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Death of a Glutton

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There's not a cloud in Constable Hamish Macbeth's sky, just plenty of warm sunshine and not quite enough of beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in. The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dis There's not a cloud in Constable Hamish Macbeth's sky, just plenty of warm sunshine and not quite enough of beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in. The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dislike each other. The arrival of Maria's gross, greedy partner, Peta, kills the last vestige of romance. And as love goes out the window, murder comes in the door. Peta soon slurps up her last meal, and Hamish is left with a baffling puzzle: Who shared the fateful outing that left Peta dead with a big red apple in her mouth? Surely not of those singles...


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There's not a cloud in Constable Hamish Macbeth's sky, just plenty of warm sunshine and not quite enough of beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in. The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dis There's not a cloud in Constable Hamish Macbeth's sky, just plenty of warm sunshine and not quite enough of beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. But as eight hopeful members of the Checkmate Singles Club converge on Tommel Castle Hotel for a week of serious matchmaking, the clouds roll in. The four couples, carefully matched by dating director Maria Worth, immediately dislike each other. The arrival of Maria's gross, greedy partner, Peta, kills the last vestige of romance. And as love goes out the window, murder comes in the door. Peta soon slurps up her last meal, and Hamish is left with a baffling puzzle: Who shared the fateful outing that left Peta dead with a big red apple in her mouth? Surely not of those singles...

30 review for Death of a Glutton

  1. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Underwood

    Charm, humor, and the hilarious political incorrectness of Death of a Glutton make this entry in the long-running Hamish Macbeth series great fun. Hamish’s dog, Towser, and the possibility of Hamish and Priscilla reigniting the flame after their first break-up mark this as an older entry, but all the characters in the quirky Highland village of Lochdubh are in place for a delightful romp full of black humor and social satire, and of course, murder. The bane of Hamish’s existence, Blair, is on vac Charm, humor, and the hilarious political incorrectness of Death of a Glutton make this entry in the long-running Hamish Macbeth series great fun. Hamish’s dog, Towser, and the possibility of Hamish and Priscilla reigniting the flame after their first break-up mark this as an older entry, but all the characters in the quirky Highland village of Lochdubh are in place for a delightful romp full of black humor and social satire, and of course, murder. The bane of Hamish’s existence, Blair, is on vacation in Spain in this entry, as a slew of of people looking for love descend on the Tommel Castle Hotel while the colonel is away. This leaves Priscilla to play hostess to the would-be couples. Each person has entrusted Maria at Checkmate with finding them a suitable companion. It quickly begins to go awry, however, when the couples she’s matched have other ideas, including Jennie Trask, who is looking for the man of her dreams. A musical chairs atmosphere ensues as from one moment to the next, the partners might change! Further complications come calling in the gluttonous form of Petra, a rich and vain woman who has a financial interest in Checkmate but refuses to be bought out. Beaton delivers some incredibly hilarious and wildly politically incorrect moments from the reactions of the lovelorn to this incredibly boring woman of tremendous girth whose table manners are as gauche as her appetite is enormous. What’s worse, is that she’s very rich, and looking for love herself — and not shy about horning in on a budding romance. As if that weren’t enough to anger some of the female members, she’s brought along her strikingly sexy niece, Crystal. Well, you can already see what’s going to happen, but who done it, isn’t quite so easy to figure out. Jenny’s got eyes for Hamish, there’s a cook with a police record prone to violence, and a member of the Checkmate group named Deborah wants to play Sherlock Holmes. If that weren’t enough to put Hamish in a foul mood, Blair returns early from Spain and takes over the investigation. But don’t worry, the lanky, unambitious redheaded constable we love has a plan to catch a killer. It might, however, cost him a TV set, and earn him a promotion he’d do just about anything to avoid. The tone and pattern of this wonderful series had already been set by Beaton when she wrote Death of a Glutton and one of the truly enjoyable aspects of this series is that no matter where you’re at chronologically, readers can pick up one set during any point and feel right at home in Lochdubh. This is an earlier one, charming and at times very funny. Beaton focuses more on Petra’s vain, highhanded manner, and her ability to rile up others, than anything else, so while politically incorrect, it is in no way mean spirited, as some might have you believe. Another good read in a series that has much to offer both mystery lovers, and those who enjoy a good laugh.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kailey (BooksforMKs)

