Death of a Hussy Mass Market Paperback – Sep 23 1991
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From Publishers Weekly
The Scottish village of Lochdubh has a problem: the beloved police constable, Hamish Macbeth ( Death of a Perfect Wife ), has been transferred to Strathbane because of a dearth of local crime. In a successful bid to get him back, the villagers, led by newcomer Maggie Baird, organize a crime wave. On his return, Hamish is confronted with a possible murder. Maggie, who in younger and slimmer years had amassed a fortune as a well-rewarded kept woman, dies, ostensibly of a heart attack during a car fire. Suspects include her niece and heir, Alison, who had been living with Maggie after recuperating from lung cancer, and four of Maggie's former lovers and present suitors, whom she had invited for a visit: an ad man, a car salesman, a manager of a gambling club and a fading pop singer, all of them in dire need of money. Hamish draws on his knowledge of the local people and of human nature to solve the case. Meanwhile he continues his off-again, on-again romance with a daughter of the local gentry and attempts to stay out of hot water with his superiors, who resent his unpredictable approach to life and policing. Beaton's newest continues one of the finest, and most offbeat, police procedural series around.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
The Scottish village of Lochdubh successfully initiates a crime wave in order to get their one policeman, Hamish MacBeth, transferred back to town. Their harmless crime reports turn into something quite different when a wealthy, retired prostitute decides to write a tell-all biography, invite a few of her old lovers to town, and change her will. Lots of red herrings here, but Hamish finds the culprit and brings his little village back to relative peace, disturbed only by local bickering. It is this underlying grumbling as well as the ugly murders that ruin the beautiful setting and detract from the lightheartedness of Beaton's story. The cast of unpleasant people make it hard to care which one is guilty. Davina Porter offers a fine reading with her musical Scottish accent and flexible voice. Recommended for larger mystery collections. Juleigh Muirhead Clark, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Lib., Colonial Williamsburg Fdn., VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
My wife has been a big Hamish Macbeth fan for years, and now I know why. This story was a great deal of fun to read. I enjoyed the characters that Ms. Beaton created, finding them interesting and well developed. I enjoyed her setting of small town Scotland, and found the story and setting believable and captivating. If you are interested in a story set in modern Scotland, or just a good mystery, then I highly recommend this book to you.
PC Macbeth is called upon to investigate the death of--you guessed it--a "hussy"! Seems that Maggie Baird, besides being a wealthy, once-beautiful middle aged woman, is also something of a pain! So much so that she goes up in flames--in her car! This is no "hot date in the Highlands," but murder out and out! And there are suspects aplenty: four former lovers and her own niece! All certainly had the means and the motive.
Macbeth to the rescue, of course! Hamish himself has a few pieces of personal baggage as well, as we've learned through the series. His long on-again, off-again romance with Priscilla Haliburton-Smythe, superiors who are jealous of his successes, and his "lack of ambition" (he's quite happy, thank you, to stay in this wee Scottish village, as promotions are not his desire, prefering instead to stay "small town"! Of course, as we know from the series, this small town seems to have an inordinate number of murders! No matter. Beaton provides us with a delightful (albeit lite!) bill of fare! (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
As luck would have it, they succeed, and Hamish returns just in time for him to find out who murdered Maggie Baird, middle-aged minx who was a new arrival to Lochdubh. Who could have done it? Was it her put upon, long suffering niece? Was it her four former lovers who were Maggie's house guests? All had motive and opportunity. Or was it some else altogether?
This is the fifth book in a series of cozy mysteries featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth. In this book, village life takes center stage, and the village characters continue their development, giving the book that cozy feel. The book is also laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, keeping the mood of the book light and highly enjoyable. As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mysteries are intriguing, they are the framework around which the characters evolve. With the oddly endearing Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a character that is bound to win many fans of the cozy mystery genre.
If you love Hamish Macbeth mysteries, you have a great treat ahead of you with Death of a Hussy. But if you haven't read any of the books in the series, you owe it to yourself to begin with the excellent, Death of a Gossip. Then go on to read the books in order of their publication. You'll enjoy the development of the ongoing characters better that way.
As the book opens, Hamish has been banished to Strathbane to be beat officer. His new partner there proves to be a good foil for lots of humor. But he misses Lochdubh. Feeling forlorn, rescue comes from an unexpected direction: New resident Maggie Baird suggests that the locals make up imaginary crimes to force the powers to be to send Hamish back . . . even though she's never met him. Strathbane capitulates and Hamish returns. Then the story leaps forward in time as Maggie retires from the scene to work on recovering her previous good looks from the days when she was a highly sought-after companion for rich men. Her timid niece, Allison, remains behind with one thing on her mind: Becoming a driver. Hamish is pressed into duty as her driving instructor. The book alternates between Hamish and Allison as the narrators, and the contrast enlivens the story development. Maggie unexpectedly returns, much thinner, more toned, with freshly dyed and cropped hair, and wearing expensive clothes. But she's in a bad mood. She has set up four of her former lovers in competition to marry her for her money. In the meantime, Maggie makes life difficult for Allison, her heir.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This was another good yarn from M.C.Beaton. It is another in the Hamish McBeth stories, the fun never ends when he is on a case. Highly enjoyed this story like all the others.Published 17 months ago by Eveline Howells
Ms. Beaton is the queen of village mysteries, and each one of her Hamish Macbeth books is as delightful as the last. Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by Shirley Schwartz
Once again, M.C. Beaton has produced a very entertaining mystery featuring Constable Hamish MacBeth, our favorite Highlands policeman. Read morePublished on June 17 2003 by Lisa Bahrami
Short and sweet and jam-packed with fun, DEATH OF A HUSSY is the fifth in the series of Hamish Macbeth mysteries. There are some really colorful characters here. Read morePublished on Dec 16 2002 by MLPlayfair
Hamish is stationed in Strathbane, due to the downsizing of constabularies in the Highlands. He is unhappy with living in the city and with the attitude of his new partner. Read morePublished on Oct. 6 2002 by Moe811
It's really enjoyable to read the adventures of Macbeth full of not only flaws but also charms. It's the first book as a McBeth series and I am so curious of the relationship with... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2001 by kel
"Death of a Hussy" is the fifth Hamish Macbeth mystery by M. C. Beaton. Maggie Baird buys a bungalow in Scotland, and moves there with her neice, Alison Kerr, who is... Read morePublished on June 17 2001 by Ricky N.