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Of Books and Bagpipes

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Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more with bigger jobs. Her latest task includes a trip to Castle Doune, a castle not far out of Edinburgh, to retrieve a hard-to-find edition of an old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie,” in a cloak and dagger transaction that Edwin has orchestrated. While taking in the sights of the distant Highlands from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney is startled when she spots a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. Unfortunately, the foot’s owner is very much dead and, based on the William Wallace costume he’s wearing, perfectly matches the description of the man who was supposed to bring the Oor Wullie. As Delaney rushes to call off some approaching tourists and find the police, she comes across the Oor Wullie, its pages torn and fluttering around a side wall of the castle. Instinct tells her to take the pages and hide them under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is and endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, all before getting herself booked for murder.


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Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more Delaney Nichols has settled so comfortably into her new life in Edinburgh that she truly feels it’s become more home than her once beloved Kansas. Her job at the Cracked Spine, a bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts as well as other sundry valuable historical objects, is everything she had dreamed, with her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, entrusting her more and more with bigger jobs. Her latest task includes a trip to Castle Doune, a castle not far out of Edinburgh, to retrieve a hard-to-find edition of an old Scottish comic, an “Oor Wullie,” in a cloak and dagger transaction that Edwin has orchestrated. While taking in the sights of the distant Highlands from the castle’s ramparts, Delaney is startled when she spots a sandal-clad foot at the other end of the roof. Unfortunately, the foot’s owner is very much dead and, based on the William Wallace costume he’s wearing, perfectly matches the description of the man who was supposed to bring the Oor Wullie. As Delaney rushes to call off some approaching tourists and find the police, she comes across the Oor Wullie, its pages torn and fluttering around a side wall of the castle. Instinct tells her to take the pages and hide them under her jacket. It’s not until she returns to the Cracked Spine that she realizes just how complicated this story is and endeavors to untangle the tricky plot of why someone wanted this man dead, all before getting herself booked for murder.

30 review for Of Books and Bagpipes

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    3 stars Delaney and Edwin are neck deep in mystery again. The characters are great but Rosie and Hamlet had very peripheral roles in this book. Elias is very much (view spoiler)[Delaney’s Watson in this outing. Which is great as I hate it when the heroine rushes into danger at every turn with no thought of backup. (hide spoiler)] The plot was very detailed and obscured by the past so much so that I had no idea for what the motive for the murder might be until revealed by the killer. If Edwin had 3 stars Delaney and Edwin are neck deep in mystery again. The characters are great but Rosie and Hamlet had very peripheral roles in this book. Elias is very much (view spoiler)[Delaney’s Watson in this outing. Which is great as I hate it when the heroine rushes into danger at every turn with no thought of backup. (hide spoiler)] The plot was very detailed and obscured by the past so much so that I had no idea for what the motive for the murder might be until revealed by the killer. If Edwin had (view spoiler)[ come clean to Delaney with all the details of the old cover up the case might have been solved before anyone else was hurt. I hate that when two characters are as close as Delaney and Edwin for whatever reason are not honest with each other. That’s why I gave the book a three star instead of higher rating. (hide spoiler)] Cozies Reading Challenge

  2. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    While on a secret mission for her boss, Delaney comes across a dead body. The body belongs to the man she was supposed to meet, and stashed nearby is the comic Delaney was meeting him about. That's just the beginning of Delaney's newest sleuthing adventure. The 2nd book in the Scottish Bookshop mystery series. Love the setting and the characters. A light and fun cozy mystery. Enjoyable series.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mystereity Reviews

    I enjoyed this mix of intrigue, mystery, long ago secrets and murder. Lots of threads for Delaney to untangle, from an unfortunate incident 50 years ago involving Edwin and his university friends to a murder of a William Wallace reenactor. I loved the sights and sounds of Edinburgh and old castles, it was just like being there. The plot kept a decent pace, and there was a lot for Delaney to figure out and the exciting ending left me with raised eyebrows. With all of the red herrings and plot twi I enjoyed this mix of intrigue, mystery, long ago secrets and murder. Lots of threads for Delaney to untangle, from an unfortunate incident 50 years ago involving Edwin and his university friends to a murder of a William Wallace reenactor. I loved the sights and sounds of Edinburgh and old castles, it was just like being there. The plot kept a decent pace, and there was a lot for Delaney to figure out and the exciting ending left me with raised eyebrows. With all of the red herrings and plot twists, I think I had a new guess whodunit with each chapter!  There were a few dropped/unexplained plot threads that I found myself thinking about after I finished the book. Who was the dead guy on the boat and how come nothing could be found about him other than the passport? Weird. And whatever happened to the letter? And what was the whole thing with the shot glasses? And was Gordon's explanation of Leith's death true? Or was it the work of the killer? I guess I'll never know. But seriously, if Edwin had come clean about the whole thing from the beginning, we never would've had a whole book to enjoy.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chatting About

