Lost Books and Old Bones: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
3rd in Series
Setting – Scotland
Minotaur Books (April 3, 2018)
Hardcover: 320 pages
Kindle ASIN: B075JLD7L7
Delaney Nichols, originally of Kansas but settling happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, works at the Cracked Spine in the heart of town. The shop is a place filled with curiosities and surprises tucked into every shelf, and it’s Delaney’s job to research the rare tomes and obscure artifacts that people come to buy and sell. When her new friends, also students at the medical school, come to the shop to sell a collection of antique medical books, Delaney knows she’s stumbled across a rare and important find indeed. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister, agrees to buy the multivolume set, perhaps even to keep for his own collection.
But not long after the sale, one of Delaney’s new friends is found murdered in the alley behind the Cracked Spine, and she wonders if there is some nefarious connection between the origin of these books and the people whose hands they fell into. Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. During her investigation, Delaney she finds some old scalpels in the bookshop’s warehouse—she and discovers that they belonged to a long-dead doctor whose story and ties to the past crimes of Burke and Hare might be connected to the present-day murder. It’s all Delaney can do to race to solve this crime before time runs out and she ends up in a victim on the slab herself.
Delaney Nichols is feeling more at home in Edinburgh. She has fallen in love, made new friends and is feeling confident about her job at The Cracked Spine. Her friends are all in medical school and recently brought a box of medical books into the shop hoping to sell them quickly. The owner of The Cracked Spine, Edwin MacAlister, buys them thinking they very rare.
Delaney and her friends have an unusual night out in a pub where Delaney meets one of their professors. Her friends tell her the man is “odd” and Delaney has to agree, he is definitely hiding something and maybe her friends are hiding something too. Then the next day she learns one of her friends was murdered behind her store. She is questioned by the police and feels there is much more to the story behind the young woman’s death. She starts doing some investigating on her own. Items in her very own research area could play a major part in helping her solve the case.
This is a complex mystery with many facets that all twist together to solve and help make sense of what led to a young woman’s death. It also has its share of eerie moments. So fitting for a story set in a shop full of curiosities, I loved how history and historical items are what really drove this story.
Delaney is a fabulous protagonist. She has a curious nature and loves to do research, exactly what she needs to sleuth out the truth. I loved her trips to the university, library, and museum to try to find the answers she needed. It was so much fun to tag along as she made each new connection or discovery. I also enjoy the way her relationship with pub owner Tom is evolving. She also has an extraordinary group of people around to support her. Her boss, coworkers, and landlords have really become her Scotland family.
Ms. Shelton does an excellent job of storytelling. She whisks us away to Scotland with such ease. I have never been there but her words make it very easy to imagine each and every place her words take us.
I have completely escaped into all three books in this series. They can all stand alone but I recommend you read them all in order so you can see Delaney’s growth from her arrival from Kansas to her life now in Scotland, plus the stories are fantastic reads.
About The Author
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
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