An abnormal day? It’s one that starts with the local library director marching into Yon Bonnie Books and asking if I’d like to murder the world-renowned author visiting our town.
A normal day is one that makes me believe Tallie, Christine, Summer, and I were sane and completely right when we made the decision to buy a bookshop in Inversgail, Scotland, uproot our Midwestern lives, and move here. Thank goodness most of our days are normal. The new normal, anyway—we’re only six months into this enterprise, so the days still have that shiny sense of adventure and excitement about them. For the most part.
Are you familiar with Inversgail? We’re on the west coast of the Highlands between Oban and Dornie and an easy drive from Fort William. We have a lovely natural harbor with hills rising behind the shops and houses. The town is as pretty as a picture postcard (several styles of which you can buy in our shop). You might wonder if we can really make a go of it in this venture. Will the business support us? Oh yes. We looked into it very carefully before we made the leap. Although fishing and crofting are the traditional ways of life, tourists from all over the world keep Inversgail alive and thriving.
Our tearoom and B&B are open, now, too. Did you know that? When we bought Yon Bonnie Books, we bought the whole two-story, granite block building. Cakes and Tales, the tearoom, is in the smaller space on the ground floor where the old T-shirt shop used to be. We’ve opened the connecting door between the shops so customers can go back and forth (and the smell of fresh cakes and scones comes and goes with them). The B&B, Bedtime Stories, is up above the shops.
A normal day is one when Tallie, Christine, Summer, and I are pleased with our new lives. It’s one when customers browse our shelves and find they can’t leave the shop without a book or two (or three or four). It’s one in which the clinks and clatters and quiet conversations from the tearoom add counterpoint and grace notes to whatever music we’re playing on the sound system.
An abnormal day is one when I give my daughter the gist of what the library director is so het up about, but leave out that one detail. What Tallie hasn’t heard about committing bloody murder can’t hurt her, can it?
You can read more about Janet in Scones and Scoundrels, the second book in the “Highland Bookshop” mystery series.
The new mystery in the Highland Bookshop series, bringing together a body outside a pub, a visiting author determined to find the killer, and a murderously good batch of scones . . .
Inversgail, on the west coast of the Scottish Highlands, welcomes home native daughter and best-selling environmental writer Daphne Wood. Known as the icon of ecology, Daphne will spend three months as the author in residence for the Inversgail schools. Janet Marsh and her business partners at Yon Bonnie Books are looking forward to hosting a gala book signing for her. Daphne, who hasn’t set foot in Scotland in thirty years, is . . . eccentric. She lives in the Canadian wilderness, in a cabin she built herself, with only her dog for a companion, and her people skills have developed a few rough-hewn edges. She and the dog (which she insists on bringing with her) cause problems for the school, the library, and the bookshop even before they get to Inversgail. Then, on the misty night they arrive, a young man―an American who’d spent a night in the B&B above Yon Bonnie Books―is found dead outside a pub.
Daphne did her Inversgail homework and knows that Janet and her partners solved a previous murder. She tries to persuade them to join her in uncovering the killer and the truth. To prove she’s capable, she starts poking and prying. But investigating crimes can be murder, and Daphne ends up dead, poisoned by scones from the tearoom at Yon Bonnie Books. Now, to save the reputation of their business―not to mention the reputation of their scones―Janet and her partners must solve both murders. And Daphne’s dog might be able to help them, if only they can get it to stop howling. . .
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About the author
The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” Scones and Scoundrels is the second book in Molly’s Highland Bookshop Mysteries. She’s also the author of the award-winning Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries from NAL/Penguin (and being continued by Pegasus Crime). Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990 and she is a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. Molly lives in Champaign, Illinois. You can visit her at mollymacrae.com and killercharacters.com.
All comments are welcomed.