chronicle --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
M.C Beaton is the author of both the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series, as well as numerous Regency romances. Her Agatha Raisin books are currently being turned into a TV series on Sky. She lives in Paris and in a Cotswold village that is very much like Agatha's beloved Carsely. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
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 ›
My wife has been a big Hamish Macbeth fan for years, and finally I broke down and began to read them. This was not my favorite Hamish Macbeth book, but I did enjoy it. I liked the setting and the characters, and I especially liked the Cast of Characters list at the start of the book. So, if you are interested in a story set in modern Scotland, or just a good mystery, then I highly recommend this book to you.
<b>Marion</b> wanted to portray a peaceful, idle policeman, so his input would make shockwaves. The misfortune is, in this attempt; <i>Hamish</i> came out as a moocher whom no one liked. Adding to the sour note, it took ages to establish a protagonist. We started with a fishing class couple, moved among pupils, and I have no interest in fishing. This theme wasn’t a backdrop but an activity cast to the forefront. Lastly, I dislike the storytelling method that passes a viewpoint between a bunch of people, instead of sticking with the hero. However I have gotten on board with that several times in literature because the subject was compelling, or I loved the characters. I couldn’t stand any one of these! I found the girl ‘looking for love’, stupidest of all.
The scenery was beautiful and people who like fishing would savour the details. However this is a series that tried to be categorized with mysteries but it took 100 pages to get anywhere near one. I think <b>Marion</b> wanted to write slapstick humour and that’s perfectly valid. The mystery didn’t gel; dropping death into a book with no profound plot. When we discover the motive; it’s far away and nothing that should precipitate killing. Your reaction to the outcome should never be “so what” or “that’s it?”! It’s regrettable there was nothing for me to latch onto among these pages.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
A comfy chair and a carafe of coffee should be just the thing for this book.. A large snoring dog might be in orderPublished 11 months ago by Craig D Taylor
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. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Sharon Johnson
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:... Read morePublished on June 9 2004 by Karen Potts
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. Read morePublished on July 1 2003 by Shirley Schwartz
This is the first in the Hamish MacBeth series, so it lacks some of the polish of the subsequent books. Read morePublished on June 10 2003
I love the Agatha Raisin series that M.C. Beaton also writes, but she dropped the ball on Hamish here. I expected a likeable, if flawed, main character. Read morePublished on April 10 2003 by Miss Ivonne
Since I began reading these Hamish Macbeth mysteries out of order, it's given me a bit of perspective. Read morePublished on March 17 2003 by MLPlayfair
I am always in favor of a light hearted mystery, but I was very disappointed in this book. While the descriptive language in this book is positively delicious, I found the... Read morePublished on April 1 2002