In the dreary outpost of Cnothan Hamish misses his friendly police station at Lochdubh. A man is murdered by dumping him in a holding tank of lobsters, who do what they do and pick his bones clean. The detective chief inspector wants it all hushed up, as the lobsters have been shipped off to top restaurants. Hamish has to dodge his superior as he tries to solve the mystery, and dodge a dark-haired girl who is out to seduce him.
The most hated man in the most dour town in Scotland is sleeping with the fish, or - more accurately - has been dumped into a tank filled with crustaceans. All that remains of the murdered victim are his bones. But once the lobsters have been shipped off to Britain's best restaurants, the whole affair quickly lands on the plate of Constable Hamish Macbeth. Exiled to the dreary outpost of Cnothan, Macbeth sorely misses his beloved Lochdubh, but before he can head back home he has to contend with a detective chief inspector who wants the murder hushed up, a dark-haired lassie who is out to seduce him, and a killer who has made mincemeat of his last victim, and will no doubt strike again . . .