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Plaid and Plagiarism (Highland Bookshop Mystery Series #1)

Plaid and Plagiarism (Highland Bookshop Mystery Series #1)

4.3 3
by Molly MacRae

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A murder in a garden turns the four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books into amateur detectives, in a captivating new cozy mystery novel from Molly MacRae.
Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after the four women take possession of their bookshop in the Highlands. Unfortunately,


A murder in a garden turns the four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books into amateur detectives, in a captivating new cozy mystery novel from Molly MacRae.
Set in the weeks before the annual Inversgail Literature Festival in Scotland, Plaid and Plagiarism begins on a morning shortly after the four women take possession of their bookshop in the Highlands. Unfortunately, the move to Inversgail hasn’t gone as smoothly as they’d planned.
First, Janet Marsh is told she’ll have to wait before moving into her new home. Then she finds out the house has been vandalized. Again. The chief suspect? Una Graham, an advice columnist for the local paper—who’s trying to make a name for herself as an investigative reporter. When Janet and her business partners go looking for clues at the house, they find a body—it’s Una, in the garden shed, with a sickle in her neck. Janet never did like that garden shed.
Who wanted Una dead? After discovering a cache of nasty letters, Janet and her friends are beginning to wonder who didn’t, including Janet’s ex-husband. Surrounded by a cast of characters with whom readers will fall in love, the new owners of Yon Bonnie Books set out to solve Una’s murder so they can get back to business.
A delightful and deadly new novel about recognizing one’s strengths and weakness—while also trying to open a new book shop—Plaid and Plagiarism is the start of an entertaining new Scottish mystery series.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Four women open a bookstore in Inversgail, Scotland, in this charming series debut from MacRae (Knot the Usual Suspects and four other Haunted Yarn mysteries). Janet Marsh, a former Illinois librarian, is seeking a new life after a painful divorce; Janet’s 38-year-old daughter, Tallie, is a burned-out law professor; and Tallie’s former college roommate, Summer Jacobs, is an ex-reporter. The fourth friend, Christine Robertson, was born in the Highland town but has spent most of her married life in Illinois. They have bought not only Yon Bonnie Books but the adjoining space (future tearoom) and the bedrooms upstairs (future B and B). Their ambitious plans hit one snag after another, including renters who trash Janet’s house and a body in the shed at the bottom of the garden. In an effort to move the police investigation along, the four poke around, learning that many locals (a) didn’t like the victim and (b) don’t like a lot of “foreigners” in Inversgail. It will be fun to see what these independent, resourceful, and likable women do next. (Dec.)
Criminal Element
“Cozy aficionados will be charmed by Molly MacRae’s Plaid and Plagiarism.”
New York Journal of Books
“This cozy mystery has a fun premise. For an evening read on a cold night with a cup of tea, this will do nicely.”
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine [praise for Molly MacRae]
“MacRae writes with familiarity, wit, and charm.”
Shelf Awareness
“This charming mystery set in the Scottish Highlands combines murder, poison-pen letters and the challenges of running a bookshop.”
“MacRae has set the baseline for what promises to be a dynamic line of stories with a rich cast of characters and a charming setting. Avoids the cuteness and twee level of many cozies, presents strong female characters doing strong and believable things, and creates worlds in both a small Scottish town and its snug bookstore that seem to be places worth visiting. Nicely done.”
The Boston Globe
“Murder with a dose of drollery.”
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine
“MacRae writes with familiarity, wit, and charm.”
Cozy Mystery Book Review
“A fun series and a fantastic whodunit.”
Library Journal
Janet Marsh has been visiting the Scottish town of Inversgail for years, having owned a vacation home there. When her husband decamped with a female graduate student, Janet got the house. Now, with daughter Tallie, best friend Christine Robertson, and Tallie's friend Summer, Janet has bought the local bookstore with plans to open a cafe next door and bed-and-breakfast upstairs. But murder rears its ugly head when Una Graham, a disagreeable newspaper columnist, is found dead in Janet's back shed. The investigation by the intrepid foursome uncovers a vast array of suspects, including the reclusive author who lives next door to Janet and the local real-estate broker. VERDICT Full of fascinating local characters and Highland color, this series debut will charm everyone who loves Scotland. MacRae also writes the "Haunted Yarn Shop" series and brings the same cozy sensibilities here. Recommend for enthusiasts of Ann Ripley or Dicey Deere.
Kirkus Reviews
Four ladies whove purchased a bookshop in the Scottish Highlands find murder messing up their plans. Illinois native Janet Marsh is no stranger to Inversgail, a charming west Highland coastal village where shes owned a vacation home for many years. After her husband, Curtis, had an affair with one of his graduate students, Janet got the house free and clear in the divorce proceedings. Now she and her Scottish friend Christine Robertson, who's lived in Illinois for decades and whose parents live in Inversgail, have settled in the town, along with Janets 38-year-old daughter, Tallie, and her friend Summer, planning to run the bookstore along with a tea room and a B&B. For some reason Janet hasn't been able to get into her house, though she gave the real estate agent who's been renting it out plenty of notice, and when she strolls over to take a look, she sees the kitchen piled high with reeking garbage. But thats not the worst of it. The body of Una Graham, the local agony aunt and troublemaker, is soon found in the garden shed with a sickle in her neck. Neither the local constable nor the specialists sent in have much to say. So the four ladies decide to do some sleuthing on their own. Janets realtor thought Una was persecuting her and was the one who dumped the garbage. Janets next-door neighbor, a famous and self-centered author of mysteries, had his own problems with Una. And when they find a cache of threatening letters probably written by Una hidden in the unfinished tea room, they realize she must have had lots of enemies. Their investigation turns up many sad stories that could provide motives for murder. Now they just have to find the right one before the killer strikes again. This series kickoff from MacRae (Wilder Rumors, 2007, etc.) is chock-full of intriguing characters and Highland charm. Maybe a little too full: it could have done with some judicious pruning.

