Tuesday, December 06, 2016

Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae

First Line: "And there's no need to cluck your tongue at my back, either," Christine said, not waiting for Janet to catch up.

Four women are pursuing their dreams in the Highlands of Scotland. It's a matter of weeks before the Inversgail Literature Festival, and Janet Marsh, her daughter Tallie, and their friends Christine and Summer want to make sure they are letter perfect in the running of their new bookshop, Yon Bonnie Books. Their tea room is also about ready to open, while the bed and breakfast will complete the picture at a later date. 

But all is not going smoothly. Janet wants to get moved into her new home, but one problem after another has prevented her from doing so. When she and her business partners go to the house, they find the body of investigative reporter Una Graham in the garden shed. They also find a cache of nasty letters that make them believe almost everyone in town would want Una dead. It's going to take a lot of sleuthing to find Una's killer so they can get back to minding their own business(es).

Author Molly MacRae has created quite the amateur sleuthing quartet for the start of her new Highland Bookshop series. Janet Marsh is a librarian, her thirty-eight-year-old daughter Tallie a lawyer, Tallie's college roommate Summer Jacobs is a journalist, and Christine Robertson is a social worker who's returned to her Scottish roots. Between them all, they have plenty of experience that will help them solve crimes. Their decision to come to the Highlands, settle down and open a bookshop, tea room, and bed and breakfast will be seen as vicarious wish fulfillment by many readers, and MacRae does address some of the differences in the way things are done between Scotland and the United States.

There is also an interesting secondary cast that I can't wait to see become more fully fleshed as the series continues-- like Constable Norman Hobbs, a man called Rab and his dog who are both good at disappearing, and an elderly woman the four women call Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle who spends a lot of time in Yon Bonnie Books. I also loved the mentions of groups like "Obsessive Outlanders" and "Born-Again Bravehearts." If only I liked the local librarian as much, but she's simply too good at foisting her work off on others for that to happen. 

Not everything was smooth sailing for me while reading Plaid and Plagiarism. The ladies do something that gets my dander up: they withhold evidence from the police. (Shame on them!) It's also a bit easy to deduce the identity of the killer, but with the book's Highland setting and the fine ensemble cast that the author has created, I am certainly looking forward to the next book in the series!

Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae
eISBN: 9781681772547
Pegasus Books © 2016
eBook, 336 pages

Cozy Mystery, #1 Highland Bookshop mystery
Rating: B+
Source: Net Galley  



  1. The Scottish setting got me right away, Cathy. And I do like that literature theme to the story. I know what you mean about amateur sleuths withholding evidence, though; that irks me, too. Still, sounds like a solid read.


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