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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 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.


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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 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.

30 review for Plaid and Plagiarism

  1. 5 out of 5

    Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede

    As this is a cozy mystery book there are lots of eccentric people and lots of humor, at least it tries to be humorous. However, I did find it hard to really enjoy PLAID AND PLAGIARISM. Despite the bookstore and all. Sure, there were moments that I enjoyed, a man and his dog that kept on disappearing throughout the book. One minute there, the next gone. The old lady that just showed up one day in the bookstore, not saying a word, just sitting there knitting. But, the mystery just never really got As this is a cozy mystery book there are lots of eccentric people and lots of humor, at least it tries to be humorous. However, I did find it hard to really enjoy PLAID AND PLAGIARISM. Despite the bookstore and all. Sure, there were moments that I enjoyed, a man and his dog that kept on disappearing throughout the book. One minute there, the next gone. The old lady that just showed up one day in the bookstore, not saying a word, just sitting there knitting. But, the mystery just never really got to me. I felt that, despite this being a fairly short book, it was hard for me to concentrate on the story. READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Monnie

    The checklist I use when I'm composing a book review includes how reluctant I am to shut down my Kindle when other duties call - and on the other end, how eager I am to start reading it again. On that score, this one falls a bit short. It's certainly not a bad story, but I just couldn't work up much enthusiasm for it. Honestly, I'm not sure why. Admittedly I'll never be a huge fan of "cozy" mysteries, but I do enjoy them now and again. I love books and bookstores (one of my favorite series is Law The checklist I use when I'm composing a book review includes how reluctant I am to shut down my Kindle when other duties call - and on the other end, how eager I am to start reading it again. On that score, this one falls a bit short. It's certainly not a bad story, but I just couldn't work up much enthusiasm for it. Honestly, I'm not sure why. Admittedly I'll never be a huge fan of "cozy" mysteries, but I do enjoy them now and again. I love books and bookstores (one of my favorite series is Lawrence Block's The Burgler Who, with Barnegat Books owner Bernie Rhodenbarr), and this book focuses on the four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books. The setting is the smallish Scotland community of Inversgail, a country of interest to me thanks to a wonderful daughter-in-law who was born and raised in the United Kingdom. There are even wee touches of humor here and there and it's the first of a series, all coming together to make the book a seemingly ideal choice for me - hence my quick acceptance of an advance copy (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review. Janet Marsh is one of the four bookstore owners who has returned from Illinois to Scotland, where she lived with her now ex-husband (a.k.a. The Rat) until about five years ago. She starts off in something of a confused state when she learns her former house won't be ready to move into as planned. Then, she learns it'll be even longer because it's been vandalized for the second time. As if that weren't enough, there's still another delay when the body of local advice columnist (a.k.a. "Agony Aunt") Una Graham (a.k.a. "Ug") is found in the shed behind Janet's house - the shed The Rat built that Janet always hated anyway. The other owners include Janet's 38-year-old daughter Tallie (short for Natalie), a lawyer back in the states, Janet's old friend Christine Robertson and journalist Summer Jacobs, Tallie's former college roommate. They begin the transition to full-time owners with the help of former owners Kenneth and Pamela Lawrie as well as pursue plans to create a tea room and small bed-and-breakfast in the space next to the bookstore. Janet learns that the neighbor next door to her not-yet-ready-to-move-in house is an illusive but well-known author, and the bookstore itself becomes a haven for a mysterious old woman who sits in the shop for hours tending to her knitting and not once uttering a word. Meanwhile, there's an upcoming annual Inversgail Literature Festival, and two of the bookstore owners take on even more work by agreeing to serve as judges for what seemed to me to be an astounding number of entries given the size of the community. Whew! Wound in and around all this is the four women's unflagging determination to find the murderer; in between all their other activities they keep notes on their investigation in the Cloud and bug the heck out of the local police detective (himself a curious and not particularly likable person, BTW). All in good fun, right? It should be, but to me, not so much. There are a few too many characters for me to keep straight, a few too many Gaelic words and phrases that kept me a bit confused, and the banter among the four store owners never really clicked in my [non-Scottish] brain. By about the three-quarter mark, I really didn't care who the culprit was (but that said, yes, it was a surprise, and that's a plus). All things considered, I'm sure this book will have appeal to many readers, and there's plenty of potential for the series as a whole. But wheesht - it didn't quite do it for me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    This is the first in The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series. Janet Marsh and Christine Robertson are close friends, who have brought a bookshop named ‘Yon Bonnie Books’ in the small town of Inversgail. As the name of the bookshop suggests, Inversgail is popular with tourists and American, Janet Marsh, and her ex-husband Curtis, had a house which they visited every summer. Meanwhile, Christine was born in Inversgail, before emigrating to live in the States. Now, Christine is widowed and Janet divor This is the first in The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series. Janet Marsh and Christine Robertson are close friends, who have brought a bookshop named ‘Yon Bonnie Books’ in the small town of Inversgail. As the name of the bookshop suggests, Inversgail is popular with tourists and American, Janet Marsh, and her ex-husband Curtis, had a house which they visited every summer. Meanwhile, Christine was born in Inversgail, before emigrating to live in the States. Now, Christine is widowed and Janet divorced, and they have returned to Scotland with Janet’s grown daughter, Tallie and her former roommate, Summer Jacobs, in order to start a new life, and a new business. The four women intend to add a B&B and teashop to the bookshop and set about making a new life. However, first, Janet must get back the house she was left in her divorce settlement, which has been rented out. Estate Agent Jess Baillie has evaded Janet’s questions about when she can move back in and so Christine insists they find out what is going on. They discover the house has been wrecked and the tearful Jess inside blames it on Una Graham, the advice columnist in the local paper. However, before the two women can get to the bottom of things, there is a body found in the garden shed and they have a mystery to unravel. The novel is set around a literacy festival in the town and Janet is asked to be part of the committee. All the women want is to solve the crime and get back to their bookish lives, but they soon discover a small community has a lot of skeletons in closets and some of them are a bit too close to home. This is what it seems – a fun, cosy mystery, with a gentle setting and an eccentric bunch of characters. One of the most fun was crime writer, Ian Atkinson and there was also a likeable young police constable, Norman Hobbs. If you like cosy mysteries, then this will appeal. I received a copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, for review. Rated 3.5.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Primrose Jess