    I remember now why I don't like this author. The writing is pretty great, but I hate the portrayal of every female character. They are weak, vain, stupid, indecisive, clingy, sad, selfish, on and on.... There's not a good one in the bunch! And they make bad decisions about the men in their lives. Not exactly the role models I want to read about. Only a woman would dare write about women this way. I remember now why I don't like this author. The writing is pretty great, but I hate the portrayal of every female character. They are weak, vain, stupid, indecisive, clingy, sad, selfish, on and on.... There's not a good one in the bunch! And they make bad decisions about the men in their lives. Not exactly the role models I want to read about. Only a woman would dare write about women this way.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Staci

    Why I wanted to read this book: * Several of my blogging buddies love cozy mysteries and this author. I found a bunch of them for 25 cents each last year at my library sale..I bought all that they had!! What worked for me: * The witty writing!! It will certainly keep me coming back for more. * Hamish- I like him and am cheering on his love sickness for Priscilla!! * The setting of the story- Northern Scotland * The characters- funny, eccentric, but yet so believable!! * It was a fast 176 pages. Wh Why I wanted to read this book: * Several of my blogging buddies love cozy mysteries and this author. I found a bunch of them for 25 cents each last year at my library sale..I bought all that they had!! What worked for me: * The witty writing!! It will certainly keep me coming back for more. * Hamish- I like him and am cheering on his love sickness for Priscilla!! * The setting of the story- Northern Scotland * The characters- funny, eccentric, but yet so believable!! * It was a fast 176 pages. What didn't work for me: * I enjoyed it all..just a fun read! Recommend? Yes, especially to those that love cozies!! The ending has left me wondering though if the real killer was actually caught!!! You know that feeling of finding out you've been bamboozled??? That's how I felt in the end and I'm still wondering if this particular person got away with murder!! P.S. I read this totally out-of-order...I know can you believe it? And it was o.k. I never felt like I missed out on a thing!! My Rating: 4/5

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cyndi

    The Great M.C. Beaton created some wonderful characters and I often wonder if they were waiting for her in heaven so she can finally be near them. If so, she and Hamish are having a lot of fun, I'm sure. They are probably fishing in a loch and drinking a pint at a local pub. So in this installment of the Hamish story it seems like he and Pricilla might finally get together, or not. Maybe? The Tommel Castle is hosting a singles club. It seems to be a success until the Glutton arrives. And, oh m The Great M.C. Beaton created some wonderful characters and I often wonder if they were waiting for her in heaven so she can finally be near them. If so, she and Hamish are having a lot of fun, I'm sure. They are probably fishing in a loch and drinking a pint at a local pub. So in this installment of the Hamish story it seems like he and Pricilla might finally get together, or not. Maybe? The Tommel Castle is hosting a singles club. It seems to be a success until the Glutton arrives. And, oh my, is she ever written as a straight forward glutton! Hilariously so! Fun story and worth spending time with for a relaxing afternoon.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Eleanor

    Hamish McBeth books are candy to me. I love the characters, I love the setting (Northern Scotland by the loch) and they are easy reading. I hate to say it but when you read a bunch of them they are kinda the same, but I don't care - I love them. Hamish McBeth books are candy to me. I love the characters, I love the setting (Northern Scotland by the loch) and they are easy reading. I hate to say it but when you read a bunch of them they are kinda the same, but I don't care - I love them.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Aileen

