Hello to all!
This week, I’m delighted to share news of Marsali Taylor’s new murder mystery book, Death In A Shetland Lane. This is the third of this series I’ve been lucky enough to get roped into review for Marsali’s book tour.
You can read previous reviews here and here.
My handsome grey Cat stayed up in
the cockpit while I got the motor going, but tortoiseshell Kitten
headed below to sit in her box and wash the sand from her white
paws. I glanced down at her, lifevest glowing pink against her
Meanwhile, here are some facts about Marsali Taylor:
Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland’s scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland’s distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women’s suffrage in Shetland. She’s also a keen sailor who enjoys exploring in her own 8m yacht, and an active member of her local drama group.
Days before the final Shetland fire festival, in broad daylight, a glamorous young singer tumbles down a flight of steps. Though it seems a tragic accident, sailing sleuth Cass Lynch, a witness at the scene, thought it looked like Chloe sleepwalked to her death.
But young women don’t slumber while laughing and strolling with friends. Could it be that someone’s cast a spell from the Book of the Black Arts, recently stolen from a Yell graveyard?
A web of tensions between the victim and those who knew her confirm that something more deadly than black magic is at work. But proving what, or who, could be lethal – and until the mystery is solved, innocent people will remain in terrible danger…
Let me just quickly say, I’m not very good at book reviews. I don’t go into the plot in huge detail etc.
For me the best thing about this book, and Marsali’s others, is the intricately woven depiction of the relationships of the Shetland people and culture that are featured in this series. They are so lovingly presented, in some respects it doesn’t matter about the crime. You feel as if you know these people and it’s a worry when they end up involved in a murder because you worry about the impact on them and their families. One of the writer’s greatest skills is that she populates her books with a range of characters so perfectly described, that as a reader, you are involved. There is a lot to lose if the case is not solved.
And there is the unique culture: music, spiritual beliefs, superstitions, history and of course, the language. There were a few unfamiliar terms, so I was so grateful for the dictionary at the back of the book (bookmark, everyone, for ease of consultation!)
The murder is a seemingly straightforward one, a simple crime, maliciously planned, and with a number of viable suspects. As always, Cass cannot help but get involved, even though there is an official police investigation, because after all, she was there when it happened, and tried valiantly to resuscitate the victim. And as ever, it was fantastic to read about Gavin swirling about the place in his kilt–of course! Though, sorry, but quite obviously, it’s the cats who stole the show: as always.
A highly enjoyable book, especially if you love sailing and messing about in boats!
My thanks to Lynne Adams, Headline Accent Press and Marsali Taylor for the chance to read this fab new book.
I went from one tack to the other, enjoying her,
then sat with my feet up on the opposite seat, my familiar tiller snug
in my hand, and the white sails stretched above me.
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