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Death of a Gentle Lady (Hamish Macbeth #23)

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  2,698 ratings  ·  259 reviews
Gentle by name, gentle by nature. Everyone in the sleepy Scottish town of Lochdubh adores elderly Mrs. Gentle - everyone but Hamish Macbeth, that is. Hamish thinks the gentle lady is quite sly and vicious, and the citizens of Lochdubh think he is overly cranky. Perhaps it's time for him to get married, they say.

But who has time for marriage when there's a murder to be solv
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Kindle Edition, 256 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Anne Hawn Smith
Another of the Hamish Macbeth mysteries, this one has a lively cast of suspects. Mrs. Gentle, who has snowed many of the village’s members, has not fooled Hamish Macbeth. She is anything but gentle and her family members are almost as appalling. She mistreats her illegal immigrant Russian maid leading Hamish, in a fit of kindness, to offer to marry her. He is not quite as altruistic as he seems. If he has a wife, then Inspector Blair will be thwarted in his attempt to close the Lockdubh police s ...more
Marfita
This is the reading version of Raisinets: nothing surprising in the bag, same old wrinkles larded up with familiar flavors, but gawd doncha love 'em?
Hamish's star system of babes grows ever larger, and while they have to die to escape his gravitational pull, they never seem to get close enough for a satisfactory relationship. I know I've said over and over that if you've got the sexual tension thing going, your biggest mistake is ruining it with a happy couple (see Sayers's Lord Peter series an
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Erica
We listened to this one in the car, which allows the silliness to really leer at you.

I learned: Don't start a series with #24.

I guess I expected Mr MacBeth to be more charming and clever. He seemed self-centered and flaky. I got the reiterations that he loved his pets, loved his town, and that no one minded that he was a burden (except the buffoon, Blair, who seems taken from the Pink Panther movies). Would reading them in order make this one seem less cardboard? Would a lesbian in a novel wear
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Ellie
It's the same stuff-and I love it. And the gentle lady is not so gentle. As in Miss Marple's small villages, the emotional life of the people is vivid and sharp. Under the superficial level of warm and fuzzy are all the ugliest of human emotions. Beaton is her funniest when her characters are their pettiest or meanest. And the plot in this one is quite interesting, a real police procedural in some ways with some unexpected twists and turns. Although the style is the same, the story is (in humoro ...more
Mommalibrarian
Been a long time since I read through the first umpty Hamish Macbeth mysteries. They are no frills, very direct, this happened and then he thought about it and did this, etc. Lots of events. Little human interest as his two former loves drift by and several totally inappropriate women make themselves available. Despite the simple format and presentation, the solution to the mystery doesn't slip out early
Nancy
I love Hamish. This one one good read.
Ed
This is the 24th in the Hamish Macbeth series. I have read them all, and two later ones out of order as well.
I don't understand it -- this series has typos galore (as does the Agatha Raisin series as well,) there is an egregious "continuity" error in this one; the characters are paper-thin; if there is a liberal/left-leaning/counterculture character you can be sure he or she is cynical, hypocritical, or just plain evil; solutions and motivations are often explained by the villain as he (or she)
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K.B. Hallman
This was my first M.C. Beaton and I'm still trying to decide whether I'll try any of her other books. The story was readable and pleasant as most cozies are. But there were some consistency issues that drove me batty. Sometimes Hamish speaks in dialect and sometimes he doesn't. If this were consistent--always in dialect when he's flustered--that would make sense, but that isn't how it was presented. And at one point, Hamish is hiding out and using an alias. But one of the characters he meets in ...more
Mary
"The English who settle in the north of Scotland sometimes find they are not welcome. There is something in the Celtic character that delights in historical grudges."

