Plaid and Plagiarism (Highland Bookshop Mystery #1) by Molly MacRae
Publisher/Year: Pegasus Crime, 2016
A murder in a garden shed turns the four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books into amateur detectives, in a captivating new cozy mystery from Molly MacRae.
Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after four women take possession of their new 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 weaknesses, Plaid and Plagiarism is the start of a captivating new Scottish mystery series.
What I thought
My thoughts on this book can be summed up in a single sentence: I wish I would have enjoyed it more. It had so many elements for me to love (bookshop, Scotland), and I even found myself fond of the characters, I guess I just didn’t connect with the story.
From the beginning, I kept having to doublecheck that this was, indeed, the first book in the series & not a subsequent one. I think that was because of the fact that the characters weren’t distinctly introduced; I felt like I should already know them. And then they weren’t developed enough for me to have a clear picture of them as I read.
Other than that, though, I enjoyed this read well enough. It was a slower moving mystery (not a thriller, by any means), but I enjoyed the cozy pace. I didn’t manage to solve the mystery by the end, and I was invested enough to want to keep reading to find out what happened.
I did truly LIKE the book, despite the abrupt writing style & lack of character development. I just didn’t LOVE it. It was sweet & I’m fond of the characters, so I’ll probably read the next one some time. All in all, if you’re looking for a good cozy read during this upcoming winter, I’d definitely recommend Plaid & Plagiarism, although you might want to just check your local library for a copy.