Death of a Perfect Wife

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

M.C. Breton, who divides her time between the highlands and life among the sassenachs, returns to Lochdubh and its village constable Hamish Macbeth for the fourth time. Police Constable Hamish Macbeth is a contented man--he has his friends, his sheep, hens, and geese, and his passion for Priscilla Halburton-Smythe. Admittedly, the last is largely unrequited, but then Hammish is a patient man.

Unfortunately for Constable Macbeth, however, his placid existence is once again disturbed by homicide. The arrival in Lochdubh of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas to open a bed-and-breakfast operation is a matter of public debate--newcomers are seldom welcomed in country villages--but no one could begin to predict the eventual consequences. Trixie Thomas is determined to drag Lochdubh into the twentieth century, complete with an anti-smoking campaign, protection of the environment, and a general commitment to domestic efficiency. Needless to say, her interference with the rhythms and customs of village life generates universal agreement by many in the community that life would be vastly improved if Trixie were to be permanently removed.

Thus, when she is found dead, and poison is identified as the agent of that condition, Hamish does not want for suspects. Moreover, the crime brings Chief Detective Inspector Blair back to Lochdubh. Inspector Blair does not like Constable Macbeth--he finds him too clever by half. Furthermore, Blair is disgruntled by Hamish’s success...

(The entire section is 404 words.)