Overall Score: 8/10
Genre: Mystery, Fiction
Publisher: Pegasus Books
Release Date: December 6, 2016
Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Book Summary (From GoodReads)
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.
Janet, Christine, Tallie, and Summer have all just moved to Scotland and taken over a bookstore from its former owners. They all left their lives in the States for various reasons and begun a business venture that will encompass the bookstore, a tea shop, and a B&B. Unfortunately, the town’s local agony aunt/“investigative reporter” is murdered in the garden shed of Janet’s house.
The four main characters in this book were all absolutely wonderful. They come from a variety of backgrounds (lawyer, librarian, social worker, and reporter) and have decided to pursue their dream. In all honesty, I was a little jealous of them and would happily switch places with them, murder or no murder. The way the dialogue is written reminds me of conversations I’ve had with my aunt and mother. It was quick, interesting, and incredibly funny at times. While the relationships between all four women are loving, they do have their moments of tension and disagreement like any family does. I would read the rest of the books in this series just for these four characters.
The town truly comes alive in this book as the secondary characters and local establishments are each given their own personality. From the bar at Nev’s to Basant’s local grocery store, I could see how the characters lived. Small town life is well portrayed in this novel. Everybody has secrets and some of the revelations had me laughing out loud (such as who exactly the knitting old lady was).
Regarding the plot, this was definitely not a thriller. It would be best enjoyed curled up with a good blanket and hot beverage. The plot does move along but not at a lightning fast pace. The clues are discovered through detective work and coincidence. The ongoing notes of the four women are wonderfully detailed and the reader goes through the investigation with them. The ending is perfect and wraps everything up nicely. I can’t wait to read the next installment of this series.