Death of a Dustman (Hamish Macbeth, #17)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Death of a Dustman (Hamish Macbeth #17)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,636 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Lochdubhs dustman, Fergus Macleod, a sour little man given to domestic violence and drinking, gets by with a one-day work week collecting the villages trash. But when Mrs. Freda Fleming, wrath of the Strathbane Council, decides to make an environmental example out of Lochdubh, Fergus is promoted to man the new and elaborate recycling center.

Now a bullying tyrant with a ne...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published March 6th 2001 by Mysterious Press (first published January 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Death of a Dustman, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death of a Dustman

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,340)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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...more
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...more
#17 Hamish MacBeth Scottish cozy police mystery. One of the councilwomen in Strathbane, eager for some attention, targets Lochdubh for her 'go green' campaign and enlists the local dustman, Fergus Macleod, to get the residents to separate their rubbish for recycling. Fergus, a nasty, wife-beating drunk who was on the verge of losing his job before Mrs. Fleming got him a new uniform and reason to be nasty, of course ends up dead. There's hardly a villager who hadn't been heard threatening him at...more
Hamish Macbeth mysteries are like comfort food—though you might want to have a taste for haggis. If you're familiar with the excellent 90s TV series starring Robert Carlyle, which occasionally gets a re-airing on BBC America, it's only lightly based on the novels by M.C. Beaton (Marion Chesney). These have a tone of light satire, magic realism, and Highland noir similar to the TV version, but other than Hamish himself the characters are all different and the plots are more conventional murder my...more
C.J. Prince
Never leave home without Hamish Macbeth. Really. What will I do when I've come to book 30 or is it 31. I'll think on that later.

I love the Scottish terminology and was interested to learn that a "dustman" is a garbage man. So, right there I've improved my vocabulary.

M.C. Beatton continues to rev up the motives and possibilities of murder. Just when you might suspect a writer would be getting stale, she surprises the reader.

The common dustman, severe alcoholic and wife abuser is promoted to Envi...more
"They are still called dustmen in Britain. Not garbage collectors or sanitation engineers, but dustmen. And Lochdubh's dustman is a drunk named Fergus Macleod who lives in a run-down cottage and abuses his wife and four small children. His lot in life seems to improve with the arrival of Freda Fleming, an environmentalist recently elected to Strathbane Council who intends to 'green' Lochdubh. Setting up an elaborate recycling center, the politically ambitious councilwoman doubles Fergus's salary...more
Helene Harrison
ISBN? – 9781472105356

Publishing - 2013 by Constable and Robinson (first published 2001)

Genre? - Crime / Mystery

Characters? - Hamish Macbeth / Fergus MacLeod / Clarry / Freda Fleming / Jimmy Anderson / Chief Inspector Blair

Setting? - Lochdubh (Scotland)

Series? - Hamish Macbeth #17

Title? - Self-explanatory.

Character Analysis? - I particularly loved Clarry in this one, only in this book really, but an excellent character, and very well developed considering how relatively minor he is. Still love Ha...more
Working my way through M.C. Beaton's Hamish Macbeth series. I love the details about life in the Scottish highland villages in the 1980s and '90s. Also the attention given to accents, geographical details and the weather. I feel as though I've visited, in both the summer and winter. She convincingly draws out the romance between the protagonist and the love of his life that he's trying to forget. This is the 17th book in the series and I'm still hoping that they will end up living happily ever a...more
I think with this book I have finally caught up and read the entire Macbeth series. These books are such fun. I especially enjoyed Dustman as it takes place in Lochdubh with the locals, whom Hamish always works furiously to protect from the detectives in Inverness. It was fun to finally meet Clarry, who I know from later books.
I'm going to look back through my Macbeth books and hope I've got one more unread book left to enjoy. If not, I'll have to just start the series again, reading them in or...more
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...more
This 17th Hamish Macbeth, constable of a small North Scotland village, is as light-hearted and predictable as most of the pleasant murder mysteries in this long-running series. In this story, the village "Dustman" (trash collector) winds up dead after getting too big for his britches; and it soon seems to Hamish that blackmail might be the motive. Finding it hard to believe any of his townsfolk could be the culprit, he conceals those suspicions even from his police supervisors, and winds up fret...more
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 cu...more
Diane Heath
A new councilwoman wants to get on television. She decides to make Lochdubh her special project as the new Officer of the Environment. She gives the local dustman a raise and a new truck as well as recycling bins for the community. Fergus MacLeod uses his position to blackmail various villagers and when he tries to blackmail the wrong one, he winds up in a recycling bin of his own. This is one of the cases where Hamish has been promoted to Sargent and has Constable Clarry working for him.
My mum passed this on to me. An enjoyable,if somewhat predictable, murder mystery.
Hamish McBeth is the constable with an ear for gossip of the small Scots village of Lochdubh, inhabited by a cast of quirky characters and plagued by murder (this is the 17th in series). This time its the dustman (trash collector) who is put in charge of a new recycling and is done in by somebody.
Meanwhile, a Greek tycoon is opening a new hotel, that may put the current one out of business.
Then there's another mur...more
Bev Taylor
grime and punishment ...... !

befuddled, earnest and utterly endearing hamish once again weaves his magic in the scottish village

looks after the villagers and their interests and not always sticks to the rules. not illegally but bending them

and where else would u dump the murdered body of a dustman .... !


