Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death of a Hussy” as Want to Read:
Death of a Hussy
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth #5)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,208 ratings  ·  122 reviews
About the best that can be said of wealthy Maggie Baird is that inside her middle-aged body, there still beats the heart of a beautiful tart. So when her car catches fire with Maggie in it, there are five likely suspects right on the premises of her luxurious Highlands cottage. Lochdubh police constable Hamish Macbeth has to question Maggie's timid niece and four former lo ...more
Published June 1st 2012 by Grand Central Publishing (first published September 23rd 1990)
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 Hussy, please sign up.

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

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
Evelyn Bryant
I really like the whole series of Hamish MacBeth books by M C Beaton. I find them a lot more entertaining than the Agatha Raisin books which I can't seem to get into. I even found the videos of the series but was slightly disappointed that they had ( or course) drifted away from the book and some of the key characters, but it was entertaining. I hope the author has not given up writing about Hamish. I like how he goes about making sure he is not promoted since he is content with his lot in life ...more
The title nails it -- you won't forget that you've read this short, fun book when going through the list of books by M. C. Beaton. What a hussy! Wealthy and over-the-hill femme fetale Maggie Baird escapes to a small village in the Highlands of Scotland to be joined by her mousey niece, Allison. Not long after her arrival, she leaves for a few months to lose weight and restore her "beauty." Allison obsesses over learning to drive as she falls for the local constable. The real story involves Maggi ...more
In this 5th Hamish Macbeth murder mystery, we find the police station in Lochdubh shut as there wasn’t enough crime in the area to warrant it staying open. Hamish Macbeth has been re-located Strathbane where he is spending his time dealing with drunks and football hooligans and is partnered with the not so nice PC Mary Graham. Meanwhile, Lochdubh is missing their friendly local constable so the villagers organise a crime wave to lure Macbeth back.
Alongside all of this, rich Maggie Baird (who has
What keeps me coming back to these books is Hamish and his ongoing relationships: with Priscilla, Chief Inspector Blair and the residents of Lochdugh. But the plots themselves are somewhat repetitive. Strangely, my local library had nothing but an e-book copy of this book, despite multiple editions of almost every title in the series. I wonder if some moralist didn't track all their print editions, the villain notwithstanding.

And in this book, Beaton proves particularly indifferent to victim. Un
Maggie Baird, an outsider, moved into the Scottish Highlands outside of Lochdubh into a large, sprawling bungalow and brought her niece, Alison, who was recovering from lung cancer, with her. Maggie appeared to be a lady but in actually was an old tart who had saved and invested money she had gotten from her gentleman friends and was now wealthy. She had let herself go in recent years, gotten fat and unattractive, so she left to get made over. When she returned, she looked totally different, sli ...more
Frishawn Rasheed
All in all, Death Of A Hussy is a very enjoyable and light cozy.
M.C. Beaton seems to be an author that builds story around quirky and interesting characters and the strength of their interactions; rather than extremes in action or twisty plots.

The star of this read can be found in the highly unlikely person of Allison, the weak willed and somewhat mousey niece of one Maggie Bairde.
At first glance, it is very easy to assume that it will be the fading beauty and monied eccentricity of the less tha
Things are changing in the village of Lochdubh, and our happily and contentedly unambitious Macbeth is right in the middle of things. This fifth installment in the series had a bit of a different feel to it…perhaps because of the changes sure to be addressed in book six and onward.
It's amazing that these short, little mysteries evoke so much: the setting (Scotland), the people, the mysteries AND be able to create important character development (Hamish Macbeth, especially). This is the fifth in the series and my interest continues! Onward to number six!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is not my favorite of the series. Beaton does create a couple of very interesting characters for this story, but I miss the humor evident in some of the other books in the series.
It was almost with mixed feelings that we polished off “Hussy”, one of the early novels (#5) in this 30-book set (as of 2014) – as this one completes our reading of Beaton’s entire Hamish Macbeth series. In this story, Macbeth has been assigned from Lochdubh to Strathbane, which of course he hated – but is transferred back when his home village folks stage a fake crime wave. The gist of the plot revolves around rich relative Maggie, who takes in cancer survivor and mousy waif Alison. Maggie then ...more
C.J. Prince
If you've read any of my previous reviews, you will know that I am addicted to these Highland mysteries and the tall, seemingly dim witted Scottish constable who sees what others do not. I have yet to be disappointed in any of these charming mysteries set in or around Lochdubh.

The fifth in the series, "Death of a Hussy" introduces Maggie,a new character to the small village with her timid, insecure niece. Maggie invites four long ago lovers to visit with the intention of selecting one of them as
An Odd1
*** "Death of a Hussy" (H5) by M.C. Beaton. Apart from a lesson against smoking, foibles cause fun. Scottish Highland constable Hamish Macbeth recognizes trouble when obese English bully 40ish Maggie takes up her wilted cancer-recuperating niece Alison, appoints the girl beneficiary, writes lewd memoirs, and announces her 'dicky heart'. The millionaire resculpts her slender self, invites 4 true ex-loves, confirmed now impecunious by investigators, offers them wealth for marriage, and settles on ...more
It's amazing to me that an author can do such a fine job of creating a place that I just can't wait to visit it again and again. such a place is Lochdub, the home of Constable Hamish Macbeth.

The NLS annotation reds:

Death of a Hussy DB 32794
Beaton, M. C. Reading time: 4 hours, 43 minutes.
Read by John Horton.

