The Burning Pages: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
7th in Series
Setting – Edinburgh, Scotland
Minotaur Books (April 5, 2022)
Hardcover : 304 pages
ISBN-10 : 1250789486
ISBN-13 : 978-1250789488
Kindle ASIN : B092T9PSLR
Delaney Nichols faces off against an elusive arsonist in the seventh Scottish Bookshop Mystery, The Burning Pages, from beloved author Paige Shelton…
One winter’s night, bookseller Delaney Nichols and her coworker Hamlet are invited to a Burns Night dinner, a traditional Scottish celebration of the poet Robert Burns. She’s perplexed by the invitation but intrigued. The dinner takes place at Burns House itself, a tiny cottage not far from the Cracked Spine bookshop but well hidden. There, it becomes clear that Delaney and Hamlet were summoned in an attempt to make amends between Edwin, Delaney’s boss, and one of the other invitees, who suspected Edwin for burning down his own bookshop twenty years ago after a professional disagreement.
But after the dinner, there’s another fire. The Burns House itself is burned to the ground, and this time there’s a body among the ruins. When Hamlet is accused of the crime, Delaney rushes to prove his innocence, only to discover that he might actually have a plausible motive…
Robert Burns is known as the national poet of Scotland. Burns Night is celebrated around the world with Burns Suppers on the poet’s birthday. This year Delaney Nichols is invited to a local Burns Night Supper being held at the Burns House and she takes her friend and coworker Hamlet along as her guest. Unsure why this small group offered her the invitation she and Hamlet arrive cautiously at the event with Elias waiting outside in the car in case they wish to make a hasty exit. This is exactly what happens when they learn their invitation was only extended to make an effort to get their boss and another member of the group to reconcile a long-running feud. The member thought Edwin was the person responsible for burning down his bookshop twenty years ago and still believes so today.
Later that night a dead body is found when a fire burns the Burns House to the ground. Hamlet was seen back at the house shortly before the fire and becomes the prime suspect in the blaze and the murder. Delaney soon is on the case to prove his innocence but when some secrets are revealed she sees that is not going to be an easy task and she may need some extra help.
All my favorite characters return and they are joined by Delaney’s fabulous brother Wyatt in the seventh installment of this wonderful series. These core characters all continue to grow but the focus this time is truly on Hamlet when Delaney finds something surprising on the dark side of The Cracked Spine.
Delaney’s discovery is twisted up with the Robert Burns celebration and Edwin’s past connections to the local group. Readers are introduced to the small group including high-profile defense attorney Clarinda Creston and it is clear the woman is hiding something. To clear Hamlet Delaney must investigate the past and more twists and secrets take the story in several directions. I recall the moment the light bulb when off in my head as to who the real guilty party was but I wasn’t able to nail down everything until the very end. This author does an excellent job of misdirection.
Let’s face it, Delaney has a dream job in a dream location. I was so happy she was able to share it with her brother Wyatt and that he was able to help her in her sleuthing even if it meant just staying at the bookshop and keeping Rosie company. I loved the way they found a fast friendship and the way he found a place quickly within the group. I am so happy he agreed to visit again soon.
The Burning Pages was a sensational read. I love the way Paige Shelton tells a story and I really enjoyed the Robert Burns theme. She penned a complex story with multiple mysteries that kept me totally engaged from beginning to end. Her descriptions took me right in the middle of every scene and into Delaney’s exciting life. Again, the author has given me A Perfect Escape. Until next year, I can hardly wait.
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About The Author
PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood, as her father’s job as a football coach took her family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City. She thought she’d only stay a couple of years, but instead, she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family moved to Arizona. She writes the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series and the Alaska Wild series. Her other series include the Farmers’ Market, Cooking School, and Dangerous Type mystery series.
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.”