Tag Archives: Paige Shelton

A Day in the Life with Delaney Nichols by Paige Shelton

The Cracked SpineWhen I decided . . . wait, I’m not sure I should call it a real decision. I answered the ad and then the offer impulsively – does that mean it was a choice or a gut instinct that I followed? Either way, I didn’t put much thought into what it would mean for me to pick up my Kansas life and move to Edinburgh, Scotland, to work for a delightful but mysterious man at his bookshop.

So, here I am in this new place that’s a half a country and an Atlantic Ocean away from where I lived all my almost thirty years. Believe me, Edinburgh is very different from Kansas. I’ve thought about the old axiom more than once – I’m definitely not in Kansas anymore.

I always wanted to be bold and this was the perfect chance to see if I had what it took to spread my wings and not turn around and fly right back home to the safety of my parent’s farm. I get to try life in a different world, or maybe it’s the different way of living that’s appealing.

Surprisingly, things are going very well. Well, except for the murder, of course. That part’s been rough on everyone, most of all Edwin MacAlister, my boss. He’s a man with more layers than I could have ever predicted based on the phone interview, more layers than I’ll ever be able to peel away during the time I spend in this beautiful country.

Though I’ve tried to look at this adventure through a lens of destiny, I still have moments when I’m a little thrown by the fortuitous events. Outside of the airport, only moments after the plane landed, I approached a cab driver because his kind eyes reminded me of my Uncle Maury back in Topeka. He and his wife became my landlords before I could even look at one apartment . . . I mean flat. The sense of family I feel with Elias and Aggie and at the bookshop is real and deep, despite not knowing anyone all that well yet and still having moments that make me wonder about everyone’s honesty. But no one’s completely honest. Are they?

It’s a little too soon to talk about the pub owner I met and how amazing he looks in a kilt. Or his eyes. Yes, they are . . . well, I don’t want to jinx whatever that might turn into but I’m excited to see what happens. I’m also excited to get to know this city; its history, architectural beauty, and, of course, its ghost stories. Maybe especially its ghost stories.

I welcome any visitors. Come on over any time, and we’ll be bold together.


The Cracked Spine is the first book in the NEW Scottish Bookshop mystery series, published by Minotaur Books, March 2016.

Wanted: A bold adventurer who wants to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners.

Never an adventurer, no one was more surprised than Delaney Nichols when she packed her bags and moved halfway across the world to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop located in the heart of the city. Her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime, albeit a cryptic one, and Delaney can’t wait to take her spot behind the desk.

The Cracked Spine is filled with everything a book lover could want, each item as eclectic as the people who work there; the spirited and lovable Rosie, who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An extra bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his cobalt eyes, and a gentle brogue―and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is brutally murdered. Never did Delaney think that searching for things lost could mean a killer, but if she’s to keep her job, and protect her new friends, she’ll need to learn the truth behind this Scottish tragedy.

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About the author
Paige had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a couple years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. You can connect with Paige at www.paigeshelton.com.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Cracked Spine. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end April 4, 2016 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

All comments are welcomed.

My Musing ~ The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton

The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton is the first book in the NEW “Scottish Bookshop” mystery series. Publisher: Minotaur Books, March 2016

The Cracked SpineIn need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn’t know much about what she’s gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime. Edwin has promised that she’ll be working with “a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes,” and Delaney can’t wait to get started.

When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at the Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An unexpected bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his piercing eyes, and a rolling brogue — and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact — a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays — goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it’s connected to the tragic death, all without getting harmed herself.

This book started a bit slow for me but picked up speed as the plot and subplots moved along. I was intrigued by the steps used in the telling of this story that had me delving into what happens next. The author did a good job in presenting the key elements in this mystery to keep me going in the directions needed to figure out who was behind the murder. Delaney is a smart heroine and I like her desire to help, especially being a newcomer. All the other characters that surround and interact with Delaney make this story a well-rounded one and a good read.

Question to Clare Henry: What’s your favorite job? by Paige Shelton

To Helvetica and BackChoosing which of my jobs is my favorite is difficult. Helping customers find the perfect paper or pen that inspires them to handwrite something special is more rewarding than I could have ever guessed when I was a kid and first started working with my grandfather, Chester, at his shop, The Rescued Word. I’m almost thirty now and I haven’t left yet. In fact, it hasn’t even occurred to me to leave. I can’t imagine doing anything else.

