Death of a Gossip by M. C. Beaton

Death of a GossipBlurb:

When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joins the local fishing class she wastes no time in ruffling feathers – or should that be fins? – of those around her.
Among the victims of her sharp tongue is Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth, yet not even Hamish thinks someone would seriously want to silence Lady Jane’s shrill voice permanently – until her strangled body is fished out of the river.
Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must steer a course through the choppy waters of the tattler’s life to find a murderer. But with a school of suspects who aren’t willing to talk, and the dead woman telling no tales, Hamish may well be in over his head for he knows that secrets are dangerous, knowledge is power, and killers when cornered usually do strike again.

In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes      

For people who like: very cosy mysteries, Scotland, lovely scenery, plots that don’t make your heart beat faster

My thoughts: 

After reading a couple of Isabel Dalhousie books I thought there is nothing more cosy out there, but I was wrong. This Hamish Macbeth book is even less nerve wrecking than The Sunday Philosophy Club series. Considering there was a murder in the first and nothing even close to petty theft in the latter this is no mean feat.  At the moment I am in the mood for some very easy and unexciting reading, so M.C. Beaton was just right for me.

I very much enjoyed the quiet setting in a Scottish village in the Highlands out in the sticks. Our hero, the village bobby, solves the crime and leaves his detective colleagues from the big city far behind. Hamish Macbeth is calm, apparently rather slow (don’t let appearances deceive you, he is rather witty and had some great comeback lines in this book) and easy going.

His love interest (unrequited, but then again maybe not altogether so) and her father, the local land owner, are just the stereotype characters you would expect, at least so far. She, down to Earth, independent thinker, turns down all suitable marriage candidates; the father, the loud, irate, “my daughter is too good for you” type. Perfect! We didn’t meet any other village people here as the plot revolves around a group of tourists who have come to Lochdubh for a week to learn the tricks of the casting trade. All the sleuthing and snooping is done among them, so there was not much room to get to know the locals.

The mystery was an ok plot, there were some hints as to the murderer, but I never knew who it was until the end. However, had it been more obvious, I wouldn’t have minded, this series clearly lives from the setting, the local characters, its hero and the atmosphere.

Great for light reading! There are many more books in this series and I am curious to read M.C. Beaton’s Agatha Raisin series as well. Thanks, Caroline, for pointing me to those books.

Location: the (fictional) village of Lochdubh, Highlands, Scotland, UK

Map Highlands Highlands Highlands

Map from wikipedia, photos by chris1961 and brO at

Movie tip

Hamish Macbeth TV series 

Product info and buy link :

Title Death of a Gossip
Author M. C. Beaton
Publisher Robinson
ISBN 9781845296650
I got this book from I bought it, because Caroline recommended the series to me
Buy link Buy Death of a Gossip
More info The Hamish Macbeth series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

2 Comments Write a comment

    • I agree. And I already ordered the next three books in the series. Plus the first of her A. Raisin series as well….:)


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