Saturday, February 2, 2008

Death of a Gentle Lady-M.C. Beaton

Death of a Gentle Lady
M.C. Beaton
Grand Central, Feb 2008, $23.99
ISBN: 9780446582605

In Lochdubh, Scotland and the surrounding villages everyone thinks the world of affluent elderly Mrs. Margaret Gentle; the lavender dressed woman is considered the lady of the castle by those who know her as she donates to all sorts of causes. Perhaps only fiftyish Constable Hamish Macbeth believes the lavender covers up a cold heart as much as it sprinkles through her grey hair; he knows she is the prime cause of the brass considering the closing of his police station.

However Hamish may not like Mrs. Gentle, but he feels sorry for her personal maid, Ayesha, who is on the brink of deportation back to Turkey. He offers to marry her so she can stay in Scotland. Soon after he proposes, Ayesha vanishes and someone kills Mrs. Gentle. Hamish investigates only to learn his fiancée is not the helpless immigrant and that an unknown adversary was blackmailing the kindhearted Mrs. Gentle.

The latest Macbeth police procedural is a superb tale with several plausible powerful spins that will keep readers hooked. The story line is fast-paced as Hamish investigates the homicide, struggles with his feelings for Ayesha who might be a blackmailing killer and has issues with his superior Detective Chief Inspector Blair. This series has been around forever yet remains as fresh as Macbeth’s first whodunit.

Harriet Klausner