In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn't know much about what she's gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime. Edwin has promised that she'll be working with "a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes," and Delaney can't wait to get started.
When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at the Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An unexpected bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his piercing eyes, and a rolling brogue -- and it doesn't hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.
But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact -- a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare's plays -- goes missing, and Edwin's sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it's connected to the tragic death, all without getting harmed herself.
From the cover, I was expecting a typical cozy mystery with an amateur sleuth chasing down the clues and eventually solving the crime. What I got was an amateur sleuth finding pretty much only one clue, asking a few questions and miraculously solving the crime. Nothing really flowed right.
I don't buy the motivation behind Delaney leaving the US for Scotland, the club Edwin is a part of seems like it should be a bigger part of the story but doesn't amount to much, Rosie witnessing an accident and then ending up flirting with the victim doesn't tie into anything, Delaney hearing voices from the books around her is an interesting side plot but nothing is made of it and I could go on and on but it's all more of the same.
I was hoping for a whole lot more from the book but at the end of it all I enjoyed the characters so much, I just might read the next book in the series. If it wasn't for side characters like Elias, Tom and even little Hector I wouldn't bother. I hope the storyline flows much better in the next book of the series. If the subplot isn't going to be fully flushed out, I hope Shelton leaves it out so it doesn't distract from what is enjoyable in the storyline.
I recommend this to anyone who likes cozy mysteries with more emphasis on good characters rather than a believable plot.