Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth, #4)” as Want to Read:
Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth, #4)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth #4)

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,610 Ratings  ·  211 Reviews
Although the Thomases were not initially liked by villagers, Trixie Thomas had become a model of domestic efficiency--the perfect wife. So it came as a great shock to everyone when she was found dead--to everyone but police inspector Hamish Macbeth.
Mass Market Paperback, 149 pages
Published August 28th 1990 by Fawcett (first published 1989)
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 Perfect Wife, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Death of a Perfect Wife

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Neuropsychologists tell us that humans reach their mental peak around age 27. Perhaps that explains my delight in the books of MC Beaton, since clearly I passed that milestone many moons ago. They certainly make no intellectual demands, nor are they filled with clever literary repartee, nor are they filled with obscure footnotes or references. They're just fun and the Hamish MacBeth series, the meanderings of a local Scottish bobby are (read with particular aplomb and accent by Davina Porter)a g ...more
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Greg Z
Mar 23, 2016 Greg Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Sometimes, Macbeth just wants to slug the bad guy instead of bothering with handcuffs and paperwork. So he does. This series is a blast of fresh air within the cozy/police procedural genres.
Una Tiers
A fun, light read. Beaton incorporates murder with the off and on romance of Hamish and Priscilla.
Sep 03, 2009 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
One day I shall go to the Scottish Highlands, and there had darn well be a murder, because Beaton has led me to suspect that there is murder EVERYWHERE! I truly, truly loved this one, where a born reformer comes to town to open a bed-and-breakfast, and begins to make over the housewives of Lochdubh. Angela Brodie, the doctor's disorganized, bookish wife, becomes her most devout disciple, and even the even-keeled doctor wants to murder this "perfect wife."
Beth Revers
Aug 04, 2015 Beth Revers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mys-read
I have been enjoying this series. This one did a nice job of really clearly showing how Hamish feels about his desire to stay where he is and not be pushed into an upward mobility he does not want. Interesting characters and a nice mystery. Lots of involvement with the village, good spurts of humor that are character inspired. Growth in relationships too.
Aug 11, 2016 Selah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I gave Hamish Macbeth a second chance. I didn't love the first book, but I'm enjoying the rest of the series. I want to move on to book five, but I'm concerned I'll burn out on the series.
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
The trouble begins when Highland Constable Hamish MacBeth's beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe returns from London . . . with a boyfriend on her arm. Then a paragon of housewifery named Trixie Thomas moves into Lochdubh with her lapdog husband in tow. Crying poor, Trixie is cadging furniture and household goods from the locals, supposedly to furnish "The Laurels", in which she and husband Paul are starting a lodging house. But then why are none of the donated items (and she is very choosy about ...more
Jules Jones
Jul 13, 2012 Jules Jones rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fourth in the Hamish Macbeth mystery series. I've read the first two, and skipped the third because the shop didn't have it when I picked up 1, 2, 4 and 5. I have no intention of looking for the third, because this is the last of the series I'll bother reading.[return][return]As with the other books, this has the lazy, amiable village policeman having to deal with murder coming to his otherwise sleepy village. In this case, Hamish spots Trixie Thomas as a potential murder victim fairly on, thank ...more
Jan 26, 2016 M. rated it liked it
This is my first foray into the print version of Hamish MacBeth (having enjoyed the BBC television version). The book was an airy, enjoyable read.

The true light of the book is the lead character, a Scottish constable whose competency threatens him with promotion and departure from his beloved village of Lochdubh. The character is extremely likeable. The other stars of the show are the wonderful Highland setting and the eccentric characters that populate it. Beaton writes of a place we would all
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
Actual rating: 1

I used to love anything M.C. Beaton. I guess my tastes have evolved because whenever I read an Agatha Raisin or Hamish Macbeth mystery these days I tend to find them boring and uneventful. I don’t mind light reading once in a while this is just too light!

This instalment of the Hamish Macbeth series is not too bad, it’s just that it’s not fun or exciting. At all. I guess the whole “quaint little Scottish village with its quaint Scottish inhabitants” aspect of the series has lost
Apr 01, 2015 Cindy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Like the series: Good plots, definite and consistent cast. No graphics, gore, or language, not Christian (later novels relate this). Re-read them when tired of harder sort. Well-narrated by Sean Grindell. Recommended.
Jun 25, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hamish's friend Angela has a personality melt-down due to the influence of a so-called "perfect wife" who challenges her to discard her bookish way of life and her haphazard housekeeping methods. The old Angela disappears and is replaced by a compulsive, cause-oriented, health-mad cook, permed within an inch of her life, who banishes her animals to the back yard and refuses to cook her husband's favorite unhealthy meals. Turns out the perfect wife is a bit of a crook. We're all on Angela's side ...more
Thalia Papadakis
I have an affinity for cozy mysteries. They generally aren't written in pursuit of a spot on the bestseller list; rather, cozies are written to give the reader a sense of comfort and calm (ironically, by way of murder).

