Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death of a Nag (Hamish Macbeth, #11)” as Want to Read:
Death of a Nag (Hamish Macbeth, #11)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Death of a Nag (Hamish Macbeth #11)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,471 Ratings  ·  146 Reviews
Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth is more dour than ever after losing both his promotion and his girl, the loyal Priscilla Halbourton-Smythe. A trip to a charming seaside inn with his dog Towser is meant to raise his sagging spirits. Instead, he arrives at "Friendly House" to find the ambiance chilling, the food inedible, and his fellow guests less than neighborly. There's ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 28th 2006 by Mysterious Press (first published 1995)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death of a Nag, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death of a Nag

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
After his engagement is broken, Constable Hamish Macbeth is looking forward to rest and relaxation in the coastal town of Skay. But when he arrives at the somewhat dismal bed and breakfast, his fellow guests include the annoying spinster, Miss Gunnery, a single man, a London family, two young "tarts", and Bob Harris, who so nags his wife that everyone wants to kill him.And then someone does. The couple who run the boarding house are not above suspicion either.
I listened to this story with great
C.J. Prince
Mar 09, 2014 C.J. Prince rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you've read any of my reviews of the adventures and mishaps of police constable Hamish Macbeth, you know I'm hooked on this series.

"Death of a Nag" is #11 and I highly recommend reading them in order. While the victim and circumstance will be familiar, the subplot of characters in the small northern Scottish town of Lochdubh will pull you in a desire for chronology.

Yes, there is a horrid man who is verbally abusive to his wife. Yes, everyone is annoyed and insulted by him. And yes, you alrea
Jan 12, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it
"A new mystery in the Constable Hamish Macbeth mystery series ... is as delicious a treat as Devon cream and scones. This time out the red-haired, irascible Macbeth has left his tiny Scottish village for a holiday with his dog, Towser. True to form, Macbeth doesn't venture far from the Highlands he loves, just a few hours away to Skag, a forgotten North Sea resort town that offers rund-dwon guest houses, a fish-and-chips shop, the hauntingsounds of its 'singing sands' and murder.

"Until his recen
Ivonne Rovira
Aug 04, 2013 Ivonne Rovira rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: cozy lovers looking for something different
Constable Hamish Macbeth may take a holiday, but, of course, murder never does.

While taking a cheap holiday from Lochdubh, Hamish stays at a boarding house from hell in a town even farther north in Scotland called Skag. A perfectly dreadful Englishman, Bob Harris, unites the other holiday-makers against him as he berates his poor wife and makes himself unpleasant to all and sundry in his drunken binges. When Harris turns up murdered, there's no end of suspects.

After the disappointing Death of a
Kelsey Hanson
Spoilers ahead! You've been warned!

Dang it M.C. Beaton! Was that REALLY necessary?! After stomping over my heart in the last book, she found it necessary to kill off Hamish's dog. I am a dog lover and I intentionally avoid books where this happens because it causes me to cry like a baby. Honestly, once that happened I didn't particularly care for the rest of the story I was just bitter until I finished it up. After two very depressing books in a row, I really hope the Beaton lightens up a bit in
The Flooze
May 18, 2016 The Flooze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyable and terribly sad in too many ways.

It seems murder follows Hamish, even on vacation. A cheap summer holiday turns into a nightmare of suspicion, with our PC right in the middle of it. His fellow holiday-makers at the b&b seem a nice crowd and it's a weary and confused Hamish who is forced to look upon his new friends in a harsh light.

There's so much here to muddle his emotions that we can't blame Hamish for taking a very long time to figure it all out. But the emotions m
Jul 20, 2013 Kimberley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As a Scotswoman I loved the use of the local Dialect. I could tell I was going to be hooked from chapter one. A short book so was finished in 2 days. Will look put for the others in the series.
I've only read a few in this series, in fact not even in order which is not how I usually read series but not all are available at our library. This is my favorite so far and in my opinion the supporting characters are very well written.