Chester built a replica of a Gutenburg press that we use to help restore books back to their original glory, and even the tedious moments spent setting up the type are satisfying. And when I recreate a page from a book – well, I can’t quite describe the feeling. It’s like I’m one step deeper inside than reading – not only am I there in the story, I’m there with the author when they wrote the story.

And there’s the original reason Chester opened the shop: repairing typewriters. It’s a pretty awesome feeling to bring an old typewriter back to life. And there are so many different kinds of old typewriters; different shapes, sizes, and colors keep us on our toes. We do get our fair share of Underwood No. 5s, the workhorse of the early-to-mid-twentieth century. They aren’t flashy in the least, with their clunky, square housing made to protect their long keybars underneath. These old beasts worked well back in the day, but even something so hardy and strong is bound to lose a little footing over time. This is good news for those of us in the business of rescuing words.

So, it’s pretty difficult to choose. I guess I’m just lucky to have the chance to do a bunch of different things that I love.

If you’re ever near Star City, Utah – maybe for a ski trip, or a vacation through our magnificent state, stop by The Rescued Word on Bygone Alley. We look forward to meeting you.


To Helvetica and Back is the first book in the NEW “Dangerous Type” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime, January 2016.

About To Helvetica and Back

The New York Times bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries introduces readers to Star City, Utah, and a little shop called the Rescued Word.

Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?

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GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of TO HELVETICA AND BACK. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 12 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

About the author
PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father’s job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she’d only stay a couple years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona. You can connect with Paige at www.paigeshelton.com.

My Musing ~ To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton

To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton is the first book in the NEW “Dangerous Type” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, January 2016

To Helvetica and BackThe New York Times bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries introduces readers to Star City, Utah, and a little shop called the Rescued Word.

Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?

I like it. We are introduced to Clare Henry and her family in this enjoyable story where an old typewriter and murder ignites the telling of this well-executed story. I like the writing style and the way the author presented this beguiling mystery that kept me focused on all aspects as each character is displayed giving us enough insights to follow along as the story progressed. The author did a very good job in providing as few suspects as there were main characters with many intrinsic directional challenges to keep the suspense flowing as to the identity of the killer. The blossoming romances in this story were refreshing and I can’t wait to see where it takes the characters. This was nicely done and I’m eager to read the next book in this amiable new series.

A Day in the Life with Cliff Sebastian by Paige Shelton

If Onions Could Spring LeeksOccupation: Police Officer, Broken Rope, Missouri.

Home is where the heart is, that’s what they say. And, I admit, for me home, Broken Rope, Missouri, is exactly where I left my heart. I was lucky to find it again when I went back.

I’m beginning to think that a typical day around Broken Rope isn’t all that typical. There’s something strange going on here, and ten years away, along with my new career, gives me a different perspective. At least I think that’s it.

I hadn’t meant to become a police officer, particularly in Broken Rope. I also hadn’t meant for my first marriage to end so badly. But it was the job offer and the divorce that took me back home, back to the small Ozark town where cowboys and fake gunfights still entertain tourists every summer.

And, of course, there was Betts. Betts Winston. My high school sweetheart. It had been her idea that we “take a break” while we went to college and worked on becoming the things we thought we wanted to become. Our lives became separate, as can happen when you leave each other as kids and turn into adults as you’re both going in different directions. Law school was her thing until it wasn’t. And architecture was my thing until I ruined it along with that first marriage. Betts doesn’t know all those details, and I’ll probably never tell her. She doesn’t need to know, because, I suspect she’s got plenty of other things on her plate.

She works with her grandmother, Missouri, at the cooking school on the edge of town. It’s housed in an old church building and it’s next to a cemetery that’s the final resting place of many of our more infamous historical criminals and colorful characters.

I’m glad Betts and I are back together; more than glad, I’m to the moon and filled with a sense of peace I didn’t know existed. But I sure wish I understood what was holding her back. She’s committed to me, but not all the way. I’d take it personally if I didn’t think her lack of commitment was a breakdown in every part of her life. She’s only partway committed to everything right now, a slice of her attention angled toward something I can’t see.

My days – typical for me, but, again, probably not all that typical – are filled with the small crimes that come with a big tourist community and a few bigger heinous crimes that can be expected too. There’s always been murder in Broken Rope. Gunfights and hangings used to be the norm. But there’s something else going in this town. I’m pretty sure Betts knows what it is. Probably her grandmother does too, but I think Betts lets herself be distracted by it more. It’s something I can feel, sense maybe, catch at the edge of my vision. I don’t understand it, but the more I know it’s there the more I think it’s something I might never be able to completely accept.

