New York Times bestselling author Paige Shelton returns with the next installment of The Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, The Stolen Letter
Delaney Nichols is confident she’s doing what she loves—case in point, just one day after returning from her fabulous European honeymoon, she’s eager to get back to the Cracked Spine, the bookstore where she works. But as she disembarks her bus and hurries toward the shop she and another woman collide, sending a stack of books the woman is carrying to the ground.
Delaney’s hapless victim’s name is Mary, and the two women can’t help but notice that they bear an uncanny resemblance to one another. According to Mary, they both also look like the long-beheaded Mary Queen of Scots. Even stranger, Mary believes she is the reincarnation of the Scottish queen. But peculiar as Delaney’s doppelganger is, she doesn’t have time to dwell on it: on her arrival to the bookshop, she learns the Edinburgh city council wants to close the Cracked Spine, citing code violations, and she’s determined to stop them.
But when Mary’s husband dies in a car explosion—and Delaney learns he was the very member of city council who proposed that the city take a closer look at the bookshop’s construction—she starts to wonder if her meeting with Mary wasn’t an accident. Edinburgh has become as filled with intrigue and deception as any European court, and Delaney is determined to get to the bottom of this royal mystery.
Bestseller Shelton's whimsical fifth Scottish Bookshop mystery (after 2019's The Loch Ness Papers) finds Delaney Nichols back in Edinburgh from her honeymoon, eager to return to her job at the Cracked Spine, "the most wonderful bookstore in the entire world." On the street, she literally bumps into a woman who looks a lot like herself the same frizzy red hair and lots of freckles. By chance, the woman, who introduces herself as Mary Stewart, was on her way to the Cracked Spine. At the bookshop, Mary reveals that she's the reincarnation of Mary, Queen of Scots. Delaney and Mary soon become friends. Meanwhile, the Edinburgh City Council threatens to close the bookshop for code violations. Eventually, other people who believe they have past lives end up playing supporting roles in the main action: Delaney's investigation of the death of Mary's husband, a member of the council, in a car bombing. Vivid descriptions of Edinburgh enhance the well-crafted plot. Cozy fans will look forward to the further adventures of smart and intuitive Delaney.
Once a Queen, Always a Queen
Another gratifying read by Paige Shelton! I have such a love for Scotland and all its glorious history, myths, and legends. The Stolen Letter gives us a glimpse into the life of Mary, Queen of Scots (insert happy dance). Delaney and the rest of our favorite crew, run into some interesting characters who wind up in a treasure trove of Royal history and a murder. This book is such a fantastic add to the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. It’s a real page turner, so get ready to binge read!
“Magesty, there is less danger in fearing too much than too little.” (Jeane Westin aka Delaney’s bookish voice on pg 31)