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Posted June 5, 2012
Abigail Craig, librarian resident of Stirling, is still mourning the death of her husband of forty years. Now in her early sixties, she isn’t sure what the rest of her life holds. When her friend, retired solicitor and stuffed shirt, Alasdair Mills is burgled, Abigail is eager to help. However when she discovers the only thing stolen was a tatty pair of antique slippers, the fact they once belonged to Sir Walter Scott does nothing to ignite her interest.
Emma, the work experience girl at the library, commands Abigail’s attention and kind heart when she walks out on her philandering husband, so Abigail invites her home as an unexpected house guest.
The police seem only mildly interested in Alasdair’s missing slippers, so he convinces Abigail to help him track down the thieves. Within days, their prime suspect turns out to be a local bigwig and a descendant of Sir Walter Scott – though he vehemently denies any involvement-or interest in Alasdair’s prized slippers.
Alasdair's wife, Sophie, takes an invisible back seat, as her time is taken up in organising the inaugural 'High Tea in the Park' event in the city. An event where she hopes Mr Mills, and Alasdair’s prime suspect, will be a guest speaker. Abigail and Alasdair stumble across a sinister antiques robbery ring, but before they can report their findings to the police, Alasdair goes missing, and things take a turn for the worse and threaten to derail the biggest event to hit Stirling for decades.
Abigail and Alasdair are engaging characters, with Alasdair playing Rumpole to her Miss Marple in that she is the far sighted one and he stumbles over his own tongue and feet from time to time, oblivious as to how he appears to others.
Alasdair buys a copy of The Detectives Handbook, and begins quoting from it, which adds some light relief to the story. Then he and Abigail borrow the library truck and go on a stakeout to see where else ‘the gang’ who stole his slippers are operating. They intend to hand their evidence over to the police at some stage but are having far too much fun, so before long, Alasdair steps over the line and finds himself in trouble.
These two characters are perfect foils for each other, and at times behave like sulky teenagers, but Emma, having gained confidence in a new found career, comes to the rescue and sorts them both out.
According to the publisher’s blurb this is the first in a new series featuring librarian Abigail Craig, and though a little predictable, it’s a fun read. For anyone who enjoys a light-hearted escape into suburban pensioners after some excitement – this story is an enjoyable read.