Friday 17 October 2014

Death of a Gossip: A Hamish Macbeth Murder Mystery by M C Beaton

Until a few weeks ago I never knew that the BBC TV series from the late 90's that I loved and adored, Hamish Macbeth, was actually loosely based on a series of books by the Scottish crime writer M.C. Beaton.

Hamish was played by the very lovely, very Scottish actor Robert Carlyle. He played the laid-back, slightly subversive, bumbling romantic, Hamish to a tee.

When I recently spotted book #1 in the Hamish Macbeth series in my bookshop, I knew I had to have it!

Death of a Gossip is the first of 29 books. It was first published in 1985 whilst the latest book, Death of a Policeman, was just published this year.

This is a very easy, very gentle crime story set in the fictional far northwest town of Lochdubh.

Once I got over the fact (disappointment) that the characters in the TV series were not also in the books and that Hamish had a 'large slavering guard dog of indeterminate breed called Towser'  and not a westie called 'Wee Jock' I was swept along in this dour Scottish seaside murder mystery.

There would have been many times in my reading life, when I would have put this book down in disgust.
Stereotypical characters (especially the secondary ones) & bland writing usually turn me off big time, but I'm going through a reading slump right now and everything feels like a struggle.

Death of a Gossip won me over precisely because of how easy, uncomplicated & light-hearted it was.
And for me, it was also mixed in with a healthy dollop of nostaglia for the TV show.


  1. I have experienced the revelation that an on screen favorite is also a book.

    29 books is a very long series! If you decide to continue you will have plenty to keep you occupied.

    1. It only took me a day to read Brian, so 29 books wouldn't be as huge a commitment as it first sounds :-)

  2. I hope that a few more books like this one help you crest the hill of your reading slump and start you back on track again! I've had these books on my radar for a long time.

    1. I can see this series becoming my comfort read when I'm too tired, too busy to read properly and just need something light and easy to turn to.
      It's lovely to know I have something like this waiting in the wings for just such moments (esp since I only have one more Maisie Dobbs to be caught up which has been my comfort series for the past few years :-)

  3. I haven't watched the TV show yet but I am a big fan of M.C. Beaton and her Agatha Raisin stories. You have prompted me to give this series a try.

    1. I should have saved it for the readathon though - the perfect quick, easy read!

      I'm sure you'll enjoy the series :-)


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