Title: Kilt at the Highland Games
Series: Liss MacCrimmon Mystery #10
Author: Kaitlyn Dunnett
Narrator: Tanya Eby
Format: Unabridged Audiobook, 7 hours and 45 minutes
Published: 26 July 2016 (Dreamscape Media, LLC)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N| Audible
Source: Audiobook Jukebox
Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 Wine Glasses
It's July in Moosetookalook, Maine, and Scottish Emporium proprietress Liss MacCrimmon Ruskin is prepping her wares for the annual Celtic heritage festival. But as a sinister crime wave washes over the quiet town, this year's celebration might prove a wee bit more eventful--and deadly--than tartan and bagpipes . . .
When a fire ravages the local bookstore late one evening, Liss immediately fears the worst for owner Angie Hogencamp and the two young children who live above the shop. After the terrible blaze dies down, however, the family is nowhere to be found among the ruins. It's as if the three just vanished into smoke. Or even stranger--like they never existed at all.
Disturbed by Angie's disappearance and suspecting arson, Liss counts on the weekend-long Western Maine Highland Games--complete with a parade and fireworks display--to offer a temporary distraction from the countless questions filling her head. But when the sound of a gunshot leads Liss to selectman Jason Graye's dead body on opening day, she's drawn into a full-blown homicide investigation like a moth to a flame.
Is Moosetookalook suffering from a streak of bad luck, or are the two grim incidents connected? Unable to shake the notion that new victims are being targeted around town--and despite her worried husband's best protests--Liss races to nab the killer. And with her own life on the line, she'll need to act swiftly. Because when it comes to this kind of game, somebody has to lose . . .
An overweight Maine coon cat dozed in an open bedroom window, his bulk pressed against the screen so that the gentle breeze of the summer night could ruffle his long yellow fur. With a start, he went on alert. A moment later, he leapt from the windowsill to the top of the dresser and from there to the foot of the bed. He landed squarely on Liss MacCrimmon Ruskin's bare legs. The impact, not to mention the slash of sharp claws, jerked her out of a sound sleep. …
Cautiously, she sniffed. A tantalizingly familiar smell teased her nostrils. After a second, even in her groggy state, she identified it as wood smoke. Odd, she thought. …
Dreading what she would see, Liss looked out. She made an inarticulate sound of distress at the sight that met her eyes. It was a fire, and it was the bookstore on the far side of the square that was burning… Angie! Where was Angie? Where were her children? The bookstore owner lived in the apartment above her shop with sixteen-year-old Beth and twelve-year-old Bradley.
Kilt at the Highland Games by Kaitlhyn Dunnett is a cozy mystery set in the fictional small town of Moosetookalook, Maine. IF you are looking for a romance, you should look elsewhere as there was none. The book features an amateur sleuth, Liss MacCrimmon, who calls Moosetookalook home. I’m sure I won’t be the only Scottish lover to be drawn to this book because of the Scottish references in the title. I confess that another lure for me was that I also wanted to listen to Tanya Eby who narrates the book.
Liss MacCrimmon is married to Dan, a woodworker and member of Moosetookalook’s volunteer fire department. Liss is a former Scottish dance troupe dancer. She now operates a Scottish Emporium and the tale finds her busy prepping her wares for the annual Celtic heritage festival held in July. Sadly, it seems that a crime wave has afflicted the normally quiet town making this year’s festivities a wee bit more eventful than usual.
As the story opens, Liss awakens to a fire engulfing the town’s bookstore. When the fire dies down, Angie Hogencamp and her two kids are not found among the ruin, so where are they? Then, when a homicide occurs on the opening day of the games, Liss’ sleuthing skills hype up. Unfortunately, they also put her in danger.
This story included a myriad of quirky supporting characters from – but not limited to - a dastardly alderman who wanted to shut down the town’s public library to save money, the town’s librarian who had quite a collection of antique weapons and a particularly nasty town visitor who was a stickler for anything Gaelic. To the author’s credit, I had no issue whatsoever keeping track of the characters.
Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from Kilt at the Highland Games:
“I always thought there were no secrets in a small town, but I’d never guessed that one.”
“How on earth did you two end up being the first at the scene of a crime? You didn’t kill him, did you?”
“I can’t help wishing that the killer had waited until after this weekend to do him in. Or, better yet, had murdered him somewhere else entirely. Neither the Highland games nor this town needs the bad publicity murder generates.”
“I’m sure Jason Graye would have preferred not to be murdered at all.”
Tanya Eby ably narrated Kilt at the Highland Games. This is the first time I’ve ever listened to Tanya Eby. It appears that this book is the first book in this series to be offered in an audio edition as well. Tanya delivered a solid polished performance with a clear, pleasant voice, differentiating between the characters to where I never had an issue wondering who was speaking. I would not hesitate to pick up another audio by her based upon this listening experience.
Kilt at the Highland Games is the tenth installment in the Liss MacCrimmon Mysteries series and I have not read any of the earlier installments. Even so, the book worked well as a standalone read as the development of the danger plot is fully contained within this novel. That said, it’s possible that if I’d had a previous connection to the main character, I may have rated the book higher.
I enjoyed listening to Kilt at the Highland Games. Feeding my love of anything-Scottish, the tale included many references to the games and the associated dancing, Scottish-themed merchandise, tartan kilts, bag piping and brogue. In addition, many of Moosetookalook residents seemed to have roots in Scotland. Kilt at the Highland Games was a fun whodunit read – perfect for a quick escape. I plan to keep my eye out for future availability of this series in audio.
Suggested Reading Order: