cover image Murder at a Scottish Social

Murder at a Scottish Social

Traci Hall. Kensington, $15.95 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4967-2603-2

Hall’s enjoyable third Scottish Shire mystery (after 2021’s Murder in a Scottish Garden) finds Paislee Shaw, the owner of Cashmere Crush, a sweater and yarn shop in Nairn, Scotland, participating in the Nairn Food Bank fund-raiser. The animosity of some insufferable folks involved in the charitable event spills over into the baking contest. The search for best cookie gets a bit too competitive when arrogant, socially prominent Kirsten Buchanan keels over after eating a shortbread cookie that may have contained peanuts, which she is allergic to. When no one can locate Kirsten’s EpiPen, Paislee tries CPR in a vain effort to save her life. The obvious suspect in what turns into a murder investigation is Kirsten’s personal chef, but plenty of others had reason to want Kirsten dead, and Paislee determines to suss out the culprit. Meanwhile, she must patiently deal with the mysterious disappearance of her uncle. Witty characters match the well-crafted plot, though the Scottish dialect can be a bit much at times (“Kirsten is oot for bluid. My bluid”). Cozy fans will want to see a lot more of the compassionate Paislee. Agent: Evan Marshall, Evan Marshall Agency. (Feb.)