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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.

Frequently Bought Together

Death of an Addict + Death of a Village + Death of a Poison Pen
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  • Death of a Village CDN$ 8.55
  • Death of a Poison Pen CDN$ 8.55

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From Amazon

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
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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2.0 out of 5 stars Hamish MacBore April 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've seen an episode or two of the television version, starring the ever charming Robert Carlyle, and when BBC America pulled it from their lineup I decided to give the books a try. I think, perhaps, I picked the wrong one to start with, because if they're all this trite I'm flabbergasted as to why people read them.
Hamish is his usual do-goody, city-loathing self and that's about all I can tell you because the plot is a completely scattershot affair. What starts as a murder mystery becomes what could have been an interesting cult-infiltration if the author didn't seem to have ADD and instead arbitrarily abandons both plot threads in favor of one about drug smuggling. Soon the murder is nothing more then an afterthought as Undercover Hamish jets off for a random trip to Amsterdam, with requisite Snow Queen Superior Officer in tow. Thrill to Hamish hanging around a hotel room, Hamish eating at a restaurant and...Hamish going home with a prostitute?
Of course, Snow Queen's icy heart is inevitably melted to reveal a weak, angry girl who, of course, jumps into bed with our hero to prove her gratitude. Just once I'd like to read a mystery novel where the two leads of the opposite sex don't hop in the sack with each other, it happens in real life all the time I'm told. Simply because a man has a pretty smile and a charming brogue doesn't mean a woman has to immediately fall hoplessly in love with him (alright, well *I* would, but that's neither here nor there).
This book is hampered by the fact that there is no real villain. It starts out being the murderer, then flips to the cult leader, then the drug czar, none of whom are the leaste bit threatening or interesting. And Hamish's longtime rival has little to do except get drunk and plot out schemes so vile and unreal I half expected him to start twirling a big black moustache and talking like Edward G. Robinson.
A more accurate title would have been: Death of a Potential Fan
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arguably My Favourite Hamish Macbeth story. March 1 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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3.0 out of 5 stars Felt like a made-for-TV-movie Dec 2 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Although our PBS station has not yet aired the Hamish MacBeth TV series, I know it has quite a following in Great Britain. I have begun to wonder whether its success has marred the books. As other reviewers have pointed out, the idea of Macbeth fooling a drugpin into believing he, Macbeth, is a big-time drug dealer is ludicrous-- all the more so since apparently it is Macbeth's sneer that causes this oh-so-convincing transformation. The plot contrivance seems to this reader to be an excuse for a "Macbeth Goes To Amsterdam" TV episode. All the more annoying is the way the initial crime victim becomes virtually forgotten for 2/3 of the book. Why rate it as high as 3 stars ? Well, there is just enough Scottish atmosphere and visits with recurring Lochdubh characters to merit a read for MC Beaton's fans.
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3.0 out of 5 stars HAMISH HAS BEEN BETTER!!!!!! Aug. 3 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Tommy Jarret, a drug addict is found dead. The police say it was an overdose. Hamish does not think so. He sets out to prove it. Then for most of the book, this murder is not even thought about. Hamish gets involved with drug dealers and gets to act the part of a drug lord. His supposed to be wife is another detective, of course they end up in bed together. Hamish even wanders into a shop and a girl they takes him home with her and they end up in bed. Wish Beaton would write like she did in the earlier books. She used to me able to make me see the villege, the countryside and the people in my mind. But, not any more. The book does have a surprise ending which is fairly good. Hope the writing gets back like it was.
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