Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Cracked Spine

Author:  Paige Shelton
Series:  A Scottish Bookshop Mystery #1
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Published:  March 2016

Description:  Wanted: A bold adventurer who wants to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners. 

Never an adventurer, no one was more surprised than Delaney Nichols when she packed her bags and moved halfway across the world to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop located in the heart of the city. Her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime, albeit a cryptic one, and Delaney can’t wait to take her spot behind the desk.
The Cracked Spine is filled with everything a book lover could want, each item as eclectic as the people who work there; the spirited and lovable Rosie, 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 extra bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his cobalt eyes, and a gentle 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 goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is brutally murdered. Never did Delaney think that searching for things lost could mean a killer, but if she’s to keep her job, and protect her new friends, she’ll need to learn the truth behind this Scottish tragedy.

My Review

This is the first book in a new series by Paige Shelton and it is a terrific start.  I have been a fan of Ms. Shelton's previous two series so this book was an automatic read for me.  I love this authors ability to craft a story line, plot, mystery and characters in such a way that the reader is drawn into the story from the very beginning and just becomes more invested as the book progresses.  This story has a wonderful setting (Scotland) that just adds to the overall charm of the book.  Delaney is a strong character who is up for a new life adventure and gets more than she bargained for when her boss' sister is murdered.  The cast of secondary characters are quirky and interesting lending another layer of depth to the story.

The mystery is strong and because it is not clear whether the two mysteries in the story are connected there are plenty of viable suspects along with twists and turns to keep the reader guessing until the end.  The story line moves along at a good pace and as a reader, I was so charmed by the location and characters that I definitely will be looking forward to the next book in this series.

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