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Death of a Dustman [Mass Market Paperback]

M. C. Beaton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Jan. 1 2002 Hamish Macbeth Mysteries
Scotland's most laconic & low-tech policeman, Hamish MacBeth returns.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

That the prolific Beaton seems to be writing for television in her 16th Hamish Macbeth mystery (after Death of an Addict) may be no surprise, given that the same U.K. company that brought Inspector Morse to the small screen has filmed some novels in this series. After all, what's superficial or formulaic on the page can look just fine on TV. When, in an effort to gain publicity for the local community and herself, bullying Strathbane Council member Freda Fleming gets drunken Lochdubh dustman Fergus Macleod promoted to "environmental officer," Fergus can't believe his luck. Alas, he doesn't have much time to strut his new military-style uniform ("He looked for all the world like the wizened dictator of some totalitarian regime"), because someone bashes the back of his head in and dumps his body in a rubbish bin. Enter policeman Hamish Macbeth, who soon discovers that Fergus had a second career as a blackmailer. As he pursues various suspects and red herrings, Hamish flirts with an old girlfriend, muses on the horrors of wife-beating, and generally carries on in a way that presumes readers are old friends who'll forgive him his every indulgence. A wildly improbable feat of Scottish hammer-throwing brings down the villain, while a second murder that's not what it seems provides some last-minute suspense. If the U.K. television series ever comes to the U.S., that would give sales a big boost. Mystery Guild Featured Alternate. (Mar. 6) as well as her Agatha Raisin series.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School-When Mrs. Freda Fleming, tyrannical member of the Strathbane Council, appoints the dustman (trash collector) of Lochdubh to be the "environmental officer," Fergus Macleod becomes a bigger bully than he was before. He also specializes in blackmail as he uses the bits of information he finds in the rubbish against the local residents. No one is surprised when his body turns up in a recycling bin. That's when policeman Hamish Macbeth steps in to investigate, but he has a difficult time trying to get the locals to talk. And then, another murder complicates the entire process. Beaton once again entertains fans of the series with delightful escapades of the Scottish populace and a good mystery. She uses Hamish not only as the main character, but also as a foundation for learning about the culture, activities, and other people in the village. Clarry Graham, Macbeth's constable who specializes in cooking, lends additional humor to the story line. Another entertaining offering from this successful author.

Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant April 12 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The book is brilliant they are always are with Hamish Macbeth series. You have a bit of humour thrown
into it. Definitely recommend this book to someone else
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5.0 out of 5 stars GRIME AND PUNISHMENT... April 18 2012
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the seventeenth installment in the Hamish Macbeth series of cozy mysteries. In this book, our beloved Highlander is busy going about his business in the village of Lochdubh in northern Scotland, when a council woman decides Lochdubh should go green and recycle. She appoints the local dustman (garbage collector) as Lochdubh's Environment Officer in charge of Lochdubh's new recycling center.

The dustman, however, is a nasty drunk, who beats and bullies his wife and kids. So, it is no surprise to anyone that with his new found power, he becomes a total despot, bullying all whom he comes across and indulging in a dangerous little sideline. Consequently, it is of little surprise to anyone when his dead body is found in a villager's rubbish bin. Though no one is sorry to see the dustman gone, few are willing to talk, leaving Hamish Macbeth at a temporary loss as to who committed the murder until violence strikes again. With no end of suspects in sight, he certainly has his work cut out for him.

In this book, village life, replete with quirky characters, takes center stage, giving the book that cozy feel. The book is also laced with sly humor throughout that is engaging, keeping the mood of the book light and highly enjoyable. As with all cozy mysteries, it is not so much the mystery that is of import but the characters that revolve around the mystery. While the mysteries are intriguing, they are the framework around which the characters evolve. In the endearing character of Hamish Macbeth, the author has created a sure fire winner, who is bound to win many fans. This is a most enjoyable and utterly addictive cozy mystery series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can Hamish Stand Success? May 18 2007
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Due to his remarkable work in Death of an Addict, Hamish once again finds himself promoted to sergeant. Having been totally driven crazy by Willie Lamont's cleaning when Hamish was a sergeant before, he had hoped that this promotion wouldn't mean having another police constable assigned to live and work with him. No such luck!

Clarry Graham, the new constable, is equally obsessed . . . but with cooking. So Hamish eats better than ever in this book.

