Plaid and Plagiarism
Highland Bookshop Mystery, Book #1
By Molly MacRae
Author’s Website: mollymacrae.com
A murder in a garden turns the four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books into amateur detectives, in a captivating new cozy mystery novel from Molly MacRae.
Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after the four women take possession of their bookshop in the Highlands. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d planned.
First, Janet Marsh is told she’ll have to wait before moving into her new home. Then she finds out the house has been vandalized. Again. The chief suspect? Una Graham, an advice columnist for the local paper—who’s trying to make a name for herself as an investigative reporter. When Janet and her business partners go looking for clues at the house, they find a body—it’s Una, in the garden shed, with a sickle in her neck. Janet never did like that garden shed.
Who wanted Una dead? After discovering a cache of nasty letters, Janet and her friends are beginning to wonder who didn’t, including Janet’s ex-husband. Surrounded by a cast of characters with whom readers will fall in love, the new owners of Yon Bonnie Books set out to solve Una’s murder so they can get back to business.
A delightful and deadly new novel about recognizing one’s strengths and weakness—while also trying to open a new book shop—Plaid and Plagiarism is the start of an entertaining new Scottish mystery series. (Goodreads)
Plaid and Plagiarism is an exciting, breathtaking start to Molly Macrae’s newest cozy mystery series. Four women make a life-changing move from the Midwest across the pond to Scotland and purchase a historic bookshop with enough storefront to add a tearoom, plus upstairs room to add a bed and breakfast. What a fabulous idea for we armchair travelers and sleuths; a charming bookshop in the Scottish highlands! And that is what the four women thought, and had prepared detailed business plans. The business plans didn’t take into account finding finding a body in the garden shed of Janet’s home.
I very much enjoyed this tale of family, friends, and mystery! Janet, a retired librarian, and Christine, retired social worker, are very familiar with Inversgail, Scotland. Christine’s elderly parents still live in their hometown where she was raised. Janet and her ex-husband had purchased a beautiful home where they had vacationed until the rat traded her in for a younger model. It will now be the home of Janet and her daughter, Tallie, an attorney-turned-bookseller. Janet’s son, his wife, and beloved grandson live in a neighboring town. Tallie’s friend Summer is an investigative journalist looking forward to her new career in the tearoom with Christine, as well as running the B&B. The ladies have been drawn with excellence, so much so that I feel not only as if I know them well but also that each has characteristics that I can identify with. Other characters, including Una, the murdered woman, are prepared with all that is necessary to feel familiar with them and understand how they fit into the whole.
The plot was a delightfully intricate weaving of new beginnings, careers, and the growing number of suspects and additional layers of mystery. Layers that include secrets in Janet’s family that even she was unaware of, secrets of the former owners, secrets of the murdered woman, secrets everywhere. It would seem, that all seem to tumble in haphazardly but are very well organized and executed by the author. The plot twists and turns are stunning at times, and each one increases the suspense. This reader thought she knew who the bad guy/ gal might be, but was stunned at the final revelation! The mysteries were wrapped up completely and secrets revealed, and I am so looking forward to the next one! I highly recommend Plaid and Plagiarism, especially those who would love fresh word pictures of Scotland, enjoy cozy mysteries written with excellence that include courageous ladies, bookstores, and tearooms.