Friday, February 18, 2022

Literary Friday: Cozy Mystery Series


 

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm finally getting around to reviewing the Scottish Bookshop Mysteries Series by Paige Shelton.  I will review the first in the series, and then share mini reviews for the rest of them because otherwise this post would be extremely long.






According to Goodreads:

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. 

My Review: 

I love the characters in this series because they're charmingly flawed.  Delaney gets involved with solving the murder of her boss Edwin's sister mainly because a rare first folio of Shakespeare's plays is missing, and she wants to recover the priceless artifact.  She and Edwin do not trust each other completely to share their clues with each other, which adds to the intrigue and perhaps hinders solving the mysteries.  Rosie and Hamlet are very protective of Edwin and the Cracked Spine, but they are also welcoming to Delaney in spite of her being "from Kansas in America."  

Ironically, Tom's bar which is right across the square from the bookshop is called Delaney's, and it claims to be "The Smallest Pub in Scotland."  Tom and Delaney have an instant sparkly attraction to each other, but Delaney has been warned about Tom's reputation as a player  She can't believe someone with his looks and personality would be interested in her: Delaney has red hair that doesn't like Edinburgh's humidity, plus she's socially awkward.

As Edwin and Delaney get closer to solving the murder mystery and missing folio, they become more and more endangered.  There is a little more suspense in this series than most cozies, and this series is certainly more cerebral.  I enjoyed learning about Shakespeare's folios as well as Scottish history.  Paige Shelton does an exceptional job incorporating Scottish culture and history into all of the books.  This is one of my all-time favorite cozy mystery series, and I think if you like the genre you should enjoy it, too.


Here are the rest of the books in order:


Delaney is asked to visit Castle Doune not too far from Edinburgh to retrieve a rare copy of “Oor Wullie,” a Scottish comic book.  The strange transaction, set-up by Edwin, is foiled when Delaney finds the delivery person, dressed in a reenactment costume, dead on the castle steps.  This one shares truth and fiction about William Wallace.



This one is a mini mystery only available in e-book.
It is perhaps the most magical of them all as Delaney time travels to the 1960s to solve a missing person cold case.  I loved this one!



This is perhaps the creepiest of them because of the similarities between the historical Burke and Hare murders.  These men murdered people and sold their cadavers to the Edinburgh University Medical School during the early 19th Century.  This mystery is about Delaney's medical school friends who sell a rare collection of medical books to the Cracked Spine, and one of them is murdered.



Delaney befriends an elderly man who collects evidence of the Loch Ness Monster, and supposedly he has physical evidence to prove Nessie's existence.  When he's accused of murder, Delaney defends him and is determine to find the real killer AND solve one of Scotlands oldest mysteries.  



The stolen letter was correspondence between Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I.
Delaney learns of its existence when she meets her doppelgänger who happens to look just like Queen Mary, which means that Delaney does, too.  But Delaney's twin actually claims to be the reincarnated Queen Mary, and even shares "memories."  This is a fun one!



Delaney is invited to become part of a scavenger hunt, and the prize is a highly valuable first edition copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson.
The wealthy and eccentric organizer of the hunt, Shelaigh, becomes prime suspect number one when one of her associates is killed.  This mystery is interesting because of the connections to the novel, and I really enjoyed the pace and the crazy characters.



Release Date: April 5, 2022

I can't wait for this one because it's about Robert Burns!
Part of the story takes plate at Burns House, so I think this one will be a lot of fun.






Do you read cozy mysteries?  Please share your favorites in the comments section below!


Until next time...

Blessings!
Ricki Jill



7 comments

  1. If this is one of you all time favorite cozy mystery series, it is on my to read list for sure! Thanks Ricki Jill and Happy Reading!
    Jenna

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  2. Well that looks like a very fun series! I need summer to hurry up so I can sit outside with a book!

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  3. Sounds like great reads. I love mysteries. Happy Saturday. Hope all is going well. xoxo

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  4. You have some of the best recommendations! These look really good!

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  5. I haven't read a mystery in a long time, but love watching mystery movies!

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