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Bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols returns in Paige Shelton's second Scottish Bookshop Mystery, Of Books and Bagpipes
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.
“With an endearing heroine, a cast of eccentric Scots and colorful Edinburgh descriptions, The Cracked Spine offers a pleasant puzzle… [and] promises considerably more than a wee dram of satisfaction in future installments.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“This spotlessly clean, fun-filled read takes plenty of twists and turns on the way to the satisfying ending.” —Publishers Weekly
“Move over Claire Fraser; American bibliophile Delaney Nichols is about to take Scotland by storm!” —Ellery Adams
“Readers who appreciate bookseller sleuths such as Dido Hoare or Claire Malloy will welcome this new cozy series… The feisty Delaney is an appealing protagonist.” —Library Journal
“A perfectly twisty-turny puzzler of a mystery... Full of wit and whimsy, with a clever plot and delightful characters, this mystery is a fantastic read!” —Jenn McKinlay
“A foolproof plot, endearing characters, and prose that immediately transports readers to enchanting Edinburgh ... and leaves them eager for a return trip.” —Lucy Arlington
“A great read for book lovers, mystery seekers, and anyone who enjoys a determined new heroine. Sure to be a winning series.” —Erika Chase