The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton

The Loch Ness Papers by Paige Shelton

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...
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Santa Puppy by Lynn Cahoon

Santa Puppy by Lynn Cahoon

Christmas and puppies and a mystery - how could I pass up Santa Puppy? I haven't read any of the others in the series, but I thought this worked fine as a cute standalone. Jill Gardner owns a bookshop (also an awesome thing) and has volunteered to host a Christmas party with the goal of getting pets adopted from the local shelter. One of the dogs, Baby, touches Jill's heart. Its owner, a homeless man, was found dead of a heart attack on the beach and Baby needs a new home. Jill, with the help and approval of her detective boyfriend, does some sleuthing to find out who the man was and if he had family who might take the dog. It was nice that Jill's boyfriend helped her and approved of her digging. Of course, there wasn't any danger involved, it was a natural death, the mystery was more about who the man was and how he ended up homeless. It...
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The Annotated Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

The Annotated Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

I read a lot of crime fiction and mystery stories, both modern and classic, but somehow I've skipped over Philip Marlowe. In this introduction to Marlowe, a dying millionaire hires him to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in. As the annotations show, even though this is the first in the series, it's not really the first time we may have met Marlowe, although under other names. Chandler apparently often took earlier short stories he had written for pulp magazines like Black Mask, and combined and expanded them into the Marlowe novels. The Big Sleep is a complicated story, set in 1930s Los Angeles, involving blackmail and a bookstore that is a rental library for pornography. The annotations provide lots of information about the time period, about Chandler's writing, and about some of...
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Lost Books and Old Bones by Paige Shelton

Lost Books and Old Bones by Paige Shelton

A bookshop, Scotland, and a murder - do I really need to say more? Lost Books and Old Bones is the 3rd in the series, not counting a Christmas novella (which I haven't read yet). I've read all three and definitely enjoy spending time in Edinburgh with Delaney and her crew. I don't often feel like I would actually love to hang out with the characters in books, but I would love to work in the bookshop and drink at the pub across the road, and visit the castle. Lost Books and Old Bones could probably be read as a stand-alone, but I think the first couple of books will give some needed background on Delaney and what makes the bookshop so special. All of the major characters return here, and there is a touch of romance for Delaney, but not enough to take away from the plot. This time around, Mallory, one of Delaney's new friends, is killed in the alley behind...
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