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.