Here’s a warning for my youngest sister. If you decide to read Kaitlyn Dunnett’s Liss MacCrimmon Scottish mystery series, start with the first book, Kilt Dead. You’ll spoil the series for yourself by reading the one I did, Scotched, the fifth book. I was just fine with it, but my sister is even worse than I am in insisting in reading a series in order.
It was the cover of this mystery that grabbed me. How could I resist a book with two cats and a pile of books featuring some of my favorite authors, Ellery Queen, Nero Wolfe? Dunnett’s latest book is set in Moosetookalook, Maine, site of the First Annual Maine-ly Cozy Con for fans of cozy mysteries. Liss MacCrimmon’s Scottish Emporium was one of the shops with a booth at the conference in The Spruces, the local lodge. So, Liss was on the scene when a blogger, J. Nedlinger, confronted people.
Officer Sherri Campbell at the police department met Nedlinger first, though, and she had a feeling the woman was trouble. She was there to dig up dirt on the town. Three murders in two years in a town of less than one thousand people seemed a bit much. Then when Nedlinger introduced herself to Liss, she insinuated that Liss was a magnet that attracted all the trouble. After learning Nedlinger had a popular blog, it was obvious this could be trouble for the town and the small business owners. An emergency meeting brought no solutions. But, when the blogger’s body is found at the bottom of a cliff the next day, it seems the town’s trouble ended in an accident.
That accident just seemed a bit too convenient for Liss, though. Liss MacCrimmon had a history of not leaving well enough alone. When a second death occurred at the same spot, she pushed her former boyfriend, a state police detective, to continue the investigation. And, if that wouldn’t work, she’d ask a few questions, even if it meant attracting the attention of a killer.
Liss MacCrimmon comes across as another nosy amateur sleuth who makes wild guesses, and ends up facing a killer she didn’t expect to see. Even so, Scotched is a fun romp for anyone who enjoys traditional mysteries. It’s fun to recognize the names of actual mystery writers, participants in the First Annual Maine-ly Cozy Con. And, Dunnett populates the story with a terrific cast of characters. She also pokes fun at the small town problem with cozy mysteries. The residents of Moosetookalook all realize their town could become a second Cabot Cove.
If you want a cozy mystery with a Scottish accent, a sense of humor, and this time, the addition of a fun mystery convention, try Kaitlyn Dunnett’s Scotched.
Kaitlyn Dunnett’s website is www.kaitlyndunnett.com
Scotched by Kaitlyn Dunnett. Kensington Books. ©2011. ISBN 9780758238818 (hardcover), 265p.
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