Death of a Gossip by M. C. Beaton

Death of a Gossip by M. C. Beaton
Publisher: Warner Books
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full Length (179 pgs)
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Cholla

When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joined the fishing class, she wasted no time in ruffling the feathers-or was it the fins?-of those around her. Among the victims of her sharp tongue and unladylike manner was Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet not even Hamish thought someone would permanently silence Lady Jane’s shrills-until her strangled body is fished out of the river. Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must angle through the choppy waters of the tattler’s life to find the murderer. But with a school of suspects who aren’t ready to talk and dead women telling no tales, Hamish may be in over his head, for he knows that secrets are dangerous, knowledge is power, and killers usually do strike again.

Deep in the Scottish Highlands is a quaint little village called Lochdubh. Now that fishing season has opened, there are new recruits to the fishing school run by John and Heather Cartwright. When one of their students turns up murdered, the mystery falls to Constable Macbeth to solve. Is one backwoods constable equipped to solve a murder?

I find it highly amusing that, from the very beginning you know exactly who is going to get murdered. Why? Because she was the most annoying character I’ve ever encountered and I very well may have stopped reading if she’d survived. Lady Jane Winters, a nasty gossip columnist, doesn’t seem to have a decent bone in her body, letting everyone’s secrets slip in the most public of ways. I’m actually rather surprised that it took someone as long as it did to kill her. She made no friends during her visit to the fishing school.

Hamish Macbeth is hands down the best thing about this entire story. He’s quirky, he’s funny, and he absolutely aggravates every last person in Lochdubh. Even better is that he doesn’t care. He simply carries on with his day and mooches as many cups of coffee and free meals as he can. The tactics he employs are outlandish and suspect, but in the end, he gets the job done, all while aggravating Chief Inspector Blair, sent down from the larger city of Strathbane.

Cozy mysteries are quickly becoming a favorite go-to on my bookshelf. Death of a Gossip wasn’t the most gripping mystery, but it certainly was the funniest. I don’t know about you, but there is definitely a place for a laugh-out-loud mystery in my life. Jam packed with odd and sometimes annoying characters, Death of a Gossip is a quick and easy read that will bring you more than a taste of mystery.

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