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Death of a Maid (Hamish Macbeth #22)

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  2,607 ratings  ·  191 reviews
In the 23rd installment of M. C. Beaton's popular mystery saga featuring Scottish police constable Hamish Macbeth, the laid-back lawman is tasked with solving a perplexing murder where every single person who knew the victim (essentially the entire adult population of Lochdubh, a small coastal village in the Scottish Highlands) could be the killer!

Mavis Gillespie is a cro
ebook, 0 pages
Published February 22nd 2007 by Mysterious Press (first published 2007)
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Lisa Hall
Hamish Macbeth is still trying to live out his quiet existence in the Scottish Highlands. No one seems to want to let him. A local maid, and not a very good one by all accounts, is found murdered. No one is unhappy about this. Even her husband, a victim of spousal abuse he's never come forward with, cheers. As Hamish investigates, a trail of blackmail emerges - but which one of the maids victim's did her in?

This has the same easy style other Beaton novels have. Hamish is once again ducking a pro
I gave it a 3 because it kept me interested enough to keep me reading. But I won't be picking up another of this author's books. The novel was short, but it should have been shorter. The mystery itself was rather thin, and solved by the time the book was 2/3 over. The rest of the book was just this wandering chain of's like the editor told Beaton he had to make it to 300 pages or something, so he just kept making up things.

Also, I heard way too much about all the arrangements Macbet
One of the weaker entries in the esteemed Hamish MacBeth series. The murder is solved with the usual twists and turns, but there is a little too much of Hamish as a superhero. That diminished my enjoyment of the book. I like my characters to feel like real people.

Probably the biggest weakness in the novel is that it is about 30 to 40 pages too long. Once the case is solved, Beaton tacks on a few extraneous subplots that add nothing to the book and made me feel she was getting paid by the word.

Melissa McClintock
I don't purchase many books because I don't have room for all the books I read. The Hammish MacBeth series are one's I am starting to collect. I am not as crazy about her other series. I like these whether reading or on audio. The small scottish town has nothing to do with my small town, but it reminds me of my town !There's something about the charachters that captures the quirkiness. I've never been to Scotland but I believe that having gone to England helps or being familiar with the terms. I ...more
Margo Brooks
Audiobook. As always I am impressed by Beaton's mastery of her characters. Hamish Macbeth, the village cop for the Scottish Highland village of Loc Dough, must solve a string of murders begining with the death of a nasty char woman. In doing so, he must also navigate his complicated relationship with his old flame Elsbeth and dodge promotion and drunken superiors, while caring for his wild cat and blue-eyed dog. In the course of the investigation, he incites a riot for the liberation of Loc Doug ...more
Hamish finally (almost) gets married, but his bride is killed prior to the ceremony. Unfortunately it is not Priscilla. These novels are just getting better and better!
A nice light mystery featuring Hamish McBeth as the unambitious but clever country police constable who loves his laid back life...most of the time. I much prefer this series by M.C. Beaton compared to her other series set in the English countryside. The Scottish series is filled with quirky characters and it doesn't stretch the imagination too far to find the plots credible. I also like the romantic difficulties that Hamish finds himself in. In comparison, I find the Agatha Raisin series less e ...more
Kathy Jackson
Really don't know where they get the above descriptions but the maid did not die in the house belonging to a retired professor but in the garden on her way to her car. Nor was the maid famous for cleaning. In fact, her cleaning was positively terrible.

Is it blackmail? Is it power? Money? Maybe it is all three - a trifecta of crime. Poor Hamish, always getting the short end of the stick. Blair is particularly vicious to many of the characters - his callous, racist attitude comes to light in ugly
Up until the wind-down section, the plot was pretty engaging. The last 20-30 pages, though, left me first scratching my head that the story hadn't ended, and then shaking it at the increasingly preposterous and implausible events. It almost felt like Beaton's first draft didn't quite make the desired word count, or that the final section was tacked on in a rushed final edit. It's still largely a better book than some of the weakest in the series, but I'm frankly a little disgruntled that Beaton ...more
C.J. Prince
A maid, not a saucy young lassie who milks cows, but a maid, a woman who cleans houses. But she also snoops. When her employer is out and about, this maid, digs in the trash, opens drawers, finds tidbits that ring of blackmail.

