Janet's Bookstore Murder Mystery

Bruce Von Stiers

Molly MacRae has written a whole bunch of mystery short stories and a cozy mystery series or two. One of Molly's series takes place in Scotland in the U.K.

The series is called the Highland Bookshop Mystery series. It features the Yon Bonnie Books shop in the fictional town of Inversgail, Scotland, the story capital of the Scottish Highlands.

The first book in the series is Plaid and Plagiarism. The lead character in the book is Janet Marsh. She and her adult daughter, Tallie, have relocated from the U.S. to Inversgail. Janet has become co-owner of the Yon Bonnie Books bookstore with her friend Christine. Janet wasn't exactly a stranger to the town, as her family had spent time there over the years. In fact, Janet owns a home in Inversgail.

The reader learns that Janet has come off of a divorce and that the ex was a cheat and scoundrel. But that's pretty much the norm for ex's in cozy's right? It seems that Janet took the ex to the cleaners, including gaining sole ownership of the home in Inversgail and enough money to buy into the bookstore.

The cast of characters include the previous owners of the bookstore, Janet's partner in the bookstore, Christine, a real estate agent, a handyman of sorts, his dog, an advice columnist and a constable for the town.

When the advice columnist is found murdered in a shed behind Janet's home, she, Tallie and Christine decide to investigate the murder.

On top of the murder, there are some mysterious, mischievous and even malicious things happening in Janet's orbit. There's an old woman who spends her days in the bookstore, a set of damaging letters that suddenly appear, garbage left in Janet's home and at the bookstore and an apparition of the dead advice columnist that seemingly appears even before she's been murdered.

The author has taken some interesting turns with the plot in the book. Just when you think that the culprit is found out, there is another suspect or angle that the reader learns about. Although some of the characters are fleshed out, there isn't any distracting drama that would take away the thrust of the murder investigation. Bits and pieces that could be viewed as subplots are actually integral parts of the overall story.

I had a fun time reading Plaid and Plagiarism. I thought I had it all figured out, then the author proved I wasn't as deductive as I believe I was. I had the right reason for the murder but definitely had the wrong suspect.

As I mentioned earlier, Plaid and Plagiarism was just the first book in the Highland Bookshop Mystery series. To date, I believe that Molly MacRae has written three book in the series. I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Check out Molly MacRae's web site at http://www.mollymacrae.com/ to learn more about Molly , the Highland Bookshop Mystery series and the other series that Molly has written.

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© 2020 Bruce E Von Stiers