Dressed to Kilt
A Scottish Highlands Mystery, Book #3
By Hannah Reed
Author’s website: http://www.debbakerbooks.com/
Brought to you by OBS Reviewer Daniele
Winter is leaving the residents of Glenkillen snowbound, but Eden isn’t about to let the weather dampen her spirits. With only a little time left in Scotland, she’s determined to make the most of it—starting with attending a fancy whisky tasting with local looker Leith Cameron. But her classy date turns into a major party foul after a woman is found drowned in one of the vats of alcohol.
Eden immediately steps in as a Special Constable to help solve the case, but her investigation turns sour when she realizes that the killer could be somehow connected to her own Scottish heritage. Now, in order to find the proof she needs to put the murderer behind bars, she’ll have to take a shot at unearthing her family’s past—before she herself winds up buried.
Dressed to Kilt, the third installment in the Scottish Highlands Mystery series, is as smooth as fine whisky with just enough twists and turns to be served on the rocks.
Aspiring romance author Eden Elliott’s six month tourist visa is about to expire, and she will have to go back home to Chicago mere days before Christmas. She thinks she will be able to enjoy her remaining time in the Scottish Highlands at leisure, starting with a local distillery’s whisky tasting, but the heavy snowfall and a body found drowned in a vat of whisky throw kinks in her plans. Called upon in her role as special volunteer constable by DI Jamieson, she is to investigate reclusive Henrietta McCloud’s death. At first, it seems that no one really has much of a motive to kill the distillery owner Bridie Dougal’s assistant, and the more Eden looks into things, the less headway she seems to make. Bridie’s son and daughter-in-law, Henrietta’s sister and nephew, and Bridie’s very distant relative are all on Eden’s radar. When Katie Taylor, the caterer for the tasting, is attacked in what initially looks like a home invasion gone wrong, and someone attempts to attack Eden, she knows she must be close to finding the answers. Secrets are revealed leading the investigation straight to Eden’s own past.
I really like the Scottish Highlands Mystery series. It is witty, has great relatable characters, and the Scotland backdrop is dreamy. However, even though Dressed to Kilt starts off at a quick pace, I felt dragged down by Eden’s whining about her visa. I would totally feel the same as Eden if I was in her position, and I know that the expiration is central to Eden’s story, but it got old quickly. I think part of why I enjoy the series is because Eden and I have a lot in common, and I sure hope that I am not guilty of whining…too much. About two thirds of the way through the story really picks up, and it builds to an exciting climax and satisfying resolution, both for the mystery surrounding Henrietta’s demise and Eden’s history.
Hannah Reed does an excellent job of drawing personable characters, full of Scottish warmth and character, and I would be proud to call any of them friends. And camaraderie is what I feel for Eden and her adopted home. Reed’s descriptions of the village and landscape make me want to hop on a plane and abandon my stateside home. It is wonderful to be an armchair traveler though I hope to make it to Scotland someday. All of the supporting characters play significant roles in Eden’s life, including cats and dogs. The characters central to Henrietta’s mystery are not as likeable, although are we really supposed to like murder suspects? But, they, too, are all vital to the story. American cousin Janet is particularly unsavory, so much so that I rooted for her to be the bad guy. I especially enjoyed the emphasis on Eden’s family and history this time around. Readers will be happy for her to find some peace.
Dressed to Kilt is a first-rate entry in this Scottish cozy series, and I hope there are many more adventures to share with Eden. I recommend it to all cozy readers.