Wednesday, March 30, 2016

REVIEW: Death of a Gossip

Death of a Gossip
Author: M.C. Beaton

A few years ago, I watched a British television show called Hamish MacBeth. It was the first time I saw the actor Robert Carlisle.  His portrayal of the low-key Scottish police constable made Carlisle, and the show, instant personal favorites.

I have always wanted to read the book series by M.C. Beaton. Finally, I got around to it, and got the first book from my local library. I'm so glad I did. Death of a Gossip was a delightful read!

A group of 8 tourists signs up for a week of fly fishing instruction at the Lochdubh School of Casting. The group seems directly from an Agatha Christie novel almost -- the required upper class twits, a secretary who wishes she was someone more important, a womanizing playboy, a rebellious young lad, a trouble-making woman, the beautiful vamp and the American couple who like to brag about themselves. They all try valiantly to learn the art of fly fishing, while being annoyed by the horrendous manners and behavior of Lady Jane Winters. Before long, after being zinged by her personal comments and veiled threats, the entire group hates Lady Jane. It isn't long before she is found dead floating in the lake. Detective Chief Inspector Blair is soon on the scene to investigate, but Hamish MacBeth is also looking for clues and looking for the murderer right under the Inspector's nose. Who killed the hideous Lady Jane? What was her secret? And is Hamish MacBeth more than the small village bumbling constable that Blair assumes he is?

Death of a Gossip is a quick read, but delightfully written. MacBeth reminded me of the Scottish version of Columbo. He seems to be lazy, a bit slow and like he isn't doing his job, when actually he knows and notices much more than anyone realizes. The story unfolded with the perfect mix of humor, quaint village life, personalities and investigation. Overall, just a fun read!

The Hamish MacBeth Mysteries series has 31 books. I'm not sure that I will be reading all 31 of them, but I certainly enjoyed this first book! And I already have book 2 and several others on my TBR shelf. I bought several at a used book sale a couple years ago and put them on the shelf, but never had time to read them. Finally taking the time -- and I'm so glad I did! I hope every book is as humorous and fun as this first book!

If you want to see Robert Carlisle in the television version, you can watch on Youtube here. The television version is different from the books, but still very very good!

M.C. Beaton also wrote the Agatha Raisin series & the Edwardian Murder series.

My rating: 9/10
Ages: 16+
Some language and adult situations

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