Death of an Addict Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 2001
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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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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!
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
Most recent customer reviews
this is just to add to my collection of books I enjoy reading. A good read if you like Hamish Macbeth stories.Published 4 months ago by P McB
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. Read morePublished on Feb. 20 2005 by David C Polk
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. Read morePublished on March 1 2004 by Shirley Schwartz
I read this series largely for the amusement of reading about Hamish's eccentricities and exploits. They never fail to make me smile, even with mayhem in the background. Read morePublished on July 12 2003 by Christy
Now, this was my twelfth experience with Hamish and I feel it was my best - better than my other favorites: Death of a Prankster and Death of a Macho Man. Read morePublished on April 14 2003 by Vincent Croal
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. Read morePublished on Aug. 3 2001 by Mac Blair