The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton
Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Scottish Bookshop Mysteries #4
Publication Date: 4/2/19
Number of Pages: 320
Delaney Nichols is one very, very busy young lady. A bit over a year ago, she was laid off from her job at the museum and had decided that what she really needed was an adventure. When she saw the advertisement from Edinburgh, Scotland – someone wanted to hire someone with just her skills – she was ready to pack up and leave Kansas. She’s now been in Edinburgh for a year, she’s acquired a wonderful set of friends she calls her ‘Scottish family’ and she will be getting married in a few days. Her family, mother, father, and brother will even be in Edinburgh in just a few days. On top of all that, the officiant that was to perform the wedding ceremony has died and she has to find another one – with only a week left until the wedding.
It is raining cats and dogs and Delaney is heading into the church to speak to an officiant recommend by her future father-in-law. As she dashes in toward the red door, she smacks into an old man, Norval Fraser. For some reason, she feels drawn to Norval as she helps him right himself. Then, after he departs, she notices something lying on the ground – obviously, it belongs to the old man. He certainly seemed an odd, blatherskite sort of fellow. He’s obsessed with the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) and wants Delaney to take over his research and prove that Nessie really exists.
A couple of days later Delaney encounters Norval awaiting her outside the bookstore where she works. It is barely 5:30 AM and Norval says he’s been waiting for some time. He’s worried about his nephew who doesn’t answer his phone. Delaney doesn’t understand the fierce worry but agrees to accompany Norval to his nephew’s home – where they find him deceased -stabbed in the back.
The police believe Norval is the murderer because of the knife and fingerprints – but – those can be misleading. Delaney doesn’t believe that Norval is capable of that kind of violence, but then she doesn’t know him that well. At any rate, she’ll do what she can to help find the killer and prove Norval innocent. Now, in addition to all of the other things she has to do, Delaney has to find a killer.
Enter a long, tall Texan dressed in black and you just add another layer to the mystery. Who is he really and why is he trying to return a book that the bookstore never owned? The book is a very, very valuable one about King Arthur and the round table, but there is just something fishy about both the man and his story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I hope you will as well. The characters are wonderful as you’ll know if you have read the series from the beginning. If you haven’t, I’d suggest you read the previous book because you’ll love them. The book is well-written and tightly plotted with multiple mysteries, new characters added to the series and a really lovely romance. What more could you ask for?
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.