    A charming new cozy mystery series. I can only hope when I am in my retirement years I will have three ladies in my life I can open a book shop with. Minus the dead body with a scythe to the neck in my garden shed. My Reactions: -I pretty much have been on streak enjoying any book set in Scotland. -The cast of characters are diverse, eccentric, with few that could be considered "bat poo" crazy. Absolutely loved them all. -While reading, I was struck with an inexplicable urge to eat a lemon scone A charming new cozy mystery series. I can only hope when I am in my retirement years I will have three ladies in my life I can open a book shop with. Minus the dead body with a scythe to the neck in my garden shed. My Reactions: -I pretty much have been on streak enjoying any book set in Scotland. -The cast of characters are diverse, eccentric, with few that could be considered "bat poo" crazy. Absolutely loved them all. -While reading, I was struck with an inexplicable urge to eat a lemon scone and have a cuppa. -A delightful, feel good mystery to dive into on a lazy Saturday. What's It About: Janet Marsh was dealt a lot blow by her husband, Curtis, (the rat). Fortunately she received a healthy settlement and the house in Scotland from the deal. She purchases a bookshop with her two friends and daughter with plans on living out her "what if" dream. When her home is vandalized and a body is found in her garden shed; Janet quickly realizes small town life isn't as innocent as the brochures will lead you to believe.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

