Thursday, April 7, 2016

Review: The Cracked Spine: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by Paige Shelton

Cozy Mystery


Minotaur Books

Release Date:
March 2016

Synopsis from Goodreads

Wanted: A bold adventurer who wants to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners.

Never an adventurer, no one was more surprised than Delaney Nichols when she packed her bags and moved halfway across the world to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop located in the heart of the city. Her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime, albeit a cryptic one, and Delaney can’t wait to take her spot behind the desk.

The Cracked Spine is filled with everything a book lover could want, each item as eclectic as the people who work there; the spirited and lovable Rosie, who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An extra bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his cobalt eyes, and a gentle brogue—and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is brutally murdered. Never did Delaney think that searching for things lost could mean a killer, but if she’s to keep her job, and protect her new friends, she’ll need to learn the truth behind this Scottish tragedy.

My Review

Delaney Nichols answers an unusual job ad for a bookstore, The Cracked Spine, in Scotland. They are looking for a bold adventurer for their bookshop that specializes in rare manuscripts and books. Although that description does not fit Delaney, she does love bookstores. After a long telephone conversation with the shop’s owner, Edwin MacAlister, Delaney is immediately hired. She packs her bags leaving her safe Kansas home and heading to another country to start a new life.

The Cracked Spine is everything Delaney hoped for…a quaint book shop with a couple of eccentric people working there. There’s even a very handsome bartender nearby. After one date with him, she definitely wants to get to know him better.

Things take a nasty turn when Edwin’s sister is brutally murdered. Delaney jumps right in to try and find the killer.

This is the first book in a brand new cozy mystery series and it’s off to a great start. Delaney is an interesting character. It’s hard to believe someone could just answer an ad for a job in another country, get hired sight unseen, and move to a country where she knows nobody but somehow it all worked in this story. I wish I had the guts to do what Delaney did :)

She has an amazing adventure to look forward to with a supporting cast made up of quirky, eccentric characters. The storyline moves along at a nice pace. I know I didn’t figure it out until Delaney did towards the end. It’s well written with characters that are well developed. It will leave readers anxiously awaiting for the next book. I hope it’s soon!

For Reading Challenges:

I Love Library Books Reading Challenge 2016
Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge 2016

Source: Library. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I definitely want to check this one out. It would even work form my What An Animal challenge - look at the cute dog!

  2. I've loved every book I've read by Shelton and there's no way I could pass up one that takes place in a bookstore in Scotland! I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I'm looking forward to it!

  3. I confess, I want to pack up and go work in a bookstore in Scotland! It sounds like the best thing -- barring the murder, lol! This sounds like a wonderful mystery!

  4. So cute. Love that it is set in Scotland. This sound so satisfying for a cozy mystery.

  5. I will be checking out this cozy mystery. Yay!

  6. I listened to this one on audio recently and really enjoyed it. I might have something to do with the accents.


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