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Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton

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Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton
Series: Scottish Bookshop Mystery #2
Published by Minotaur Books on April 4, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
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Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more with bigger jobs. Her latest task includes a trip to Castle Doune, a castle not far out of Edinburgh, to retrieve a hard-to-find edition of an old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie,” in a cloak and dagger transaction that Edwin has orchestrated.

While taking in the sights of the distant Highlands from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney is startled when she spots a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. Unfortunately, the foot’s owner is very much dead and, based on the William Wallace costume he’s wearing, perfectly matches the description of the man who was supposed to bring the Oor Wullie. As Delaney rushes to call off some approaching tourists and find the police, she comes across the Oor Wullie, its pages torn and fluttering around a side wall of the castle. Instinct tells her to take the pages and hide them under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is and endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, all before getting herself booked for murder.

I liked Of Books and Bagpipes much more than the first in the series. Delaney has been in Scotland for a while now and has come to care about the people she works with and her friends. I felt like her reason for investigating felt more natural this time around, a combination of natural curiosity and wanting to help.

As a mystery, it worked well. There were plenty of clues and suspects and secrets that went back decades. It takes a lot of unraveling and I was surpised by the whodunnit, although I felt the motive was bit weak. And of course, Delaney gets herself trapped, but I didn’t feel like it was because of stupidity on her part, which was nice. Sometimes female amateur detectives annoy me by taking risks that no sane woman would. Delaney didn’t do that here. She has someone with her when there’s a potential for danger, and always lets someone know where she is going. I like a woman with some common sense.

The characters are an interesting mix. Each has his/her own quirks but they fit well together. Delaney’s bookish voices weren’t too obtrusive. They add an interesting touch to the story. She hears voices from books she’s read that are kind of like her subconscious guiding her. It’s a bit odd, but it works, at least for me. The dialogue is well done. A couple of folks speak in a Scottish dialect, but it was easy to follow and words that were unfamiliar were explained, since they are unfamiliar to Delaney too.

I do admit that a large part of the appeal of this series for me is the setting. What could be a more perfect setting for a cozy mystery than a bookstore in Scotland? It makes me want to visit the castles, and library, and pub. And of course, hang out at the bookstore.

About Paige Shelton

Paige studied journalism at Drake College in Iowa. She has only ever wanted to be a writer. She’s had good jobs, bad jobs, great bosses, and terrible bosses, but through it all she has only wanted to write. She’s grateful to have the opportunity now.
Paige and her husband currently live in Arizona and have a college-age son.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Mailbox Monday – 1/30

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

Ebooks

I purchased this “A Fistful of Divas” because I’ve really enjoyed the other stories I’ve read featuring these characters.

Mailbox Monday – 1/30A Fistful of Divas by Camille LaGuire
Series: Mick and Casey McKee
Published by the author on August 26, 2013
Source: Purchased
Genres: Mystery, Short Story, Western
Pages: 40
Format: eBook
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Young gunslinger detectives, Mick and Casey McKee, are eager to hear some opera singing. But when somebody takes a shot at some visiting divas, the concert is off. The ladies won't sing until Mick and Casey solve a case of blackmail and murder.

I picked up Of Books and Bagpipes from NetGalley. In my comments on the first in the series, I wrote,”While the eccentric characters and bookshop/warehouse were enchanting, the plot lacked believability for me. This is the first in a series though, so I might give the next one a chance.” So I’m giving the second one a chance.

Mailbox Monday – 1/30Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton
Series: Scottish Bookshop Mystery #2
Published by Minotaur Books on April 4, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Add on Goodreads

Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more with bigger jobs. Her latest task includes a trip to Castle Doune, a castle not far out of Edinburgh, to retrieve a hard-to-find edition of an old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie,” in a cloak and dagger transaction that Edwin has orchestrated.

While taking in the sights of the distant Highlands from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney is startled when she spots a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. Unfortunately, the foot’s owner is very much dead and, based on the William Wallace costume he’s wearing, perfectly matches the description of the man who was supposed to bring the Oor Wullie. As Delaney rushes to call off some approaching tourists and find the police, she comes across the Oor Wullie, its pages torn and fluttering around a side wall of the castle. Instinct tells her to take the pages and hide them under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is and endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, all before getting herself booked for murder.