    I wanted to love this one so much! Scotland! American transplants opening a bookshop! Did I mention Scotland?? Sadly this just did not capture my interest at all. The pacing was remarkably slow and the lead up to the mystery just seemed so ridiculous that I couldn't even continue. This went beyond cozy to silly. I wanted to love this one so much! Scotland! American transplants opening a bookshop! Did I mention Scotland?? Sadly this just did not capture my interest at all. The pacing was remarkably slow and the lead up to the mystery just seemed so ridiculous that I couldn't even continue. This went beyond cozy to silly.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Michelle

    This started off in a bad way for me - there was a lot of crankiness and bickering and I was not amused with that banter and almost gave up on it, but decided to hang on and I am glad I did. The banter smoothed out after a few chapters and I started liking the characters and the mystery intrigued me. And the end was not really a surprise, but has some surprising elements. I am looking forward to the next one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This was a disappointing read. I really hated the main character, Janet, but maybe it was because there wasn't much character development and none of them really stuck out. There didn't seem to be transitions in the book; one minute the character's are talking to someone, then without warning, they're somewhere else, or talking to someone else, or solving the mystery randomly and all of the sudden. I think a better editor was in order for this book. I had high hopes, but it just didn't work for This was a disappointing read. I really hated the main character, Janet, but maybe it was because there wasn't much character development and none of them really stuck out. There didn't seem to be transitions in the book; one minute the character's are talking to someone, then without warning, they're somewhere else, or talking to someone else, or solving the mystery randomly and all of the sudden. I think a better editor was in order for this book. I had high hopes, but it just didn't work for me. It was a struggle to finish.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    This book was meh. It really couldn't get into it! So many characters were introduced very quickly, I felt like this was a book further into a series as opposed to a new book. Plus most of the characters were so similar I couldn't tell them apart. DNF I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was meh. It really couldn't get into it! So many characters were introduced very quickly, I felt like this was a book further into a series as opposed to a new book. Plus most of the characters were so similar I couldn't tell them apart. DNF I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    Pretty good mystery. I loved all the Scottish stuff even if some of the idioms left me confused. So, that part was educational. But the mystery itself was a bit drawn out.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    Originally posted at Desert Island Book Reviews Plaid and Plagiarism is a cozy mystery set in Inversgail, Scotland. It’s centered around a group of four women who have decided to partner up and run a bookshop, tearoom, and bed and breakfast (though only the bookshop is running in this book). They’re thrust into the middle of a murder investigation and decide to try a little sleuthing of their own to get to the bottom of whodunnit. Like most cozy mysteries, the pacing was a little slower than I’d h Originally posted at Desert Island Book Reviews Plaid and Plagiarism is a cozy mystery set in Inversgail, Scotland. It’s centered around a group of four women who have decided to partner up and run a bookshop, tearoom, and bed and breakfast (though only the bookshop is running in this book). They’re thrust into the middle of a murder investigation and decide to try a little sleuthing of their own to get to the bottom of whodunnit. Like most cozy mysteries, the pacing was a little slower than I’d hoped, though once I got involved in the story a bit more, I was definitely interested in seeing where it headed. I loved the idea of setting the book in Scotland and I found myself wishing we saw more of it. Instead, most of the time we were reading about the women inside a pub or their shop, which made sense in some ways, but I was left wondering why the author bothered to set the book in Scotland if most of the plot takes place in a bookshop that could have been anywhere. Still, I enjoyed the concept of the bookshop and tearoom, and I’m now dying for some scones after many, many mentions of them in the book. Regarding the murder and mystery itself, I thought it was fairly well done. I didn’t guess who the killer was and I jumped to some of my own conclusions like any good amateur sleuth would, even though I didn’t have all of the information. I felt a little like one of the characters (a bit misguided, but pretty convinced I was on the right track). I did wish there were more little clues that let me come to my own conclusions (the right conclusions), but I enjoyed the way things worked out. I’m giving this three stars rather than four because while I did enjoy reading it, I found the beginning to be a little slow, and as I mentioned above, I’d really like to see more of Scotland. Even more description about the setting outside of the shop might be nice, but that’s a personal preference. It’s a good cozy mystery and if you enjoy the genre, I’d give it a try. *ARC from Pegasus Books via NetGalley

