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Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth, #4)
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Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth #4)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,686 ratings  ·  148 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)
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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
Una Tiers
A fun, light read. Beaton incorporates murder with the off and on romance of Hamish and Priscilla.
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."
Sandra Jones
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
Three Stars

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
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
Luffy Monkey D.
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
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
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.
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
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.
"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

"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 Lo
C.J. Prince
Nov 17, 2013 C.J. Prince rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to C.J. by: Barbara Gobus
I'm hooked on Constable Hamish Macbeth, so watch for more five stars. If you need a book, or rather a series of books to pull your mind away from the terrors of real life, take a trip to the Highlands with M.C. Beaton's irresistible books. "Death of a Perfect Wife" is #4 in the series.

Constable Hamish Macbeth is moving up in the world as summer arrives in Lockdubh, Scotland, for he's now driving a new Land Rover.

How long will Hamish Macbeth yearn for Priscilla Halburton-Smythe? She arrives at he
It's hard to believe these delightful light mysteries of a north Scotland town and their village bobby, Hamish Macbeth, consist (as we speak) of a 28-book set; given that prolific author Beaton has another series (Agatha Raisin) with a similar number of novels. We were pleased to discover “Perfect Wife” is just the fourth of these tales – hard to believe its publication date of 1986 spans back a quarter century.

In the story, a new couple comes to town and is trying to convert a modest cottage in
Jules Jones
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
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Enjoyable, as the Hamish Macbeth books tend to be, but certainly in the cozy mystery genre. The psychological insights seem keener than in a few other books I've read in the series. Most of the plots are put in motion by the arrival of an "incomer" to the highland town of Lochdubh and this is no exception. The effect this new couple has on the village, especially the wives and then, by extension, their mates is clever.
A good example of the Hamish Macbeth books.
Yvann S
Summary: Hamish Macbeth is quite pleased with the quiet life of a parochial policeman… until a pushy housewife arrives from London and starts reforming the town. No wonder she turns up dead – but who did it?

This meets the definition of “cosy crime” exactly for me. A pleasant, polite, short (192 pages) murder mystery with a few personalities but no particular danger. PG-rated, for once, which was a nice change!

I was a bit disappointed by the style – it was all a bit simplistic for me. The charact
The main spotlight (on a regular) is on Angela Brodie, IMO, who had been a rare unconventional and sympathetically described woman in her other books as well, and even her husband's brief assholeness is feministically converted. I had forgotten even the marriage of the rawredhanded fisher-wife got a ray of hope, not just the bitterness.. While I despaired over critics seeing "black comedy" where there seemed to be nothing but mean-spirited retellings of daily bothers, Hamish remains on top, the ...more
Nathalie S
Loved this Hamish mystery. There is a very tender scene towards the end of the book where Hamish finds his friend, Angela who is married to the village doctor, lost on the moor. To make a long story short, Angela has found out her husband of many years has filed for divorce. She is so distraught that she leaves home and wanders around aimlessly. Hamish, very tenderly and lovingly, wipes her tears, comforts her and brings her home. As I have said before, if Hamish were real, I would want him as m ...more
An Odd1
**** "Death of a Perfect Wife" (H4) by M.C. Beaton is comfortable to read again. I holiday in the scenery and smile at the eccentricities, except ghostly visions. Finally Scottish Lochdubh village bobby Hamish Macbeth lets go of his long fix on cool blonde aristocratic Priscilla after several dates and a dreamy kiss; she misses his attention after she loses him. The fine clear weather gives way to damp, flies and midges, so I remembered that the hanging insect strips were poisonous. The gloomy o ...more
Helene Harrison
ISBN? – 9781472105233

Publishing - 2013 by Constable and Robinson (first published 1988)

Genre? - Mystery / Crime

Characters? - Hamish Macbeth / Priscilla Halburton-Smythe / Angela Brodie / Dr Brodie / Trixie Thomas / Paul Thomas / Mrs Wellington / Angus MacDonald / Inspector Blair / Jimmy Anderson

Setting? - Lochdubh (Scotland)

Series? - Hamish Macbeth #4

Title? - Trixie Thomas was supposedly a perfect wife but was murdered anyway

Character Analysis? - The only thing that ruined it for me was that Ham
Ah Hamish MacBeth-- who loves his little highland village more than success and fame...I love these cozy mysteries, more for the people than the plots.

From the Publisher

"Offbeat, utterly endearing . . ." Booklist.
A Hamish Macbeth Mystery.
When Paul and Trixie Thomas move to the village of Lochdubh, Trixie jumps into things with a vengeance. She organizes an anti-smoking league, promotes vegetarian cooking, even starts a birdwatching society. It's too much . . . too perfect. It doesn't feel like
It's been a while since I visited with the folks in the quaint Scottish village of Lochdubh, and it seemed like a reunion with Constable Hamish Macbeth was in order for me. While this book's plot won't leave you gasping and turning pages with one hand while reaching for your heart medication with the other, it is a nice read about a domineering perfect wife who moves into the otherwise quiet village and profoundly disturbs the order of things to such a degree that some of the men and a couple of ...more
M. C. Beaton is her usual hysterical self with Hamish MacBeth as the Scottish policeman (bobby) who would much rather go fishing or kiss Priscilla than work on a crime but murder happens to Trixie Thomas who has put the community in an uproar over her many causes. She has plagued the wives of the town to stand up for many causes and not just be run over by their husbands.
But all is well because Hamish gets to kiss Priscilla and fishing goes on. And Trixie is no longer!!

M.C. Beaton is a premier c
Diane Heath
Having started reading Hamish Macbeth books in the middle/later stages of the series it is interesting to read earlier books. A new couple move into Lochdubh and Trixie creates havoc and winds up dead. This earlier book introduces Superintendent Daviot and explains some of the backstory of Hamish and Priscilla.
Highland policeman Hamish Macbeth is in action again, this time solving the murder of a newly arrived lady in Lochdubh, while also feeling envious of the lady he takes a shine to arriving back in the village with a new boyfriend. The new arrival was liked by some hated by others thus providing plenty of suspects for the murder.

The girl he admires with her boyfriend unsettles him but not at the expense of his solving the crime ... and in the end the romance between his distant lady love and her n
Trixie Thomas is the perfect wife, the perfect friend, the perfect neighbor... Isn't it funny somebody doesn't think so enough to kill her? I have to say, I was looking forward to her getting murdered because I couldn't like her on so many levels; am I really suppose to think of the murderer: "Good on you"! but I kind of did. The ending wasn't mind shattering, I only suspected one person and (what a surprise!) it was the killer.

What I really liked about this is the different relationships affect
Actual rating: 1½

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 los
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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
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Other Books in the Series

Hamish Macbeth (1 - 10 of 31 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)
The Quiche of Death (Agatha Raisin, #1) Death Of A Gossip (Hamish Macbeth, #1) The Vicious Vet (Agatha Raisin, #2) Agatha Raisin and the Potted Gardener (Agatha Raisin, #3) Death of a Cad (Hamish Macbeth, #2)

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“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
“The trouble with being a policeman in a small, normally law-abiding village was that you did not strike fear or terror into the heart of anyone.” 0 likes
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