Hamish has broken up with Priscilla and is feeling depressed so he decides to take a vacation. The B & B that he stays at has terrible food and isn't nice at all although he grows attached to some of the other vacationers staying there. But all is not as it s
Oct 25, 2014 Elisabeth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In this 11th Hamish Macbeth murder mystery, Hamish is fed up. Fed up because of his breakup with Priscilla and doubly fed up because the villagers in Lochdubh cannot speak to him without mentioning his relationship failure, Hamish decides that it is time he took a holiday. Not wanting to be too adventurous he decides to travel to the seaside town of Skag with promises from the holiday brochures that do not come true.
Hamish finds himself stuck in a boarding house which is cheap but certainly NOT
Jun 04, 2015 Badseedgirl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-read-in
In a refreshing twist the "Nag" turns out to be a Dude. I guess Ms. Beaton felt she could not call it "Death of a Douche!" Hamish suffers the death of a loved one that was so sad. For the first time in 11 books I don't think Hamish was happy to solve this case.
Dec 07, 2014 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-mysteries
Hamish Macbeth, constable of a small Scottish village, seeks to get away from his friends and neighbors by visiting a remote seaside resort. However, he finds himself in a dismal boarding house in which one of the other guests is what most people would refer to as a verbally abusive husband. The characters in the book call him a "nag." When Hamish finds this nasty man's dead body, he is the prime suspect, having punched the man earlier after Hamish interfered in a "domestic dispute" between the ...more
Kathy Jackson
Jun 03, 2015 Kathy Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, Hamish is back and the plot is perfect. Who killed the nagging Bob Harris who has nothing good to say to anyone? I must admit, I knew the answer but could not figure out the motive till the end when Hamish revealed it. The story moves along at a fairly good clip.

I can’t say I was brokenhearted about his engagement being broken – I know there has to be a better female character for him. There are sad moments in the story as well that upset me and had me wondering exactly why the author put th
Apr 29, 2015 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars!!
BJ Rose
Oct 20, 2015 BJ Rose rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery, series
This one just dragged for me - I was pretty sure who the murderer was early on, but had to wait for Hamish to provide the motive. Everything just seemed so dull and dreary - and then (view spoiler) The last one wasn't all that great, either (view spoiler). I think I'll be moving on - goodbye Hamish...
Mar 19, 2014 Tim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading a second one of this series reveals some of the repetitions and similarities of the texts. Not Encyclopedia Brown, but some familiar returns. Hamish MacBeth on vacation at a cheap beachside inn, makes some friends who all become suspects when a murder is committed. Dark humor and funny scenes, all with a veneer of bleak Scottish Calvinism (assumed) in the background.
Izzy Holmes
Sep 16, 2013 Izzy Holmes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First time I have read Hamish Macbeth have enjoyed MC Beaton before but the gentle Agatha Raisin books. Hamish takes a holiday to the Scottish town of Skag in a truly awful B and B during his stay there is a murder that he is able to use his detective skills to investigate loved the characters perfect book to read with a pot of tea and scone
The Hobbit
Jan 24, 2016 The Hobbit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamish Macbeth series #11. Hamish Macbeth has been demoted and his engagement to Priscillla has ended. Everyone in :Lochdue blames him for breaking the poor girl's heart. He has to get away! Going to the seaside village of Skag on the Moray Perth, he books into a guest house to be alone and relax. However, one of the other guests, Bob Harris, is so offensive to his wife, belittling her, scolding her, and even hitting her, that the other guests, even one of the children, are heard wishing the obn ...more
Jul 17, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books-read
Having made a publicly embarrassing error in his previous investigation and having ended his unofficial engagement to Priscilla Halburton-Smythe (who the villagers love and don't understand why Hamish would do this), Hamish is feeling unappreciated in Lochdubh, which hurts the most since he loves the people and the place and doesn't want to live anywhere else. He has also been demoted because of his error in identifying a body as the body he had been looking for.

A friend suggests that he might
#11 in the Hamish Macbeth series.

Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth is more dour than ever after losing both his promotion and his girl, the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. A trip to a charming seaside inn with his dog, Towser, is meant to raise his sagging spirits. Instead, he arrives at "Friendly House" to find the ambiance chilling, the food inedible, and his fellow guests less than neighborly. There's an amorous spinster, two tarty girls, a retired military man, a secretive London family,
Jul 15, 2015 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamish Macbeth is a constible in a small town in Scotland. He has had some problems and decides what he needs is vacation, so he and his dog (Towser) go to an inexpensive seaside inn. The food is awful and most of the other guests are not enjoyable. There is one guest who is especially unlikable who nags his wife all of the time. Everyone feels like they want to kill him and someone does. Even though he is on vacation, Hamish is pulled into helping solve the mystery.
This is the second book I
Mandy Huot
May 08, 2012 Mandy Huot rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I could not get into this book at all. I gave up long before the murder even happened because it just took too long. I hope not all of Beaton's books are like this.
Although this is part of a series, it can be read as a stand alone. I can say that because I have not read any other Hamish Macbeth story; I picked this up at the library on a whim. Again it is okay as a stand alone for a cozy murder mystery, however, I could not get a good feel for the character of Hamish Macbeth. He wasn't well developed in this particular book. Perhaps if I read other Hamish Macbeth stories I would feel more attached to him.

If you're looking for a comfortable cozy murder myst
Sherrill Watson
Feb 21, 2015 Sherrill Watson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamish impulsively decides to get away from it all, and he really does, to a dreadful little seaside town, with guests that have picked the "resort" for the same reasons. Naturally a murder happens, but not before Hamish rallies everyone around him, and his old dog Towser for entertainment. The "nag" is dreadful, you don't mind at all that he is killed, but Towser? Maybe I'm just sensitive, but poor Towser!