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kav

    Woohoo -- a new-to-me cozy mystery series to tickle my funny bone and challenge my armchair sleuthing skills! And it's set in a book shop in Scotland! With a retired librarian heroine! I'm all agog over the bookiliciousness of it all! This is a really smart murder mystery. Loved the diverse skills the four friends bring to the table -- Janet, the retired librarian, her daughter, Tally a former lawyer, and friends Christine (retired social worker) and Summer (a journalist taking a sabbatical from Woohoo -- a new-to-me cozy mystery series to tickle my funny bone and challenge my armchair sleuthing skills! And it's set in a book shop in Scotland! With a retired librarian heroine! I'm all agog over the bookiliciousness of it all! This is a really smart murder mystery. Loved the diverse skills the four friends bring to the table -- Janet, the retired librarian, her daughter, Tally a former lawyer, and friends Christine (retired social worker) and Summer (a journalist taking a sabbatical from the profession.) Their combined talents give credence to their amateur sleuthing. Witty dialogue, a bevy of quirky secondary characters, no end of potential suspects and the quaint Scottish town itself combine to make this one fabulous not-to-be-missed cozy read. I listened to the audio version of this book which was a real treat. I love it when the narrator sounds like she's enjoying the book as much as I am! Elaine Claxton did a wonderful job. A real pleasure to listen to.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    Plaid and Plagiarism is the first in a new series, and a get acquainted sort of read that introduces the reader to the characters and the environs that will make up the milieux of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries . This book harks back to one of my favorite TV detectives, Columbo, in that the sex, violence, and evil side of human nature that comprise any entertaining fictional murder all manifest themselves firmly off-screen . Our stalwart protagonists [ostensibly in sensible shoes] engage in onl Plaid and Plagiarism is the first in a new series, and a get acquainted sort of read that introduces the reader to the characters and the environs that will make up the milieux of the Highland Bookshop Mysteries . This book harks back to one of my favorite TV detectives, Columbo, in that the sex, violence, and evil side of human nature that comprise any entertaining fictional murder all manifest themselves firmly off-screen . Our stalwart protagonists [ostensibly in sensible shoes] engage in only the most salubrious behavior. Instead of being up close and personal with the bad guys, we listen to the banter of a lively quartet of protagonistas as they suss out who whodunnit. We lurk above their interior monologues as they confront the realities and the humor too of being women "on their own". We accompany them on village walks in the highlands, observe the goings on in their bookstore/tearoom/b&b, and even at literary festival meetings in their local library. Throughout these four and other assorted male and female family members and villagers traipse on and off the stage in a staggering array of combinations. For such a little village, this book has quite a large cast, you might need a post-it or two and some stick figure drawings to keep track of who's who. (view spoiler)[Everything "bad" in this book happens off the page, except for the discovery of a bloodied dead body in a shed, one character who gets manhandled by another for a brief moment in a library, and another who falls down a hill, unless you count when the protagonists take their parents to the bar, or when they quietly sip whiskey after the bookshop is closed for the day. It's been a while[never?] since I wished for more sex, violence, or double-crossing in a murder mystery but I might need a little Johnny Shaw as an antidote. You might too if the cozies are not your thing, but if they are you will be quite comfortable at Yon Bonnie Books (hide spoiler)]

  13. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    The Scottish highlands, a bookshop and a murder sounds like a good start for an enjoyable read! Add in some humour, a cast of eccentric characters and Molly MacRae has the beginnings of a cozy series. A solid read for a cozy mystery!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Luca