    **Fresh and original; mesmerizing and haunting.** Delaney Nichols, from Kansas in America, has moved to Scotland and settled in working at a rare book and manuscript shop owned by the wealthy, mysterious Edwin MacAlister. Her fellow employees, Rosie (with her Yorkie, Hector) and Hamlet; and protective cab driver, Elias and his wife, Aggie; have taken her under their wings like a surrogate family. Edwin often sends Delaney on secretive rendezvous in regards to his valuable purchases. At a dark, da **Fresh and original; mesmerizing and haunting.** Delaney Nichols, from Kansas in America, has moved to Scotland and settled in working at a rare book and manuscript shop owned by the wealthy, mysterious Edwin MacAlister. Her fellow employees, Rosie (with her Yorkie, Hector) and Hamlet; and protective cab driver, Elias and his wife, Aggie; have taken her under their wings like a surrogate family. Edwin often sends Delaney on secretive rendezvous in regards to his valuable purchases. At a dark, dank castle, she finds more than the rare comic book, Oor Wullie, that she seeks; and makes the anguishing discovery of the body of the man she was to meet--dressed as a William Wallace reenactor. When the corpse is identified, details from Edwin's past come into question unraveling a shocking chain of events from his university days that place Delaney, Edwin, and several others in danger. With her bookish voices and intuition guiding her, Delaney remains strong and steadfast seeking the truth and answers before someone else is murdered. The author skillfully hides the killer's identity from readers. Amazing storytelling brings each page of this book to life. Author Paige Shelton has a flair for unexpected plot twists, riveting description and dialogue, and beautiful characterization. Of Books and Bagpipes is a joy to read. I voluntarily read an advanced readers copy of this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Much better than book #1. The mystery was more engaging and the characters more fleshed out. I do wonder how many skeletons Edwin has in his closet. Every charater that dies seems to have a connection to him and he's always asking Delaney to lie to the police. But, like I said, I liked this one much better. It is humorous and the mystery is well crafted.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Robbins

    *Received and advanced reading copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published on April 4, 2017. Book two of the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. I liked this book better than the first one, but I am still not in love with it. The story picks up a few months after the last one, and Delaney is well established in Scotland by this point. Edwin sends her to a meeting to pick up an old book, and instead she finds a dead body. Of course she finds herself wrapped up in *Received and advanced reading copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. The book will be published on April 4, 2017. Book two of the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. I liked this book better than the first one, but I am still not in love with it. The story picks up a few months after the last one, and Delaney is well established in Scotland by this point. Edwin sends her to a meeting to pick up an old book, and instead she finds a dead body. Of course she finds herself wrapped up in the mystery. I admit that I was curious who the culprit was throughout the book and the little details she works into the story give it some great character. I still felt that something was missing though so I can only give it 3/5 stars. Great for cozy fans though.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    This is the second book in the Scottish Bookshop Mysteries and a wonderful follow up at that. First of all being set in Scotland is something that I very much enjoyed, never being there myself as an armchair traveler I fully enjoyed the imagery that Paige created. The mystery and the history sucked me in and it was a very intricately woven tale. I did not have it figured out which I truly enjoyed and I loved main character Delaney even more with each word, situation and chapter. Delaney is brave This is the second book in the Scottish Bookshop Mysteries and a wonderful follow up at that. First of all being set in Scotland is something that I very much enjoyed, never being there myself as an armchair traveler I fully enjoyed the imagery that Paige created. The mystery and the history sucked me in and it was a very intricately woven tale. I did not have it figured out which I truly enjoyed and I loved main character Delaney even more with each word, situation and chapter. Delaney is brave, smart and quick. The characters are rich and as inviting as the cozy Scottish setting. I am very thrilled to have read this upcoming April cozy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Aisling

    This was a book-lover's pretty ideal cozy mystery. Awesome atmosphere (Scotland, a used/rare bookstore), very likable characters, a few unexpected twists and a heroine who works and uses her smarts to solve the crime. A good read!

