Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: Scottish Bookshop Mystery #8
Publication Date: 4/4/23
Period: Contemporary Edinburgh, Scotland
Number of Pages: 304
Delaney, originally from Kansas, has loved Scotland from the first day her feet touched the soil. Since she came to live in Edinburgh, she has made many wonderful friends and married the love of her life. She loves the town, she loves the people, she loves the books, she loves her job and she cannot imagine living anywhere else on earth.
As she arrives at the bookstore, Delaney immediately knows something is amiss from the look on Rosie’s face. Every year their boss, Edwin, conducts a multi-day book-related tour for four winners who have sent him the best reasons why they should be chosen. The tour includes various locations in Edinburg that are mentioned in books and Edwin always looks forward to the tours and conducts them personally. Delaney quickly learns that this year’s tour will be different because she will be leading it. What! She’s an American, she can’t be leading the tour and telling all of the stories and legends. It needs Edwin’s charm, wit, and beautiful Scottish accent to do justice to those stories. Delaney is alarmed – more for Edwin than herself. She’ll do the tour, but Edwin has left no word of why he is missing the tour or even where he has gone.
Delaney has hardly met the tour participants – Meera Murphy from Ireland, Kevin Moore from London, Luka King from Australia, and Gunter from Germany – when the manager of the hotel in which they are staying jumps or is thrown from the roof of the hotel. Oh! What an auspicious welcome to the tour group.
Something strange is going on at the hotel. One of the employees was struck down and hospitalized with a concussion, there was never any staff visible when you entered or left the hotel, and the one clerk who made an occasional appearance was free with information about odd things around the hotel.
Of course, Delaney decides to help her friend Inspector Winters solve the case. However, her investigations put her in danger. Will she be rescued? Can she save herself? Can she help bring the villain to justice?
I always enjoy the books in this series, but this is my least favorite so far. The entire scenario feels contorted and unreal, but the characters are so likable that you can live with the rest of it. So, while I mostly enjoyed the book, I wouldn’t read this one a second time.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.