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Thistles and Thieves: The Highland Bookshop Mystery Series: Book 3 (The…

de Molly MacRae

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Es mostren totes 4
After having enjoyed the early installments in this cozy mystery series, I so wanted to enjoy this third book as well. Sadly, it left me wanting. There is a tremendous amount of dialogue among the sleuthing bookstore and café staff yet perhaps not enough action throughout. These women somehow always seem to get involved in the murder du jour, yet are always warned off by the local constabulary. They can't keep well enough alone and insinuate themselves into the investigation which frankly, was a bit annoying.

However, on the plus side, the Scottish brogue and regional nomenclature found throughout the story did provide a sense of charm unto its own, which I did enjoy. That, along with the mystery regarding a box of old books left at the bookstore door, kept me curious and engaged in the book. The murders were not as compelling, in my opinion. Will I read the next installment? Maybe...maybe not.

Synopsis (from publisher's website):

The latest entry in the charming Highland Bookshop mystery series finds the women of Yon Bonnie Books embroiled in the death of a local doctor, which sets off a chain of other curious—and deadly—events.

Out for a bicycle ride in the hills beyond Inversgail, Janet Marsh discovers the body of Dr. Malcolm Murray. The elderly Murray and his own bicycle went off the road and down a steep slope—he’s sprawled in the burn at the bottom, his damaged bike in a patch of thistles on the bank. Janet calls the Police Scotland emergency number. Tire tracks at the side of the narrow road suggest a vehicle might have been involved. But if it was an accident, the driver hasn’t come forward. And if it wasn’t an accident. . . . But who would want the well-loved, retired doctor dead?

A few days after the death, a box of vintage first editions is left on the doorstep of Yon Bonnie Books with a note: “Please look after these books. Thank you.” Janet and her crew at the shop are at first delighted, and then mystified—what exactly does “look after” mean? Are they free to sell them? And what are the odd notes penciled in the margins? With a little digging, the women decide the books might belong to Malcolm Murray or his reclusive brother, Gerald. When Janet and Christine call at Malcolm’s house, they find his confused, angry sister and evidence of a burglary. When they go to Gerald’s modest croft house, they find the door ajar and Gerald dead inside, stabbed with a regimental dagger.

While the police try to determine if the Murray brothers’ deaths are connected and who’s responsible, Janet and the bookshop owners try to find out how and why the box of books ended up on their doorstep. The police are interested in those questions, too, and they’re more than a little suspicious. Are the Yon Bonnie women as good with burglar tools as they are with books—and at finding bodies? ( )
  KateBaxter | Jun 24, 2020 |
Another great book by Ms. MacRae ( )
  nlb1050 | Feb 7, 2020 |
Thistles and Thieves by Molly MacRae is a Scottish cozy mystery and is third in the Highland Bookshop Mystery series. Although cozies are not usually my favorite genre of fiction, this one hooked me from the onset. This is a murder mystery but, more importantly, this is a story about Janet Marsh and the friendship between women who together, run and own a bookstore and tea room. Yon Bonnie Books in Inversgail is where the women work and also where they discuss and investigate local murders, much to the frustration of the local police. It all starts when Janet discovers the corpse of the the local retired physician. Shortly after, the victim’s brother is killed and the ladies are off and running. They are determined to get to the bottom of these mysterious deaths, while pointing the local constabulary in the right direction. This is a very pleasant read. If you like your mysteries cozy, Thistles and Thieves is for you. Thank you to Pegasus Books and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  carole888fort | Feb 3, 2020 |
“We are amateurs and we know it. We bumble and muddle and we’re certainly led astray by red herrings.”
“Although, let’s not sell ourselves short.”

A third outing for Molly MacRae’s cast of characters running the Yon Bonnie Books in the quaint Scottish town of Inversgail. The SCONES (Shadowy Constabulary of Nosy Eavesdropping Snoops), as they were once called by a character in a previous book – Janet Marsh and her daughter Tallie, and friends Christine and Summer – have only just moved on a few weeks from their previous adventure, but out on her bike, training for the Haggis Half-Hundred Ride, Janet stumbles across a body and the sleuthing foursome find themselves involved in another plot, this time involving a box of books and a strange family of siblings. For fans of the previous books, the usual cast of characters is back, including Constable Hobbs, handyman Rab and his terrier Ranger, and Inspector Reddick, the ever-tolerant local detective.

I am a big fan of this series, and as long as you don’t mind the rose-tinted view of Scottish life through the lens of an American writer, you will too. The characters are what drives this series, whether it be the four main female leads or the oddballs and eccentrics that occupy this magical Scottish town. It’s a fast-paced cozy murder mystery that is perfect for a winter’s evening, so if you are looking for some escapism and an engaging whodunnit, then this is perfect reading. A bonnie 4 stars. ( )
  Alan.M | Dec 14, 2019 |
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