• Death of a Gossip

  • The Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, Book 1
  • By: M. C. Beaton
  • Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
  • Length: 4 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (606 ratings)

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Death of a Gossip

By: M. C. Beaton
Narrated by: Antony Ferguson
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Publisher's Summary

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. Includes the bonus story "Knock, Knock You're Dead".

©2013 M. C. Beaton (P)2016 Blackstone Audio

What listeners say about Death of a Gossip

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Quaint and cute

I love the books more than the TV show. The sleepy little highland towns see their fair share of murder, and lovable Hamish MacBeth is our trusty Bobby.

This book is a great introduction to some great characters, and the motive for the murder took me by surprise.

The voice acting was pretty good, however the New York accent sounded more southern as the performance went on, which made me giggle. I do enjoy this series and will continue to get more to my audio collection.

7 people found this helpful

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Death of a Gossip

A great book for Hamish fans. This one started it all! I loved it! Next!

6 people found this helpful

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LOVE that Hamish

Love Hamish and the Narrator's voice. Perfection. Going back where it all started reminded me why I don't like Ms. Halburton-Smythe. I much prefer Elsepth. She knows how to love. I had also forgotten how the author disses on Hamish. In this book it kinda seems like she doesn't like him.

For Readers New to Hamish. Get caught up and then read Agatha Raisin. Soooooo much FUN!!!😉😍🤗😎

5 people found this helpful

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LOVE IT

I loved the book and the narrator. The Classical touch and story and characters made it all a great read. Will definitely finish the series.

4 people found this helpful

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Not my Favorite

This is the first book in the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton.
But if I hadn't already listened to
A Highland Christmas, I would not had stuck with this one. I did not enjoy the extensive and tedious lessons in fly fishing and I had an especially hard time listening to the intentionally obnoxious "voice" of Lady Jane.
(note: the narrator did a great job representing the various characters with wonderful accents, dialects and inflections, but Lady Jane was especially grating to my ear).
I rarely give up on a book, but gave up on this one.
That would have been a shame since this was the first book in the Hamish Macbeth series, I surely would not have continued on with the rest of the stories. Although this was not my favorite, I've moved on to the next and the next and the next in the series, so you could say... I'm hooked.

3 people found this helpful

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Where It All Started 😊

The first of the Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, Death of a Gossip, finds the humble constable visiting his friends who run a fishing school, and having a cup of coffee. This particular class of students has a wide range of folks from a twelve year old boy to a gossipy woman who drives them all mad . . . that is until she is found in the water, bound and strangled to death. With no shortage of suspects and thinking that this small town constable is unable to investigate a murder, they send in "real policemen" who take over Hamish's office, forcing him to look into the murder on the "down low". Since everyone thinks he's incompetent, that isn't too difficult. Wiser than he looks or acts, Hamish is able to get into the heads of both the locals and the tourists, trumping anything the real coppers can come up with. Excellent listen, full of the atmosphere of a small village in Scotland and all the wit and wisdom I've come to expect from M.C. Beaton.

2 people found this helpful

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Delightful!

Hamish Macbeth is the most delightful "copper" I have ever met. He deals with everything with charm and wit and leaves the Big Brass who are brought in to solve things staring at the solution with open mouths.
Priscilla is a big help in many ways - I do hope he can eventually see her for the perfect partner in all ways (or she may have to fight me off!).

1 person found this helpful

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Earns 5+/5 Closet Skeletons...Brilliant Fun!

Karma hooked a big one! The Lochdubh School of Casting: Salmon and Trout Fishing has brought together eight anglers for a week of lectures, lessons, and various fishing opportunities in the Scottish highlands. There are men and women, Brits, Scots, and Americans, ages ranging from twelve years to well into retirement, single and married, and angling skills from novice to been there, done that. It would have been an enjoyable week with the prospect of landing a trophy-worthy salmon or trout, but the caustic manner of Lady Jane Winters has everyone on edge. The middle-aged woman seems oddly knowledgeable of many of the skeletons in the closet of the other guests and doesn’t waste time sharing veiled barbs of scandals about each of them. Everyone snaps and groans or seethes silently about how killing the woman would be a relief. Of course, when the vicious “gossip” does end up murdered, no one is too eager to share their thoughts with the official investigators or even the quiet, low-keyed local constable, Hamish Macbeth, whose orders to let the big boys do their job falls on deaf ears.

I am a big fan of Hamish Macbeth, starring the talented Robert Carlisle, having seen all the episodes multiple times, but I’ve learned that if you love the television show, you may very well love the book even more and often with added surprise characters, background, and incidents that make it all new. Well, new is what I got with the first book in the M.C. Beaton’s series, “Death of a Gossip,” since this storyline was not part of any of the episodes. I was very engaged with her clever story with all the characters having reason to commit murder, but, in true Christie-style, no immediate help was given to those of us who like to be armchair detectives. The final? Yes! Brilliant! The audio book narrated by the very talented Antony Ferguson greatly enriched Beaton’s work with his pleasant voice for the third-person narrative adding various emotions, dialects from British to a bit of American thrown in, and satisfactorily portraying variations in age and gender. It is, however, his Scottish that I enjoyed the most! I totally recommend Beaton’s series, and the audio version is a super way to enjoy it!

1 person found this helpful

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An ok part of the series

I read all of these and watched the series on DVD back in the day. Have enjoyed them very much. This one is not as strong as some of the others, but it was easy enough to put it on a higher speed to hurry it along toward the whodunit. It's a good introduction to the series, and Hamish is a quirky and likable character—fun to get to know as the series progresses.

1 person found this helpful

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flat story, reading, experience

love the Macbeth series, but this first one really wasn't good. definitely improves further into e series.

1 person found this helpful