Saturday, January 06, 2018

Scones and Scoundrels by Molly MacRae

If you haven't read Molly MacRae's first Highland Bookshop mystery, Plaid and Plagiarism, it might take a little time to become familiar with her amateur sleuths in the second book. Scones and Scoundrels takes readers to Inversgail, Scotland, where Janet Marsh and her daughter, Tallie, along with their business partners, operate Yon Bonnie Books, a tea room and a bed-and-breakfast. And, because they once solved a murder case, everyone assumes they will again.

Who knew an author-in-residence could stir up so much trouble? Everyone was excited when the high school won a grant to bring in an author for three months. Daphne Wood, who once lived in Inversgail, now lives in a cabin in the Canadian woods. She's an icon as an environmentalist. But, before she even arrives, she's stirring up trouble with her list of demands for her signings at the library and the bookshop. Then, she shows up in town early, with a dog, so new living arrangements are required. When she insults people at her first local appearance, Janet and her friends are afraid this is going to be a disaster. But, it only gets worse.

Daphne learned about a death behind the local pub. Because she knows Janet and her partners once solved a murder case, she pushes them to investigate, and wants to be included. Although Janet refuses, even the nosy author next door assumes the group is looking for answers. It's only when there's another murder that the small group of sleuths realize they better look into the case. Since everyone in town assumes they know more than they do, they could be the next targets of a killer.

While I liked Janet and Tallie, at times I found it difficult to place their partners. Scones and Scoundrels had an excellent cast of secondary characters, though, quirky residents of the small town. But, the book was a little too slow-paced for my taste. Saying that, fans of mysteries set in bookstores, or Paige Shelton's Scottish Bookshop mysteries might want to try this series.

Molly MacRae's website is

Scones and Scoundrels by Molly MacRae. Pegasus Crime. 2018. ISBN 9781681776200 (hardcover), 320p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.


Charlotte said...

Lesa, this is what I have been doing for a long time. Any books , authors that you write about I go to iBooks and download a sample of their book to read later. That way I won't forget the title of the book or the author. It works for me. Of course I have so many the list is catching up with all my books. I also go to google and find the author and a list of their books in order and put that in the author folder and that way I know the order of the series. That folder is large. I use Goodreads to keep up with the books I have read. I got tried of writing them down. By using Goodreads it has been such a neat way of knowing when I read each book the authors and the year.

Lesa said...

Isn't Goodreads wonderful for keeping track of books, Charlotte? And, I want to mention another site for you. This will work for "most" mysteries, if they're in a series. It's called "Stop You're Killing Me", and it's at It's wonderful! I use it all the time. It does mysteries in order, mentions standalones by those authors, awards they've won. It's a terrific site. I could spend an hour teaching about this site alone.

Charlotte said...

Lesa, thank you for sharing this site with me. I looked it up and have bookmarked it.
Signed up for the newsletter. Now I will check it out. Nice to learn of ways to enjoy your life with books.
Could be something you might think about shareing on your blog someday. There might be others who don't know about this site like I didn't. Just a thought.

Lesa said...

Charlotte, I'll have to do that. It's my favorite site! And, I always appreciate the suggestions from readers. The blog has changed over the years because of your suggestions, and I'm glad you all have ideas to improve it!