    Summer is coming and that means that I feel like breaking out some cozy mystery books. So I started with Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae that I got as a birthday present. Let me summarise my thoughts and feelings here. The story is set in a little Scottish town, Inversgail, just around the time of the annual Literature Festival. We have a little bookshop, Yon Bonnie Books, and its four owners: Janet and her daughter, Tallie, Janet's school friend, Christine, and Tallie's friend, Summer. Chri Summer is coming and that means that I feel like breaking out some cozy mystery books. So I started with Plaid and Plagiarism by Molly MacRae that I got as a birthday present. Let me summarise my thoughts and feelings here. The story is set in a little Scottish town, Inversgail, just around the time of the annual Literature Festival. We have a little bookshop, Yon Bonnie Books, and its four owners: Janet and her daughter, Tallie, Janet's school friend, Christine, and Tallie's friend, Summer. Christine is the only Scots out of the team, the other three are from the States. We joined their literary journey right when they take over the little bookshop from the previous owner. So far it sounds great, right? The setting is great: a bookstore in picturesque Scotland, lit festival. Added to that, you can't forget about small town gossip and, as in most cozy mysteries, a murder. What else could you ask for, am I right? Well, what I could have asked for is a faster pace. It took me quite long to finish this book because nothing was really happening. The book is almost 300 pages and the mysteries are solved, rather hastily, on the last 40 pages. Until then it's about setting the stage. This is one of those books that, I think, would work better as a TV movie. Kinda like Agatha Raisin and The Quiche of Death was made into a series. The scenery would add a lot more to the story because honestly, I felt like there wasn't any real reason to set this book in Scotland, other than to make it ~different~. Especially with 3 out of the 4 main characters being Americans. Speaking of them, I felt like it was hard to juggle this many characters and find a right balance. Because there were so many people, it took quite a while to introduce all of them, to get a feeling of who they are and what their role is. I know that it's a reoccurring theme in cozy mysteries that the police can't do their job competently, but honestly, here they were so far off with their investigation that it's a bit ridiculous. The 4 main characters, like super sleuths, solved the crime, and most of the evidence miraculously landed in their laps. I wish there were more twists in this story because I felt like it needed them. I would recommend it to those who love the atmosphere of cozy mysteries: gossip, a lovely town as a backdrop, people starting anew - in their own bookstore of all places. If you're a fan of books, endearing characters, slow flowing stories, then this is your book!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Judy Lesley

    I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Pegasus Books. This opening book in the Highland Bookshop mystery series was a pleasant reading experience. Building the foundation of a series around four women being joint partners in a business meant there had to be a lot of attention paid to establishing four individuals as principals in the story line. This became just a little crowded at times, especially since the author then had to add in all the additional characters to make this ep I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Pegasus Books. This opening book in the Highland Bookshop mystery series was a pleasant reading experience. Building the foundation of a series around four women being joint partners in a business meant there had to be a lot of attention paid to establishing four individuals as principals in the story line. This became just a little crowded at times, especially since the author then had to add in all the additional characters to make this episode work. The women are divided into the two older women and two younger with their previous professions before bookstore ownership being a reporter, a lawyer, a social worker, and a librarian. This variety in both age range and professional expertise should ensure this series is well stocked with an on-site expert in most scenarios you could want to invent for a cozy mystery. The four women are beginning to settle into their new environment - at least it is new for one, semi-new for two others and home for one. They have very ambitious plans to operate the bookstore and also open a tea room and B&B in the adjoining shop space. There is a lot that needs to be planned and work that needs to be done. While waiting for tenants to vacate the property owned by Janet Marsh so she and her daughter Tallie can move in, the body of one of the village residents is found on the property. Janet, Talley, Summer, and Christine join forces to help solve the murder of this seemingly unloved villager. One thing I will definitely give this author credit for, all four of her main characters are common sense, intelligent, reasonable women with not one kookie cut-up among them. That alone is enough reason for me to be willing to read a second book in this series. I don't do crazy characters well. I take mystery novels and my precious reading time too seriously for that.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jeanie