  9. 5 out of 5

    QNPoohBear

    Delaney Nichols has settled into her new life in Edinburgh. She loved The Cracked Spine and her new Scottish family, the research job and the treasures. She especially likes her boyfriend Tom, despite his reputation as a heartbreaker. Delaney is excited to go on a mysterious errand for Edwin at an old castle. Scotland + castle + rare books? = YES! Her friend Elias isn't so sure and insists on accompanying her. Delaney feels Elias is a wee bit overprotective but when she stumbles across a dead bo Delaney Nichols has settled into her new life in Edinburgh. She loved The Cracked Spine and her new Scottish family, the research job and the treasures. She especially likes her boyfriend Tom, despite his reputation as a heartbreaker. Delaney is excited to go on a mysterious errand for Edwin at an old castle. Scotland + castle + rare books? = YES! Her friend Elias isn't so sure and insists on accompanying her. Delaney feels Elias is a wee bit overprotective but when she stumbles across a dead body, she is happy to have her surrogate father nearby. The man was dressed in William Wallace historical reenactment clothing (not Mel Gibson kilt style, alas) and was supposed to be Delaney's contact person. When Delaney informs Edwin of what happened, his reaction is surprising. Delaney's curiosity gets the better of her when a mysterious man from Edwin's past returns from the dead. Her research uncovers surprising secrets about her boss's past and leads her to a society of William Wallace reenactors. Was one or both of these things connected to the death of the man? Rare books, castles, mysteries leading to research in archives located in sub basements, bookish voices, a sweet romance, and a cute pup to comfort his human friends all make for a very pleasing mixture. I could not put the book down! I had to go to sleep but picked it up again this morning! The mystery was complicated and I never guessed who the killer was and why. It was a huge shock and surprise but it also kind of came out of nowhere. What I liked best about the book was the research trips Delaney took to the University of Edinburgh! The sub basements sound incredible! I would love to look through boxes of uncatalogued material and figure out the pieces of the puzzle. I also love Delaney's job and the curious objects she HAS to research (and get paid for it, can I have that job please?!). The Scottish setting is a lot of fun though I found the constant phonetic accents kind of annoying to read. I think the average reader knows what a Scottish accent sounds like. The author doesn't differentiate between different regional accents though and doesn't make Delaney's flat Kansas accent come out phonetically. Does Delaney say "ruff" for roof? I Googled it so it's easily available. Minor quibble though. Delaney is a woman after my own heart. She's mature, intelligent and knows how to research from years spent in a library. She is smart in her sleuthing. Though she sometimes feels Elias is overprotective, she likes making him happy and is willing to have him or someone else along when she's investigating. She does some some weird things in this novel that seem a bit far fetched. Also, at the end, I was surprised neither she nor Elias thought about who may be lurking about! I suppose in a crisis, you act on instinct and not rational thought. Delaney is also pragmatic when it comes to her relationship with Tom. She's willing to accept inevitable heartbreak if she has to in order to enjoy his company now. Elias is a kind old gentleman. He's a bit gruff at times but acts as Delaney's surrogate Dad. I love him nearly as much as she does but would not want Elias and Aggie to be so overprotective. How can Delaney be an independent adult and prove to everyone she can make it on her own thousands of miles away from home if they are always hovering, but they mean well. His love for Aggie is so sweet. They're a great, but mismatched couple. The staff at The Cracked Spine are quirky and fun. Edwin has lots of secrets. His past strongly reminded me of Albus Dumbledore and The Deathly Hallows. It put cracks in his amiable facade. Like Dumbledore, Edwin is a complicated man who made some mistakes in his youth and is trying to protect those he cares for. I still like him a lot. Rosie seems gossipy but she is big hearted and kind. Hector is the most adorable little companion. I want to hold him! Hamlet isn't in the story much this time around. Tom, the hunky pub owner, is the strong, silent type but he accepts Delaney's curious mind and kind of understands her. His father Artair is awesome! I'd love to do research with him. New characters spoil the plot but I will try to briefly discuss them. Edwin's old friend Gordon is complicated. I'm not sure Rosie's dislike of him is warranted but he's not a warm and fuzzy chap. All of Edwin's old friends have secrets and lies they want hidden. I understand that 50 years ago those secrets were shocking. America wasn't as progressive as Delaney might think it was; those secrets would shock Americans too. I felt sorry for everyone involved. I didn't like Clarissa much. She made difficult choices and then never really dealt with the consequences. I did feel rather sad for her though. Billy is rather an enigma, a puzzle that isn't fully solved. I don't think I liked him much. The other reenactors were kind of strange as well. I am eager to read more about Delaney and her amazing job! I don't even need a mystery to go with it-just tell me what she's researching and what she discovers!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lorraine

