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Death Of A Dustman (2002)

Death of a Dustman (2002)

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3.84 of 5 Votes: 3
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0446609315 (ISBN13: 9780446609319)
warner time warner

About book Death Of A Dustman (2002)

Death of a Dustman is the sixteenth book in the Hamish Macbeth cozy mystery series by M.C. Beaton.In Death of a Dustman (a dustman, by the way, is the British equivalent to a garbage man or trash collector here in the U.S.), an abusive jerk husband and dustman by the name of Fergus Macleod is found dead in a trash bin. After some investigating, Hamish realizes that Fergus had been using trash evidence to blackmail a number of people in his local town of Lochdubh.Of course, Hamish has his work cut out for him as always, as he must narrow down the list of murder suspects - which is basically the entire town of Lochdubh.As with all of Beaton's novels, Death of a Dustman comes with its fair share of hilarious and very entertaining side-plots.First, there is Hamish's police partner Clarry, whose passion for cooking and for Fergus' wife Martha comes before his police work and repeatedly lands Clarry into trouble - and to people believing him a suspect. Then there is Hamish's ever-infinite longing for the beautiful Priscilla Halburton-Smythe, which usually inspires Hamish to date a newbie in town (in this case, an overweight, elderly schoolteacher) in an effort to make Priscilla jealous.Along with the usual quirky side-stories about the regular Lochdubh townspeople, there are some mishaps that involve Hamish's holey underwear and Lugs - Hamish's goofy, blue-eyed hound dog with the sixth sense. Death of a Dustman is indeed a riot, and you'd seriously be lacking a sense of humor if you said you didn't enjoy this series.Read more book reviews at

Death of a Dustman is the first of the M.C. Beaton Hamish Macbeth series that I've read (but far from the first in the series) but it won't be the last. Hamish is a Scottish policeman without ambition, happy as a policeman in the quiet village of Lochdubh. He likes the ladies and resists commitment although there is one lady his heart seems most taken with.Even in this peaceful out-of-time(although contemporary) world, however, the same politics exist as in the rest of the world. Superintendent Blair both bullies and exploits poor Hamish and the victim to be wants her 15 minutes of fame, choosing environmental concerns and, unfortunately, Lochdubh to make her stand.What follows is only somewhat predictable. Although Beaton is faithful to the cozy format her plotting is clever, her pace quick enough to prevent easy guessing, and her characters deftly drawn and interesting.I would label this series a definite winner that I plan to keep reading. Perhaps I'll even go back and start over from the first in the series!

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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.
—mary Challis

Beaton is such a delight. She has such a way at describing the idiosyncratic characters that populate her books. In this latest Hamish Macbeth story, Hamish has been promoted to sergeant and he now has to supervise a new constable, Clarry, who has few genuine police skills but is a great cook. Freda Fleming, a power-seeking environmentalist recently elected to Strathbane Council, decides that Lochdubh (pronounced Lockdoo) is perfect to use as a vehicle to bring herself to national attention, so she enlists the aid of their local dustman (garbage collector) to enforce some stringent new rules regarding the collection of trash. Fergus Macleod, the dustman and local wife-beating drunk, revels in his new uniform and power and immediately proceeds to make enemies of everyone in town. He also gets himself murdered. Unfortunately, Hamish has a surfeit of suspects, including Clarry, who had fallen in love with Martha McLeod, Fergus’s wife. But many others, it turns out, had reason to intensely dislike the dustman. Hamish and Priscilla are still not married, but still warily circling each other, both threatening to become involved with others. Hamish loses his stripes by lying about how a helicopter was brought down. You’ll have to read the book to find out more, but it will be well worth it.

I'm telling you, people: M.C. Beaton's books are like potato chips! I can't stop! Every single one is a delight, a joy, a little vacation for the reader! I love her romances as Marion Chesney, I love her mysteries as M.C. Beaton, I LOVE HER!!Death of a Dustman brings us garbage collection gone terribly awry, vicious recycling, blackmail, murder, suicide, burly Highlanders chucking large hammers about, superstitions, lies, and a lot of dinner dates at the local Italian restaurant.Ahhh. It is good to be back in Lochdubh!

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