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Death of a Dustman Mass Market Paperback – Jan 1 2002

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (Jan. 1 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446609315
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446609319
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.9 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #378,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mamalinde on April 15 2002
Format: Hardcover
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Aug. 21 2001
Format: Hardcover
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. Early in the series, I really enjoyed the Hamish MacBeth novels, but now they seem to have become "cookie-cutter" books with the same tired plots. She uses short, choppy sentences and seems to do more telling than showing in her books now. This has become very tedious and does not keep this reader's interest as much as it did in the past when the books were very good reading. Also, does she have to describe in each and every book every little detail about all the characters in the village -- which is almost the same information verbatim taken from the last book and the book before? Ms. Beaton also needs a new editor, especially in this book where Fergus was substituted for Angus (in a death scene) making it very hard for the reader to know just exactly what is going on and who exactly was murdered. Also, Ms. Beaton - give Hamish a life! He is still pining away for his lost lady love. It's just the "same ole, same ole."
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 18 2007
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: Hardcover
Fergus Macleod, the dustman (garbage collector)in Police Sergeant Hamish Macbeth's village of Lockdubh, is a drunk and a wife-beater. When Fergus is promoted to "environmental engineer" by an ambitious member of the County Council he becomes so officious that soon half the village is threatening to kill him. Someone does and stuffs his corpse into one of his own dustbins. Hamish soon discovers that several people, including his own constable, had additional reasons to wish Macleod dead. Then a local crofter is murdered too. Hamish must solve these crimes while preserving his neighbors' guilty (but irrelevant) secrets.
M C Beaton writes classic British murder mysteries in the tradition of Dorothy Sayers, Agatha Christie, and Ngaio Marsh. It is a genre as stylized as the sonnet or the minuet -- yet capable of infinite variation. Few readers will anticipate all the plot twists Beaton has composed for this, her seventeenth Hamish Macbeth mystery. Hamish does not possess an over-abundance of "little gray cells" like Hercule Poirot, nor upper class connections like Roderick Allyn. But he does know his Highlander neighbors intimately and always manages to ferret out the truth ahead of the detectives sent out from headquarters. Beaton laces her stories with generous dollops of broad, black comedy; often at the expense of her sleuth, Macbeth.
My only quibble with "Death of a Dustman" is that Beaton makes one character hide a crucial piece of information from Macbeth (and from the reader) on the flimsiest of pretexts until just before the climax of the book. One of the rules of the classic mystery is that the author must scatter all the clues needed to solve the puzzle so a canny reader can beat the fictional detective to the soluction.
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