    So happy to read about Delaney (from Kansas) Edwin, Hamlet, & Rosie who work at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop in Edinburgh, Scotland again I have missed them! Paige Shelton’s Of Books and Bagpipes (A Scottish Bookshop Mystery, #2) once again takes me to one of my favorite places, Edinburgh. Delaney is on a mission for Edwin so she and Elias ride in Elias’ cab out to Castle Doune to retrieve a ‘hard-to-find’ edition of Oor Willie, an ‘old Scottish comic’. As Delaney and Elias trek to the top of C So happy to read about Delaney (from Kansas) Edwin, Hamlet, & Rosie who work at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop in Edinburgh, Scotland again I have missed them! Paige Shelton’s Of Books and Bagpipes (A Scottish Bookshop Mystery, #2) once again takes me to one of my favorite places, Edinburgh. Delaney is on a mission for Edwin so she and Elias ride in Elias’ cab out to Castle Doune to retrieve a ‘hard-to-find’ edition of Oor Willie, an ‘old Scottish comic’. As Delaney and Elias trek to the top of Castle Doune to meet the person who is to give Delaney this book, all is quiet and creepy. When they arrive on the battlements, no one is there, but Delaney spots a sandled foot which is attached to a dead body. That’s my Delaney! As this story continues, the reader meets William Wallace re-enactors, old college chums of Edwin’s & Delaney’s new ‘male’ friend, Tom. Who would know that Liam is a nickname for William? Enjoyable!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    This is such a delightful cozy mystery, with no fewer than three very good candidates for murderer and a bucket full of red herrings. The American heroine is bright, inquisitive and spunky. For the most part, locals don't know quite what to make of her. But she has her fans, not the least of whom is Inspector Winters of the local constabulary. If you enjoy a bit of murder and mayhem thrown in with your bagpipes and William Wallace reenactors, then here's the book for you! I was hooked from the st This is such a delightful cozy mystery, with no fewer than three very good candidates for murderer and a bucket full of red herrings. The American heroine is bright, inquisitive and spunky. For the most part, locals don't know quite what to make of her. But she has her fans, not the least of whom is Inspector Winters of the local constabulary. If you enjoy a bit of murder and mayhem thrown in with your bagpipes and William Wallace reenactors, then here's the book for you! I was hooked from the start and enjoyed the entire journey from cover to cover. Well done, Ms. Shelton! I am grateful to publisher Minotaur Books and Goodreads First Reads for having provided a free advance reader copy of this book. Their generosity, however, did not influence this review - the words of which are mine alone.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kristina

    Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton is the second book in A Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. Delaney Nichols works at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister has sent her on a special errand to Castle Doune to pick up a rare copy of Oor Wullie (an old Scottish comic). Delaney only knows that her contact will be in costume. She is driven by friend and landlord, Elias (also a cabdriver) who wishes to keep Delaney safe while on this errand. Delaney is looking around Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton is the second book in A Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. Delaney Nichols works at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister has sent her on a special errand to Castle Doune to pick up a rare copy of Oor Wullie (an old Scottish comic). Delaney only knows that her contact will be in costume. She is driven by friend and landlord, Elias (also a cabdriver) who wishes to keep Delaney safe while on this errand. Delaney is looking around and notices a body backward on a staircase. It turns out to be the man Delaney was to meet. While awaiting the police, Delaney does find the book which she quickly hides out of sight. Upon returning to The Cracked Spine, she shares what happened with Edwin (and then the rest of the staff). The deceased is Billy Armstrong, son of an old friend of Edwin’s, Gordon Armstrong. Gordon had died two years previously in a boat fire. The group is shocked when Gordon shows up later that day in the bookshop. Gordon wants to know what happened to his son. They find out that Gordon had sent the book to Edwin via Billy, and it contained the details on what had happened two years prior. Delaney starts seeking the truth and to uncover who killed Billy Armstrong. She is aided by her friends at The Cracked Spine and her “bookish voices”. Delaney will need support if she is to uncover the lies and expose a killer. I had not had the opportunity to read The Cracked Spine since its publication. I discovered that it is better to read the first book (The Cracked Spine) before starting Of Books and Bagpipes. Some background details are provided on the main character, but not all the needed information is included. Of Books and Bagpipes is an arduous novel to read. I found the Scottish dialogue difficult to decipher. If it was just in small sections, it would be manageable (but it was not). The pace of the book is slow and untangling the interchanges significantly slows down the reading. There are several obscure and famous Scottish authors mentioned throughout the novel. I believe most readers will like the inclusion of this information. I give Of Books and Bagpipes 2.5 out of 5 stars. The saving grace of this story is the mystery. It is complicated and challenging to solve. A reader needs to pay close attention to the details to unscramble the clues and crack the case. Also, included in the novel is information on various historical sights. While the information is interesting, it does bog down the story. I was not a fan of Delaney’s boss, Edwin. I find that he keeps too many secrets. I believe the author was trying to make him mysterious, but it does not quite work. I wish the author had stuck with a warehouse full of unusual and unique items (instead of all the secrets and lies). I did not see how Delaney’s “bookish voices” enhanced the book. I would have preferred ghosts. Ghosts associated with old historical sites (like Castle Doune) or maybe spirits that live in The Cracked Spine (I prefer this scenario). While Of Books and Bagpipes was not to my liking, I am a fan of Paige Shelton’s other series (especially A Dangerous Type Mystery series).

