Paige Shelton has a new series, The Scottish Bookstore Mysteries. The first book, The Cracked Spine, will be released March 29, 2016. I was blessed to receive an advanced copy. Let me tell you about it…
The Cracked Spine
Setting – Edinburgh, Scotland
Minotaur Books (March 29, 2016)
Hardcover: 320 pages
E-Book ASIN: B0151U7X3A
In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn’t know much about what she’s gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime. Edwin has promised that she’ll be working with “a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes,” and Delaney can’t wait to get started.
When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at The Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An unexpected bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his piercing eyes, and a rolling brogue — and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.
But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact — a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays — goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it’s connected to the tragic death, all without getting harmed herself.
I am in awe of Delaney Nichols. She answers an unusual ad and within days is leaving Kansas behind and is off to Edinburgh, Scotland and The Cracked Spine. The Cracked Spine is an “humble book and rare manuscript shop”. Truly though it is an amazing place full of nooks, secret spaces, library ladders and books, so many wonderful books.
Edwin MacAlister owns the place and the man responsible for hiring “Delaney from Kansas in America”. He also employs young Hamlet, an aspiring actor with a troubled past, and Rosie, who takes her little dog everywhere she goes. We also meet Elias, the taxi driver, who picked up Delaney at the airport. He introduces her to his wife and they all quickly become friends. We also met Tom, a handsome bartender at a local pub.
Before Edwin can even share all the plans he has for Delaney in her new position tragedy strikes. His sister, Jenny, is murdered and a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s Plays disappears. With a little help from her new friends Delaney finds herself traveling all over the city tracking down clues trying to find the folio and a killer. This is definitely something Delaney can’t write home about or she may be back in Kansas faster than she can click her heels together.
I knew Paige Shelton was a fantastic storyteller from her Farmer’s Market Mysteries and Country Cooking School Mysteries so it is no surprise that I love, love, love, this story. Complete with the Scottish accents, words, and phrases these characters come alive in these pages. She also paints a clear picture of The Cracked Spine itself and the beautiful city with its castles, alleyway and stores and shops. I was laughing out loud as she fought to get used to the traffic and the cars “on-the-other-side-of-the-road thing”.
The missing folio and the murder may or may not connected so the suspects were very widespread. Could she have been killed by someone she knew? Someone who had nothing to with The Cracked Spine? Or was it a collector that would do anything to obtain Shakespeare’s plays?
Through Shelton’s writing I was able to completely escape to Scotland right along with Delaney and all the new people she meets. Delaney is a strong woman ready for an adventure and I am delighted to accompany her on her journey. What a impressive debut for this series! This story is a pure treasure!
Paige Shelton is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She’s lived lots of places but currently resides in Arizona. Find out more at www.paigeshelton.com
This book is available to be pre-ordered. Just click the cover below.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”