ANYWAY. I really enjoyed the lightness of this book, and am looking forward to reading mor
Feb 10, 2016 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Our highland hero, Hamish, picks another doomed Scottish holiday destination and ends up solving another murder. I enjoyed this book more than some of the recent ones as the plot was more involved. The author, MC Beaton, certainly knows how to character-assassinate a room. In one paragraph she works her way around the local pub, describing it as: "battered"; "mean"; "scratchy"; "worn-out"; "faded"; "dim"; and "grim". While she sets the tone perfectly, it's no wonder the books feel a little bleak ...more
An Odd1
Dec 02, 2015 An Odd1 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
"It certainly never crossed his mind that this would be their last happy evening together, and that he himself would do something before the night was out that would start a chain of events leading to murder" p 52. In addition to the title is an extra warning. Not necessary?

To get past serving men constant "cup o' tea .. as a waitress" p 143, policewoman Maggie Donald takes Hamish out when the Rogers serve ersatz meat "bad .. rank" p 96 "filth" p 98. So he doesn't "end up with egg all over my fa
Jun 02, 2011 Ellie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, series, cozy
Death of a Nag by M.C. Beaton is the 11th in the Hamish Macbeth series, and my favorite so far (of course, I think I say that after each one I read!).

In this installment, Hamish is feeling disillusioned with his beloved Scottish town of Lochdubh and decides to head off with his beloved dog Towser to vacation in a small bed and breakfast down south. There is a group of ordinary people taking their holidays and Hamish quickly makes friends with most of them.

Almost as quickly, one of the group is
Jul 15, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Different setting, but typical light mystery in lengthy set

“Nag” is one of the earlier entries in Beaton’s prolific constable Hamish Macbeth series set in small villages in northern Scotland. Hamish is atypically moody; his engagement to long-time girlfriend Priscilla having been broken, and recently getting busted one rank, has him feeling depressed. He decides to vacation in the resort town of Skag, but the B&B he picked turns out to be a dismal place with bad food and one guest who is dri
Hamish has broken up with his girl friend in the book, and the community is upset with him, and they are giving him a bad time. He decides to go on a vacation to Skag, Scotland. He finds a cheap boarding house to stay. The boarding house is run down, the food is bad, and the other guests are down. Bob runs his wife Doris down in front of the others. Hamish suggested things to do, and most of the group come along with him. Hamish becomes friends with the group members, only to have to question if ...more
A fine picture of Hamish Macbeth relaxing seaside with a house full of fellow holidayers. Until the shabby meals and teas force him to lead the group on a hike to find amenities in Skay. Hamish seems very natural in this setting and I gained a greater appreciation for his authenticity.

My attention was directed to several other mysteries that needed solving whilst in pursuit of the murderer of the Nag which added to the reading value. And the one unexpected sadness for Hamish found another heartf
Nov 04, 2007 Pam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-mystery
GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Mystery/1996/216 pgs
SERIES/STAND ALONE: #11 in Hamish Macbeth series
TIME/PLACE: 1990's/Scotland
CHARACTERS: Hamish Macbeth/constable
FIRST LINES: Hamish Macbeth awoke to another day. His dog, Towser, was lying across his feet, snoring rhythmically. Sunlight slanted through the gap in the curtains. The telephone in the police office part of the house shrilled & then the answering machine clicked on.

« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Evanly Choirs  (Constable Evans, #3)
  • Snobbery With Violence (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #1)
  • Requiem for a Mezzo (Daisy Dalrymple, #3)
  • Murder in Volume (Megan Clark, #1)
  • Baroque and Desperate (Den of Antiquity, #5)
  • Ringing In Murder (Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery, #16)
  • Death on the Downs (Fethering, #2)
  • Hark! The Herald Angel Screamed (An Augusta Goodnight Mystery)
Like her on Facebook!

Learn more on her website!

Watch a video of Marion discussing the casting of the AGATHA RAISIN Christmas special

Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Marion Chesney, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John
More about M.C. Beaton...

Other Books in the Series

Hamish Macbeth (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1)
  • Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
  • Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth, #3)
  • Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth, #4)
  • Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth, #5)
  • Death of a Snob (Hamish Macbeth, #6)
  • Death of a Prankster (Hamish Macbeth, #7)
  • Death of a Glutton (Hamish Macbeth, #8)
  • Death of a Travelling Man (Hamish Macbeth, #9)
  • Death of a Charming Man (Hamish Macbeth, #10)

Share This Book

“A tart temper never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only edged tool that grows keener with constant use. —Washington Irving” 0 likes
More quotes…