    What a delightful, exciting start to this new series by Molly MacRae! The characters - a retired social worker, a retired librarian and her attorney-turned-bookseller daughter, and daughter's friend relocate across the pond to Scotland. The descriptions of the Highlands, the little town they live in, and the characters are excellent. The four ladies are well-rounded, educated yet down to earth. I can find at least one characteristic in each one to identify with. All have relocated and joined in What a delightful, exciting start to this new series by Molly MacRae! The characters - a retired social worker, a retired librarian and her attorney-turned-bookseller daughter, and daughter's friend relocate across the pond to Scotland. The descriptions of the Highlands, the little town they live in, and the characters are excellent. The four ladies are well-rounded, educated yet down to earth. I can find at least one characteristic in each one to identify with. All have relocated and joined in the venture of buying the bookstore, to which they will add a tea room and a bed and breakfast. The murdered woman was interesting, and had many enemies. But did she have to get murdered in the garden shed of Janet and Tallie's home? These four ladies are a force to be reckoned with as they listen to people, ask questions, and let it be known they want to find out whodunnit and turn them neatly over to the Constable. The plot has layers of mysteries and unearthed secrets, twists and turns - a delight for the armchair sleuth / traveler! It was hard to determine who the bad guy / gal might be, and the 'real one' took me by surprise. A great start to a fun new series. Who can resist a bookstore in Scotland? Not this gal! I highly recommend this cozy mystery!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie Fetcho

    Good book. But slow going but steady read. There were several mysteries going on besides who the killer was.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Candace

    This is just what it looks like it will be, an easy reading, cozy mystery. Better than the average cozy mystery. The writing is very good. The characters are interesting; there are four women of various ages and backgrounds making a new start by buying a bookshop and opening a tea store next door. The mystery was where it fell short for me. The village is one of those villages where all the shops sound delightful and all the people sound too perfect and you can't wait to start hearing about ever This is just what it looks like it will be, an easy reading, cozy mystery. Better than the average cozy mystery. The writing is very good. The characters are interesting; there are four women of various ages and backgrounds making a new start by buying a bookshop and opening a tea store next door. The mystery was where it fell short for me. The village is one of those villages where all the shops sound delightful and all the people sound too perfect and you can't wait to start hearing about everyone's secrets...However, the secrets don't get too secretive and the story doesn't get very suspenseful. It's more humorous. So if cozy, relaxing, and humor are what you prefer in your mystery, this is a perfect one. If you like puzzles and trying to solve the mystery, the author gives out too much information as the story moves along. For example, the four women make a computer document and write out what they know and mark that information with an "F" for fact. They write their impressions and mark those with an" I." They write down further questions that need to be looked into. This information is stuff I would like to figure out myself. This series is a little too cozy for me. This arc was given to me by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kate Baxter

    Charming cozy mystery set on the coastal edge of the Scottish Highlands. Four women of two generations throw in their U.S. towel, pool their funds and purchase an established Scottish bookshop. Three of this team are American and the 4th is returning to her native home to keep an eye on and assist her aging folks. Divorcée and former librarian, Janet, wrangled ownership of a sweet Scottish cottage from her ex-husband during the settlement. She would welcome the opportunity to settle into that co Charming cozy mystery set on the coastal edge of the Scottish Highlands. Four women of two generations throw in their U.S. towel, pool their funds and purchase an established Scottish bookshop. Three of this team are American and the 4th is returning to her native home to keep an eye on and assist her aging folks. Divorcée and former librarian, Janet, wrangled ownership of a sweet Scottish cottage from her ex-husband during the settlement. She would welcome the opportunity to settle into that cottage. However, the home has been made "off-limits" upon the discovery of a murdered woman in the shed out back. The investigation team appears to be dragging their feet, forcing Janet and her lawyer daughter to inhabit two of the cozy bedrooms above the bookshop. Well, enough's enough and valiant four decide to do a bit of sleuthing on their own. All this on top of learning the ins and outs of running their new combination bookshop-tea room-b&b establishment. In spite of the books charm, there is little realism - virtually no real police work, unlikely amount of free snooping time and the excusing of that overreach. But overall, it was an enjoyable read and it laid out the premise for the sweet and charming, "The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rima Aiello