I’m on the job though. Sometimes I think I want to figure it out, but sometimes I’m sure I don’t. I hope that whatever it is, it’s something I can fix, something normal. I’m not sure if I’m ready for anything more than that, even though I expect I might have to be.

See you in Broken Rope.


You can read more about Cliff in If Onions Could Spring Leeks, the fifth book in the “Country Cooking School” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is If Fried Chicken Could Fly.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 a.m. eastern on September 3 for the chance to win a print copy of If Onions Could Spring Leeks. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected.

About the author
Paige Shelton recently moved to Arizona where she’s trying to balance all the cool stuff (the scenery, the people, the pools) with the not-so-cool stuff (the summer temperatures.) For more information, check out her website: www.paigeshelton.com

A Day In The Life of Astin Reagal by Paige Shelton

catfish had nine livesOccupation: Pony Express Rider/Ghost

If I’d known it would be my last ride . . . well, I wouldn’t have gone that way, I s’pose.

The job was a good one, and I sure had needed a job. A wife, a baby, and me being not even twenty years old yet. Not many were hiring the likes of me. But The Pony Express had given me the chance I needed. And I was good at it, really good.

The Express had been lookin’ to hire young men who were skinny or wiry and who could ride a horse real fast-like, and who’d be willing to carry some mail as they rode their horse over stretches of wide open countryside. Easy enough.

Even though the job was pretty much the same thing every day, there were always some surprises on the trail. I’d wait at the station for my turn, for a rider to come in and give me his mochila and the letters that were inside it, slip that mochila over my horse’s saddle and get on out of there. Ten miles wasn’t too far to get to the next station, but those miles sure could be unpredictable. Sometimes animals got in the way, the trail wasn’t ever smooth and worn even, the weather was always doing something different, and we always had to be careful of other people. We didn’t want to run anyone down, but we also didn’t want to be bothered by someone with mean intentions on their mind, and there were some of those kinds, that’s for sure. We had a job to do and it was mostly about getting from one spot to the next spot as quickly as we could. We couldn’t let anything stop us or slow us down.

But that day of my last ride. Well, if I’d only known that I’d never see my family ever again, I’d never ride again, I’d never do anything again, I would have made some different choices. ‘Cause no matter what, it all comes down to choices, doesn’t it?

The Pony Express and my hometown, Broken Rope, were good to me. Real good. Up until that last day, up until the very end. No matter what happened, I’m sure grateful for what they gave me, but I wish I’d made it home.


Find out more about Astin in If Catfish Had Nine Lives, the fourth book in the “Country Cooking School” mystery series, published by Berkley Prime Crime. The first book in the series is If Fried Chicken Could Fly.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on August 15 for the chance to win a print copy of IF CATFISH HAD NINE LIVES. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, unless specified.

Meet the author
Paige Shelton lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her family. When she’s not working on a book she can be found either reading or looking for something good to watch on T.V. You can find more information about her and her four mystery series on her website, www.paigeshelton.com.

Merry Market Murder by Paige Shelton

Merry Market MurderMerry Market Murder by Paige Shelton is the fifth book in the “Farmer’s Market” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, December 2013

Bailey’s Farmers’ Market is this season’s go-to holiday destination, but not all the vendors are feeling the Christmas spirit…

Jam and preserve maker Becca Robins is excited about the extra business that the Ridgeway Christmas Tree Farm is bringing to the market this holiday season. But when a competing tree farmer, Reggie Stuckey, arrives with a truck full of trees, angrily barking that he has exclusive selling rights at the market, Becca finds herself pining for more goodwill toward men.

After Reggie is found with a tree stake in his chest, she wonders when the Christmas tree business turned so deadly. Now Becca has to use the only clues she has to the killer’s identity—mysterious ornaments that begin to show up in her stall—to hook a sinister Scrooge who will go to any lengths to drive home a point.

Paige has done it again; she delivered a great mystery that when it was over, I wanted to continue reading more about the lives of Becca and her friends. I love the pace of this wonderfully prepared whodunit as it flowed from chapter to chapter. The mystery was good with plenty of suspects and a few surprises that made this the more enjoyable. Boasting a perfect setting, good conversations and a great cast of characters, this was one of the best book in the series.

