Death of a Gossip | Page 1 of 77

Author: M.C. Beaton | Submitted by: Maria Garcia | 13535 Views | Add a Review

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Death of a Gossip


The first book in the Hamish Macbeth series


M. C. Beaton




Lady Jane Winters, society widow and gossip, is found dead at an angling school in Scotland. Who wouldn't want her shrills silenced? Local policeman, Hamish Macbeth is suspicious. With the inspiring aid of Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, Hamish pursues the case.

Day One

Angling: incessant expectation, and perpetual disappointment.

—Arthur Young

I hate the start of the week,” said John Cartwright fretfully. “Beginning with a new group. It’s rather like going on stage. Then I always feel I have to apologize for being English. People who travel up here to the wilds of Scotland expect to be instructed by some great hairy Rob Roy, making jokes about saxpence and saying it’s a braw bricht moonlicht nicht and lang may your him reek and ghastly things like that.”

“Don’t chatter,” said his wife, Heather, placidly. “It always works out all right. We’ve been running this fishing school for three years and haven’t had a dissatisfied customer yet.”

She looked at her husband with affection. John Cartwright was small, thin, wiry, and nervous. He had sandy, wispy hair and rather prominent pale blue eyes. Heather had been one of his first pupils at the Lochdubh School of Casting: Salmon and Trout Fishing.

He had been seduced by the sight of her deft back cast and had only got around to discovering the other pleasures of her anatomy after they were married.

Heather was believed to be the better angler, although she tactfully hid her greater skill behind a pleasant motherly manner. Despite their vastly different temperaments, both Heather and John were dedicated, fanatical anglers.

Fishing was their hobby, their work, their obsession. Every week during the summer a new class would arrive at the Lochdubh Hotel. Rarely did they have a complete set of amateurs; experienced fishermen often joined the class, since they could fish excellent waters for reasonable rates. John would take care of the experts while Heather would mother the rank amateurs.

The class never consisted of more than ten. This week they had received two last-minute cancellations and so were expecting only eight.

“Now,” muttered John, picking up a piece of paper, “I gather they all checked in at the hotel last night. There’s an American couple from New York, Mr and Mrs Roth; a Lady Winters, widow of some Labour peer; Jeremy Blythe from London; Alice Wilson, also from London; Charlie Baxter, a twelve-year-old from Manchester—the kid’s not living at the hotel, he’s staying with an aunt in the village; Major Peter Frame. Oh dear, we had the galloping major before. These men who hang on to their army titles don’t seem able to adapt to civilian life. Then there’s Daphne Gore from Oxford. I’ll send the major off on his own as soon as possible. Perhaps you’d better look after the kid.”

John Cartwright glanced out of the hotel window and scowled. “Here comes our scrounging village constable. I told the hotel I needed coffee for eight people. But Hamish will just sit there like a dog until I give him some. Better phone down and tell them to set out an extra cup.”

“What that policeman needs is a good, juicy murder. Keep him off our hands. All he’s got to do all day is mooch around the village getting under everyone’s feet. Jimmy, the water bailiff, told me the other day he thinks Hamish Macbeth poaches.

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Great book, nicely written and thank you BooksVooks for uploading

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