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ks Book Reviews

    Author Paige Shelton continues to prove what a talented writer she is. OF BOOKS AND BAGPIPES is a book filled cover to cover with mystery, drama, intrigue, and even history (Readers will learn about William Wallace, a Scottish Knight). A well told story that reminded me of the mysteries of old. Even starts off with a castle! I’ve become so attached to lead character Delaney Nichols and the rest of the group of the Cracked Spine and the surrounding town. I look forward to the next installment and Author Paige Shelton continues to prove what a talented writer she is. OF BOOKS AND BAGPIPES is a book filled cover to cover with mystery, drama, intrigue, and even history (Readers will learn about William Wallace, a Scottish Knight). A well told story that reminded me of the mysteries of old. Even starts off with a castle! I’ve become so attached to lead character Delaney Nichols and the rest of the group of the Cracked Spine and the surrounding town. I look forward to the next installment and seeing where Ms. Shelton takes her characters as they grow. With the setting of Scotland to highlight the tale, this book takes on a different tone than other cozies. It has a different feel. And because of the location and the images the author paints, it’s easy to see OF BOOKS AND BAGPIPES one day being on film. While the first book in this series, THE CRACKED SPINE, is still my favorite of the two, OF BOOKS AND BAGPIPES is an excellent read that you’re will enjoy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Fred

    Of Books And Bagpipes is the second book in the A Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. I really love this series that is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. The reader is able to virtually travel about the city of Edinburgh and it’s old castles. Also, the reader will learn more about the life of William Wallace as the story centers around William Wallace reenactors. Delaney Nichols has been asked by her employer, Edwin MacAlister to meet someone at Doune Castle, only informed as to what the man will be weari Of Books And Bagpipes is the second book in the A Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. I really love this series that is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. The reader is able to virtually travel about the city of Edinburgh and it’s old castles. Also, the reader will learn more about the life of William Wallace as the story centers around William Wallace reenactors. Delaney Nichols has been asked by her employer, Edwin MacAlister to meet someone at Doune Castle, only informed as to what the man will be wearing, and get from him a rare old comic book. When Delaney arrives at the appointed spot she finds the body of the man she was to meet and near the body, she finds the comic book she was to obtain near the body and quickly hides in her coat. Edwin MacAlister continues to keep his personal life and a good deal of his business life to himself, but Delaney is able to learn that the history of the comic book reaches back to MacAlister’s college days. In fact, the dead man, Billy Armstrong, is the son of one of the three college student’s that MacAlister was close with. She also learns that another student had died when he and the other were out sailing and more recently two of the four had died in a fire on another boat. Now with the help of her friend, Tom Fletcher and Elias, her landlord and taxi driver to unravel everything and to find the killer. This series has a wonderful cast of interesting and believable characters. Ms. Shelton once again skillfully weaves interesting descriptions of Edinburgh and its castles without taking away from the story. I also found particularly interesting the history of William Wallace. Will definitely be watching for the next book in this wonderful series.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lesa

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Who knew a bookstore owner could get in so much trouble? Delaney Nichols, an American now working at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, Scotland, rediscovers that her boss, Edwin MacAlister, has a mysterious past. Some of those secrets come to light in Paige Shelton's Of Books and Bagpipes. Delaney thought she was just going to Castle Doune to pick up an "Oor Willie" comic book from a stranger. Instead, she found that man dead, with no sign as to how he died. She does find pages of the comic book, t Who knew a bookstore owner could get in so much trouble? Delaney Nichols, an American now working at The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, Scotland, rediscovers that her boss, Edwin MacAlister, has a mysterious past. Some of those secrets come to light in Paige Shelton's Of Books and Bagpipes. Delaney thought she was just going to Castle Doune to pick up an "Oor Willie" comic book from a stranger. Instead, she found that man dead, with no sign as to how he died. She does find pages of the comic book, though, and hides them. When she returns to The Cracked Spine, other strangers show up, including the "dead" father of the man from the castle. And, everyone seems to think Edwin is behind the death, or knows more than he says. This time, no one in The Cracked Spine seems cooperative. Everyone has reasons to keep secrets, especially Edwin. And, as Delaney discovers, those secrets go back a half a century or more. She teams up with her cab driver landlord, Elias, to dig into the past. She finds herself learning more about Scotland's history and past, as well as more about Edwin. Edwin's secret was shared by a number of people, and it was a secret that sheltered a killer. Shelton makes use of a number of red herrings and ends the story with a big reveal. However, Of Books and Bagpipes tends to wander. Despite the wonderful, quirky characters (I'm half in love wth Elias), and the beautiful setting, this mystery seemed confusing. While I'm a fan of Shelton's books, this convoluted story, with a large cast and an elaborate exposition, isn't my favorite.

