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Death of a Gentle Lady    by M. C. Beaton order for
Death of a Gentle Lady
by M. C. Beaton
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

While I know that the Scottish Highland village of Lochdubh and its resident constable Hamish Macbeth are but figments of author M.C. Beaton's marvelous imagination, I prefer to imagine that it really exists. I envision Hamish watching over his flock of villagers with the attitude of the patriarch of a large family, searching out miscreants and handing out his own measure of justice.

Since I can't become a part of Hamish's not-so-real-life world, I must content myself with reading about him, his dog Lugs and his pet wildcat Sonsie. Death of a Gentle Lady, the newest entry in this delightful series, is the answer to my longings for a lighthearted and cleverly written story. While I awaited surgery for a nasty wrist fracture, this book by one of my favorite authors soothed my pain and gave me something fun to focus on.

An imperious woman has moved into Lochdubh and proceeds to stir up animosity among the villagers. Hamish takes an immediate dislike to her. When she is murdered, Hamish is relieved of her presence but must bring her killer to heel. He must not only solve a crime, but also battle his superior to keep his small office open. Then a second body is found, which opens up another bag of worms.

I refuse to reveal more. Don't want to ruin the impact of a fine story. If you are already a fan of Hamish, don't miss this one. If you have yet to become a fan, get on the wagon. Where have you been?

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