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Death of an Addict [Mass Market Paperback]

M. C. Beaton
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
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Book Description

March 1 2001 Hamish Macbeth Mysteries
Former drug addict Tommy Jarret rents a Scottish chalet to check out reports of a sea monster. But when he is found dead of an apparent drug overdose, constable Hamish Macbeth suspects foul play. Teaming with Glasgow Detective Inspector Olivia Chater, Macbeth goes undercover and dives into the underworld to root out a cartel secretly entrenched in the Highlands.

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Death of an Addict + Death of a Village + Death of a Poison Pen
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M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth doesn't fit everyone's idea of a cozy mystery hero. The police constable prefers his flock of Highland sheep and fine single-malt Scotch to cats and cups of tea, and the details of his success with women would bring a maidenly blush to Miss Marple's cheek. Yet his charm is definitely of the soft-boiled variety. Death of an Addict, Beaton's 15th book in this series, begins with the apparent overdose death of Tommy Jarret, a recovering heroin addict who was writing an autobiography. Hamish, who oversees law and order in the village of Lochdubh, is instantly suspicious of the circumstances. Told to back off the case, he picks it up again on the sly when the dead man's parents ask him to find out what happened. Hamish's apparent lack of ambition masks a keen nose for illegal activity; even the dead ends of his investigation reveal a loan-sharking operation and a cache of hallucinogenic mushrooms.

Hamish's biggest fish is drug baron Jimmy White. To reel White in, Hamish poses as a drug supplier, with a beautiful, standoffish detective inspector from Glasgow playing the part of his wife. The pair go off on a whirlwind trip to Amsterdam to maintain their front, leading to a comic mishap and the beginnings of a romance--one that nearly comes to a very bad end when White is tipped off by Hamish's enemy, Detective Inspector Blair.

Mystery buffs new to the series will find this Highland fling easy to follow, and those who are already fans will delight in the hint of a new long-term relationship for their laconic hero. --Barrie Trinkle --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Some things never change: the idyllic Scottish village of Lochdubh remains a serene haven around which all manner of rural skullduggery continues to threaten the laconic existence of the local copper, the tall, tousle-haired, chronically unambitious and hopelessly love-crossed Hamish Macbeth (Death of a Scriptwriter, etc.). Recovering drug addict Tommy Jarret rents a place near Lochdubh to write his autobiography. He seems to be on the mend, but then he dies of an overdose. Hamish suspects foul play. The bane of his life, his superiors in the big city, declare the case closed, however, so he must move on to other matters, such as the sighting of a monster in a local loch. But when Jarret's pals provide the police with a link to big-time drug dealers, Hamish finds himself in Amsterdam, wearing sharp suits, talking like a hoodlum and posing as a player, all in the company of a very pretty superior officer who just might change his mind about superior officers. Unfortunately, Hamish all but blows his chances with her by sleeping with a hooker. While the Macbeth tales are always a droll treat, this 15th in the series is less tightly plotted than most, with the mystery surrounding the addict's death sidetracked for a long spell as the Amsterdam adventure gives fans an agreeably tougher side of P.C. Macbeth to contemplate. Mystery Guild featured alternate. (May) FYI: In addition to the Hamish Macbeth and Agatha Raisin (see below) series, the pseudonymous Beaton writes Regency romances under her real name of Marion Chesney.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars THE SERIES TAKES A TURN FOR THE WORSE... April 18 2012
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the fifteenth book in a most enjoyable series of cozy mysteries. Featuring lovable Highlander, Hamish Macbeth, a constable in the remote village of Lochdubh in Scotland, it is a series to which its fans are devoted. With its engaging depiction of village life with all the quirky and wonderful characters who live their, it is certainly a series well worth reading if one is a fan of the cozy mystery genre.

In this book, however, the author decides to transform Hamish into an undercover drug dealer. What could be more laughable? It just does not fit with the portrait of Hamish Macbeth that has already been so skillfully painted by the author. Consequently, this ill conceived idea does not ring true, and the book falls flat.

