cover image Scot in a Trap

Scot in a Trap

Catriona McPherson. Severn, $29.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-4483-0768-5

A touch of pathos lifts McPherson’s darkly amusing fifth mystery featuring Scottish family therapist Lexy Campbell (after Scot Mist). In November 2020, the permanent residents of the Last Ditch Motel in Cuento, Calif., who have bonded during the Covid lockdown, are sharing a Thanksgiving dinner. When a heavily pregnant guest goes into labor, Lexy, a temporary resident, agrees to help out at the motel while others attend to the birth. The next morning, she dutifully prepares a breakfast tray for a new arrival, only to find him lying dead, a bullet hole in his forehead. Lexy recognizes him as Menzies Lassiter, her first love from her school days in Dundee, whom she hasn’t seen in close to two decades. As the only person who knew the deceased, Lexy becomes the main suspect. She must not only investigate Menzies’s murder but also delve into their fraught shared past. Certainly, she had motive enough to want him dead. This time the motel residents are the ones providing Lexy emotional support. McPherson keeps the laughs and the action rolling along. With any luck, Lexy will be back soon. Agent: Lisa Moylett, Coombs Moylett Maclean. (Dec.)