    Hmmm. I'm not really enjoying this much. I have heard the tv show is good, so I thought I'd give the novel a try. The characters are not very interesting or believable. The depiction of the glutton is one of the most hate-filled portrayals I've ever read. The character is so repulsive and the author and every other character loathes her. This is not funny or interesting at all to me. I feel like the author must have some issues with fat women. I'm not really drawn into the story either. All the Hmmm. I'm not really enjoying this much. I have heard the tv show is good, so I thought I'd give the novel a try. The characters are not very interesting or believable. The depiction of the glutton is one of the most hate-filled portrayals I've ever read. The character is so repulsive and the author and every other character loathes her. This is not funny or interesting at all to me. I feel like the author must have some issues with fat women. I'm not really drawn into the story either. All the characters are nasty and flat. Hamish Macbeth just seems like a self-satisfied twerp and his relationship with Priscilla does not intrigue me or even interest me. I hope now that the glutton is dead the story will pick up a bit. So far I am finding this book pretty charmless. Updated to add: finished this book and remain disappointed. The plot was thin, the motive behind the murder and the solution were pretty unsatisfying. I'll be giving this series a miss.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie C

    Love all these books. I think I'm in love with Hamish! Love all these books. I think I'm in love with Hamish!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laurie

    Literary potato chips — can’t read just one, delicious going down, lots of empty calories to regret later.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sharon Barrow Wilfong

    It's funny, but with Beaton's Hamish MacBeth mysteries, one knows who is going to be topped off almost from the get go. It's the most odious, disgusting individual who acts in a way that makes everyone want to kill them. From this foundation, one then has to get to know all the suspects and find out who ultimately did it and what their reasons were for doing so. As in previous MacBeth mysteries I've read, even though the murder victim may be obvious, the murderer is not, nor are their reasons. In It's funny, but with Beaton's Hamish MacBeth mysteries, one knows who is going to be topped off almost from the get go. It's the most odious, disgusting individual who acts in a way that makes everyone want to kill them. From this foundation, one then has to get to know all the suspects and find out who ultimately did it and what their reasons were for doing so. As in previous MacBeth mysteries I've read, even though the murder victim may be obvious, the murderer is not, nor are their reasons. In Death of a Greedy Woman, a group of tourists come up from England to take a holiday at the local hotel. They are not just any group of tourists, but clients of Checkmate, a match up site. An equal number of men and women are going to spend the week together and hopefully pair off. The monkey wrench is that one of the partners, Peta, of Checkmate is an ogre. Or at least her eating habits are ogre-ish. The other partner, Maria, actually was hoping to pull the gathering off without Peta's knowledge. Peta finds out however, and joins the group at Priscilla Halburton-Smythe's father's hotel and restaurant. The group, which was already disliking each other, find themselve in solidarity in their disgust of Peta. In addition to the murder we see the ongoing relationship between Hamish MacBeth and Priscilla. There are bumps along the road as they continue to misunderstand each other, but I suppose that is what keeps the reader coming back. Will Hamish and Priscilla ever meet each other half way?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Julie Durnell

    Delightful castle whodunit with Miss Pricilla in the thick of things and as a waitress no less! Hamish to the rescue of course-he's so great as a constable in the Highlands, swoon worthy am I right?! Delightful castle whodunit with Miss Pricilla in the thick of things and as a waitress no less! Hamish to the rescue of course-he's so great as a constable in the Highlands, swoon worthy am I right?!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    I still love Hamish and the village of Lochdubh but I'll never call this one of my favorites. While it's come up in other books from time to time, as the title would suggest this book put to the fore Beaton's animosity towards fat. To her, fat is practically evil of itself. I dislike that and I dislike the fact that her characters -- all of them -- buy into it. I'll probably keep reading the series but, at the moment, I'm less than impressed. I still love Hamish and the village of Lochdubh but I'll never call this one of my favorites. While it's come up in other books from time to time, as the title would suggest this book put to the fore Beaton's animosity towards fat. To her, fat is practically evil of itself. I dislike that and I dislike the fact that her characters -- all of them -- buy into it. I'll probably keep reading the series but, at the moment, I'm less than impressed.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Joni

