(Scottish Bookshop Mystery #8)
by Paige Shelton
Release date: April 4th, 2023
I received a complimentary ARC copy of Fateful Words (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #8) by Paige Shelton from Net Galley and St. Martin’s Press /Minotaur Books in order to read and give an honest review.
…Seamlessly weaving history and nods to Scottish literature into the story in a way that does not feel like an info dump, but it becomes another layer of the story....
Life has returned to normal for Delaney Nichols and her husband Tom after the events of the previous book in the series, The Burning Pages. When the owner of the Cracked Spine and Delaney’s employer, Edwin MacAlister is mysteriously called out of town with co-worker Hamlet, Delaney is asked to guide his yearly literary tour around Edinburgh and her co-worker Rosie, and her dog Hector will mind the shop. Edwin’s tours are infamous, and readers clamor to be able to fill one of the four spaces Edwin reserves for his special pen pals. Delaney, a recent transplant from Kansas herself, feels out of her depth, unsure whether she could live up to Edwin’s one-of-a-kind tours.
Delaney meets the four tourists Luka, Meera, Kevin, and Gunter at the local inn across from the bookshop after locking up. While waiting Delaney senses a strange atmosphere among the staff and is then informed by the Inn manager Geoff, that Edwin’s credit card had been declined. Edwin, who is financially well off, never has had issues with his finances, so Delaney uses her card knowing she will get it back.
When in the evening Delaney spots one of the young hotel clerks barely able to stagger out the door, her and her husband Tom decide to call an ambulance, but seconds later there is a commotion around the other side of the building. When it appears, someone has jumped or was pushed off the Inn’s roof Delaney fears that she will have to call the tour off but when the other members wish to continue Delaney decides to press on, but something does not feel right. Then one of the tour members disappears while on a lunch excursion. It is beginning to become clear that the death, missing member, and Edwin’s unexplained absence are all connected, and she feels it is her responsibility to get to the bottom of things before anyone goes missing or gets hurt.
One thing I love about the author is the way she almost makes the city of Edinburgh a character in itself. Seamlessly weaving history and nods to Scottish literature into the story in a way that does not feel like an info dump, but it becomes another layer of the story. Like her previous books in the series Fateful Words is filled with intrigue, red herrings and unique quirky characters making this another classic cozy that will keep you guessing to the very end. Although not my favorite in the series this was a wonderfully enjoyable installment, and I cannot wait to read more of Delaney’s adventures. I highly recommend it.