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Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth Mysteries, No. 1)

Death of a Gossip - M.C. Beaton First of the Hamish Macbeth series. John and Heather Cartwright run a fishing school for trout and salmon in the Scottish highlands where angler wanna be’s come for week long sessions. On this particular week, 8 students meet up—including 2 Americans, a 12 year old boy from Manchester, a lovelorn 19 year old girl, a widow of a Labour peer, and an army Major. When one of the guests is murdered, all are suspect and “big city” detectives are brought in solve the crime. Bumbling and seemingly hapless (quirky) Macbeth, the local constable, is brushed to the sidelines; yet he’s the one who ends up solving the crime.

I wasn’t too keen on the angling storyline and found the murder mystery to be rather standard fare—however, I love the rumpled, mooching detective and his friend Priscilla. I’ve heard future books in the series are superior in storyline and character development, but I wanted to start at the beginning. I found this a quick read with a good introduction to what promises to be a fun cozy mystery series with a loveable Constable.