Death of a Gossip is the first of the Hamish Macbeth Murder Mysteries by M.C.Beaton.
In the far north-west of Scotland, between two great peaks called the Two Sisters, lies the village of Lochdubh, home to the Lochdubh School of Casting: Salmon and Trout Fishing, the owners of which are John and Heather Cartwright.
It’s the start of the week and they are about to begin a new class with a new intake of students, including a rich American couple, a twelve year old boy, a former army Major and a spiteful woman named Lady Jane Winters. It soon transpires that they all have secrets that they don’t want anyone to learn but Lady Jane Winters has done her homework. It doesn’t take long for her to start dropping hints and clues as to want they want kept hidden, continually teasing and tormenting her classmates. That’s until her body is found in the river during one of school’s classes.
Hamish Macbeth, Lochdubh’s village constable, sets out to solve the murder, with the help of Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, with whom Hamish is in love and without the hindrance of the patronising detectives sent in from Strathbane, who think they are solving the case.
Even though I am not the remotest bit interested in fishing, I loved this book. It was very funny in places, making me laugh out loud on a number of occasions, and the description of the scenery in and around Lochdubh was so very evocative.
However, it is the author’s ability to bring to life a character’s personality that truly made this a great read. The story flowed with ease, so that you could digest it all in one sitting, should you wish to – I did 🙂
Like most cosy mysteries I have read, this was a quick but charming read. I took to the village and its constable instantly, and I can see myself thoroughly enjoying the entire series.
If you like cosy mysteries, you will love this first Hamish Macbeth Murder Mystery. I can’t wait to start the second, Death of a Cad.