A classic title from M. C. Beaton's New York Times best-selling Hamish Macbeth series.
About the best that can be said of wealthy Maggie Baird is that inside her middle-aged body, there still beats the heart of a beautiful tart. So when her car catches fire with Maggie in it, there are five likely suspects right on the premises of her luxurious Highlands cottage. Lochdubh police constable Hamish Macbeth has to question Maggie's timid niece and four former lovers, one of whom Maggie had intended to pick for her husband. All five are equally poor - with ample motive and opportunity to monkey with Maggie's car. Now to find the killer, the astute lawman must apply his extraordinary insight into human nature. But when the evidence appears to point to the wrong person entirely, Hamish must dig down deep to stop the real murderer's escape.
To me the important thing about this series is the characters - granted, most of the villains and many of the minor characters are detestable, but the 'hussy' in this one is particularly unlikable.
Also, while in all the Hamish Macbeth books I've read so far the plots are totally implausible, the plot in this one is particularly so.
Still, if you are as fond of this series and of Hamish Macbeth as I am, don't skip this book as there are some sub plots that run throughout the series, and it's still a fun read.
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Is there anything you would change about this book?
The narrator. I'm working my way through to Davinia Porter, though she doesn't seem like the perfect narrator either. All due respect to Shaun Grindell, his delivery is getting better but there's just not enough life in his interpretations for me. Part of the problem could be the editing I suppose. Its quite jarring to go from one scene to another, I'm assuming a new chapter (?), where the action and individuals involved are totally different without so much as a hesitation. There should be a narrative pause to let the reader know there's going to be a change.
Would you recommend Death of a Hussy to your friends? Why or why not?
I'd recommend they read these books. I enjoyed the books much more.
Any additional comments?
These are not suspenseful or challenging mysteries. The reader will probably figure things out ahead of time. I'd class them with what's referred to as "cosy mysteries", which are exactly what I'm looking for before sleep, or in the middle of the night when the aches and pains of too much time spent in the garden wake me.
Hamish MacBeth is always a fun and entertaining read. But I have to admit that the murder aspect of the book was a bit of a stretch. Hamish seems to have a sixth sense when it comes to these things. All in all it didn't affect the story which was enjoyable.
This book probably completes the series for me. I enjoyed it, but the narrator's attempt at all the voices and accents was very laboured. I found it distracting all through the book. I understand how very difficult it is to 'act' all these different parts and make them believable and hearing someone, who technically is probably getting close to the right accent, yet makes it sound awful, helps you to appreciate the others.