    M.C. Beaton, author, really kept me guessing during this installment of the Hamish MacBeth series. A group of London singles comes to Tommel Castle (home of Priscilla Halburton-Smythe) for a matchmaking week. Although Maria, the co-owner, has taken every precaution to see that her business partner, Peta Gore, does not join them the unwanted woman and her niece show up. Peta is, for lack of a better term, a glutton (actually this term is used several times and was the original word in the title o M.C. Beaton, author, really kept me guessing during this installment of the Hamish MacBeth series. A group of London singles comes to Tommel Castle (home of Priscilla Halburton-Smythe) for a matchmaking week. Although Maria, the co-owner, has taken every precaution to see that her business partner, Peta Gore, does not join them the unwanted woman and her niece show up. Peta is, for lack of a better term, a glutton (actually this term is used several times and was the original word in the title of the book) and turns off every person within view of her terrible eating habits. When Peta is found dead questions abound as Hamish and the Strathbain police try to solve the murder. Very well-done with many colorful characters make for a very delightful book. The audiobook is wonderful as the narrator, Shaun Grindell, does a variety of Scottish brogues quite well which only adds to the fun.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Burkhart

    When under the weather I love resting and listening to audiobooks. I listened to this one yesterday and it was perfect! It kept my attention without overpowering or boring me. Besides, quirky Hamish Macbeth is quite an amusing character.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Lynnette

    The original title, "Death of a Glutton" was more fitting. The method and reason for the death in this one seemed a tad more far-fetched than usual, but Hamish is still a personable character, compelling the continued reading of the series. The original title, "Death of a Glutton" was more fitting. The method and reason for the death in this one seemed a tad more far-fetched than usual, but Hamish is still a personable character, compelling the continued reading of the series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Julie Thomason

    The beginning was very heavy going, it plodded as it introduced the characters, the language was clunky. A very light read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mandy

    MC Beaton is my guilty secret. If you have never indulged I dare you but do start at the beginning of the series otherwise you will not get to know the characters from the start. Perfect escapism.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kristy

    These are great for rainy days or sick days. I did not guess the murderer this time either. I am anxious to see what comes next for Hamish with Priscilla and his job.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Kemp

    Good story. Colourful characters and what happens when gluttony in any form brings your downfall

  19. 4 out of 5

    B.C. Deeks

    I generally enjoy this classic cozy mystery series - the characters are quirky and well-defined, the Scottish highlands are beautifully rendered as the setting and the plots keep me fully engaged as the investigation pursues intriguing twists and turns. This mystery was particularly difficult to figure out although clues were available to the reader however difficult to spot. So on reading this book, I can't fault the author on plot, pacing, or other technicalities. What bothered me was the char I generally enjoy this classic cozy mystery series - the characters are quirky and well-defined, the Scottish highlands are beautifully rendered as the setting and the plots keep me fully engaged as the investigation pursues intriguing twists and turns. This mystery was particularly difficult to figure out although clues were available to the reader however difficult to spot. So on reading this book, I can't fault the author on plot, pacing, or other technicalities. What bothered me was the characterization of the victim- almost a caricature, really, of a glutton- and the universal insensitivity shown by all the other characters towards the victim. There was mention that she had, at an earlier point, been a fun, normal person until the gorging had escalated into an eating disorder with antisocial behaviour changes; no clarification of what triggered the change or attempts at treatment were mentioned. The cruel manner of the victim's death and that insensitivity bothered me throughout my reading of this book and, in retrospect, I think I would feel better if I had skipped on to the next book in the series instead.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lynne

    I thought I'd finished my MC Beaton hospital buy stash but two turned up unexpectedly, this and the next in the series, 'Death of a Travelling Man.' As usual it's frothy nonsense with Hamish investigating the death of one of the most ridiculous and totally incredibly characters ever created, Peta Gore, the eponymous glutton. Packed with cliche and stereotypes, a ridiculous plot and silly dialogue, nevertheless, it's an easy and speedy read, a perfect antidote to the Wilkie Collins' short story t I thought I'd finished my MC Beaton hospital buy stash but two turned up unexpectedly, this and the next in the series, 'Death of a Travelling Man.' As usual it's frothy nonsense with Hamish investigating the death of one of the most ridiculous and totally incredibly characters ever created, Peta Gore, the eponymous glutton. Packed with cliche and stereotypes, a ridiculous plot and silly dialogue, nevertheless, it's an easy and speedy read, a perfect antidote to the Wilkie Collins' short story that gave me a sleepless night!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

