- Series: Five Star Mystery Series
- Hardcover: 285 pages
- Publisher: Five Star (May 16, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1594146411
- ISBN-13: 978-1594146411
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,851,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Hardcover – May 16, 2008
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This is a pleasant read that incorporates assorted Scottish history tidbits and a barebones travelogue amidst a mild murder mystery.
I thought most of the college student characters on the archaeological dig were undeveloped, somewhat naive and not particularly likable. The story meandered a bit too much for my taste, and the initial murder became mysterious primarily because no apparent motive was uncovered until the end of the book. The relationships which persisted throughout the story were established implausibly quickly---we're talking only a few days---and upon which impulsive decisions were based.
Dotsy and her friend Lettie were more fully explored, but the best quick-sketch characterizations (and my favorites) were the "royal-watchers" and the two "weird sisters" with their ferret. The others were rather ho-hum.
I categorize this the same way I do Agatha Christie stories---good harmless fun. The bonus was typo-free text!
The characterizations are terrific. We meet the family who owns the castle, we meet other local Scots and we meet many of the staff and students who are working at the dig site. Each of them is interesting, not necessarily always likable, but very interesting.
There is a great deal of information about archeology and the method of digging at sites with different levels history. At this site the possible finds go all the way back to the time of Macbeth. And yes, that is a real king, not just the character in a Shakespearean play.
There is also much discussion of mushrooms as they play a role in the plot. I love mushrooms, but may never eat them again. It would be easy to get the wrong kind in my soup.
I liked this book. The author presents Dotsy and her traveling companion Letty, as the kind of friends who not only like one another but work well together as a team. Each of them have strengths which help solve the mystery. There is good plot development and the mystery is not really easy to solve. This book has all the qualities of a cozy that is enjoyable, educational and fun.
This book gets high points for the setting, and average points for the actual mystery. It was a pleasant read.