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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Review - Dressed to Kilt

This is one of my favorite cozy mystery series that I have been following since the first book. Check out my previous reviews:  Off Kilter (click here) , second book Hooked on Ewe (click here), and the author graciously provided a guest post (click here).  It is time for the next installment in this series set in rural Scotland.  FYI, there is a quote from my review of the debut book in the first pages! Yay

Hannah Reed

Copyright: July 2016 (Berkley) 304 pgs

Series: 3rd in Scottish Highlands Mystery series

Sensuality: Mild

Mystery Sub-genre:  Cozy

Main Character:
Eden Elliott, recently divorced and romance author

Setting: Modern day, Glenkillen Scotland

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest opinion

"Winter is leaving the residents of Glenkillen snowbound, but Eden isn’t about to let the weather dampen her spirits. With only a little time left in Scotland, she’s determined to make the most of it—starting with attending a fancy whisky tasting with local looker Leith Cameron. But her classy date turns into a major party foul after a woman is found drowned in one of the vats of alcohol.

Eden immediately steps in as a Special Constable to help solve the case, but her investigation turns sour when she realizes that the killer could be somehow connected to her own Scottish heritage. Now, in order to find the proof she needs to put the murderer behind bars, she’ll have to take a shot at unearthing her family’s past—before she herself winds up buried."

Eden must face a painful part of her Scottish heritage that she has avoided her entire time in the country, besides facing that she doesn't want to leave the country but seems powerless to change it.  She takes in the murder victim's Scottish Fold cat (on the cover) for her last few weeks, and it is touching. Vicki MacBride, her good friend while living there, is up to something and trying to keep it a secret, and Eden has mixed feelings about.  Even her State-side BFF is being uncommunicative, which adds to her struggle to stay upbeat.  Leith Cameron, the epitome of a romance novel highlander also seems a bit stand-offish.  Eden also faces what her true feelings are regarding him.  Detective Inspector Kevin Jamieson seems reluctant to accept she is leaving. Special Constable Sean Stevens is back from training and is a combination of haughty and bumbling.  Bridie Dougal is a clan Chieftain who doesn't let her advanced age slow her down, she is the break-out character - irascible, used to getting her way, and a touch scheming.
The snowbound and icy highlands are so well portrayed that I forgot it was blistering summer out and thought I should grab a coat after reading for a while!  The beautiful rolling hills and vistas are now a frozen landscape with its own dangers.

The climax is a delightful mix of killer showdown with challenges that threaten Eden living to go back to the states.  The wrap up is touching and secures future adventures for Eden (I can't say anymore without spoilers).

This series is a must read for me and it is consistently a fun read with a balance of mystery and characters.  Eden has grown and is a mature-acting woman turning her life around and learning to follow her heart.  The addition of her family story is a bonus.  Not too heavy, but not too breezy either....just the right mix for an outstanding series.

 Near Perfect - Buy two copies: one for you and one for a friend. 

Refreshing Summer Spritzer
 -  4-6 bags Favorite herb tea (mine are Rasberry or Black Berry Zinger).  Brew, remove bags and cool.  Make strong because you will dilute.
-  2 Liter bottle of non-cola soda (7-up or Ginger Ale)

Mix in large pitcher or by-the-glass to taste.  The soda should sweeten the tea, but add slight amount of sweetener if needed - a little will do you in this.  Over ice this is a great summer treat with endless variety of flavors to go with any meal.
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