There are new arrivals in Lochdubh, the Highlands village where police officer Hamish MacBeth represents law and order (Death of a Cad), and Hamish senses trouble. Paul and Trixie Thomas, English and pleading poverty, have taken over a decaying Victorian villa and plan to take in paying guests. Paul, obese and good-natured, seems totally dependent on Trixie--a handsome dynamo into health food, clean houses, and scrounging the neighborhood for objects to see at a profit, unknown to their charitable donors. But Trixie's energetic espousal of a variety of causes--from antismoking to saving bats--rouses the placid women of the village, alienates the men, and upsets old, established relationships. The town's Dr. Brodie--a fan of junk food, cheap wine and cigarettes, who loves his wife Angela despite her careless housekeeping and terrible cooking--hardly recognizes wife and home when Trixie gets through with them, driving him to thoughts of divorce. Other households suffer upheavals, and so Hamish isn't too shocked when Trixie is found dead of arsenic poisoning. His obnoxious superior, Inspector Blair, promptly arrests John Parker, a boarder at the Thomas house who turns out to be Trixie's ex-husband, but Blair is way off track. In his easygoing fashion, Hamish winkles out the true culprit and also discovers that his own longtime obsession with aristocratic, ambitious Priscilla Halburton-Smythe has been vanquished. The mildly intriguing puzzle takes a back seat, as usual, to Hamish's quiet strength and lively sketches of local characters and village ways. Hamish and Lochdubh continue to charm in a gentle entertainment.