    I adore a good mystery and this book had it all. Janet Marsh and company pick up roots and move to Scotland to purchase a bookstore and start over after life changes. All four women have huge dreams for their new business, but a huge part depends on Janet being able to move into her home that was previously occupied by renters. This of course does not go smoothly or as planned, then is put on hold even longer by a murder being committed on the property. I am finding it so hard to write a non spo I adore a good mystery and this book had it all. Janet Marsh and company pick up roots and move to Scotland to purchase a bookstore and start over after life changes. All four women have huge dreams for their new business, but a huge part depends on Janet being able to move into her home that was previously occupied by renters. This of course does not go smoothly or as planned, then is put on hold even longer by a murder being committed on the property. I am finding it so hard to write a non spoiler review of this book because I really immersed myself into it and want to share the experience. The descriptive characters, locale, makes you feel you are right there in it with the characters. I love how the author took the time to describe how each character was handing the new business and struggling to find their own way in a new land, with new and old conflicts coming to light. What seemed to start out as a slow read quickly picked up the pace for a humorous whodunit.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jeannie and Louis Rigod

    The first word that comes to my mind reading this new murder mystery series...humor. I found humor throughout the entirety of this novel. The first novel is always difficult as the Author has to introduce the characters, the locations, the plot of the murder and a correct balance between all factors. Four women move back to Scotland and open a joint bookshop, Bed and Breakfast. and tea shop. The women are related but also have a joint purpose in having second lives. The women will draw you into t The first word that comes to my mind reading this new murder mystery series...humor. I found humor throughout the entirety of this novel. The first novel is always difficult as the Author has to introduce the characters, the locations, the plot of the murder and a correct balance between all factors. Four women move back to Scotland and open a joint bookshop, Bed and Breakfast. and tea shop. The women are related but also have a joint purpose in having second lives. The women will draw you into their mind frames as the murder draws you into the puzzle. The town of Inversgail will fascinate your whimsy with it's characters, and there are many. The Constable is a surprise at the end, and not what you thought at all. I'm not going to say much more as I want you to experience this book as I did, unknowing of what I was going to read. I will tell you that I'll be pre-ordering the next in the series with a knowledge that I'm sure to enjoy it.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

    To think I almost passed this book over because of low reviews! I should know better. I loved this book and the smart characters. I wish I could jump into this book and live in the town :) gentle, subtle humor (not slapstick which I appreciated!) reminded me of Alexander McCall smith's writing and that's a wonderful thing!! To think I almost passed this book over because of low reviews! I should know better. I loved this book and the smart characters. I wish I could jump into this book and live in the town :) gentle, subtle humor (not slapstick which I appreciated!) reminded me of Alexander McCall smith's writing and that's a wonderful thing!!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ariana

    It was a bit hard to get into this book and it sort of just dragged on and on. It was a clean read though but an obvious outcome.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessika

    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 kn 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. This review can also be found on my blog: https://tinyurl.com/y8zzzsfu

  25. 5 out of 5

    Sandi

    First a shout out to Primrose Jess’s clever & engaging review of this book! What more can I add... only a bit: It was delightful to read a book that not only led a merry mystery chase with a not-too-graphic murder but delighted me with asides that warranted some research. Case in point was William Topaz McGonagall’s poem “The Tay Bridge Disaster” which led to the term “poetaster” which I adore. Additionally (although I do not have J. K. Rowling’s word on this as the source) it was delightful to see First a shout out to Primrose Jess’s clever & engaging review of this book! What more can I add... only a bit: It was delightful to read a book that not only led a merry mystery chase with a not-too-graphic murder but delighted me with asides that warranted some research. Case in point was William Topaz McGonagall’s poem “The Tay Bridge Disaster” which led to the term “poetaster” which I adore. Additionally (although I do not have J. K. Rowling’s word on this as the source) it was delightful to see the “transfiguration” of this Scottish name into the beloved Minerva McGonagall! Any book that can motivate me to make strong tea and bake a batch of scones before I begin the second in the series gives me joy. Cheers, Molly MacRae.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    Actually would be 3.5 stars if possible. Good start to a new series. Janet, her daughter and two friends decide to relocate to Scotland, buy a bookstore and start a new life after Janet's "rat of a husband" leaves. They meet a host of townspeople with quirks and feelings toward outsiders. But when one of them winds up murdered in Janet's shed, the hunt is on for the killer. Some of the characters were not fleshed out as well as I would have liked, but that may happen in the next book. Cozy read! Actually would be 3.5 stars if possible. Good start to a new series. Janet, her daughter and two friends decide to relocate to Scotland, buy a bookstore and start a new life after Janet's "rat of a husband" leaves. They meet a host of townspeople with quirks and feelings toward outsiders. But when one of them winds up murdered in Janet's shed, the hunt is on for the killer. Some of the characters were not fleshed out as well as I would have liked, but that may happen in the next book. Cozy read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Book Concierge

