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The Poison Pen

Book nine in Paige Shelton's Scottish Bookshop Mysteries is delightfully fun!

I love the Scottish Bookshop Mysteries. This is book 9 in the series, and as usual, it is a treat!

I am a sucker for books set in Scotland, and this series provides armchair travel as Shelton's lovely descriptions make you feel as though you are there. 

Amateur sleuth Delaney is a US expat working at a charming bookstore in Edinburgh. This story is set just after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. And Delaney's enigmatic employer, Edwin, has an assignment for her. His old friend Jolie might have a priceless relic on her property, and he wants Delaney to check it out. Jolie's mother had long claimed her daughter was the rightful heir to the throne due to her affair with King Edward III. Soon, a suspicious death occurs on Jolie's property, which might link the priceless relic with this salacious claim.

This one has a very intriguing plot involving Crusader swords, Scottish protocol surrounding historical treasures, and a reimagined history of the royal family, specifically Edward III, who abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson. I enjoyed how Shelton wove these things in with the investigation. Much of the action takes place outside the bookstore this time, so we meet a few new characters but still spend some time with the lovely recurring cast. 

Delaney is an intelligent, likable sleuth who makes you feel like you are discovering Scotland alongside her. Her colleagues at the bookshop, her husband Tom, and other locals are warm, quirky, and feel like old friends. Jolie was a fun addition, and I hope she pops up again sometime. Shelton always delivers a solidly plotted and red herring filled mystery, so this story is well-written with a satisfying conclusion. Highly recommended to all my cozy mystery-loving friends! 

Thank you to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books, for the free book! 

My steep was Floral Nectar from Simpson Vail

A black tea with apricot and lavender, this floral tea is so delicious! 


The Poison Pen, the ninth installment in the Scottish Bookshop series by Paige Shelton, set in a specialty bookstore in Edinburgh called The Cracked Spine.

Edinburgh is mourning recent the death of Queen Elizabeth II when Bookseller Delaney Nichols's boss comes to her with a most unusual assignment. An old friend of his, living in an estate in the village of Roslin, has found what could be a priceless relic on her property, and Delaney is tasked with investigating. Could Jolie possibly have an item of breathtaking Scottish historical significance in her possession? But when Delaney arrives at Jolie's estate, she is greeted by a legal team with a vested interest in the property. Jolie manages to remove the interlopers, but as they're examining the priceless item, they hear a scream, and meet a much less welcome discovery: a body.

 As Delaney digs deeper, she discovers Jolie's own fascinating history. Jolie's mother had long claimed that her daughter was the rightful heir to the throne, not Elizabeth II, because of an affair she claimed to have with King Edward VIII. The only evidence, however, is in the form of a purported journal that one of Edward’s secretaries kept. The puzzles become more confusing when a connection is uncovered between this far-fetched story and the murdered man. Delaney will have to read between the lines to put together the pieces...or become history herself.

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