Saturday, May 23, 2020

The Stolen Letter (Scottish Bookshop Mystery #5)

The Stolen Letter is the 5th Scottish Bookshop cozy mystery by Paige Shelton. Released 7th April 2020 by Macmillan on their Minotaur imprint, it's 304 pages and available in hardcover, mass market paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

These are self contained mysteries and as such work well enough as standalones. The ensemble casts' interrelationships have developed over the course of the books, there'll be some missing backstory, but the author is adept at giving the necessary information, so it's not absolutely necessary.

For lovers of very light bookstore cozies, these will likely be a good fit. There is a historical mystery subplot and tie-in to Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart's contentious relationship and the latter's subsequent betrayal and execution. There are also several interwoven subplots concerning a modern day murder, skullduggery, and the threat of the titular bookshop's closing.

All in all, it's a diverting, very light, readable cozy mystery with a whimsical ensemble cast. Some of the plot developments are a bit over the top (including a deux ex machina that made my eyes roll into the back of my skull, but ok). 

Three and a half stars. The author is a talented and capable storyteller, and I do love bookstore cozies, rounding up for the fun story.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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