Another Review at MyShelf.Com

Death of a Gossip
A Hamish Macbeth Mystery # 1

by M C Beaton

      Bravo to Constable and Robinson for reprinting another well-loved series so UK readers (and anybody else who lacks copies) can discover what all the fuss is about. I thoroughly enjoyed the series Hamish Macbeth when it was on TV, and wondered how well I would like the books on which the series was based, as I rarely enjoy both. I need not have worried, as here is a delightfully cozy tale about a rural constable for whom the law is somewhat stretchy. Here he has to solve the murder of the very unpopular Lady Jane Winters, on vacation in the Highlands for a week as part of a fishing school. She knows something nasty about everybody on the course, instructors included, so they all have motives - but whodunit?

A house party murder set in a hotel, with tyro fisherfolk instead of party guests is a great setup for a mystery. You can even learn something about fishing, although this part of the story is very much part of the background rather than the foreground. Written over twenty years ago, it is interesting to see how things have changed since then and this gives it something of a period appeal and adds to the charm. Hamish is a truly delightful character, and as the whole story is mainly about outsiders it is an interesting way to start a series, rather akin to opening a door to something special just a crack. As an introduction to Lochdubh it serves to whet the appetite for more, and more is what is coming because the whole series is to be reprinted.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Death of a Gossip #1
Death of a Cad #2
Death of an Outsider #3
Death of a Macho Man #12
Death of a Dentist #13
Death of a Scriptwriter #14
Death of an Addict #15
A Highland Christmas #15.5
Death of a Dustman #16  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Celebrity #17  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Village #18
Death of a Poison Pen #19
Death of a Bore #20  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Dreamer #21 [audio] [book 1 ] [book 2]
Death of a Maid #22  [review 1] [uk review 2]
Death of a Gentle Lady #23  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Witch #24  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Valentine #25  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Chimney Sweep #26  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of a Kingfisher #27  [review 1] [review 2]
Death of Yesterday #28  [audio] [ book]
Death of a Policeman #29  [audio] [book]
Death of a Liar #30  [audio] [book]
Death of a Nurse #31  [audio] [book]
Death of a Ghost #32 [audio] [book]

Death of an Honest Man #33 [audio] [book]

The Book

Robinson (Constable and Robinson)
April 2008
0230014577 / 9781845296650
Mystery - 1984 / Highlands, Scotland
More at US || UK
NOTE: US edition is different

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008