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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  ·  3,118 ratings  ·  174 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."
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
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
Beth Revers
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.
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.
I'm glad I have 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.
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
Kathy Jackson
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
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
I really like Hamish & the mysteries, but I hate Priscilla with a passion. She doesn't believe that Hamish can be happy where he's at in his life because she's a flake that isn't happy with her own life. If I ever quit reading these books, it is solely because I can't stand reading about Priscilla anymore. Please tell me that she meets the same fate as Alex from the tv show (who is based on her).
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.
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
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, 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
another friendly, light read. I might be hooked on these for 'downtempo' reading.
Kris - My Novelesque Life

"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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I'm still not sure what I thought of this book. To me, the beginning dragged on and on, which I know was setting up the scene for the murder. It might have been more interesting if I started with the first in the series and already knew some of the characters. Then as it progressed, it picked up a bit. The tone was a bit strange though. I definitely did not guess the ending or the murderer (view spoiler). I migh ...more
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
It gets a 3-star rating simply cuz it gave me what I expected and what I needed at that moment: words that didn't need any real processing while taking me out of myself just enough. Simple read. Not feel-good though. Some rather unappealing-to-a-feminist views (which didn't really contribute much, in a good way, to the story) occasionally permeated my rather sleep-addled brain (blame the long weekend), though I eventually decided it wasn't worth it and let it go.
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
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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 32 books)
  • A Highland Christmas
  • 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)

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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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