Hannah's Reviews > Death of a Gossip

Death of a Gossip by M.C. Beaton
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's review
Jul 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: cozy-mystery
Read in July, 2011

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, simple and uninterested, but is perfectly able to give as good as he gets - usually leaving the other party frustrated and speechless. Hah! I love him. We're also introduced to Priscilla, his love interest, but I'm not sure I liked what little I saw.

It's really a pity that much of the book is told from the point of view of Alice, an insipid, self-absorbed and completely delusional accountant's secretary who fancied one of her fellow travellers to be interested in her when he clearly isn't. She doesn't have a very good first impression of Hamish, and since the early events are seen through her eyes, I very nearly disliked Hamish. Good thing it switches to Hamish later!

It was clear from the beginning who was going to be murdered, but it took awhile to happen. It didn't drag and I never guessed who the murderer was, but I'm not entirely sure I was satisfied at the rather convenient conclusion. Perhaps this is partly because readers are not privy to all the clues that Hamish manages to gather. As for the setting, most of the time is spent on various members of the holiday fishing class, so we don't get much of a picture of the rest of Lochdubh. The atmosphere is very much there, however, and I'm sure we'll get more of it in the following books.

In summary, Hamish was what really made this book. I'm not sure I'd have liked it half as much if it wasn't for him. Hurrah for an effective and interesting hero. Onto the next installment!
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lulufrances I agree 100% with all the things you said in this review - good job!

Bettye McKee I knew who the murderer was early on, but I picked up on a clue and wouldn't let go of it no matter how many red herrings were dragged across the trail. It was a good story with lots of suspects and false confessions enough to keep the reader guessing.

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