Print

I received The Little Book of Hygge in the mail from the publisher.

Mailbox Monday – 1/30The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking
Published by William Morrow on January 17, 2017
Source: Publisher
Genres: Self-help
Pages: 240
Format: Hardcover
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Embrace Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) and become happier with this definitive guide to the Danish philosophy of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.

Why are Danes the happiest people in the world? The answer, says Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen, is Hygge. Loosely translated, Hygge—pronounced Hoo-ga—is a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being. "Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience," Wiking explains. "It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe."

Hygge is the sensation you get when you’re cuddled up on a sofa, in cozy socks under a soft throw, during a storm. It’s that feeling when you’re sharing comfort food and easy conversation with loved ones at a candlelit table. It is the warmth of morning light shining just right on a crisp blue-sky day.

The Little Book of Hygge introduces you to this cornerstone of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own life, such as:

Get comfy.
Take a break.
Be here now.
Turn off the phones.
Turn down the lights.
Bring out the candles.
Build relationships.
Spend time with your tribe.
Give yourself a break from the demands of healthy living. Cake is most definitely Hygge.
Live life today, like there is no coffee tomorrow.

From picking the right lighting to organizing a Hygge get-together to dressing hygge, Wiking shows you how to experience more joy and contentment the Danish way.

Mailbox Monday – 1/9

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

Ebooks

All of my new books this week came via NetGalley. I did get a gift card for Barnes and Noble for Christmas, but I haven’t used it yet.

Mailbox Monday – 1/9A Cast of Vultures by Judith Flanders
Series: Sam Clair #3
Published by Minotaur Books on February 21, 2017
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
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Normally sharp-witted, book editor Sam Clair stumbles through a post-launch party morning with the hangover to end all hangovers. But before the Nurofen has even kicked in, she finds herself entangled in an elaborate saga of missing neighbors, suspected arson and an odd, unidentified body.

By the time the grizzly news breaks that the fire has claimed another victim, Sam is already hot in pursuit. Armed once again with her biting commentary, her boyfriend Inspector Jake Field, and her stalwart Goth assistant, Sam must track down the murderer and face a pair from Thugs ‘R’ Us in this uproariously funny and fast-paced mystery in this critically acclaimed series from New York Times bestseller Judith Flanders.

Mailbox Monday – 1/9The Wizard of Death by Richard Forrest
Series: Lyon and Bea Wentworth #2
Published by MysteriousPress.com/Open Road on August 16, 2016 (first published July 1, 1978)
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 198
Format: eBook
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On a sunny afternoon in Murphysville, Connecticut, the village green of the charming suburb is filled with voters who have come for a glimpse of Randolph Llewyn. Everyone’s attention is locked on the stage as state senator Bea Wentworth introduces the candidate for governor—everyone, that is, but Bea’s husband, Lyon, who is daydreaming of a title for his latest children’s book. Lyon snaps back to attention, however, when a sniper’s bullet cuts Randolph down as he takes the stage.

A second bullet misses, but the damage is done. As the crowd erupts in panic, Lyon spots the assassin fleeing on a motorcycle. With police chief Rocco Herbert, Lyon gives chase, but the killer gets away. Only then does Lyon think of Bea, who is shaken, but unharmed. But when he learns that Bea was also a target, the mild-mannered children’s book author must find the courage to hunt an assassin before he strikes again.

Mailbox Monday – 1/9In the Bag by Emery Harper
Series: Celeste Eagan Mysteries #2
Published by Carina Press on January 30, 2017
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 242
Format: eARC
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Life as the principal actress at the Peytonville Playhouse is all I ever thought it'd be—and more. I'm practically living the bohemian dream, until my BFF Levi finds a dead body on his property. And is swiftly arrested for murder.


Detective Shaw Muldoon is my almost-but-not-quite-there-yet beau. He knows me. He knows Levi. He knows neither of us is capable of something so heinous. And he knows that despite his strict orders to leave the case with the professionals, I'll launch my own investigation to clear Levi's name.

One more gruesome murder: check.

A dubious bakery owner who's taken a fancy to me: check.

This season's "it" handbag practically falling into my lap: check.

Levi's up the creek if I don't uncover the truth…but my investigation has put me firmly in the murderer's sights.

Life in danger: check.

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