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Audiobook – Death of a Gossip by M.C Beaton

>> Friday, December 7, 2012

Death of a Gossip by M.C Beaton

Death of a Gossip by M.C Beaton

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Series: #1 in the Hamish Macbeth series
Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: 1999 Recorded Books (Book originally published 1985)
Length: 4 hours, 35 minutes
Read by: Davina Porter
Source: Purchased

The Short Version:
Small town constable Hamish Macbeth doesn’t rush into much of anything but with a body turns up in a local fishing pool he’s got plenty of suspects.

Why I Read It:
I gave up on the author’s Agatha Raisin series because of the unlikeable title character. I’ve had several friends recommend this series though and with Davina Porter narrating I knew I’d at least enjoy listening to her.

The Book:
From the publisher:
Lady Jane Hamilton, one of the guests at the Lochdubh School of Casting, is positively ruining everyone’s holiday with her knack for digging up nasty secrets. As the week-long fishing class progresses, she gives each person there a reason to hate her. But figuring out which one of them would go so far as to commit murder is trickier than catching a Lochdubh salmon.

My Thoughts:
I have mixed thoughts on this one. I liked Hamish Macbeth. He’s got a quick wit and is smarter than most people give him credit for. I also liked the setting in the Scottish Highlands. Davina Porter’s narration was enjoyable. She remains one of my favorite audiobook narrators and salvaged this book for me.

On the other hand one of the primary characters in this particular episode reminded me of many of the things I disliked about Agatha Raisin and why I quit that series. Alice is one of the attendees at the fishing school and one of the initial suspects in the murder. She is also pathetically desperate to get married and ridiculously stupid and annoying. I kind of wished she had been the murder victim.

The rest of the story was fine and despite the fishing parts of the story which I honestly didn’t let sit in my brain long enough to register I did find myself trying to figure out who the killer was. The story was really not that well put together and the attempt to give everyone a possible motive was more irritating than interesting.

On the other hand, all of those elements that I disliked are definitely particular to this first book in the series. I’m not ready to give up on the series and I’ve got the next one requested from the library. I’m hoping that folks who have read or listened to more of this series can reassure me that they get better.

2 stars Rating 2/5 for the book

4 stars Rating 4/5 for the narration

This post is for Cozy Mystery Week hosted by Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves.

SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.


Jen - Devourer of Books 12/08/2012 6:33 AM  

Ha! It is a bad sign when you spend a book wishing another character had also been murdered.

Laurie C 12/09/2012 4:57 AM  

MC Beaton definitely has fans! I appreciate your reviewing the first book in the series, because that's where I would want to start, but there are so many other mystery series, why go on with one you're lukewarm about, right? My latest fave is the Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam by Chris Ewan, but I haven't written a review yet.

Laurie C 12/09/2012 4:59 AM  

Forgot to say that I do love Davina Porter's narration of the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency books, though, and I can see why that could get you to go on.

SuziQoregon 12/22/2012 9:23 PM  

Jen: yeah - but at least it's a character that was specific to this book alone.

Laurie: Yes she does. I will ahve to check out that series - thanks for the recommendation.

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