This is the second Hamish MacBeth book I have read, completely out of order, but not knowing the entirety of the series didn't affect my enjoyment of the story. These are light reads, more focused on the local charm of Lochdubh and Hamish's ailing love life than on the murder mystery. I expect they may become a bit repetitious and p
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Naomi
I can’t quit this series! But I think this is the last one that’s currently in print.
Hamish is the only one in town who doesn’t fall for the pleasant public persona of Mrs. Gentle. He doesn’t trust her, and has overheard her being cruel to her daughter and her maid, and insulting townspeople after they’re out of earshot. When Gentle is killed, he’s not surprised. However, the maid, who has become his fiance in a rushed, for-all-the-wrong-reasons romance, is also murdered. Hamish himself is brie
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Alex
Not my favorite of the series, and still a very enjoyable read. These books are always such a nice break from heavier reading. If you have the time, you can sit down and finish them in a few hours, and still get thoroughly immersed in the story. To me, the best part of this series is that the settings are so believable. In my head, I know exactly what every place and person in the town of Lochdubh looks like, and the descriptions are so good that I can picture them in my head even when I haven't ...more
Kate
"The elderly Mrs. Gentle lives in a large seaside castle near the sleepy Scottish village of Lochdubh. She wears lavender-colored clothes, and her white hair is delicately colored with a matching tinge. She is kind and solicitous of her neighbors. She has generously agreed to donate a considerable sum of money to the local church. She wears charming, old-fashioned, violet-trimmed bonnets in the summer and lavender felt hats in the winter. Everyone in Lochdubh adores her.

"Everyone save the red-he
...more
C.J. Prince
The "gentle lady" is Mrs. Gentle with a street angel/house devil personality. She manipulates every situation, is rude to her servants, abysmal to her children and we quickly see why she'll be the one found dead.

The complications will continue to entangle her, her family and the community. Nice plot twists.

And our favored Hamish Macbeth is at his best here, wit and humor return to the writing and let me know if you figure it out before Hamish does.
Ed
#24 in the Hamish Macbeth series. Hamish is caught between women problems on the one hand and the back-stabbing antics of his boss, Chief Detective Inspector Blair, on the other. Good fun.

Hamish almost immediately dislikes his beloved village -Lochdubh's newest resident, the saccharine Mrs. Gentle. As usual, everyone else thinks he's daft until the elderly widow's façade begins to crack, showing her truly nasty personality. Mrs. Gentle fires an apparently passport-less Middle Eastern girl, so Ha
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Janet
The Hamish Macbeth books I have read in the series have a certain sameness to them but if you are open to a Scottish highlands cozy you won't be disappointed. The setting is well evoked, with its moody weather and isolation. Like many cozies, the mystery depends on a cast of village characters and usually an outsider. After all, how many murders could a small town generate on its own?

Hamish as a character is sort of goofy but perceptive. He's amiable and attached to his sleepy town of Lochdubh a
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Tasula
I like all the Hamish Macbeth highland bobby mysteries. He's a great, unassuming character who loves his wildcat and dog and his small village police beat. The stories revolve around murders that occur in his area (evidently a dangerous place to move to) and his finding the murderers while the city police bumble around. It's fun. However, poor Macbeth is always unlucky in love and bound to be in the wrong place at the wrong time - for instance, deep in conversation with a woman (business, of cou ...more
Tom
I think i realized what it is I like about these Beaton reads. Throughout the stories, given the extent of rusticity (if that's even a word) of the rural community makes the reader feel kind of an All Creatures Great and Small vibe. Then out of nowhere a cell-phone appears, or somebody needs to find a picture on the internet, or other modern news items are mentioned like referring to Putin or suggesting that a Russian prostitute might have had her wine poisoned with radiation. After that - its s ...more
Cheryl
I enjoy this series because it is light and amusing and makes for a quick read. Hamish MacBeth seemed a slight bit dafter than normal in this book, as I had no problem guessing the twist, and Blair is the continued arch-enemy/co-worker. The mystery was pretty well-done, despite the twist that MacBeth couldn't figure out. I always have to admire the fact that MacBeth knows what he wants out of life and is not looking to climb the ladder because his life is pretty darn good as is -- it is an attit ...more
Debbie J
Death of a Gentle Lady is a laugh-out-loud cozy. Its author, M.C. Beaton, displays a desert-dry wit which helps make the novel an easy and amusing read.

The prime suspects arrive at a relatively smooth pace and the ultimate culprit is believable given the clues provided.

