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Argyles and arsenic
2022
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Publishers Weekly Review
In MacRae's witty if flawed fifth Highland Bookshop mystery (after 2021's Heather and Homicide), American Janet Marsh and her crew of fellow expats at the combination bookstore/tearoom Yon Bonny Books have already proven themselves adept investigators of suspicious goings-on in their little Highland town of Inversgale. In fact, they have such a reputation that the locals have christened them SCONES--Shadow Constabulary of Nosy, Eavesdropping Snoops. So when Wendy Erskine, director of Inversgale's history museum, dies of arsenic poisoning at Violet McAskill's grand Fairy Flax Hall decluttering party, Constable Norman Hobbs asks the group to do a little unofficial detecting on the q.t. He's been sidelined on the investigation since his grandmother is one of the suspects. MacRae revels in clever wordplay and banter, but the meandering murder investigation is hard to follow, and the reveal seems like an afterthought. Cozy lovers who come for the atmosphere and the camaraderie will enjoy themselves. What's not to like about a knitting competition, Scottish scenery, books, and scones? Agent: Cynthia Manson, Cynthia Manson Literary. (Mar.)
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