Saturday, March 2, 2013

Death of a Dustman by M.C. Beaton
Released: March 2001

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.

Following Death of a Dustman in the Hamish Macbeth series are Death of a Celebrity, Death of a Village, Death of a Poison Pen, and Death of a Bore.

Click on any of the images of the books below to review them in more detail on

What are your favorite cozy mystery series? What are your favorite Hamish Macbeth mysteries? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

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