Since the book is part of a long-running series many characters are recurring from previous books. Unfortunately several of the ones who appear here seem random and not particularly germane to the plot, something this reader found
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Trudy Pomerantz
Fun, light reading.
Karen
M.C. Beaton's "Death of a Gentle Lady" is, in this reader's opinion, the best so far in the Hamish Macbeth mysteries. Set again in the town of Lochdubh, the storyline involves a wanna-be high society woman who is well thought of and loved by the townspeople but is suspected by Constable Macbeth to have ulterior motives that might spell trouble for many. Macbeth wants to help Ayesha, Mrs. Gentle's household help, legally stay in Scotland so he proposes marriage to Ayesha. Upon hearing the news, M ...more
Timothy
2 1/2 Stars

Although not as good as her earliest Hamish Macbeth stories, this one was still better than some of her newer ones and much better than her more recent Agatha Raisin books. It's not so much that Beaton is running out of ideas for her books; it's just that she seems to be having problems carrying the story through for a whole book anymore. The underlying mysteries in this story (who murdered Mrs. Gentle and her maid) are well plotted and fun. But the introduction to the characters seem
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Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Hamish Macbeth is the local policeman in Lochdub, Scotland. Mrs Gentle is a new citizen who everyone loves, except Hamish. He thinks she's hiding something.When she dies under suspicious circumstances, Hamish investigates to try to find the truth.

I belive this is what is referred to as a "cozy mystery". I felt like I should be drinking a cup of tea while listening. The accent of the narrator was soothing and pleasant. It made me want to drowse.

Unfortunately, the story did too. It was slow and bo
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Jerry
“Lady” (the 24th entry in this long running set) has all the elements we’ve come to expect in these stories about Hamlish Macbeth, constable of the North Scotland little village of Lochdubh. There’s one murder – that of Mrs. Gentle – then another: her “Turkish” maid Ayesha, who in a shocking development had been engaged to marry our hero! As usual, Hamish outwits his superiors, who supposedly have a monopoly on all the brains and all the police resources, using just good sense and dogged pursuit ...more
Andreasoldier
Candy wouldn't melt in the mouth of Mrs. Gentle, the owner of the local castle. Everyone loves the little lavender-haired lady but the local constable, Hamish Macbeth.
Hamish, faced with losing his beloved police station and being moved to bachelor quarters in the city of Strathbane, finds himself proposing to Mrs. Gentle's housekeeper.
The woman turns up dead on the couple's wedding day, and Mrs. Gentle is a suspect. But then it turns out Hamish's fiancee is a runaway Russian prostitute, and soon
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Lizzie Hayes
‘Death of a Gentle Lady’ by M C Beaton
Published by Constable, May 2008. ISBN: 978-1-84529-648-3

When Mrs Gentle moves to the Lochdubh in the Highlands, she is soon taken to the villagers’ hearts. Always dressed in lavender, she is loved by all, except PC Hamish Macbeth who has reservations about her goodness.

So her murder shocks and outrages the villagers – who and why would anyone want to kill gentle Mrs Gentle? Hamish sets out to uncover the killer. However, despite her outward gentleness, it w
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Adam
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adam
Post Listen Review: This is not the worst book I have heard but it is certainly not the best. It takes place in Scotland where a woman who acts nice but is really mean gets murdered. So does an ex-russian prostitute and an author. It seemed pretty obvious to me that no one was fooled by the lady's act in the first place since she was constantly saying she would give people money then saying she couldn't. I don't think you can fool those country club types by doing that. Yet the people with money ...more
Katie
The elderly Mrs. Gentle lives in a large seaside castle near the sleepy Scottish village of Lochdubh. She wears lavender-colored clothes, and her white hair is delicately colored with a matching tinge. She is kind and solicitous of her neighbors. She has generously agreed to donate a considerable sum of money to the local church. She wears charming, old-fashioned, violet-trimmed bonnets in the summer and lavender felt hats in the winter. Everyone in Lochdubh adores her. Everyone save the redhead ...more
Sandra
Meine Güte, ist das ein schlecht geschriebenes Buch! Eine Aneinanderreihung von kurzen Sätzen, unwahrscheinlichen Handlungen und klischeehaften Charakteren. Geht kaum schlimmer.
Außerdem fährt der Protagonist eine Wildkatze (und keine Erwähnung von einem Katzenkorb, wie unwahrscheinlich ist das denn?) zusammen mit seinem Hund im Auto spazieren, aus keinem anderen Grund, als dass er sie nicht für zwei Stunden allein lassen kann. Dass er den Hund mitnimmt, kann ich ja verstehen, aber die KATZE? Abe
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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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More about M.C. Beaton...

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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