Series: Scottish Bookshop Mystery #4
Published by Minotaur Books on April 2, 2019
Genres: Cozy Mystery
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Delaney Nichols is delighted with her life in Edinburgh, working at The Cracked Spine―a shop that specializes in hard-to-find books and artifacts. With a job she loves, and her fast approaching marriage to devastatingly handsome Scottish pub-owner Tom Shannon, Delaney's life could be straight out of a fairy tale―at least it would be, if the pastor meant to perform the wedding ceremony hadn't recently passed away. Outside the church where Delaney is searching for another reverend, she stumbles across Norval Fraser: an elderly man obsessed with the Loch Ness monster. Always attracted to the interesting and unusual, Delaney befriends Norval. But when his nephew is found dead, the police decide Norval's obsession has moved from monsters to murder.
With a wedding to plan, her family arriving soon from Kansas, and the arrival of an over-the-top Texan with a wildly valuable book, Delaney's plate is full to bursting, but she can't abandon her new friend. Determined to help Norval, she sets out to learn the truth. The Loch Ness buries its secrets deeply, but Delaney is determined to dig them up―whether Nessie likes it or not.
The Loch Ness Papers is #4 of the Scottish Bookshop Mysteries. It does work as a stand-alone but like so many series books, it’s better if you have all the background and know the characters and their quirks. And the books are all set in and around a unique little bookstore in Edinburgh, Scotland, so really, why wouldn’t you want to?
Delaney and her handsome-as-all-get-out pub owner Tom are getting married in a week or so, but of course, a mystery has to pop up. Delaney meets the slightly-off-his-rocker Norval Fraser who is a firm believer in the existence of Nessie and has a houseful of papers and artifacts to try to prove it. The next day, Norval’s nephew is found murdered and Norval is hauled off by the police – and Delaney needs to help him out.
I feel like I am just repeating things I’ve said before. Delaney and her friends are warm and smart and funny. The setting is amazing and obviously the Loch Ness monster myth fit perfectly. Of course, she might really exist.
This one didn’t grab me as much as a couple of the others. I don’t know why. It’s well-written and there are several suspects, but the real killer stands out like a sore thumb, even if I didn’t entirely know his motive. I think Delaney and her boss and the cops could have been a bit quicker there. And I didn’t love the ending. I take that back, it ends with a wedding which I liked, but a scene or two before that was purposefully unbelievable and I just don’t buy it. I like when the stories delve into history, but I wish they would leave out some of the paranormal bits.