Constable Hamish Macbeth will ferret out details we can't imagine. And finally Hamish is beginning to be a bit like himself. Yes, at book #23 I am still reading but with a more critical eye. Hamish needs a bit more of a character arc than we're seeing in this many books. H
More entertaining nonsense with the ginger Highlander, his pet wildcat and dog. This time Hamish has won the dubious cleaning services of the unsavoury Mrs Gillespie who, rather inconveniently turns up her toes, thanks to a bucket bash on the head in the first few pages. As usual, Hamish sets about solving the case in spite of the fact his superior officer thinks he's an interfering dunderhead.

Beaton will never win prizes for literary merit, but it doesn't really matter. What makes these and he
"Armed with a bucket and mop, Mrs. Gillespie brings misery into the quiet life of Hamish Macbeth when he wins her maid srvices in a church raffle. He fears she's more likely to snoop than clean, since rumor has it that she damages more items than she dusts.

"Yet Macbeth has more upsetting issues to ponder -- his former girlfriend, reporter Elspeth Grant, is back in the village for a holiday with her new boyfriend. Then he gets notice that a TV crew plans a documentary on him. Its airing is sure t
Mavis Gillespie is a vicious local gossip, who cleans for a fair number of locals. When Lochdubh's constable wins her services at a raffle, he discovers that her nosiness is more evident than her cleanliness. She 'comes into possession of' a letter to him from his ex-girlfriend, Elspeth. Macbeth decides to confront her. It's too late, though. Someone far deadlier has got to her first.

As with all the books in this series, Beaton keeps us guessing. Macbeth, as always, must deal with his annoying a
After Constable Hamish Macbeth wins the cleaning services of Mrs. Mavis Gillespie in a church raffle, he wonders why anyone would hire her. She does a terrible job of cleaning and he suspects she's up to something when a personal letter of his goes missing. Macbeth suspects Mrs. Gillespie is trouble and isn't terribly surprised when she is murdered. He has plenty of suspects including many of her customers and he has to solve the case while ducking the attention of a documentary crew. When he's ...more
Death of a Maid

By: M.C. Beaton

Published: 2007


The protagonist is Hamish Macbeth a Police Sargent in Lochdubh, Scotland in modern day. In this story Hamish a maid was killed by her own bucket in Hamish’s house after he won her cleaning services in a raffle. In the end they found out that Mrs. Barret-Wilkonson committed the murders. When Hamish confronted her she shot him straight in the chest, he survived. Before this happened Hamish told Mary his friend to go to the back door to record her
Beaton's 22nd Hamish Macbeth mystery begins as the Scottish constable stumbles over the body of a housecleaner and town gossip, Mrs. Mavis Gillespie. Bludgeoned to death with her own pail, the the list of possible suspects is lengthily. Seems most everyone in the Highlands village of Lochdubh has a reason to dislike the woman. Although her clients disliked her, all of them insist that she was an efficient maid. Macbeth made note during his interviews of thick layers of dust in their homes, and ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Peggy Huey
Hamish MacBeth is a fascinating character created by M.C. Beaton. Accompanied by his dog and his cat, this small-town policeman solves the murder of a local maid, who has been blackmailing various members of the community (and not doing a very good job cleaning their homes!). Since this is #23 in the series, I am now looking for earlier books in the series to understand some of his back-story better, especially his relationship with the women in his life.
I confess it took me about half of the book to get back into the slower pace of the cottage mystery.

Mrs. Gillespie seems to do more damage than cleaning with her bucket and mop. When Hamish Macbeth, the village constable, wins her services in a church raffle he finds her unpleasant, suspicious and noisy. Why would anyone continue to employ her?

