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Sunday, 29 March 2015

MC Beaton - Death of a Gossip (audio)

Review written and read by Ro Bennett live on bookshow 26th March 2015
I have been listening to audio books via the library service. There were two apps suggested by the library so I downloaded two - Borrowbox and One Click Digital so that I can listen on my Macbook laptop but also on iPad or iPhone.

I downloaded both because they have different selections of books which gives the reader more choice. Even so, there isn’t a huge selection. I have found the One Click very easy to use, easy to return and renew and it has a larger choice than Borrowbox. The only problem I have found with Borrowbox is that most of the books I am interested in are on a waiting list.  Also you can’t return them when you have finished listening, you have to wait until the actual return date. You can renew them. 

When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joins the local fishing class she wastes no time in ruffling feathers - or should that be fins? - of those around her. Among the victims of her sharp tongue is Lochdubh constable Hamish Macbeth, yet not even Hamish thinks someone would seriously want to silence Lady Jane's shrill voice permanently - until her strangled body is fished out of the river. Now with the help of the lovely Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish must steer a course through the choppy waters of the tattler's life to find a murderer. But with a school of suspects who aren't willing to talk, and the dead woman telling no tales, Hamish may well be in over his head for he knows that secrets are dangerous, knowledge is power, and killers when cornered usually do strike again.

Death of a Gossip is the first in the series featuring Hamish Macbeth - not surprisingly Scottish and set in the fictional highland village of Lochdubh in Scotland. This book was very short and was a bit like eating a meringue - sweet enough but not much substance. It was very gentle and easy but rather shallow and insipid. Same old, same old, arrogant, cynical, sneering detective from Glasgow versus laid back, Dixon of Dock Green type village copper who actually solves the crime. Very à la  Agatha Christie - there is a mix of people thrown together, each of whom has a motive for murder. Usual cliché of silly irritating girl who keeps mooning over richer older man and imagines marrying him after their first night together. He of course is just using her and as is expected, dumps her in favour of someone who can better further his nefarious ambitions.  Then of course there’s a Colonel, bristling and military… So it’s pretty dated. 

Having said that I enjoyed it  but it didn’t grip me and I wouldn’t bother with any more of the series.  I’m glad I didn’t buy it although it was pleasant to listen to as I pottered around the house and garden. But that just about describes it - an agreeable background distraction as you go about your chores.

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