If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance by Paige Shelton

If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance by Paige Shelton is the second book in the “Country Cooking School” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, October 2012

At Gram’s Country Cooking School in Broken Rope, Missouri, Isabelle “Betts” Winston and her grandmother share the secrets of delicious home-style recipes. But there’s one secret they keep from their classes—their ability to talk to ghosts from the town’s colorful past.

Betts and Gram agree to help their friend Jake at Broken Rope’s Historical Society by accommodating some foodie tourists for the night and occupying them with cooking lessons. It couldn’t be worse timing when the pair encounter the ax-wielding ghost of Sally Swarthmore, one of Broken Rope’s legendary murderers, who pleads with Betts to help find her diary–a diary that could prove that Sally was really a victim, not a villain.

But they soon have a modern-day murder on their hands when one of the tourists turns up dead with a noose around his neck and two other tourists are nowhere to be found. Now Betts needs to put the cooking classes on the back burner to untangle two knotty mysteries and rope in a cold-blooded killer.

What a fun time I had reading this wonderfully crafted tale. I love all the characters especially Betts and her grandmother and I loved how they all came together to help solve the murder. This was another great read and I can’t wait for the next book in this great series.

Get The Scoop From Jake Swanson by Paige Shelton

Meet Jake Swanson, best friend to Betts Winston, the protagonist of the Country Cooking School Mystery series.

Howdy. Come on in. Next show is in half an hour, but I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about Broken Rope, Missouri. My name is Jake Swanson and I’m the local sheriff – well, the fake sheriff. You’ve probably noticed that many of us are dressed like characters from the Old West – yeah, that’s hard to miss. If you stick around a bit, you’ll hear the poem I wrote for this year’s shows– it’s an ode to a starry night, a campfire, an old cowboy, and a mean rattler that wanted to ruin his day. I’m also the self-appointed town historian, so I probably know more about our past than anyone else around here. Ask me anything.

Ah, yes, actually, many of the stories are true. Broken Rope does have a history of strange and extraordinarily gruesome deaths as well as a long list of extra mean criminals. The hanging platform at the end of the street isn’t original, but that’s the spot the first well-used one and many thereafter stood. I’m afraid, though, that sometimes, back in the day, crimes weren’t always prosecuted with “innocent until proven guilty” in mind. Not something to be proud of, but our past is definitely chock full of colorful characters who lived and died by their wits or perhaps by the trigger of a gun. We’ll have stories to tell for a long, long time.

What’s that? Yes, in fact we do have a cooking school in town. Gram’s Country Cooking School is run by Missouri Anna Winston and her granddaughter Isabelle – or Betts. Betts and I have been best friends since high school, so I’m privy to some of the school’s home cooking secrets, though Miz would tan my hide twice for good measure if I gave any of them away. The school’s in an old church building just on the edge of town. It’s a quick drive if you want to have a look-see.

Yes, that’s right, it is next to a cemetery where a few of our more interesting historical characters are buried. Jerome Cowbender is there, so is Sally Swarthmore. Yep, Jerome was the bank robber who couldn’t shoot straight, and Sally’s the one who axed her parents to death. Yes, horrible, but . . . well, interesting. There’s a whole show about Sally down at the old courthouse. If you haven’t caught it yet, I recommend you do.

Uh-huh. Oh, that rumor? Well, I’ve never seen a ghost myself. I would have to speculate that if we do have any specters lurking around I should surely be the one they want to communicate with – I do know their history better than anyone, after all. But, I suppose, those sorts of things aren’t always fair, are they? Anyway, maybe we do have ghosts, maybe we’re just set up so that we can’t quite let go of what we used to be. Maybe our past is so big that it sometimes jumps right into the present and has to show itself. Well . . . shoot, that’s probably just me being a silly sentimental and all.

Ah, no matter, welcome to Broken Rope, and we can’t wait to share our stories with you.


You can read more about Jake in If Mashed Potatoes Could Dance, the second book in the “Country Cooking School” mystery series. The first book in the series is If Fried Chicken Could Fly.

** Thanks to the publisher, I have one (1) copy of IF MASHED POTATOES COULD DANCE to give away. Contest open to US residents only. Contest ends October 25. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The book will be shipped directly from the publisher. **

Meet the author
Paige Shelton is the national bestselling author of the Farmers’ Market Mysteries and the Country Cooking School Mysteries. She grew up in the Midwest but moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, after college. Paige enjoys reading, listening to music from the 80s, and watching way too many zombie movies with her husband and son.

Visit Paige at her website, Twitter or on Facebook.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.