To make matters worse, the local villagers are not an integral part of this book, losing yet another element that propels this series into readers' hearts. To further add insult to injury, the murder of a local drug addict takes a back seat to the hoopla of Hamish portraying a drug dealer and is almost forgotten, until the thread of his murder is picked up again late in the book as an afterthought.

While this book was certainly a disappointment, fans that are addicted to this series will read it anyway and derive a modicum of enjoyment from it. One can only hope that the author will get back on track with the next book in the series.
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Life looks simple enough as the book opens. Lochdubh's finest, Police Constable Hamish Macbeth, checks out a former heroin addict, Tommy Jarret, and is quickly convinced the young man has kicked the habit and wants to stay clean. Imagine Hamish's shock when Jarret dies of a heroin overdose soon thereafter. Detective Chief Inspector Blair and Detective Jimmy Anderson of Strathbane are quickly convinced it's an accidental overdose and the case is closed. Hamish isn't convinced. Jarret had been writing a book about his drug-using days and all but the first chapter has disappeared. Also, Jarret also had a sedative in his bloodstream. Jarret's parents are also skeptical and persuade Hamish to keep an investigation going.

Hamish takes his vacation so he can investigate on the quiet. His searches begin with a sex-obsessed church that seems to be a cover for something else. Confronting Jarret's former roommates, Hamish decides on the spot to pretend to be a drug dealer who wants to buy a big quantity of heroin. Hamish calls for help, and soon a large police operation is mounted with the inexperienced and uncomfortable Hamish at the middle.

To make matters complicated, the operation is headed by the very attractive Detective Chief Inspector Olivia Chater of Glasgow who will play the role of Hamish's "wife." DI Chater wants no messing around and she plans to wear the pants. The role playing develops into all kinds of giggling situations as they find themselves sharing bedrooms, beds, and needing to put on a good show for the drug dealers' minions who trail them.

Naturally, Hamish cannot control his need to wander around and soon gets himself into an embarrassing situation in Amsterdam.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not of High Quality Feb. 20 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second Hamish McBeth book I have read, and it is a disappointment. It lacks the folksy charm of the first. The plotting is weak, and the situations absurd. I suppost if you want a simple, easy weekend read this would do. If I had a cottage, that is where I would put this lightweight piece of nonesense.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably My Favourite Hamish Macbeth story. March 2 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved this story. I look forward to each new addition to this wonderful series and this one did not disappoint! In it we see Hamish at his most exasperating and endearing best. When a young recovered(?) drug addict is found dead in his rented chalet, Hamish feels that something doesn't add up. Although Strathbane writes it off as another dead junkie, Hamish thinks the young fellow was murdered. While trying to pursue this theory on his own, he is thrown into the drug buying and selling scene in Scotland. One thing leads to another and it turns out that Hamish is put undercover with a rather fetching Detective Inspector to expose a big drug ring in Strathbane. Hamish finds himself in hot water, and is exposed to all manner of nefarious people, but you can bet he triumphs in the end. He also determines just what happened to young Tommy Jarret. Lots of fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another great Hamish Macbeth mystery! Sept. 22 2003
This is the fifteenth in a series of wonderful mysteries featuring the detective work of small town, Highland Scottish detective Hamish Macbeth, P.C. In this book, when an ex-heroin addict is found dead of an overdose, the Strathbane police chalk it up as the well-deserved death of another junky. However, something tells Hamish that this death was no accident. When he goes to Strathbane to infiltrate the local drug scene, he quickly finds himself swimming in deeper waters then he could ever have expected. Teamed up with a non-nonsense woman Detective Inspector, Hamish faces one of the deadliest of drug lords, and keeping himself alive might prove hard work indeed!
This is another great M.C. Beaton (pseudonym of Marion Chesney) book! I love the setting and characters of these books, especially Hamish Macbeth himself. The author does an excellent job of swinging the story between lighthearted humor and deadly action. Indeed, this may be one of the most intense Hamish Macbeth books I have read.
Yep, this is another great Hamish Macbeth mystery, one that would make an excellent addition to your library!
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