My mom read cozies to escape her three eccentric young daughters and grumpy husband: one daughter, the artist, painted five-foot tall green flowers on the side of the freshly painted rental when she was four; the adventurous daughter asked which way north was, and was found by ne
Kathy Jackson
May 16, 2015 Kathy Jackson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK yes, I read another Hamish Macbeth book. Get over it. :-) This one's description above says Priscilla had a fiancé on her arm but that isn't correct - the man was merely someone she thought she was in love with, they were not engaged.

I have to say, I probably would have wanted this Trixie Thomas dead too if I had met someone like her in real life. Talk about a meddler! Beaton does a wonderful job making Trixie seem like a halfway nice woman all the while she was really causing trouble in hou
Feb 27, 2015 Luffy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having seen the title of the book of today, it came to me that for once we'll be having a truly nice person as the deceased. I anticipated, and I sat back, began to read, and wondered how this change would be handled. But, maybe the author just wants to people her books with victims that are only getting their just dessert. I adjusted my expectations and was satiated from the moment the perfect wife keeled over to the end.

The story reminded me of another series starring a Scottish cop. That's
Jul 04, 2016 Judy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light quick read. Just the thing for recovering from surgery.
Jun 06, 2016 Loretta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If there are any who have wanted a way to get rid of the Martha Stewart-like housewives out there then this is the book for you! I would guess that Ms. Beaton is such one of those people.

In this story it takes just one new arrival to Lochdubh to cause all the lonely and bored housewives take up following an English "Martha Stewart" and their husbands to wish their source of inspiration dead. And, Hamish, who isn't even married, doesn't like her either! However, when she is found dead Hamish sus
Tracy Enright
This is the fourth book in the series which follows the desperate attempts of Lochdubh police officer Hamish Macbeth to solve crimes without getting himself promoted or transferred to a post outside of his beloved village. In this book, newcomer Trixie Thomas arrives from England determined to start up a hotel in the village and to make her mark. She is a domineering personality and the men of Lochdubh are less than happy at the influence Trixie is having on their wives as they find themselves s ...more
Apr 17, 2012 Marcia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, library, x2012
Actual Rating: ***1/2

Well, he's certainly no Armand Gamache, but I am growing quite fond of that lanky red head, Hamish Macbeth. In this book four of the series, the seemingly perfect wife comes to the village of Lochdubh, and the mayhem begins as one by one the formerly content wives of the village succumb to her "suggestions." As usual, Hamish is at odds with his superiors; and, as usual, Hamish wins the day.
Mar 10, 2015 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of Beaton's earlier Hamish Macbeth books. Having read later books in this series it was interesting to see how the author has developed Hamish's character--a man who loves his small village and surrounding area, cares for the inhabitants in spite of their many flaws, and solves the occasional murder. In this book, a couple purchases a large house that has been empty for some time, contends they have little money, are on the dole and need furnishings for the house so they can open it as a Bed ...more
Jun 15, 2014 Carole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books-read
When an English couple moves to Lochdubh saying that they are on the dole and have moved to a long-deserted house to start a bed and breakfast to help make their way, the residents don't know what changes are about to happen to their peaceful hamlet. The wife goes around to their homes begging for any unwanted furniture to use in her bed and breakfast, but strangely the pieces she begs for are older pieces (as in valuable antiques). Hamish finds out later that she is selling these pieces to deal ...more
Ah, Hamish just wants to be a simple village bobby, but people keep getting murdered, usually incomers, and Hamish keeps solving the cases. Incomer Trixie creates chaos in the village homes changing diets and "stealing" antiques. Plenty of people have reason to kill her, as Hamish is well aware. This time instead of involving Detective Inspector Blair, from Strathbane, he solves it himself. The head honcho wants to bump him up to the city. Hamish turns him down, as he is truly happy being a vill ...more
The Hobbit
Jan 24, 2016 The Hobbit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Trixie and Paul Thomas buy a rundown house in Lochdubh, planning to open a B&B. Trixie is almost proud to announce they have no money and asks her neighbors for unwanted furniture - she is very picky in what she chooses! Then Trixie reforms all the housewives in the village, beginning a bird watching society, supporting bats, banning nuclear weapons. All the women are under Trixie's spell, but Angela Brodie, the doctor's wife, has become a carbon copy of Trixie. Not only does Angela dress li ...more
Hamish Macbeth, the laid-back constable of Lochdubh, Scotland, has a new Land Rover to drive and a Highland summer to savor, but as fast as rain rolls in from the loch, his happy life goes to hell in a handbasket. The trouble begins when his beloved Priscilla Halburton-Smythe returns from London . . . with a fiancé on her arm. His miseries multiply when clouds of midges (the diabolical Scottish mosquito) descend on the town. Then a paragon of housewifery named Trixie Thomas moves into Lochdubh w ...more
The Flooze
May 14, 2016 The Flooze rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable. It's a delight witnessing all the ways Hamish takes care of his neighbours - whether through comforting words or by giving them the kick up the arse they deserve.