Product Details

Pegasus Books
Publication date:
Highland Bookshop Mystery Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Molly MacRae is the national bestselling author of Lawn Order, Wilder Rumors, and the Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery Series, including Knot the Usual Suspects and Plagued by Quilt. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine for more than twenty years, and she has won the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. Molly lives with her family in Champaign, Illinois.

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Plaid and Plagiarism 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MasonCanyon 23 days ago
Author Molly MacRae has created a charming setting in the Scottish Highlands for her latest release, PLAID AND PLAGIARISM, the first installment in her Highland Bookshop Mysteries Series. The author draws you in with rich characters that are quite likable, realistic and well-developed. She incorporates their bonds of friendship with its ups and downs to enhance the story. Moving at a good pace, the story comes to life through the author’s vivid descriptions and eye for details. She places the reader in the center of the action with the setting acting as a character in itself. The author blends the four lives of the protagonists with their journey to open a bookstore and the murder mystery. With some twists and turns along the way, this delightful story will entertain and leave you eagerly awaiting the next installment. It’s a fun start to what promises to be a captivating new mystery series. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
InspirationalAngel531 3 months ago
Title: Plaid and Plagiarism - Highland Bookshop Mystery Book 1 Author: Molly MacRae Published: 12-6-2016 Publisher: Pegasus Books Pages: 271 Genre: Mystery & Thrillers Sub Genre: Cozy Mystery; Amateur Sleuth ISBN: 13: 9781681772561 ASIN: B01E9EHUUA Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley Rating: 4.25 Stars I received a copy of "Plaid and Plagiarism" from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review. Janet, a librarian, her daughter Tallie, a lawyer, Janet's best friend, Christine, and Christine's daughter Summer, a reporter have gone in together to purchase Yon Bonnie Books Bookstore, the shop space next door for a tea shop (Cakes & Tales) and the rooms up stairs for a B & B (Bedtime Stories) Each contributing cash and or talents. Then there is the incidents with vandals at Janet's home. Oh, there is of course the little matter about the much disliked local gossip columnist dead in the shed. With Janet and her friends being labeled as outsiders by the locals. It is not an easy task these ladies have set for themselves in finding the killer. Especially when most of the village looks at them as the killers. The ladies are talented, fiercely loyal to one another and intelligent. They are all determined to start a new chapter in their lives. We are lucky we will be able to take that journey with them from the start. The first chapter has a lot of background information and character introduction, but then the story really begins and doesn't stop. Fast moving and well planned out the plot is one I think is intriguing make it a fun read. I would love nothing more than to own and run a book store and through "Plaid and Plagiarism" I can do it vicariously. My rating is 4.25 out of 5 stars. For a first in a series it is well done and I look forward to seeing where the series goes from her. Knowing Ms. MacRae it will only get better.
ethel55 4 months ago
What a strong start to a new series. I really enjoyed the brilliantly described Highland setting. Janet Marsh is happy to leave the US (and her ex) behind and begin a new chapter in her life. After summering in Inversgail, Scotland for years, she is one of four new owners of Yon Bonnie Books. Her longtime friend (and actual Scot) Christine, her daughter Tallie and Tallie's old friend and college roommate Summer round out the main characters. I felt like we jumped right into the story and their relationships. The house the Marshes rented for years is now going to be Janet's permanent home. But with the relator acting cagey as to when she can move in, there are immediate mysteries to solve. The four women (both friends/mother-daughter) have a long history that is revealed slowly as the book moved along. I think Janet is definitely the main protagonist in this story, but all share equally in the purchase and running of the bookstore and the soon to be renovated tea room and B&B.