The Stolen Letter: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
5th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Publisher: Minotaur Books (April 7, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Kindle ASIN: B07XX1JBJS
Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.
Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.
But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.
Delaney Nichols has returned from her honeymoon and can’t wait to get back to work at The Cracked Spine. But she is waylaid and she collides with a woman carrying a large stack of books. As she helps the woman. Mary, pick up the books she realizes the woman could be her doppelganger. Their resemblance is remarkable and the woman was also on her way to The Cracked Spine. Mary tells Delaney that they both resemble Mary Queen of Scots and that she firmly believes she is a reincarnation of the Scottish queen. Delaney is totally confused and taken aback by this but she is in for another even bigger shock when she arrives at her beloved bookshop. It seems the city council of Edinburgh is closing down the shop for unknown code violations. No one can even remember an inspector coming into the shop or receiving notification of any violations. Delaney jumps right into action trying to save the store.
She does accept a dinner invitation from Mary where she meets her husband, Henry. The next day he dies in a car explosion and Delaney finds out he was the member of the council behind the pressure to close The Cracked Spine. This leads her to believe her meeting with Mary was not coincidental at all. She is going to do everything to save the bookshop and be sure the right person is booked for murder too!
I do love the way Paige Shelton tells a story. They are so easy to escape right into.
This time we see Delaney get fierce when her dream job is in jeopardy, in fact, all of the characters really step up. Owner of the shop, Edwin MacAlister, is a little overwhelmed at first but does rally when Delaney makes it clear his help is truly needed and he pulls in a big gun. It was truly cool the way the story played out.
This author’s descriptive writing is just wonderful. Vivid images overtake my mind and take me right to Scotland allowing me to follow right in Delaney’s footsteps. From her amateur sleuthing to settling into to married life and getting ready to move into their new home. She is always able to give her stories a unique twist making it stand out in this genre.
The Stolen Letter is a great addition to this series. The characters are engaging and genuine. The mystery is twisty and entertaining. It checks all my cozy boxes to make it a Perfect Escape!
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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
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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.”