    I really enjoyed this book in the series, and after reviewing the previous books I have decided that I should have probably been rating them at least a 3.5 stars. The author does a fine job in relating the views of all characters in relation to the victim. You really can't help but not liking the victim in these murder stories. This series has sealed my desire to visit the Highlands of Scotland:) I really enjoyed this book in the series, and after reviewing the previous books I have decided that I should have probably been rating them at least a 3.5 stars. The author does a fine job in relating the views of all characters in relation to the victim. You really can't help but not liking the victim in these murder stories. This series has sealed my desire to visit the Highlands of Scotland:)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey Hanson

    I must say that the Greedy Woman in question is pretty vile. Some of the descriptions about her eating habits were very gross. This mystery wasn't as good as some of the others, I felt like it was wrapped up in a hurry without a very clever conclusion, but these books are pretty short and I don't really expect them to be anything especially groundbreaking. It was a decent mystery that I was able to go through in a day. I must say that the Greedy Woman in question is pretty vile. Some of the descriptions about her eating habits were very gross. This mystery wasn't as good as some of the others, I felt like it was wrapped up in a hurry without a very clever conclusion, but these books are pretty short and I don't really expect them to be anything especially groundbreaking. It was a decent mystery that I was able to go through in a day.

  23. 4 out of 5

    The Flooze

    Hamish is getting more cantankerous as he goes along...and more ballsy, as he grasps for ways to prove Blair wrong. It's amazing how an unambitious man can be goaded into proving himself - despite his exclamations otherwise. Maybe the events of the last chapter will force Hamish into re-examining what he truly wants. The murderer seemed rather unlikely - though I did ask for a plot that didn't center completely on money. Perhaps, like Hamish, I should be careful what I wish for. Hamish is getting more cantankerous as he goes along...and more ballsy, as he grasps for ways to prove Blair wrong. It's amazing how an unambitious man can be goaded into proving himself - despite his exclamations otherwise. Maybe the events of the last chapter will force Hamish into re-examining what he truly wants. The murderer seemed rather unlikely - though I did ask for a plot that didn't center completely on money. Perhaps, like Hamish, I should be careful what I wish for.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Selah Pike

    I missed this one (because it's published under 2 titles) and had to go back. It was lovely to see Towser again. The descriptions of the murder victim eating were revolting. The fact that Peta and Peter sound the same in the narrator's accent was confusing. Overall, a middle of the road Macbeth cozy. I missed this one (because it's published under 2 titles) and had to go back. It was lovely to see Towser again. The descriptions of the murder victim eating were revolting. The fact that Peta and Peter sound the same in the narrator's accent was confusing. Overall, a middle of the road Macbeth cozy.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    Just to be clear, I've read ALL of these books, at one point or another over the last....ten years. Just little fluffy mysteries for when you have a cold, are on vacation, or feel lonely for a place you have never been (the Scottish highlands). Just to be clear, I've read ALL of these books, at one point or another over the last....ten years. Just little fluffy mysteries for when you have a cold, are on vacation, or feel lonely for a place you have never been (the Scottish highlands).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I found this Hamish Macbeth outing especially vile. What might have been intended as humor comes across as cruel. Sure, Hamish is charming, but the rest of the cast of characters are horrible, one-dimensional creatures.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    With a stack of M.C. Beaton's Hamish McBeth mysteries on cassette or CD on my car's passenger seat, I could get in and happily drive coast to coast. With a stack of M.C. Beaton's Hamish McBeth mysteries on cassette or CD on my car's passenger seat, I could get in and happily drive coast to coast.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I recommend reading these in order of release. I really enjoyed the whole MC Beaton series of Hamish. He's like Andy Griffith of Scotland. There's a dog and everything! I recommend reading these in order of release. I really enjoyed the whole MC Beaton series of Hamish. He's like Andy Griffith of Scotland. There's a dog and everything!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sallee

    A quick fast paced fun read with some great characters. We have thwarted love, gluttony, greed and murder in a beautiful locale. Great entertainment.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jaye

    This vastly disappointed me. I keep reading the series because I so liked the Agatha Raisin series and hope for the best. So far, that hasn't been working. This vastly disappointed me. I keep reading the series because I so liked the Agatha Raisin series and hope for the best. So far, that hasn't been working.

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