- Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reprint edition (July 1 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446606014
- ISBN-13: 978-0446606011
- Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.6 x 17.1 cm
- Shipping Weight: 136 g
- Average Customer Review: 15 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #414,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Death of a Dentist Mass Market Paperback – Jul 1 1998
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In this addition to Beaton's series featuring unassuming Scottish policeman Hamish Macbeth, Hamish finds himself precipitated by a vicious toothache into the world of Dr. Frederick Gilchrist. Gilchrist is a local dentist best known for his eagerness to replace healthy teeth with inexpensive dentures, and infamous for his hard hand on the drill. Maggie Bane, his lovely assistant with a harsh and unlovely voice, surprises Hamish with her hostility, but he is even more astonished to find the dentist's dead body reclining in his chair with mysterious drill marks on his teeth.
Delving deeper into the village's rural dish in search of the murderer, Macbeth uncovers long-buried relationships, an illicit local still, a robbery that is not what it appears, and the expected deceptions and partial truths his countrymen tell the police for reasons only a local character like Hamish can understand. Once again, he has occasion to contact his former love, the adamantine Priscilla Halburton-Smyth, and her friend, Sarah Hudson, even helps Hamish hack into police records for his investigation.
Macbeth's efforts bustle charmingly along against the background of quirky Scots dialect and rustic pubs. And Beaton's tangled web of a mystery is tidily resolved to the satisfaction of the locals and, surely, for all the devoted fans of this winning series. --Barbara Schlieper
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history," as it were. Predictable as it is, "Death of a Dentist" is still a pleasant read. There are some 13 books in this series and all are bonuses! (Billyjhobbs@tyler.net)
Death of a Dentist contains one of M.C. Beaton's most detestable victims, Dr. Frederick Gilchrist. The not-so-good doctor is famous for pulling teeth which can be saved (which his impoverished patients don't see as such a drawback), destroying perfectly good teeth with a slip of the drill ("The Great Australian Trench), and taking advantage of any woman who attracts his attention.
Normally, Hamish Macbeth, Lochdubh's finest police constable, attends an excellent dentist in Inverness. But excruciating pain drives Hamish first to Dr. Brodie who diagnoses an abscess which requires antibiotics before any dentist will be able to help him. No sooner does Hamish return to the station, and he learns of a large robbery of cash from a not-so-safe (which has a wooden back rather than reinforced steel). By the next day, Hamish is back in great pain and decides to look in on Dr. Gilchrist in near-by Braikie (an inspired choice of a name) rather than driving all the way to Inverness. Arriving at the office, no one's there. Hamish discovers one very dead dentist.
As usual, everyone else wants the credit for finding the thief and the murderer. Hamish, however, thinks that he should locate both because the crimes are on his patch.
No one is willing to tell Hamish what Dr. Gilchrist was really like. Hamish keeps prodding until clues start to spill out about the doctor's fondness for the ladies . . . that the ladies usually don't want to say much about.
As Hamish checks out matters, it's clear that other false notes are being sounded. What else are people hiding?
In the middle of the muddle, a beautiful hiker appears who turns out to be a friend of Priscilla's. Hamish is immediately smitten, but Sarah Hudson seems more interested in Hamish as a friend than as a lover. But Sarah does have one Priscilla-like ability; she is soon helping Hamish investigate and unravel the riddles.
Soon, Hamish has fallen into a bigger mess than he realized, and Sarah's help becomes crucial.
Before the book is done, you'll find that three crimes need to be solved and many major and minor mysteries resolved.
The misdirection in Death of a Dentist is excellent, and the plot will delight those who like lots of action and challenge in their Hamish Macbeth stories.
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