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The Murder Hole: Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron Series, Book 2 Paperback – October 7, 2009

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The Murder Hole: Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron Series, Book 2 + The Secret Portrait + The Mortsafe: A Short Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron Mystery
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Wildside Press (October 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434406563
  • ISBN-13: 978-1434406569
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #610,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A child of the American heartland, Lillian Stewart Carl graduated from grade school in Missouri, from high school in Ohio, and from college in Texas. She should have a Bachelor of Arts in History, but inadvertently found herself with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Either way, she's now pursuing one of the few jobs that can be done with a background in history and English--writing fiction that invokes a legendary past, even in contemporary settings.

It's no surprise that Lillian and her long-suffering husband have wandered countless British single-track roads, from Orkney to Dover and back again. Also, just for variety, she has excavated the Biblical city of Gezer in Israel, worn a pink and mauve sari to a wedding in Hyderabad, India, searched for Middle Earth in New Zealand, and sung "Waltzing Matilda" in a haunted cottage in the Australian outback.

Being generally a mild-mannered individual, Lillian has yet to throw anyone across the room with her tai chi skills. Nor has she stabbed anyone with her knitting needles or slammed anyone's fingers except her own in the cover of her piano keyboard.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on August 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Her partner at great Scot magazine Miranda Capaldi sends American Jean Fairborn to the Loch Ness area to cover the latest effort to prove whether the monster exists or not. The head of the Water Horse expedition is controversial American scientist Roger Dempsey, who insists his modern technology will answer the question and someone the legends reporter knows from back in the states.

Many locals oppose the intrusion. Some our of fear that Dr. Dempsey will prove no monster exists and hurt tourism, but environmental activist Iris Mackintosh has other concerns. Northern Constabulary Detective inspector Alasdair Cameron becomes involved when someone sends threatening letters warning Dempsey to stay away. He and Jean have a recent history (see THE SECRET PORTRAIT) so both have mixed feelings about their latest encounter. However, when a homicide tied to the ancient Pitclachic Stone disrupts the expedition, Alasdair makes sure Jean remains safe even as she dives into cold murky danger trying to solve several mysteries including a murder.

The sequel to the delightful THE SECRET PORTRAIT is a fun contemporary police procedural investigative tale with the emphasis on the reporter's inquiries. The story line cleverly combines Nellie, an ancient historical stone with a twentieth century history, a bit of romance and murderous mayhem into a fine tale starring a likable heroine. Readers will appreciate THE MURDER HOLE as Nellie is under investigation until a homicide interrupts the scientific study.

Harriet Klausner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J & L Rigod on May 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reporter and reluctant sleuth, Jean Fairbairn heads off on a new assignment for her magazine, "Great Scot." The assignment is the discovery, or at least the festival, of Nessie at Loch Ness, Scotland. It is based upon the history of a man in 1933 making the 'discovery' of a stone from Pictish days.

As in the earlier book, we find Dr. Fairbairn very researched and educated in regards to her subject which gives us, the readers, wonderful background and historic facts to savor as Ms. Carl weaves a storyline of suspense, discovery, and murder around us.

Chief Inspector Alasdair Cameron is on hand at the festival due to death threats having been made towards one of the hopeful discoverers, Dr. Roger Dempsey. We quickly learn there are shady persons involved almost in every facet of the festival/discovery digs.

In addition, there is an old-fashioned but, lovely to enjoy, romance blossoming between Jean and Alasdair. It takes us back to old days when courtship was an art to be learned and practiced. I find it lovely and filled with it's own special suspense.

I truly loved "The Murder Hole" as a complete novel and took extra time in reading it as I did not want the book to end. I did like the ending though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By K.D. Keenan on October 28, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have found Lillian Stewart Carl to be a satisfactory replacement for several authors whose work I have completely mined dry. Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Merton), Mary Stewart, Diana Gabaldon, Sharyn McCrumb, for instance, though I am hoping for more from most of those authors. You can count on cats, Scotland, ghosts and a bit of romance from this author, along with a bit of humor. "The Murder Hole" is a fun read for those who read recreationally and don't mind suspending their disbelief in exchange for good entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Linda Sheean on July 15, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book has a rather complex plot which eventually explains itself a few pages from the end - a lot of Scots scenery and language, both very attractive, and the Sassenach journalist and the Scots Detective wending their way thru bad marital experiences with their former husband/wife to get a few inches further into a budding relationship. Convoluted but very readable book.
Linda Sheean
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Reading Like Crazy on December 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I couldn't put this book down, and not only enjoyed the excellent story, but also enjoyed Carl's writing. She has a gift for finding new ways and words to show you things. Lyric descriptions of scenery, telling ways of showing character - and a good mystery, too. What more can anyone want? I'm off to buy more of her books.
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By Nancy Gibbs on February 28, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Carl writes movingly about Scotland's present and past with an interesting premise that the major character, Jean Fairbairn, is an American expat. The stories have some supernatural effects, but they work--they fit in with the histories that are presented in each of the books. Nobody's perfect, including the major characters, but they are intelligent and complex. The plots are also somewhat complex, a feature that I personally like. The touches of Scottish language style highlight the differences between characters without being overbearing or annoyingly in your face.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I chose the book for its Scotland, and Firth setting. Having been there, I enjoyed the excellent descriptions Carl uses to further her stories.

I certainly would recommend this book for those doing family research in Scotland, not for any family connections, but for some historical background. The story line is good, and I was suitably surprised by "who done it" however, there were some pretty good hints along the way....and some planned to throw the read "agley".
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For fans of Scotland this is a great mystery. The pov character, being an ex patriot American, does a good job of letting the reader drop into the world of modern Scotland. The mystery provides a good frame work for following the characters of Jean and Alasdair. As a mystery, the story unfolds logically without "cheats" being required for it to work. The supernatural elements play in nicely, adding interest without allowing the mystery to be solved by a gimmick.
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The Murder Hole: Jean Fairbairn/Alasdair Cameron Series, Book 2
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