Arati's Reviews > Death of a Maid

Death of a Maid by M.C. Beaton
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May 27, 12

bookshelves: reviewed-at-book-weyr
Read in April, 2011

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 and ineffectual superior from Strathbane, Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who will undoubtedly (as usual) take all the credit. Added to this, there's a television crew intent on producing a documentary on Macbeth, and, comfortably ensconced as a lowly village policeman, this could potentially mean that the unwanted media exposure could earn him a promotion - the one thing he abhors.

Events begin to snowball - old flame and journalist Elspeth turns up with a new man. Macbeth pines for a return to peace and quiet. Extraordinarily competent and highly intelligent as always, Macbeth conducts his investigation, and realizes, with mild surprise, the number of secrets that Lochdubh harbours and Mavis Gillespie knew - she appears to be a blackmailer. With no shortage of suspects, Mavis's husband is delighted by his wife's death; her daughter is glad that her meddling mother is dead; not one soul is sorry the snooping old bag is gone.

Delightful reading as always. You cannot but like Hamish Macbeth even though if you knew him in real life you would be annoyed with him and like him in alternate breaths! A great read.

This review was originally published at Book Weyr
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