  16. 5 out of 5

    FangirlNation

    “Books: They’re definitely the stuff of magic.” In Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton, Delany Nichols has settled into her home and job at a bookstore that deals in rare books and other items in Edinburgh after she moved to Scotland from Kansas. Her boss, Edwin, has sent her to pick up a collection of the Oor Wullie comic strips from 1948. She is to meet a William Wallace reenactor at the Castle Doune to get the rare and valuable collection of a Scottish comic strip. But when she arrives with “Books: They’re definitely the stuff of magic.” In Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton, Delany Nichols has settled into her home and job at a bookstore that deals in rare books and other items in Edinburgh after she moved to Scotland from Kansas. Her boss, Edwin, has sent her to pick up a collection of the Oor Wullie comic strips from 1948. She is to meet a William Wallace reenactor at the Castle Doune to get the rare and valuable collection of a Scottish comic strip. But when she arrives with Elias, her taxi-driver landlord, they climb to the top of the castle and find the body of the man Delany was supposed to meet, Billie Armstrong. Read the rest of this review and other fun, geeky articles at Fangirl Nation

  17. 4 out of 5

    LInda L

    ? I wanted to love this because it was set in Scotland, but the best I could do was like it. Everyone had way too many secrets. And Edwin, Dulaney's boss, is just too weird. And it's nice that she has a boyfriend, but do they ever do anything together? A few kisses in the first book and that's it. And when does she do any actual work in that bookstore? She's always running off somewhere interviewing people and getting in their business. In real life, Edwin would have fired her after a week. Well ? I wanted to love this because it was set in Scotland, but the best I could do was like it. Everyone had way too many secrets. And Edwin, Dulaney's boss, is just too weird. And it's nice that she has a boyfriend, but do they ever do anything together? A few kisses in the first book and that's it. And when does she do any actual work in that bookstore? She's always running off somewhere interviewing people and getting in their business. In real life, Edwin would have fired her after a week. Well, it was OK, but not spectacular. I have high hopes for LOST BOOKS AND OLD BONES.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    This one was better than the first! This book was very much more than the first one. There was a bigger mystery,well written and more intrigue. The book started as the first one left off. The intrigue was more so in this one. More characters than the first one. Totally ready for the next in the series!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    Didn't read the first book but don't think I really missed out on anything. This one stood on it's own for the most part. Was an easy read, writing style was simple. Wasn't a huge mystery to try to solve. The setting in Scotland was nice and I learned a little about William Wallace. Over all, it was good, not the "I could't put it down" kind of book, but still a decent story.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    The second book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series finds Delaney Nichols settled into her job at the Cracked Spine bookshop. She's adjusting to the changes in her life nicely. She's made friends, found herself a fellow and is enjoying her work. But when tasked to go to a secret meeting to pick up a copy of an old Scottish comic strip collection, she stumbles across the body of a man. As it turns out, the man she was supposed to be meeting. This meeting was at the behest of her employer, Edwin The second book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series finds Delaney Nichols settled into her job at the Cracked Spine bookshop. She's adjusting to the changes in her life nicely. She's made friends, found herself a fellow and is enjoying her work. But when tasked to go to a secret meeting to pick up a copy of an old Scottish comic strip collection, she stumbles across the body of a man. As it turns out, the man she was supposed to be meeting. This meeting was at the behest of her employer, Edwin. When he learns of the murder, he is taken aback and soon old secrets come back to haunt him and others from his past. Delaney ends up investigating herself and ends up gathering just as many new questions as she gets answers. When she's threatened, events take an even more sinister turn. Unfortunately for me, despite being just 292 pages, Of Books and Bagpipes seemed to drag on a little bit too long for my liking. The story was okay, but I can't help feeling that if her employer had been more helpful with revealing answers to her questions, the story would've been over a lot sooner. His reluctance to share details seemed designed to artificially make the book longer rather than as a natural part of the tale's telling.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Cynthia Egbert

