Thistles and Thieves
Out for a bike ride in the hills one morning, Janet Marsh stumbles across the body of Malcolm Murray, a highly respected local doctor. Soon afterward, a box of vintage first editions appears on the doorstep of Yon Bonnie Books, the bookshop Janet co-owns in the Scottish village of Inversgail. The books are accompanied by a note, but no name. Could the incidents be connected? In Molly MacRae's third Highland Bookshop mystery, Thistles and Thieves, Janet joins forces again with her longtime best friend Christine, Janet's daughter Tallie and Tallie's best friend Summer to solve a local mystery while still trying to make a living selling books.
MacRae (Scones and Scoundrels) brings back many familiar characters: Janet and her compatriots, Janet's nosy author neighbor Ian, knowledgeable barman Danny and local constable Norman, who alternates between gratitude for the women's help and exasperation at their amateur tactics. The cozy village setting is responsible for much of the series' appeal; like the Scottish weather, this mystery plot gets a bit murky at times. As Janet and Christine pursue their investigation and Summer hones her darts skills, two more victims (one of them the doctor's brother) are found. Readers will enjoy sifting through clues alongside the women, who bring their American pluck and tenacity to every case they encounter. With a couple of entertaining subplots (plus plenty of scones and wine), MacRae's mystery is a good companion for a dreich evening by the fireside. --Katie Noah Gibson, blogger at Cakes, Tea and Dreams