Series: Scottish Bookshop Mystery #6
Published by Minotaur Books on April 6, 2021
Genres: Cozy Mystery
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A treasure hunt through Edinburgh gives way to a search for a villain terrorizing the city in Paige Shelton's Deadly Editions, the sixth Scottish Bookshop Mystery.
Bookseller Delaney Nichols receives a mysterious cloaked visitor one evening at the Cracked Spine Bookshop. He presents to her an even more perplexing note: an invitation to an exclusive treasure hunt hosted by eccentric socialite Shelaigh O'Connor. Delaney is intrigued, but also cautious: Shelaigh, while charming in person, has a reputation for her hijinks as a wealthy young woman in the '70s. She was even once suspected for the murder of a former boyfriend, though ultimately cleared of all charges.
But Delaney is enticed by the grand prize at the end of the treasure hunt: a highly valuable first edition copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The winner is also to receive the contents of Shelaigh's vast library, and an unspecified sum of cash.
The night after the first meeting of the treasure hunters, however, several homes in Edinburgh are robbed in a manner reminiscent of Shelaigh's old tricks. And when a man connected to Shelaigh is killed, suspicion builds. Except Sheilagh herself has disappeared from her home, seemingly kidnapped by the villain.
Terror mounts throughout the city as Delaney attempts to solve the mystery, while trying to stay out of the killer's clutches. For she, it seems, is his next target.
I enjoy every visit to the Scottish Bookshop. Delaney and her friends, and her new husband, Tom, are just a lot of fun to spend time with. Delaney works at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, a book store/warehouse full of neat stuff. Delaney can’t pass up Shelagh O’Conner’s tresure hunt. First, a treasure hunt is right up her alley or close, since we’re in Scotland. Second, Shelagh’s library is fabulous. But when a man is killed and Shelagh is kidnapped, Delaney feels like finding the treasure may help them find Shelagh. So Delaney and her friends are working on deciphering the treasure hunt clues while trying to catch a killer and save Shelagh.
All the characters are well-developed and engaging. Their interactions feel real and I like a.) that Delaney shares everything with the police and b.) that people are given the benefit of a doubt. Just because someone doesn’t tell you something you think is important, doesn’t mean they deliberately liked; they may have forgotten in the stress of the moment, or maybe didn’t actually know to begin with.
The kidnapping and murder mysteries are very well-plotted. We have several new, and recurring, characters connected to Shelagh, several of whom become suspects. There are several twists and surprises.
The treasure hunt was a fun idea. I enjoyed the tour of Edinburgh’s pubs, and the Jekyll and Hyde connection was neat. I read Stevenson’s story years ago and didn’t love it, but now I’m wondering if a reread is in order.
Deadly Editions, and the Scottish Bookshop series as a whole, has all the things I love: a fabulous setting, books, likeable characters, and a murder or two.