    Again, a wildly disjointed mystery that really doesn't have the flow I appreciate but I still love the setting and so I will keep reading. The characters remain rather doltish but in a sweet way so I can muddle through. A warning: one really has to suspend belief to follow this one through. The only quote I marked in this one is from another author "Only after a person has their heart broken does the world appear as it truly is." -Michael Gilbert.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It's a good second book. The first couple chapters catch you up with the characters and their backstories in case you missed the first book. Again, much like the first book, I feel a disservice was done to Delaney's "bookish voices" as that was still hardly explained. At least the books had more to say to her in this book, but I feel like the author didn't give a proper introduction to it. Which still leaves me wondering, what's the point of giving your character a quirk, and saying it's so weir It's a good second book. The first couple chapters catch you up with the characters and their backstories in case you missed the first book. Again, much like the first book, I feel a disservice was done to Delaney's "bookish voices" as that was still hardly explained. At least the books had more to say to her in this book, but I feel like the author didn't give a proper introduction to it. Which still leaves me wondering, what's the point of giving your character a quirk, and saying it's so weird and obtrusive, and then hardly ever using it. Whatever. Fifty years ago, a group of college students who thought they were special really liked a particular comic book which eventually led to the murder of one, and the attempted murder of like three other people. Things could have been solved a lot quicker if certain bookshop owners were more forthcoming with their nosy archivist-turned-detective, who they know is nosy to a fault and has their best interest at heart. Like, Delaney withholds things from the police all the damn time for you, Edwin. You don't think she should know some pertinent details that might help a murder case? There isn't even a real reason to hide this particular secret. "Oh, it was fifty years ago, you wouldn't understand, it's better to think she was a slut than that she was raped, I'm still hiding this because I don't know why." All this crap could have been wrapped up sooner if Edwin just told Delaney the truth when she asked for it, and if he just talked to Billy's dad. Why were you even unwilling to face Billy? Now that we know the actual truth, what reason was there to even hide from Billy and send Delaney to meet him in the first place? Why didn't you just have him come to the Cracked Spine? You're literally never even there anyways, Edwin! I'll admit, this isn't even really a review. This is just me airing my grievances. Anyways, more grievances. When you finally get to the reveal, you're left with that feeling in Meet the Robinsons when the Bowler Hat Guy tells Luis who he is. And that he's been wearing the same baseball uniform the last 30-odd years. Even Delaney thinks so. The most telling thing was when the killer was like, "Look at my room, it explains everything!", and Delaney was like, this is the most ordinary room, you're just really into Oor Wullie. I'm not even exaggerating. That is like, literally verbatim what happens. But what irks me most is that they explain it away as the antagonist being mentally ill. And that's all they say. He was mentally ill, that's why he killed a man. And planned to kill several other people including his mother. And it's like, wow, thanks for continuing to stigmatize mental illness. And also your mother is a terrible person. Which I honestly feel like was a harsh judgement. From what little we know, she was a good mom who shared her interest with her son, but then had a moment of weakness after being reminded of a traumatic event (which of course, the son wouldn't have realized had been traumatic) and said something hurtful to him. Keep in mind, he was a grown-ass man when she made that particular comment. I'm not saying Clarissa was a completely innocent character, I just feel like the other characters weren't particularly sympathetic to her during the Last Chapter Wrap-Up. When, clearly, they should have all been ganging up on Edwin for being so reticent. They keep going on about being family, yet he's got so many lies and secrets that Delaney ends up putting herself in dangerous situations that she could have avoided if she'd had the truth. At the very least, they would have been able to eliminate some suspects if Edwin had talked to certain people when he said he would. Okay, end of rant. This book is a whirlwind of a mystery that leaves you guessing until the end as you are inundated with other mysteries and cover-ups from the past fifty years, not knowing which facts are relevant or lies, and wondering how the hell Delaney is keeping all of this straight in her head since she writes none of this down. Also, why is a cop giving her any kind of information? And is it really necessary to keep saying that her boyfriend was a player before, and everybody warning her that he's a heartbreaker, even one of his exes who says that to her in front of him, yet we never get those vibes from him? Is this just to establish that Delaney is a Cool Girl(tm)? Whatever, their five-month relationship is basically just background noise anyways so it doesn't actually matter. After chapters and chapters of piling on information and red herrings, it's all wrapped up in a chapter and a half, and you're left with, oh, it's over? Okay. And then you spend a week and a half trying to figure out how to write a review summarizing all your mixed feelings about this particular book when really you should just move on to the next book and hope it has nothing to do with Edwin's history, because there's only so much you can dredge up on this old man before you start questioning the author's description of him as whimsical. And now, one last grievance for the road. Why the frick do people call her Delaney from Kansas in America? You know her name. You've known her for five months. Why are you calling her Delaney from Kansas? Is it to add weight to the moment? Is it to Other her? Why do you say Kansas in America? Are there other Kansases? Can the author not decide if she should wrap up Delaney's identity in being from Kansas or being from America? Do these characters know so many Delaneys that they have to differentiate this particular one as being from Kansas in America as opposed to Surrey in England? This only happened like twice and literally has no bearing on the book, but (as is obvious) it kind of bothered me. People don't talk like that.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eden