Lochdubh finds itself under attack due to the publicity-seeking lust of Mrs. Freda Fleming, a recent widow, who wants a place to "clean up" so she can appear on the telly. Although she lives in Strathbane (which could use a good clean up), Freda decides that she's more likely to have a visible success in a smaller place. An inspection by Freda finds trash overflowing after a church fete. No problem! Freda will create an army of one, Fergus Macleod, the local dustman (UK speak for trash collector), to create the new "green" Lochdubh.

Fergus is an angry man. He started off as an accountant, but his weakness for preying on others caused him to descend into drink and wife-beating. With his raise in pay, wider authority, and military-like new uniform, he's ready to settle old scores with those who don't respect a mere dustman.

Before the tensions can rise too far, someone disposes of Fergus. While he disappears (to be later found in the Currie sisters' trash bin), Clarry decides to become the defender of Martha Macleod and her children from the brutal Fergus. Naturally, that means Detective Chief Inspector Blair will want to finger Clarry for the murder. But Blair has a surprise awaiting him.

After Fergus is found dead, the neighbors help Martha clean out his things.
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Format:Audio Cassette
This is a great installment in the Hamish Macbeth series. This series continues to delight and surprise and I always can't wait to read the next one. In this one a rather unsavoury dustman (garbage men are still called dustmen in Britain), is found dead in one of his refuse bins. No one in Lochdubh is really sorry because this man was not well-liked by anyone in the village. But Hamish has to set out to find the murderer, especially after another body is found. Once he begins investigating he finds there are more suspects than he knows what to do with, but he continues in his very unorthodox way to try to put the pieces together. There is a scene in the book with a helicopter and a hammer thrower that is absolutely hilarious. Ms. Beaton is a master of black comedy, and her Hamish is the most likeable sleuth out there. He's so real that he leaps off the page. I love this series!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Charms, Secrets and Nasty Grudges April 15 2002
Isn't it fun to imagine that somewhere across the pond, lurks a lady who can churn out books one after another, in the same basic formula, but each a uniquely clever and original read? And she probably wanders about and no one knows of the mischief, mayhem and murder lurking behind the eyes of the deceptively normal lady? Once again, Ms. Beaton takes us along to meet the ever unambitious Hamish as he casts about the idyllic village of Lochdubh in the farthest northern part of the Scottish highlands. Where the people have their charms, secrets and nasty grudges, and there is almost always trouble simmering. To the usual wonderful cast of characters, the faithful reader meets Hamish's new constable Clary the Cook, the frightful Freda Fleming, Officer of the Environment, Lugs the Dog, a rich Greek reopening the Lochdubh hotel, as well as the Fergus McLeod and family. Ms. Beaton beautifully communicates a sense of place, a cadence of language and a refreshingly original formula cozy.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars another in the delightful series
M.C. Beaton's mysteries center in a small village in the Scottish Highlands, with chief character Officer Hamish MacBeth, surrounded by other recurring eccentric characters. Read more
Published on March 19 2002 by Karen Sampson Hudson
4.0 out of 5 stars Hamish must find the murderer of the most hated man in town
Fergus the dustman or garbage man is the most hated man in town. He drinks, he beats his wife, and since he was promoted to enviromental supervisor and given a new uniform, he's... Read more
Published on Feb. 27 2002 by Moe811
You won't be able to put the book down is the reason it will gather no dust. I really enjoyed this one. I have read them all up to now and am looking forward to the next one. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2002 by Mac Blair
2.0 out of 5 stars Cookie Cutter Plot and Set
This reader is probably in the minority here, but Death of Dustman in this reader's opinion is one of Ms. Beaton's much poorer efforts. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars Seventeenth Variation on a Highland Theme
Fergus Macleod, the dustman (garbage collector)in Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth's village of Lockdubh, is a drunk and a wife-beater. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2001 by charles falk
5.0 out of 5 stars Highlander Hamish
What I would give to live in a place like Lochdubh where the local bobby actually cares for his fellow villagers! Read more
Published on July 27 2001 by J. Cunningham
5.0 out of 5 stars Death of a Dustman
M.C. Beaton has done it again with another delightful book in the series about Hamish Macbeth, a constable in Lochdubh, a village in the Northern Highlands of Scotland. Read more
Published on April 10 2001 by Patricia Ibbotson
4.0 out of 5 stars Predictable, predictable, predictable!
Indeed, "predictable" is the word (or words!) for any of the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton, and "Death of a Dustman" is no exception. Read more
Published on March 14 2001 by Billy J. Hobbs
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