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Death of a Hussy [Mass Market Paperback]

M.C. Beaton
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 9.99
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Mass Market Paperback, Sept. 23 1991 CDN $9.49  
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Book Description

Sept. 23 1991 Hamish Macbeth Mysteries
"Splendid fun." The New York Times Book Review
A Hamish Macbeth mystery.
Wealthy Maggie Baird is neither nice nor kind nor generous. Once she was beautiful, but now, although middle-aged, she retains the appetites of a beautiful woman. When Maggie's car catches fire with her inside it, suspicion focuses on the five houseguests staying at Maggie's luxurious Highlands cottage: her timid niece and four former lovers, once of whom Maggie had intended to pick for a husband. All five are impecunious. All five had ample opportunity to monkey with Maggie's car. So finding who did it requires all Police Constable Hamish Macbeth's extraordinary common sense and insight into human nature. And lazy lout though he may be, Hamish lets no grass grow under his feet when it comes to solving a murder. Especially when he may be the next target.

Frequently Bought Together

Death of a Hussy + Death of an Outsider + Death of a Perfect Wife
Price For All Three: CDN$ 26.57

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  • Death of an Outsider CDN$ 8.54
  • Death of a Perfect Wife CDN$ 8.54

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Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book! Dec 7 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the fifth in a series of mysteries featuring the detective work of small town, Highland Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth, P.C. In this story, Maggie Baird, a rich Londoner of more than somewhat checkered history, moves into Lochdubh for peace and quiet, but then finds it too peaceful and quiet. Deciding that she needs to marry again, she invites four old suitors to her house and then announces that she'll marry one, and bestow all her money on him. When Maggie ends up dead, its up to Hamish to find out who did it and why.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book in the Hamish Macbeth Series! Jan. 11 2007
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
What's a hussy? The definition that fits this book is "an immoral woman." As you can imagine, hussies are not well regarded in the conservative Scottish highlands. Put a hussy in that locale, and the results can be explosive.

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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast and Fun read Oct. 6 2002
By Moe811
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. The residents of Lochdubh are unhappy with the situation also. A new woman in town suggests that they stage a series of fake crimes to get him back, it works. Mrs. Baird is something of a femme fatale, encased in a layer of fat. She is a former professional hussy and has amassed a fortune with her looks. She has taken in a niece recovering from cancer, and turned her into a secretary, unpaid of course. When she goes away to restore her looks, her niece is charged with typing up her filthy memoirs. The girl wants to learn how to drive and to get a proper job, but Mrs. Baird forbids it. Hamish teaches her to drive and she is feeling independent until her aunt returns home and announces that she is getting married again and cutting the niece out of her will. She is killed shortly thereafter and the niece and Mrs. Baird's four suitors are the main suspects.
This is a typical Hamish McBeth book. The mystery isn't difficult, but the characters and story line are alot of fun.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Macbeth to the rescue (again!) Feb. 2 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Ahhh! If a good draught of single malt and a Hamish Macbeth mystery won't cure you, then you really need to see a doctor! M.C. Beaton's well-established series featuring Lochdubh's finest, Macbeth himself, is right on cue with this edition.
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)
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This was another good yarn from M
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 15 days ago by Eveline Howells
5.0 out of 5 stars ANOTHER WONDERFUL HAMISH MACBETH MYSTERY...
Poor Hamish Macbeth, the Constable of the quaint village of Lochdubh, has been reassigned to a new post in the bustling and gritty city of Strathbane, since the village of Lochdubh... Read more
Published on April 10 2012 by Lawyeraau
5.0 out of 5 stars Another First Class Macbeth!
Ms. Beaton is the queen of village mysteries, and each one of her Hamish Macbeth books is as delightful as the last. Read more
Published on Sept. 17 2003 by S. Schwartz
5.0 out of 5 stars First class MacBeth!
Once again, M.C. Beaton has produced a very entertaining mystery featuring Constable Hamish MacBeth, our favorite Highlands policeman. Read more
Published on June 17 2003 by Lisa Bahrami
5.0 out of 5 stars A bonbon treat of a cozy.
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 more
Published on Dec 16 2002 by MLPlayfair
5.0 out of 5 stars what a hoot !
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 more
Published on Dec 16 2001 by kel
4.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Hussy
"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 more
Published on June 17 2001 by Ricky N.
4.0 out of 5 stars A very good unpredictable mystery.
This book was good. But not exceptional. Defenetly one of the weaker novels in the Hamish Macbeth series. Read more
Published on March 26 2000 by brockweir@home.com
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