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Highland Laddie Gone Mass Market Paperback – April 13, 1991
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From the Inside Flap
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....
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cute, quite funny at times. I don't know much about Scotland so some of the language was beyond me, but that didn't make the book less appealing.Published 11 months ago by EMILY ZELKIN
This is such a good book. it's funny and I love the characters. Barbara Rosenblat is the best narrator ever.Published 13 months ago by joyce anderson
Sharyn McCrumb's novels are always a wonderful read.
This particular book is set in Virginia, but could just as easily have been set at Grandfather Mountain in Western... Read more
Quick, fun read. I enjoyed it. Elizabeth is fun to hang around. I'm not a scot, but I like a good tartan.Published 23 months ago by Mrs O