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Literary Friday: A New Cozy Mystery Series

Friday, June 14, 2024


Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today I'm reviewing a new cozy mystery series set in Scotland, and the series is called a Scottish Isle Mystery Series by Lucy Connelly.  There are only two books in the series so far, so if you're looking for a new cozy mystery series that doesn't have twenty books in it, this one might be for you.  Also, I usually like reading lighter books during the summer.  Both of these need to be in your beach or lake bag.

An American in Scotland is Book One.

According to Goodreads:

The small idyllic town of Sea Isle, Scotland, harbors some dark secrets, and Dr. Emilia McRoy is determined to uncover all of them—no matter what the diagnosis in this charming cozy, sure to enchant fans of Sheila Connolly and Charlene O’Connor.

Sea Isle was supposed to be the fresh start Dr. Emilia McRoy dreamed of. Far from the busy emergency room across the Atlantic in Seattle, she hoped to settle down and begin this new chapter as a small-town doctor to the quirky residents who immediately welcomed her. When she stumbles across a dead body, she starts to think that she may not be as Scot free of the drama and intrigue as she initially thought.

Emilia soon learns she has bigger issues at hand. It starts with realizing she’ll work closely with the less than helpful local constable, Laird Ewan Campbell. Her luck continues when she discovers that part of her new responsibilities includes being the coroner for the very body she found. Finally, when the body goes missing before she can even begin the autopsy, Emilia must convince the townspeople that a crime did, in fact, occur. The deeper she digs into the picturesque town, the more suspicious she becomes. And then there are her sleep issues. It may be due to the ever-growing list of suspects, a number of threatening letters, or the surprise visitor who breaks into her house at night. But she’s never backed down before, and she doesn’t intend to start now.

Someone doesn’t want this doctor to treat the ailments of Sea Isle, but Emilia McRoy is determined to find the murderer before they kilt again.

My Review:

This is definitely a promising cozy mystery series based on its picturesque setting (a seaside tourist town on an island in Scotland) and its well-drawn if not quirky characters.  Em is the main character, an American expat fleeing stress and heartbreak.  The stress is due to her job as an ER physician in a Seattle hospital, and the heartbreak is due to what her husband did to her.  Although this is another mystery in Book One, it isn't the main one (obviously the murder mystery is the main one), but what her husband did to her is teased almost until the end of the book.  Without giving you a spoiler, let's just say that I don't blame her for running.  So I definitely love the premise for the series.

Upon arrival, Em stumbles upon a body (who was once an elderly villager named Smithy) in a bothie owned by The Laird (Ewan Campbell), who also happens to be her boss.  He's not only the Laird, he's also the mayor and the constable, and he's not convinced that the cause of death was murder.  Em signed on the dotted line before reading her contract, and she soon discovers that she's not only the town's new doctor: She's also the coroner.  Unfortunately she can't perform the autopsy on the body (and prove that foul play caused Smithy's death) because someone, presumably the killer, stole it.  In spite of opening the clinic and searching for a killer and a body, Em is making friends in her new hometown, and the girls are helping her to solve the mystery.  All rely on British mystery shows for their skills, and it's fun reading their dialogue about their favorites (some of them are mine).  

The mystery is a good one, and there are many scenes that made me wince.  For a cozy it has a bit more "blood and guts" than average (which I guess should be expected given Em's vocation).   The plot points and suspense kept me totally engaged, and the resolution was excellent.  I highly recommend this one!

Book Two in the series

According to Goodreads:

Dr. Emilia McRoy is back on the case in the second book in the Scottish Isle mystery series, perfect for fans of Sheila Connolly and Charlene O’Connor.

Something old, something new, something borrowed and someone’s blue…

Finally feeling like Sea Isle, Scotland is becoming her new home, American doctor Emilia McRoy is delighted when she is invited to a wedding at Morrigan's Castle. Her friends have warned her that it's a three-day party and it's bound to get wild, not to mention the impending snowstorm. Constable Ewan Campbell, owner of the castle, ensures their safety with the blizzard. What he didn’t ensure, is that all of his guests would survive the night alive. When Emilia explores the impressive castle, she finds a dead man in one of the turrets.

The snowstorm hits and the local police can’t reach the castle until it lets up. With no one able to leave, the family insists they carry on with the wedding, which makes Emilia's job as the coroner a bit easier—the suspects are in one place­––and complicated because the killer has Emilia in his sights. The fact no one claims to know the victim isn't helping. Why would someone no one knows be murdered at a castle in the middle of nowhere?

It’s up to Emilia to uncover the mystery who the victim is, so the killer doesn’t get away Scot free.

My Review:

Book Two takes place in a remote Scottish Castle that's super creepy....during a snowstorm and subsequent avalanche...with a goth bride with multiple ex-stepmothers (and one not so delightful current one) in attendance...and a dead body.  What could possibly go wrong?  Well apparently a lot.  This book is quite a lot, with a castle full of suspects who are stuck; the murderer can't leave, no one can!  But what if he or she doesn't want to leave because there might be more people to murder?

I must admit that the first half of this book did not hold my attention as well as book one probably because almost all of the action takes place at the castle.  This story depends a lot on dialogue, but the author (Lucy Connelly) does an excellent job of describing the castle and the wedding itinerary's events.  The Laird is obviously interested in Em more than just as an employee, and I really enjoyed reading about how close Em and her friends (Abigail, Mara, and Angie the bride) are becoming.  They truly care and look out for each other.

The second half of the book is much faster paced than the first, and I couldn't put it down.  I was very happy that I stuck with it!  Although I was not surprised about the mystery's resolution, the narrative getting there was one wild ride.  Read this on the beach or by the lake when it's really hot because the coldness of the castle will cool you down mentally.  

I pledged to read fifteen books between June 1st and September 1st.  These are books two and three.  My first book of the summer was Agatha Christie's The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

What are you reading this summer?

Until next time...

Ricki Jill

1 comment

  1. Both books sound good, and that setting! A Scottish island? I'm in. It is intimidating to start a series with 20+ books already published. I read the first Coffeehouse Mystery by Cleo Coyle a few years ago, and suddenly there's 20 books in the series! I can't keep up.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.


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