Author: M.C. Beaton –
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing –
Genre: Crime, Comedy –
Overall rating: 4/5 –
Writing: 4/5 –
Duration: approx. 5:30 (short) (re: Death of a Gentle Lady, Death of a Maid, Death of a Dreamer) –
Narrator: Graeme Malcolm –
Narrator/performance: 5/5 –
Impressions: 5/5 –
Performance errors: 0/5 –
Complexity/reading level: 1/5 –
This review refers to Death of a Gentle Lady, Death of a Maid and Death of a Dreamer published in English by Blackstone Publishing. They are surprisingly delightful pleasure reads, especially Death of a Gentle Lady. There seems to be no pretense about them, apart from being utterly Scottish. The author appeared to be having great fun writing the novels, yet she remained serious about the business of maintaining the setting, style and ambiance once these were established. The books are full of good-natured humor. The mysteries are whimsical and well-developed. I also find it relatable to unreasonably care about the comfort of pet animals, even half-wild ones.
The novels bring a feeling of an eternal holiday, when all seriousness becomes inadequate and may be thrown to the wind. Even on a murder case, the investigator will bend or break the rules, occupy himself with something unrelated, be irrational and still end up being the best detective on the planet. Preoccupied with his priorities, he will usually cede all recognition, run away from all the women in his life and hide in his Highland cottage. The imagery is unsurprising, romantic and highly entertaining. The novels appear to have been written by a content and mature creator.
Graeme Malcolm’s performance has a nice flow. I laughed when listening to the part when the small Scottish town decided to declare independence from the UK as a retaliation for ordering a small vessel of a local fisherman to be dismantled somewhere in Scandinavia. I wondered how he managed to record this part with a more or less straight face.
The covers are so flashy I wonder why I risked listening to the books. Only the three novels by M. C. Beaton are currently available in English on my app and even these three are not one series of covers. The best book – Death of a Gentle Lady – has one of the worst audiobook covers I have ever encountered.