Soon enough Mrs. Gillespie is found dead under suspicious circumstances. Each of her employers is a suspect and has no interest in cooperating with Hamish
This is the first Hamish Macbeth book I've read, and I won't be in a hurry to read another. The plot for the first murder made sense, but the reason for the second murder was so far-fetched it was ridiculous! The characters are all very flat; there's no substance to them. I know as much (or more) about his pets than about Hamish! Honestly seemed more like the OUTLINE for a murder mystery than the actual finished product. Very disappointed!
Margaret Pinard
This was the first 'cosy' I recognized as such, and it's not the genre for me. The book was short not because the story took place in a short amount of time, but because the writing relied a lot on stereotypes, assumptions, and zingy one-liners. There were a few silver linings, one sentence in an 'aside' sort of paragraph, that commented on the weather, or the sea, or the history of the setting, but in general, not introspective enough for me.
Laura Brown
This was one of the better Hamish Mcbeth stories I have read. Hamish actually had a bit of a personal life in this book! The book was a murder wrapped in blackmail. Many of the highland characters in this case had thing in their past that they didn't want known to their other gossipy neighbors. One nasty charwoman takes advantage and Hamish figures out the rest. This series makes me want to visit the Scottish highlands like none other.
Ellen was right just a nice light read. I would definitely read more of them. What characters! Hamish is the local town police man that is far more talented than job he does. His boss who resents the attention Hamish gets for solving crimes. Hamish also seems to have a thing for the ladies but feels no need to commit. One of the locals who cleans homes has been discovered murdered in the drive of her clients home. Hamish and his colleagues begin to investigate only to discover that this woman wa ...more
Erin Stuhlsatz
I thought I was only interested in old-fashioned detective stories about female detectives. Think again. Hamish MacBeth is a hilariously gruff Scottish highland police officer who travels around toting his dog Lugs and cat Sonsie. He literally totes them when it's icy (the salt will hurt their paws). Through persistence and a fair bit of cleverness, he solves the murder of a cleaning lady who was blackmailing what seems to be an entire town. Meanwhile, he puts off promotion by convincing a docum ...more
Shonna Froebel
This is another tale of the wondrous Hamish Macbeth, a village policeman in the highlands of Scotland. Macbeth is self-effacing, eschewing promotion for the life he loves as the anachronous village policeman. This tale starts with the apparent murder of a local cleaning woman, Mrs. Gillespie. She is not much liked and is a snoop. As Macbeth starts to investigate her death, he is led to believe that she is a blackmailer. As he delves into the lives of the people around her, including her employer ...more
When Mrs. Gillespie, a maid who blackmails her clients, is brutally murdered, the clues trail off in many directions and take Hamish Macbeth back quite a few years. Even after the murders of Mrs. Gillespie and others are solved, the fallout continues for a while. Hamish Macbeth also learns more about women and is gradually becoming less hopeful about the prospect of marriage.
Dale Safford
A wonderful northern Scotland setting, amazing character interaction in a small community, and an admirable police constable Hamish Macbeth make for a most enjoyable listening experience. I am hooked on this series now (which was made into a British TV series in the 1990s). We get to solve the murder mystery puzzle right alongside Hamish, and it is delightful to do so as frequent dry humor occurs.

When Hamish wins the services of maid Mrs. Gillespie, he finds her to be a snoopy gossip who is more
Diane Heath
Hamish MacBeth is a Highland Constzble who has no desire to be promoted. He is the "power behind the throne" who solves the mysteries and crimes that abound in his part of Scotland. His nemesis wants him promoted to a larger police force to be delivered into anonymity. This go around he discovers the body of a local cleaning woman who has been blackmailing her clients.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The local policeman is smart and the object of jelousy up the chain of his command. He loves his community and wants to remain there. His boss wants to promote him and close his beloved station. There are so many murders I was bedazzled. And Hamish worked hard to make the connections. It was good, and complicated.
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Hamish Macbeth (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • A Highland Christmas
  • 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)
The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1) Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1) The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin, #2) Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3) Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)

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“She turned out to be one of those irritating people who get up to leave and then stand in the doorway chattering away.” 1 likes
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