Mystery and Detective Stories

The tranquility of the highland village of Lochdub is disrupted with arrival of Maggie Baird, who is given to impulsive behavior. Soon she undertakes a makeove
"Life just isn't as it used to be in the quiet Scottish town of Lochdubh. For one, the scenic Highland town has been shaken up by the arrival of Maggie Baird, a hefty and tweed-loving Englishwoman who is determined to become the town's leading lady. And Police Constable Hamish Macbeth--renowned for his soleepy style of policing--has been banished to another precinct.

"Maggie and Macbeth are brought together when the British newcomer, anxious to endear herself to the locals, engineers a plan to re
Beaton, M.C. - 5th in series


About the best that can be said of her is that inside her middle-aged body, there still beats the heart of a beautiful tart.

So when her car catches fire, with Maggie in it, there are five likely perpetrators right on the premises, houseguests in her luxurious Highlands cottage: Maggie's timid niece and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for a husband.

All five are eq
Helene Harrison
ISBN? – 9781472105240

Publishing - 2013 by Constable and Robinson (first published 1988)

Genre? - Crime / Mystery

Characters? - Hamish Macbeth / Priscilla Halburton-Smythe / Alison Kerr / Mrs Todd / Silver Ironside / Maggie

Setting? - Lochdubh (Scotland)

Series? - Hamish Macbeth #5

Title? - Maggie was seen as a hussy - she invited men to choose one to marry but had already had relationships with all of them.

Character Analysis? - I hated both Maggie and Alison. I half wished that someone could have kil
I think I've missed a book in the series, but that's OK.

Hamish is still lazy, but astute. I read this books with the feeling that there are cultural commentaries here that pretty much escape me. I take them in much the same way I view nature documentaries: the creatures are interesting but essentially unknowable.

Enjoyable enough to listen to as an audio book.

"About the best that can be said of wealthy Maggie Baird is that inside her middle-aged body, there still beats the heart of a beautiful tart. So when her car catches fire with Maggie in it, there are five likely suspects right on the premises of her luxurious Highlands cottage. Lochdubh police constable Hamish Macbeth has to question Maggie's timid niece and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for her husband. All five are equally poor-with ample motive and oppor
Bridget Martin
A fast woman and a fast car, what is Hamish to do?
Another fun adventure for my bedtime story hour.
I enjoy the light mystery, the lovely accent of the reader, and the wry observations on life that MC Beaton provides in this series.
I fear that Macbeth's patch in the Scottish highlands is even more dangerous than Cabot Cove, Maine. But I keep going back.
Aug 28, 2010 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
This is another entertaining mystery in the Hamish Macbeth series. It's a quick read and while it wasn't my favorite of the series, I like to watch how the characters in the story progress and how their relationships grow. I had been skipping around in the series, so I'm starting to fill in the gaps and read the series more or less in order now. It helps to make sense of all the tumultuous changes in Hamish and Priscilla's relationship and some of the events that occurred in the sleepy village. ...more
I had this on audiobook loan from the library and I found myself falling asleep as I listened. So, it wasn't a great one. I found the secondary characters particularly annoying, from the overbearing Maggie to her whiny niece and horrible lovers. I knew who did it pretty early on, and the motive seemed flimsy. But I keep coming back because I love Hamish, Patricia and Lochdubh!
G.V.R. Corcillo
I always love any story with Hamish MacBeth! But as far as Hamish stories go, this one was just okay. The characters in the mystery were all quite unpleasant, which made the story not as enjoyable. It took a long time for the murder to happen. The outcomes of the survivors were not satisfying because good things ended up happening to yucky characters. I am always happy to visit Lochdubh and Hamish, but this was not the best trip to the highlands.
Like the previous books in the series, this was an easy, enjoyable read. Hamish is a fun character and the plot was pretty decent. Listened to the audio version which was read by Shaun Grindell who did a good job making the Highland accents understandable.
Anne Hawn Smith
Margaret Baird is another of M.C. Beaton's deliciously evil murder victims. She is obnoxious to everyone and almost insures that she will be murdered. She has the usual poor relation ward whom she browbeats in the most obnoxiously patronizing way. Eventually the poor relation tries to break loose with mixed results. Add in a group of ex-lovers who have been invited by Margaret as prospective husbands and you have a perfect mystery for Hamish Macbeth to wade around in.

An unusual additions is that
DeAnna Knippling
Decent cozy, except that the murder and the business surrounding it felt like a distraction from the snide small-village plot, which was a nasty little EF Bensonesque pleasure.
I have read a lot of the Agatha Raisin books and love them. I started this series but didn't think they were as good but that has now changed. I love the character Hamish and look forward to reading more.
Sue Berg
Death of a Hussy (Unabridged)

Author: M. C. Beaton
Davina Porter
Recorded Books
Running Time:
5 h 03 min
Dependable cozy fun. The hussy is a very enjoyable character and Hamish's relationship with Priscilla continues to evolve.
This book kept my interest. It was a very short book. It was good enough that I was wishing it was longer and I was kinda sad when I finished it so quickly.
« 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 »
  • Sick of Shadows (An Edwardian Murder Mystery #3)
  • Evan Help Us (Constable Evans, #2)
  • Rattle His Bones (Daisy Dalrymple, #8)
  • Dear Old Dead (Gregor Demarkian, #9)
  • Black Is the Colour of My True Love's Heart (Felse, #6)
  • Mrs. Pargeter's Pound of Flesh (Mrs Pargeter, #4)
  • Ruling Passion (Dalziel & Pascoe, #3)
  • Aunt Dimity: Detective (An Aunt Dimity Mystery, #7)
  • White Corridor (Bryant & May, # 5)
  • River of Shadows
  • Dying for Dinner (A Cooking Class Mystery, #4)
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...
The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1) Death Of A Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1) The Vicious Vet: An Agatha Raisin Mystery (Agatha Raisin, #2) Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2) Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3)

Share This Book