The poster in Patel's general store announces: "Do you want to be a famous writer? Famous writer John Heppel will help you become one." Lanky, red-haired Hamish Macbeth thinks no one will sign up, even though Heppel wrote for a popular TV soap opera. Macbeth is wrong--over a dozen budding authors show up at the village hall. But once Heppel mocks their writing and butchers their dreams, every single one of them wants to kill the arrogant little man. Then someone does. The high-profile crime brings the media and Macbeth's new boss, DCI Heather Meikle, to Lochdubh. And to Macbeth's dismay, the whisky-drinking, man-eating Heather soon sets her cap for the bachelor constable herself. With his trusty dog, Lugs, tagging along, Macbeth must search for a way to exonerate his friends and neighbors and uncover the real killer--a path that leads him to former girlfriend Elspeth Grant.