Rebecca McNeil
Kept me wondering

Kept me wondering

there were a lot of characters to remember at first, but you were able to clearly picture them in your mind. I liked the setting, I couldn't figure out the outcome.
Dianne Landry
When I have nothing to read I reread Hamish Macbeth and I always enjoy the books. They are mindless fun and make me want to visit Scotland.
AUTHOR: Beaton, M.C.
TITLE: Death of a Dustman
DATE READ: 02/01/11
RATING: 4.5/B+
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/2001/Mysterious Press/215 pgs
SERIES/STAND ALONE: #17 Hamish Macbeth
TIME/PLACE: Scottish Highlands
CHARACTERS: Hamish Macbeth, police constable
FIRST LINES: They are still called dustmen in Britain. Not garbage collectors or sanitation engineers.
COMMENTS: A new councilwoman wants personal publicity & decides to "green" Lochbubh. When the dustmen responsible for the task is so...more
Ginni Brinkley
The most far fetched yet, but an easy read, which is what I wanted.
Steadily working our way through the Hamish Macbeth series by M.C. Beaton. Both my mother-in-law and I love these books. They are fun, quick reads and we've grown attached to the characters.

This story was a bit messy and convoluted, but overall it was still an entertaining story. We finally realized that all along we'd been pronouncing the town wrong. It's Lochdubh as in "Lochdoo," not "Lochdubb." (p. 3)
My third Hamish MacBeth mystery. Thoroughly enjoyed it. Love the stories of this detective and his village in the Scottish Highlands.
Listened to it on CD as I criss-crossed Indy--it's been a good distraction from dicussions of the Arab revolutions and U.S. budget struggles. Read by Graeme Malcolm-- he does a great job with the Scots accents, it's been fun to listen to. I think Beaton may be more enjoyable this way than on the printed page, the village of Loch Dubh comes alive. Hamish Macbeth is sweet and sincere, I would love to think that policemen like him exist! Also comparing the Highland Scots culture to what I know of I...more
Hamish Macbeth, policeman in a small village in Scotland, has two murders on his hands. People in the small village keep secrets to protect their frinds, but these secrets hinder the case. Hamish is finding he misses his former girlfriend Priscilla who appears to have an admirer. The hated Dustman (garbage collector) turns out to be a blackmailer... wife beater. He is murdered. Typical easy to read mystery with Scottish characters and human errors in judgement. Like an Agatha Christie novel. gay
More wonderful Hamish Macbeth from M.C. Beaton. She's got a formula, and she's sticking to it. If you like the formula she established in the first 16 books, you'll like it in this, the 17th entry in the series.

As far as the Hamish MacBeth books go, there's little to make this stand out except possibly the general absence of Detective Chief Inspector Blair, who is sidelined for most of the book with medical problems.

Looking forward to the next one, Death of a Celebrity.
Wilde Sky
The Lochdubh dustman gets promoted to environmental officer (part of a push to make the town more environmentally friendly) and starts using his powers to cause problems for the locals. Soon events take a nasty turn and Hamish Macbeth has to investigate.

Another enjoyable tale, but the plot was a bit lumbering (the catching of the criminal was a bit far-fetched - even for a work of fiction) and the end was quite depressing.

Not one of the best Hamish Macbeth mysteries, but OK.

I enjoy the simple prose of Beaton's books. She develops uncomplicated characters who remain consistent with a remote rural lifestyle. Hamish McBeth is a likeable policeman with altruistic values, a strong work ethic and community orientation, and a willingness to oppose official policies and hierarchies. He has never married and his needs are simple. In this story, two murders are solved and villagers return to their long established way of living.
Fredrick Danysh
Sergeant Hamish Macbeth must deal with the murders of the garbage collector and a small shep farmer in the Scottish village of Lochdubh. Complicating the situation is the fact that a new hotel is threatening the existance of a hotel owned by his ex-fiance's father and the constable working under him is more interested in cooking and the widow of the garbage collector. This a typical British crime mystery in the mode of Agatha Christie.
My mom kept telling me to read this series of Scottish mysteries. As far as mysteries go, it was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. I'm sure I'll read another one when I'm in the mood, but I think you definitely have to be in a who-done-it mentality when reading one or else you will be bored. It would be interesting to see if some of the same characters are in the other books though.
Susan Johnson
Another enjoyable romp with Hamish in the Highlands as he solves his newest mystery. A councilwomen decides Lochdubh should go green. It's a strain on the town keeping everything separate and the dustman gets airs. His dead body is found in a rubbish barrel. Along the way, there's good cooking, a romance, domestic violence halted and more. What more could you want in a pleasurable afternoon read?
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 77 78 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Mrs. Pargeter's Package (Mrs. Pargeter, #3)
  • Evan Help Us (Constable Evans, #2)
  • Sick of Shadows (An Edwardian Murder Mystery #3)
  • Styx and Stones (Daisy Dalrymple, #7)
  • Murder in Volume (Megan Clark, #1)
  • Holy Terror In The Hebrides (Dorothy Martin, #3)
  • Pentecost Alley (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #16)
Like her on Facebook!

Learn more on her website!

Marion Chesney Gibbons
aka: Ann Fairfax, Jennie Tremaine, Helen Crampton, Marion Chesney, Charlotte Ward, Sarah Chester.

Marion Chesney was born on 1936 in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, and started her first job as a bookseller in charge of the fiction department in John Smith & Sons Ltd. While bookselling, by chance, she got an offer from the Scottis...more
More about M.C. Beaton...
The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1) Death Of A Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1) Agatha Raisin and the Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin, #2) Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2) Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3)

Share This Book