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.