This is a brand new series with a Scottish theme although based in Vermont. It has an interesting premise that incorporates a "wee ghostie" into the story.
Copyright: March 2015 (Berkley) 304 pgs
Series: 1st in ScotShop Mystery series
Sensuality: mild kissing
Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy paranormal Mystery
Main Character: Peggy Winn, owner of ScotShop
Setting: Modern day. Hamelin, Vermont
Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review
Peggy breaks up with her "almost fiance" upon discovering him with her "former best friend" just before leaving on a business trip to Scotland. She is on a buying trip for her Scottish themed shop attempting to deal with the situation with her ex (Mason) by digging through the hidden treasures of the Scottish Highlands. She discovers a unique out-of-the-way shop and buys a beautiful old tartan shawl that once she wraps it around her shoulders discovers it has the ghost of a fourteenth-century Scotsman attached to it. Before she leaves to return to the States, she believes she has severed the connection binding "Dirk" to the shawl.
Once State-side she finds she was unsuccessful and Dirk is still bound to the shawl. She also discovers the body of her cheating ex in her shop when she opens on the first day back to her store. When the police chief arrests Peggy’s cousin based on some incriminating evidence, Peggy works to understand why Mason was killed in her shop and Dirk grows protective as a police detective begins spending more and more time with Peggy.
Peggy is a mixed-bag character, she can be ditzy but kind and caring. One minute a strong small business owner and the next silly in handling the ghost. Dirk (full name Macbeath Donlevy Freusach Macearacher Macpheidiran of clan Farquharson) is not just out of time, but grieving the loss of his beloved whose shawl he is attached to. Cousins Sam and Shoe are a whirlwind and keep the story interesting. BFF Karaline Logg is a gem and a great sidekick for Peggy. Twin Brother Drew may be disabled but doesn't let that slow him down and I hope to see more of him in the next books. Police Captain Harper is the romantic interest in the book.
Hamelin Vermont, which was founded by Scottish in early 1700s, is said to still have men wearing kilts is the small town of the story. It relies on tour buses for its economy as the backdrop.
The concept of keeping a ghost who is completely out of step with the time he finds himself in was handled fairly well, although I grew quickly tired of Peggy making a spectacle of herself explaining various things to the ghost in front of others. That was tedious. The pacing moved along steadily and I found myself reading on to see what happened next. The climax with the killer seemed entirely too rushed and suddenly the story is finished. It was a bit of an abrupt ending.
Overall it has an interesting concept that you might expect in a time-travel romance, only it is a cozy mystery - which provides a completely different flare.
Rating: Good - A fun light read, but not stellar.