    2019 bk 93. 2nd of the series. I do enjoy her books, but Edwin is a little off-putting to me. I'm not sure if it is the 'superrich' part or the fact that he hires Delaney and then makes very few, small appearances (which causes me to wonder how he gained everyone's loyalty), and then asks his employees repeatedly to not be open and clear with the police. It befuddles me. The book has a few issues with Edgar Allen Poe's rules for writing mysteries, - hiding clues from the readers springs to mind. 2019 bk 93. 2nd of the series. I do enjoy her books, but Edwin is a little off-putting to me. I'm not sure if it is the 'superrich' part or the fact that he hires Delaney and then makes very few, small appearances (which causes me to wonder how he gained everyone's loyalty), and then asks his employees repeatedly to not be open and clear with the police. It befuddles me. The book has a few issues with Edgar Allen Poe's rules for writing mysteries, - hiding clues from the readers springs to mind. Otherwise I enjoy the setting, I enjoy Delaney and her relationships with her landlords and Tom and the others. I like her enough that I've purchased the third and fourth books in the series. This one seems the weakest so far.

  24. 5 out of 5

    AngryGreyCat

    Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton is the second book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. Delaney is dropped into a mystery at the very beginning as a pickup for a new item for the shop goes awry when her connection is found dead. The young man has a personal connection to Edwin, Delaney’s boss and owner of the shop, and to a circle of Edwin’s friends. Delaney investigates with the help of her landlord Elias and her romantic interest Tom. Exceptionally good sense of place developed here Of Books and Bagpipes by Paige Shelton is the second book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. Delaney is dropped into a mystery at the very beginning as a pickup for a new item for the shop goes awry when her connection is found dead. The young man has a personal connection to Edwin, Delaney’s boss and owner of the shop, and to a circle of Edwin’s friends. Delaney investigates with the help of her landlord Elias and her romantic interest Tom. Exceptionally good sense of place developed here, with lots of intrigue, even among those Delaney thinks of as friends and associates. I am enjoying this cozy mystery series set in Edinburgh.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Fast, entertaining read, not too complicated but still full of interesting tidbits about Scotland. I enjoyed the three book series. Much to my pleasure it was not just book after book of the same formula. Each one stood alone and was surprisingly unique in it's own way, although reading them in ORDER at the behest of my dear daughters did improve the overall experience! ahahahhaa Another set I have loaned to other women my age (63!) that enjoy nicely built out characters, a feminine heroine, a li Fast, entertaining read, not too complicated but still full of interesting tidbits about Scotland. I enjoyed the three book series. Much to my pleasure it was not just book after book of the same formula. Each one stood alone and was surprisingly unique in it's own way, although reading them in ORDER at the behest of my dear daughters did improve the overall experience! ahahahhaa Another set I have loaned to other women my age (63!) that enjoy nicely built out characters, a feminine heroine, a little adventure, love, history and excitement with not-too-much harsh blood and guts plus all tied up with a lovely conclusion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joy Gerbode

    I absolutely love this series of books. The Scottish accents, the descriptions of Edinburgh and surrounding area, and the general Scottish information is all very fascinating. The bookstore, and the antiquities, add an extra special flavor for me. And the touch of magic just makes them absolutely wonderful. The characters are quite real, and well developed. The mystery is always a mystery ... I never have them figured out. Although I have quite a list of suspects ... the true murderer always see I absolutely love this series of books. The Scottish accents, the descriptions of Edinburgh and surrounding area, and the general Scottish information is all very fascinating. The bookstore, and the antiquities, add an extra special flavor for me. And the touch of magic just makes them absolutely wonderful. The characters are quite real, and well developed. The mystery is always a mystery ... I never have them figured out. Although I have quite a list of suspects ... the true murderer always seems to come right out of left field ... I LOVE this series.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nancy H

    This is another really good entry into the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. In this story, Delaney is sent to a castle to pick up a book for her boss, and instead finds a dead body - that of the person she was to meet. She discovers mysteries upon mysteries when she searches for information about the dead man, and they all involve her boss. She has to make decisions about who to trust as she wends her way through the twisted maze that is this situation. Another good read!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Good second addition to the Scottish Bookshop series. Delaney goes to an historic castle to pick up a purchase made by her employer, Edwin - owner of the bookstore. What she finds instead is a dead re-enactor who is the son of a deceased friend of Edwin. During her snooping, she uncovers long buried secrets from Edwin's past.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Linda Smatzny

    In this story, Delaney Nichols has settled into her job at the Cracked Spine in Edinburgh. Her boss, Edwin, has asked her to meet a man and get a hard to find edition of a Scottish comic. When she and her landlord arrive they discover a body. From then on the book is all about secrets especially ones that happened years earlier. Delaney is very much into mysteries and discovering truths. The book was a quick easy read.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linnea

    Enjoyed how the culture and the characters mingled.

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