I listen to a lot of cozy mystery audiobooks in a year and I usually don’t review them. But I’m starting to worry I won’t hit my cannonball if I don’t start reviewing some more of the books I read, and so here we are.
Earlier this year I finished the Agatha Raisin series by M.C. Beaton (well, at least what was written to that point), and needed a new series of cozy mysteries to listen to while driving. I’ve found that cozy mystery audiobooks are a great choice for long trips, as I can sort of dip in and out of them, and it doesn’t matter much if I get distracted and miss a bit of the story. Agatha Raisin sustained me for a long time, since that series is like 30 books or something, but once I caught up to the present day I had trouble finding something to replace it. I tried a couple different series before giving up and returning to M.C. Beaton with Death of a Gossip. It’s not that I particularly LOVE Beaton’s writing style, but I’m used to it and I know what to expect. I’m probably not going to be on the edge of my seat, but I’m also not going to be bored. Also, my library has a real dearth of cozy mystery series on audiobook. Half the time I’d find something on Goodreads or Amazon but when I went to my library’s website it wasn’t available.
Death of a Gossip is the first in the Hamish Macbeth series. Hamish is a policeman in a small town in Scotland. Prior to the events of the first book, he’s never really had to do more than deal with a couple local drunks, but in Death of a Gossip, a woman who was in town to attend a fishing class is murdered, and all signs point to someone else from her class being the one who did it. Hamish is shouldered aside by the city police who are brought in to work the case, but, with his sharp wit and insight, he, of course, is the one who solves it in the end. Death of a Cad follows much the same outline: a man who was staying with the rich folks at the local manor is murdered, and it looks like another member of the house party is responsible. Again, Hamish is put on the backburner by the other police officers, and again, he wins the day.
I liked Hamish. He’s funny, and I sort of pictured as looking like Prince Harry (he’s young, tall, and red-headed). I also like the way these stories are set up like a Poirot mystery, where the detective gathers all the subjects together at the end to explain which one of them did it. Also, most of the characters have Scottish accents which will earn any audiobook an extra star, as far as I’m concerned.
I can’t say that I loved these books or that I’m dying to read the rest, but that’s not the standard I set for cozies anyway. I’ll keep reading these because they entertained me and they’re available. That’s about the highest standard I can set for a cozy, at least until my library starts getting with the program a little more.