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Death of a Hussy
Hamish Macbeth - Book V

by M C Beaton

      Lochdubh has another new resident in the large, overbearing shape of Maggie Baird, a wealthy woman who was once a prostitute.  Now she has her weedy niece living with her and typing up her scandalous memoirs, as well as four potential suitors whom she knew (in the Biblical sense) years ago.  Now one of them is going to be chosen as her new husband, which will cut niece Alison Kerr out of the will.  But Maggie has a bad heart as well as plenty of money, and sharing her home with five penniless and greedy people is not a good plan...

This story is told partly from Hamish's perspective and partly from Alison's, but all of it firmly in the third person, so we do not get a whole view.  This idea works rather well, giving some insight into these pivotal characters, but not too much.  As well as an entertaining whodunit taking center stage, as it ought, we also get up to speed with Hamish’s posting to nearby Strathbane and what he does there.  Then there is a surprising denouement, which I certainly did not see coming and which will make for some interesting situations in later books.  This is one thing I particularly admire about Ms Beaton’s brief and original tales—her ability to throw new things into the mix while wisely keeping the best of the old.  I can see why this series has been reprinted, and also why it is still running.  May it long continue to do so.

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)
September 2008
1845296699 / 9781845296698
More at US || UK
NOTE: US edition is different

The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2008
© 2008