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Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1)
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Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth #1)

3.73  ·  Rating Details ·  8,773 Ratings  ·  684 Reviews
When a famous gossip columnist is murdered at the local fishing school, no one is ready to talk. It's up to Hamish Macbeth, with the inspiring assistance of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, to sniff out the right rat amid all the cunning anglers with secrets to hide. But someone has baited a hook for him.
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published January 1st 1991 by Recorded Books (first published 1985)
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Jan 29, 2015 Luffy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! What a story, so intelligently told! The difference between Death Of A Gossip and the first Agatha Raisin book is that the former doesn't concentrate on the main character's details. That only helped to improve on what was a nice murder case. The gathering of suspects in a library was something of a throwback to Christie books. The final showdown with the suspects was very well presented. Hamish is such a decent chap. His traits are realistically displayed, and you believe him, his u ...more
Book Blurb
Scottish highland village cop Hamish Macbeth must find which target was provoked enough to strangle and drown nasty fat widowed tabloid reporter Jane Winters, who revealed many others' guilty secrets.

Much is from the viewpoint of a naive secretary seduced by a blue-blood playboy. Icy blond beauty, aristocratic Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, lends a hand.

It's not the most exciting, riveting, murder mystery I have ever read, but good enough to spend a few hours with all the charact
Jason Koivu
Question for Beaton/Hamish Macbeth fans: Are they all like this?

I like a good murder mystery/detective story, and with the Hamish Macbeth series at 32 books and still going strong, I thought this might be my next favorite series to launch myself into. So I started at the beginning and gave Death of a Gossip a go.

This book is a jack of all trades and a master of none. It's a little bit romance, a little bit mystery, and a little bit comedy. It does all of them adequately to erratically, and neve
Jul 01, 2011 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cozy-mystery
3.5 stars. This book is like cotton candy; it's fluffy and light on substance, but enjoyable all the same. Like Hamish himself, Death of a Gossip is like a sleepy, laid-back countryside where everything moves slowly. Not for readers who like their reads fast-paced and action-filled, but it's perfect if you want a relaxing few hours.

I absolutely adore Hamish. His character is so vividly described that I can practically see him wander around town languidly as I read. He's supposedly soft-spoken, s
Laurie Reyes these books are available on Hoopla as audiobooks. I've listened to probably 18 of them while cleaning this year. They are cozy mysteries. Perfect for mindless work. I like the setting. I like the recurring characters. This isn't great literature but it's free, pretty wholesome, and a nice companion for cleaning house. They are short books as well.
Feb 22, 2015 Kate rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The female characters were all drawn from the worst stereo types.
Aug 22, 2014 C. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
No one could be more surprised than I, to dislike a novel I looked forward to. I squirmed through this one. I have every intention to give the next novel a chance. Marion C. Beaton is a beloved ‘cozy mystery’ author and it’s no joke, I collected about 20 of her books! I would be relieved to turn my reaction around. I landed up with a few first editions!

Marion wanted to portray a peaceful, idle policeman, so his input would make shockwaves. The misfortune is, in this attempt; Hamish came out as a
The mystery was lame and the characters all acted in ways that seemed totally unrealistic. I am a little surprised I made it all the way through this one because it took forever for the story to get started what with having to have each and every character mutter threats under their breath that seemed to be totally out of proportion to the situation. It is hard to believe this is the same author as the Agatha Raisin series.
Jul 11, 2013 Martha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Poorly written and badly plotted. It is amazing the author got a chance to write more in this series. This book clunks along like an old jalopy with a flat tire.
An Odd1
Jun 13, 2011 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fun, fan
A nasty old fat tabloid reporter reveals others' guilty secrets. Which victim was provoked enough to strangle and drown her? I remembered who and why, but not the reveal, and savor re-reading descriptions. Much is from the viewpoint of the naive secretary seduced by the blue-blood playboy, rather than hero, Scottish highland cop Hamish Macbeth.

Reader may grin, snicker, and sigh in sympathy with the not-so stereotypes. Outwardly slow simple, inwardly clever cunning, generous Macbeth also poaches
Greg Z
Oct 20, 2015 Greg Z rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
I started with the Hamish Macbeth television show and enjoyed it immensely. I couldn't find the first two books of the series, so I started with #18, #19, and #20. By accident, I did stumble upon the first two books in this series. (I knew that would eventually happen because I like to browse used book stores and yard sales, etc.) But I'm glad I started with #18, as this first one is on the weak side as far as plot and characterizations. I don't know if Beaton had written earlier books, but this ...more
Oct 22, 2016 Cyndi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story by one of my fav authors. Hamish Macbeth is a simple policeman in a simple Scottish village. He reads people while quietly finding the answers. He isn't overly handsome but is unassuming and pleasant.
Feb 06, 2016 Dawn rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't get past how stupid the main character was.
Mar 04, 2017 TJ rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a refreshingly simple, direct murder mystery in an interesting setting with some eccentric characters. The setting is the highlands of Scotland at a vacation school that teaches tourists how to fish for trout and salmon. The guests all despise the obnoxious, intrusive Lady Jane who seems to find the vulnerable areas of each guest. When she is reeled in dead instead of a large flopping salmon, the small village policeman, Hamish Macbeth, begins an investigation. Lady Jane has fishing line ...more
Jan 08, 2010 Luann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, adult, 2012
Why have I never read any Hamish Macbeth books? They have been recommended to me several times over the years! I finally checked the first one out of the library after watching several episodes of the BBC TV show. Having just finished the first book in the series, I feel like I could dive into the series and read them all one right after the other. I can't do that since I have other books slated to be read first, but it sure would be enjoyable!