    Digital audiobook performed by Elaine Claxton Four women take possession of their new bookshop, Yon Bonnie Books, in the Highlands of Scotland. They are: Janet Marsh, a newly divorced woman; her good friend Christine, a retired social worker; Janet’s daughter Tallie, who’s given up her career to move to Scotland with her mother; and Summer Jacobs, Tallie’s good friend. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail has hit a snag. Before she can move in, Janet discovers her house has been vandalized, and Digital audiobook performed by Elaine Claxton Four women take possession of their new bookshop, Yon Bonnie Books, in the Highlands of Scotland. They are: Janet Marsh, a newly divorced woman; her good friend Christine, a retired social worker; Janet’s daughter Tallie, who’s given up her career to move to Scotland with her mother; and Summer Jacobs, Tallie’s good friend. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail has hit a snag. Before she can move in, Janet discovers her house has been vandalized, and learns that it isn’t the first time. The real estate agent suspects Una Graham, an advice columnist for the local paper. When the four women decide to look for clues to the vandal’s identity, they find a body in the garden shed – Una, stabbed in the neck. I like these characters. They’re a little obsessive about recording and keeping notes, but what can you expect from a social worker, attorney, journalist and librarian? As amateur sleuths go, they make a pretty good team. Add the various local residents, an annual Literary Festival, a constable who’s never had a murder case before, plenty of suspects, and references to books, books, books, and more books, and you have a recipe for an enjoyable cozy mystery. Elaine Claxton does a fine job performing the audio. With her skills as a voice artist she was able to give each woman a distinct voice, which helped in keeping characters straight.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Westminster Library

    An interesting mix of characters left me wondering who the murderer would be in this quaint town. Four ladies decide to take their "what if" game a little further by moving overseas and purchasing a bookshop/tea room/B&B combo. If only two of ladies could move into their former vacation home, life would be evening out. Since the police are moving slowly on the case, the ladies feel the only way to get their home released is to aid the police in solving the murder. Find Plaid and Plagiarism at Westminst An interesting mix of characters left me wondering who the murderer would be in this quaint town. Four ladies decide to take their "what if" game a little further by moving overseas and purchasing a bookshop/tea room/B&B combo. If only two of ladies could move into their former vacation home, life would be evening out. Since the police are moving slowly on the case, the ladies feel the only way to get their home released is to aid the police in solving the murder. Find Plaid and Plagiarism at Westminster Public Library today! And if you are in search of new books to read, try our services, What Do I Read Next. Our library staff are standing by to create a personalized recommendation list for you!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Crissy

    I enjoyed this charming cozy mystery set in a small town in the Scottish Highlands. MacRae falls into the trap of making her characters' dialogue always clever and articulate, often at the expense of reality and sometimes meaning. But this is a light, fun read and makes you want to buy a bookstore in the Scottish Highlands! I enjoyed this charming cozy mystery set in a small town in the Scottish Highlands. MacRae falls into the trap of making her characters' dialogue always clever and articulate, often at the expense of reality and sometimes meaning. But this is a light, fun read and makes you want to buy a bookstore in the Scottish Highlands!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Linda Power

    This should have been a good light read. The characters were there, but the story line did not get off the ground.

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