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Death of a Gentle Lady (Hamish Macbeth) Hardcover – 24 Apr 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 24 Apr 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Constable Crime; hardcover edition (24 April 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845296486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845296483
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2 x 22.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 378,104 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M C Beaton was born in Scotland. She worked for many years as a journalist on Fleet Street.

As well as the bestselling Agatha Raisin series, she is the author of the acclaimed Hamish Macbeth mysteries.

She divides her time between the Cotswolds, where she lives in a village very much like Agatha's beloved Carsely, and Paris.

Product Description


It's always a special treat to return to Lochdubh (New York Times)

Superb entertainment, as rich and warming as a fine malt whisky, and every bit as addictive (Houston Chronicle)

Recommended for all mystery collections.

(Library Journal)

Readers will relish a well-paced, warmly sentimental picture of the people--and the character and rich accents--of Lubdoch, as seen through Hamish's loving eyes. Unpretentious fun for all. (Kirkus)

Book Description

M. C. Beaton’s much loved and international bestselling Hamish Macbeth series of murderous doings in the Highlands continues with book twenty three.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having read the other(positive)reviews,I was a little reluctant to throw a spanner in the works but I do think that maybe Hamish needs to retire.I have read all the other books to date and enjoyed them but lately I have felt that the plots have become either predictable or fantastical.It must be difficult to produce fresh ideas and either we get old ones rehashed or,as in this case an unbelievable scenario,which,if allowed to develop would have become acceptable but unfortunately,was done and dusted in a sentence or two providing such a sense of incredulity that I had to re-read it to ensure I had not misunderstood.Also,and there is no excuse for this,the writing has become careless and the proof reading sloppy as mistakes are made regarding relationships between characters which is poor and confusing for the reader.The number of women keen to secure Hamish grows apace in this book,stretching my regard for him as an ordinary man to its limit and there are too many characters vying for attention as the main feature that they execute extraordinary deeds to ensure their status.
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Format: Paperback
Mrs Gentle has moved into a mock castle perched on the cliff top. Everyone thinks she is a very nice person - except Hamish Macbeth who thinks her niceness is just a front.

Mrs Gentle invites her family to stay with her for a few days and at the gathering she tells them she is going to change her will. She has an East European girl employed as her servant who comes to Hamish for help. Because he has a soft heart he agrees to help her little realising the problems this is likely to cause. When Ayesha disappears and is later found dead and Mrs Gentle also meets the same fate Hamish finds himself a suspect.

This is a complicated and at times not wholly believable plot. But it is entertaining with plenty of clues available which point to the final outcome. I enjoyed reading it and the more of this series I read the more interesting Hamish himself becomes as a character. The books can be read out of order and each will stand on its own though you might struggle to understand Hamish's many lady friends if you do read the books out of order.
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By Mr. D. L. Rees TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 July 2011
Format: Paperback
Cnothan has lost its police station. Lochdubh is next on the list. In six months Hamish faces transfer to loathed Strathbane....

No way! His frantic attempt to avoid such a catastrophe results in a most far-fetched offering. Ingredients include a Russian lesbian hooker, an old mock castle poised on the very brink of a cliff, sundry violent deaths (including that of the "gentle" lady who is nothing of the kind), and that handy old stand-by, a really violent storm. Hamish himself is repeatedly targeted by a crazed killer and lucky to be alive at the end of it all. Add to the mixture his two very weird pets, blue-eyed dog Lugs and wildcat Sonsie, not to mention complications with various smitten ladies. Giving particular satisfaction is Hamish's devastating (and thoroughly unconvincing) long overdue revenge on a bitter enemy.

Forget about credibility. Enter into the spirit of the thing. Just sit back and relax, preparing yourself for a preposterous, enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover
When Mrs Gentle moved to the Lochdubh in the Highlands, she was soon taken to the villagers hearts. Always dressed in lavender and loved by all, except PC Hamish Macbeth who has reservations about Mrs Gentle's goodness.

The death of Mrs Gentle shocks and outrages the villagers - who and why would anyone want to kill gentle Mrs Gentle. Hamish sets out to uncover the killer. However, despite her outwardly gentleness, it would appear that as is often the case, the family don't view Mrs Gentle in quite the same light as do outsiders, nor it would appear do her servants. But Hamish is certain that there is more to her death than meets the eye.

Nothing is straightforward as Hamish has not only to find a killer, but also keep out of the way and one step ahead of Detective Chief Inspector Blair who hampers his investigations at every turn, and who appears to have the same feelings towards Hamish as CI Mullet does towards DI Frost. In fact CI Blair seems to have only one goal in life, that of closing down the Police Station in Lochdubh and getting Hamish under his control.

On the personal front Hamish although still dithering between the two loves in his life, Elspeth Grant and Priscilla Halburton-Smythe becomes embroiled in yet another dalliance, with disasterous consequences. Could Hamish finally be about to make up his mind on the matrimonial front and if so who will be the lucky lady?

I greatly enjoyed this escapade. Recommended if you are looking for a light fun read.
Lizzie Hayes
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By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Feb. 2008
Format: Hardcover
In Death of a Gentle Lady, you will find a psychologically worn-out Hamish Macbeth. He's going through the motions. When his police station is threatened by newcomer Mrs. Gentle, Hamish takes the easy way out by proposing a marriage of convenience to Mrs. Gentle's maid, Ayesha. The marriage will keep his police station, and Ayesha can become a legal resident.

Why does Mrs. Gentle have it in for Hamish? He unexpectedly heard some hint of family secrets while making a courtesy call. What could Mrs. Gentle have to hide? That question becomes the source of much of the book's mystery.

In the process of untangling that mystery, Hamish also finds himself dodging attentions from his ex-girl friend, Elspeth Grant; his ex-fiancee, Priscilla Halburton-Smythe; a Russian police inspector, Anna Krokovsky; and Aileen Drummond, a police constable. In the process, the villagers decide that Hamish may have become a health hazard.

If that weren't enough, Detective Inspector Blair is after Hamish again, and the challenge is one of the most serious that Hamish has faced.

I found the story was a little over-packed with subplots. As a result, some of them didn't get as much attention as they needed in order to be fully developed and satisfying, especially the marriage of convenience subplot. Personally, I would have dropped two of the subplots if I were the books editor and I think the story would have worked a lot better. The story also goes over a lot of familiar ground so that there's not enough new. In that sense, adding the Russian inspector was a good breath of fresh air for the series.

But if you are a sincere fan of the series, you'll probably think this is an above-average outing for Hamish. I certainly did. I thought the book was an improvement over Death of a Maid.

If you haven't read any of the books, do go back to the beginning and read them in chronological order. You'll get more out of the character development that way.
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