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Highland Laddie Gone Mass Market Paperback – April 13, 1991

3.9 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"I had a great time at Sharyn McCrumb's inimitable version of the Highland games."
Charlotte MacLeod
In her third outing as amateur sleuth, Elizabeth MacPherson has the chance to revel in the rites of the old country at the annual Glencoe Mountain Games. But the innocent ethnic fair is cursed when the loathed Colin Campbell is found murdered. When a second reveler is found dead, Elizabeth lays to hunt and untangles all....
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (April 13, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345360362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345360366
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #908,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By T. J. Mathews VINE VOICE on August 23, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Sharyn McCrumb is the author of three mystery series, each very different from the others. This is the third book featuring forensic anthropologist Elizabeth MacPherson. They are fairly lightwight and humorous. Some of her later volumes ('MacPherson's Lament' and If I'd Killed Him When I Met Him...') combine current and historic mysteries which I found particulary intriguing.

This mix of contemporary and historical mysteries is also a key element of her second series. Based in the mountains of eastern Tennessee with titles gleaned from old Appalachian folk songs it is a more serious collection that is rich in the beauty and folklore of the region. My personal favorite is 'She Walks These Hills'.

On the off chance that there is someone out there looking for something a little more irreverent than 'Highland Laddie Gone,' McCrumb has an answer for that, too. The title says it all:

'Bimbos of the Death Sun'

Don't laugh. It won an Edgar.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the 3rd in the series of Elizabeth MacPherson mysteries, and definitely one of the funniest. There is a delightful portrayal of a Scottish festival and the many participants there. We also get a view of this festival through the eyes of real Scot, Cameron Dawson, Elizabeth's new found enamorata.
The story kicks into high gear when the head of Clan Campbell is found dead. It also reaches hilarious heights when Elizabeth's cousin Geoffrey finds himself mixed up in the screwball Scottish Republican Army, and Cameron is mistaken for a British spy.
If you enjoy fast paced and humorous mysteries, pick up a copy of this book. You'll probably want to read the rest of the series once you get started.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Unlike some of my fellow reviewers, I love funny mysteries. They have to be well-written, too, mind you - something that has funny lines but is otherwise incoherent wouldn't get five stars from me. However, Sharyn McCrumb is anything but incoherent. Her characters have lots of witty dialogue, but also are fleshed out to be real people. (Some more thinly fleshed out than others, but still...)
Elizabeth is attending the Highland Games with her cousin Geoffrey because she happens to be the Maid of the Cat for Clan Chattan. The cat is an old, toothless mountain lion. There are funny moments with other animals too- keep an eye out for poultry. At the games, she meets a genuine Scot- who has a rather jaundiced view of the American version of things, but who also has an accent that Elizabeth compares to pancake syrup; she falls in love with it almost immediately, and then with the rest of the guy.
The person who is murdered certainly deserves it, as is often the case in McCrumb's stories. She writes really good nasty people.
For me, perhaps the funniest part of the book is near the end. The officer who has been working on the case also happens to be part of a Civil War recreation group- costumes, battles, etc. Elizabeth is talking to him about the next event that's going to use the grounds after the Games are finished. It's the SCA, who dress up in medieval costumes and hold jousting tournaments. About this group, "those people are weird" says Clan Chattan Maid of the Cat to Confederal Colonel Lightfoot MacDonald!!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read 4 or 5 of the Elizabeth MacPherson mysteries and this one is my favorite. All are humorous, light mysteries great for the beach or in-flight entertainment. As a fan of all things Scottish, I especially enjoyed the author's version of the scottish games and her presentation of an actual Scot being the most un-Scottish person there. Very amusing!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
McCrumb writes incredibly well. I read part of this aloud in the car to my wife on a long car trip, and it was written so conversationally and so cleverly that it was a joy for us both. I think I would have liked to see the murder happen a little sooner in the book - there's quite a lot of set up and very little detecting that actually goes on - but she's created a great cast of characters that it's fun to follow without a murder investigation. Then again, we know pretty much from the start who's going to get it (the guy nobody likes) and half the fun is trying to see who hates him most - or perhaps just enough to stick him with a traditional Scottish dagger.

There's also a subtext of Shakespeare throughout this book, particularly as lines from the Scottish play are key to one part of the mystery. But McCrumb shows an easy felicity with the Bard in other ways, too, belying the super-regional Appalachian setting and tone.

Perhaps my favorite thing about McCrumb is her ability to immerse the reader in quirky sub-cultures, honoring their earnestness while at the same time poking good-natured fun at them. (See Bimbos of the Death Sun for a great send-up of sci-fi/fantasy conventioning.) She walks a fine line here, showing us both the fun and the foolishness of American Highland festivals, but her amateur detective, Elizabeth MacPherson, is just naive enough and just self-conscious enough to not only pull off that balance, but also epitomize it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Another great read from one of my favorite authors, Sharon McCrumb. Highly researched, likable characters, the author combines The Smokey Mountains and Virginia history woven with present day mystery and crimes to present very satisfying reads from beginning to end. Top quality, Ms McCrumb.
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