Death of a Dentist
M. C. Beaton. Mysterious Press, $21.5 (208pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-643-1
As fresh and warmly appealing after 13 adventures as he was in the series debut, rural Scottish copper Hamish Macbeth (Death of a Macho Man; Death of a Nag, etc.) discovers that a sore tooth can be murder in this nimble new tale. When Hamish shows up for his emergency appointment with Dr. Gilchrist, he finds the much-maligned dentist not only dead but also with all his teeth drilled. The dentist had an eye for the ladies, and his conquests included an ex-wife, his current receptionist and the tarty girl behind the chemist's counter. Gilchrist also left behind a large pile of bills. Hamish gets computer-hacking help from a pretty hitchhiker--which is a good thing, because, as usual, his citified superiors try to push him to the far sidelines of the investigation. Hamish is convinced that the dentist's demise is linked to the theft of bingo prize money at a seedy local hotel and to two gnomish brothers' illegal whisky production, which has clearly progressed well beyond the cottage-industry level. Beaton lavishes so much affection on her laconic copper that it's well nigh impossible not to fall for ace moocher Hamish, with his quick mind, deceptively simple manner and accursed luck with the fairer sex. Mystery Guild featured alternate. (Aug.) FYI: Zenith Productions, which brought Colin Dexter's Inspector Morse to television, has finished filming its adaptations of the Hamish Macbeth novels.
Reviewed on: 07/31/1997