It's also entertaining to discover how he continues to avoid promotion, despite his proven ability to uncover the truth.

The murder mystery relies as much on known personality quirks as it does on physical clues. I was a bit disappointed it took Hamish so long to suss out the How of the killing. The answer to Why, however
Oct 02, 2010 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
I really enjoy these books. Trixie moves to the Highlands and manages to upset a lot of the menfolk- but seems to get the women under her spell and embracing healthier life styles. She is found murdered and Hamish has to find out who had a motive.
Jan 06, 2014 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The weather turns blustery the day Mr. and Mrs. Thomas move into the sleepy Scottish Highlands village of Lochdubh, and other changes soon follow. Unemployed and English, the Thomases already have two strikes again them: The villagers have never liked newcomers. Only lonely Angela Brodie, the doctor's wife, welcomes the attentions of Trixie Thomas.

"Trixie, a model of domestic efficiency, turns Angela's life around--organizing her house, teaching her to cook nourishing vegetarian meals (much to
#4 in the Hamish Macbeth series.

Hamish Macbeth series - With the arrival of Trixie and Paul Thomas from England, life in the tranquil village becomes chaotic, as brash Trixie establishes the Thomas house as headquarters for militant feminism. A ``perfect wife,'' Trixie subjugates her husband Paul and teaches the local women to follow her example. Obeying Trixie's dicta, the wives begin serving their spouses health food instead of ``harmful'' hearty meals, and campaign vigorously against smoking.
Jul 28, 2015 Alan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hamish Macbeth, local police constable solves another murder in his village in the Scottish Highlands. You always know who is going to be murdered in this series because the author, MC Beaton, always paints the person as an ultra-annoying character who almost begs to be bumped off by any and all of the people they annoy. I enjoyed this book more than previous ones because many of the storylines ended happily and Hamish was portrayed as the only truly happy man in the whole of Scotland. I've been ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Evan and Elle  (Constable Evans, #4)
  • Hasty Death (Edwardian Murder Mysteries, #2)
  • Mrs. Jeffries and the Yuletide Weddings (Mrs. Jeffries, #26)
  • Dying for Dinner (A Cooking Class Mystery, #4)
  • Flight of a Witch (Felse, #3)
  • The Winter Garden Mystery (Daisy Dalrymple, #2)
  • Reservations for Murder (A Lighthouse Inn Mystery, #2)
  • Night Frost (Inspector Frost, #3)
Like her on Facebook!

Learn more on her website!

Watch a video of Marion discussing the casting of the AGATHA RAISIN Christmas special

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
More about M.C. Beaton...

Other Books in the Series

Hamish Macbeth (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • Death of a Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1)
  • Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)
  • Death of an Outsider (Hamish Macbeth, #3)
  • Death of a Hussy (Hamish Macbeth, #5)
  • Death of a Snob (Hamish Macbeth, #6)
  • Death of a Prankster (Hamish Macbeth, #7)
  • Death of a Glutton (Hamish Macbeth, #8)
  • Death of a Travelling Man (Hamish Macbeth, #9)
  • Death of a Charming Man (Hamish Macbeth, #10)
  • Death of a Nag (Hamish Macbeth, #11)

Share This Book

“No one could remain an atheist with larks around, he thought dreamily.” 1 likes
“I am silent in the club I am silent in the pub, I am silent on a bally peak in Darien; For I stuff away for life Shoving peas in with a knife, Because I am at heart a Vegetarian. No more the milk of cows Shall pollute my private house Than the milk of the wild mares of the Barbarian; I will stick to port and sherry, For they are so very, very, So very, very, very Vegetarian. —G. K. CHESTERTON” 0 likes
More quotes…