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Of Books And Bagpipes by Paige Shelton
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Of Books And Bagpipes

by Paige Shelton

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Delaney Nichols is still settling in to her new job, new country , and new home so when her boss asks her to pickup a package at a castle, she heads on out.Unfortunately, she finds the man she was to meet dead. Worrying about her employer's possible involvement, she isn't totally truthful when she is questioned by the police. Thinking that if she had been earlier, the young man would be alive, Delaney sets out to find the murderer and solve the secret of the rare manuscript she was to have received.

The characters are charming and still evolving so this was fun to see how an American would adjust t a foreign country. The mystery was entertaining and kept me interested until the end. ( )
  cyderry | Aug 21, 2017 |
This is such a delightful cozy mystery, with no fewer than three very good candidates for murderer and a bucket full of red herrings. The American heroine is bright, inquisitive and spunky. For the most part, locals don't know quite what to make of her. But she has her fans, not the least of whom is Inspector Winters of the local constabulary. If you enjoy a bit of murder and mayhem thrown in with your bagpipes and William Wallace reenactors, then here's the book for you!

I was hooked from the start and enjoyed the entire journey from cover to cover. Well done, Ms. Shelton!

I am grateful to publisher Minotaur Books and Goodreads First Reads for having provided a free advance reader copy of this book. Their generosity, however, did not influence this review - the words of which are mine alone.

Synopsis (from ARC's back cover):
Bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols finds a dead body in a castle outside Edinburgh and must investigate how this murder is connected to a rare manuscript.
Delaney Nichols has eased into her new life in Edinburgh and doesn’t miss her old life in Kansas at all. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is going swimmingly. One day, Edwin MacAlister, Delaney’s boss, sends her to Castle Doune, an hour outside the city limits. There she is to meet a contact and pick up a hard-to-find edition of an old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie.”

While taking in the sights from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney sees a sandal-clad foot. That foot is attached to a man in an old-fashioned costume, and he matches the description of man who was supposed to bring the Oor Wullie. He’s dead, but there are no visible reasons as to why or how. As Delaney goes to call the police, she spots some papers fluttering around a side wall. When she discovers that it’s the Oor Wullie, she can’t fight the urge to take it and hide it under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is; she endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, but not before putting herself in danger. ( )
  KateBaxter | May 25, 2017 |
Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton is the second book in A Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. Delaney Nichols works at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister has sent her on a special errand to Castle Doune to pick up a rare copy of Oor Wullie (an old Scottish comic). Delaney only knows that her contact will be in costume. She is driven by friend and landlord, Elias (also a cabdriver) who wishes to keep Delaney safe while on this errand. Delaney is looking around and notices a body backward on a staircase. It turns out to be the man Delaney was to meet. While awaiting the police, Delaney does find the book which she quickly hides out of sight. Upon returning to The Cracked Spine, she shares what happened with Edwin (and then the rest of the staff). The deceased is Billy Armstrong, son of an old friend of Edwin’s, Gordon Armstrong. Gordon had died two years previously in a boat fire. The group is shocked when Gordon shows up later that day in the bookshop. Gordon wants to know what happened to his son. They find out that Gordon had sent the book to Edwin via Billy, and it contained the details on what had happened two years prior. Delaney starts seeking the truth and to uncover who killed Billy Armstrong. She is aided by her friends at The Cracked Spine and her “bookish voices”. Delaney will need support if she is to uncover the lies and expose a killer.

I had not had the opportunity to read The Cracked Spine since its publication. I discovered that it is better to read the first book (The Cracked Spine) before starting Of Books and Bagpipes. Some background details are provided on the main character, but not all the needed information is included. Of Books and Bagpipes is an arduous novel to read. I found the Scottish dialogue difficult to decipher. If it was just in small sections, it would be manageable (but it was not). The pace of the book is slow and untangling the interchanges significantly slows down the reading. There are several obscure and famous Scottish authors mentioned throughout the novel. I believe most readers will like the inclusion of this information. I give Of Books and Bagpipes 2.5 out of 5 stars. The saving grace of this story is the mystery. It is complicated and challenging to solve. A reader needs to pay close attention to the details to unscramble the clues and crack the case. Also, included in the novel is information on various historical sights. While the information is interesting, it does bog down the story. I was not a fan of Delaney’s boss, Edwin. I find that he keeps too many secrets. I believe the author was trying to make him mysterious, but it does not quite work. I wish the author had stuck with a warehouse full of unusual and unique items (instead of all the secrets and lies). I did not see how Delaney’s “bookish voices” enhanced the book. I would have preferred ghosts. Ghosts associated with old historical sites (like Castle Doune) or maybe spirits that live in The Cracked Spine (I prefer this scenario). While Of Books and Bagpipes was not to my liking, I am a fan of Paige Shelton’s other series (especially A Dangerous Type Mystery series). ( )
  Kris_Anderson | Apr 4, 2017 |
In this 2nd book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, Delaney (from Kansas) is settling in quite nicely in Scotland. She enjoys working at the bookshop and she's made great friends with her landlords, coworkers, and the handsome Scot who owns the pub just down the street. Then her boss, Edwin, asks her to meet a reenactor at the top of an abandoned castle at night to collect a special comic book. She arrives only to find a body and no book. Delaney, with the help and care of her friends, becomes involved in solving the murder, finding ties to a mysterious incident in Edwin's past. The setting is perfect, the characters wonderful and the mystery kept me reading past my bedtime! (Just one more chapter...I have to see what happens next!). This is a great cozy mystery and I only wish the next book was ready to read! ( )
  aztwinmom | Feb 5, 2017 |
Of Books And Bagpipes is the second book in the A Scottish Bookshop Mystery series.

I really love this series that is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. The reader is able to virtually travel about the city of Edinburgh and it’s old castles. Also, the reader will learn more about the life of William Wallace as the story centers around William Wallace reenactors.

Delaney Nichols has been asked by her employer, Edwin MacAlister to meet someone at Doune Castle, only informed as to what the man will be wearing, and get from him a rare old comic book. When Delaney arrives at the appointed spot she finds the body of the man she was to meet and near the body, she finds the comic book she was to obtain near the body and quickly hides in her coat.

Edwin MacAlister continues to keep his personal life and a good deal of his business life to himself, but Delaney is able to learn that the history of the comic book reaches back to MacAlister’s college days. In fact, the dead man, Billy Armstrong, is the son of one of the three college student’s that MacAlister was close with. She also learns that another student had died when he and the other were out sailing and more recently two of the four had died in a fire on another boat. Now with the help of her friend, Tom Fletcher and Elias, her landlord and taxi driver to unravel everything and to find the killer.
This series has a wonderful cast of interesting and believable characters. Ms. Shelton once again skillfully weaves interesting descriptions of Edinburgh and it’s castle’s without taking away from the story. I also found particularly interesting the history of William Wallace.

Will definitely be watching for the next book in this wonderful series. ( )
  FredYoder | Jan 12, 2017 |
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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"--… (more)

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