Speaking just of the book, it reminded me quite a lo
Read again 09/29/16 for Maze mystery book club.

Set in Scotland, Hamish Macbeth is the local constable who, it appears is a) not well liked by the gentry; b) considered a moocher by the hotel owners; and c) kind to small children and petty thieves. I think I like him as a character.

I thought there was little exposition of clues that would help the reader solve the puzzle (often called "playing fair") and while there usually is an antagonistic relationship between the series detective and the "re
Sep 25, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The Cartwrights have had a fishing school for three years. This week’s class has eight members, but one of them, Lady Jane Winters keeps making barbed comments about the others, hinting at something in their past. Everyone at the school hates her, and want her to leave. No one is really surprised when they find her body, especially not the local constable Hamish Macbeth. Everyone, including the chief inspector that comes to investigate the murder thinks that Macbeth is just lazy and unintelligen ...more
Elaine Cramer
Feb 01, 2014 Elaine Cramer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, series
I just love this series. Hamish is a handsome redheaded constable in a small village in Scotland. If I were single...just kidding. Poor Hamish does not have a lot of luck in love.

Plenty of murders happen in and around this small village, and it is up to Hamish to get to the bottom of things. His methods are pragmatic and inspired. The results are always satisfying.

I read the first Hamish somewhere in the middle of the series, but went on to read every last one of them. I choose book number one,
This book is one of the most well-known cozies there are, so I bought it awhile ago when I found it on sale,a nd I don't regret it! This was a fun, fast-paced book that I devoured.

I loved the characters, especially Hamish. The fact that he wasn't the only POV this story was told from made him more likeable, in my eyes. Alice annoyed me, but I think she'd annoy anyone.

The setting was great, and so was the mystery. I wasn't too surprised at the killer, but there really weren't many suspects. so I
Dec 29, 2011 Sheli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the first in M.C Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series and the first I have read featuring Hamish Macbeth. I decided to give this series a try as I enjoy the Agatha Raisin series so much and I was not disappointed.

I really enjoyed reading this and though it had some strong local characters as well as the fishing school "incomers" and it kept me guessing over who the murderer was.

I liked the Highland twist on the countryside murder mystery and will definitely read the rest of the series!

Jan 30, 2012 Andreasoldier rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This is the first book in this lovely mystery series, full of quirky characters. I've read others in this series, so picked this up. Its funny to look back and see how Constable Hamish Macbeth has matured, or not, as a character and slueth. And Beaton's writing has gotten better too, but this effort is a quick fun read about a flyfishing school in the Highlands disrupted by a nasty gossip, and then by her murder.
Ian Brydon
Jul 24, 2014 Ian Brydon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know why I even bothered reading this Hamish Macbeth novel. The television series based on the books was ropey enough and at least it offered the consolation of the glorious scenery around Plockton. The book was simply dire - the plot was laboured and predictable and the characterisation was even worse: to say that the characters were two dimensional would be to flatter them.

I think that the book was supposed to be slightly humorous, but laugh? I never even started.
Feb 07, 2015 ❀⊱Rory⊰❀ rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I was really looking forward to this one. Sadly, it's been a disappointment.

The characters, with the exception of Macbeth, are awful people with the women being the absolute worst stereotypes imaginable. The misogyny just went on and on and ruined the pleasure of the mystery. I have the next one in this series but I don't know if I'll bother reading it.
This was my first Hamish Macbeth novel, and I found it enjoyable. It reminded me a bit of the Rhys Bowen Constable Evans books - a small town constable who beats the detectives at their own game.
This book was a bit lighter in tone than Bowen's books, but a fun read nontheless.
Jun 17, 2010 Nick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to dislike this book. But it's hard to think of it as anything more than cotton candy. The characters are pastiche, but fun pastiche in the jolly ol' highlands of Scotland. It's the very definition of a "cozy" mystery.
Sarah83 L
Jan 05, 2017 Sarah83 L rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: litsyatoz
Ein netter kleiner Krimi für zwischendurch.
Apr 12, 2017 Caitlin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Caitlin by: Kathy Evans
Shelves: mystery, recommended
Death of a Gossip is the first book in the now 32 book long Hamish Macbeth mystery series by M.C. Beaton. Death of a Gossip introduces readers to the laidback Scottish constable Hamish Macbeth and the sleepy Highland town of Lochdubh. The story begins with eight complete strangers gathering together in Lochdubh for an expedition with the Lochdubh School of Casting : Salmon and Trout Fishing. John and Heather Cartwright are the owners of the school and head the expedition while the remainder of t ...more
Jun 16, 2017 Katja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein äußerst unterhaltsamer kurzer Krimi ganz im traditionellen britischen Stil. Eine Anglergesellschaft in den Highlands, jeder Teilnehmer mit Vergangenheit, ein Mord. Wer war es? Dazu ein sympathischer, leicht kauziger Dorfpolizist, der von allen wenig ernst genommen wird und am Ende alle eines Besseren belehrt. (Juni 2017)
Matthew Barnes
Apr 24, 2017 Matthew Barnes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good opening book to this long series. Good to be introduced to Macbeth, as well as to the regular characters like Blair. Tricky case to solve but worth it in the end.
Kat Walter
Thought I'd try different series by this author. Simple, entertaining, mindless cozy mystery. More enjoyable on Audible than reading print...I like the accents and expressions by the readers, and I can do other things at the same time.
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Books like the Hamish MacBeth series 5 99 Jan 18, 2015 05:02PM  
Kindle English My...: June 2103 Group Read - Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton 16 27 Jun 29, 2013 12:32PM  
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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 33 books)
  • 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)
  • Death of a Nag (Hamish Macbeth, #11)

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