The Cracked Spine - Paige Shelton

Delaney Nichols, recently let go from her museum job in Wichita, Kansas, answers a newspaper ad for a job at a bookshop in Edinburgh, Scotland and is hired on the spot.  Soon after she arrives, her new boss's sister is murdered and a valuable, historic manuscript goes missing. 

 

After setting aside my intense envy of Delaney for landing a dream job in a dream town (no mean feat) I settled into this book easily.  I loved the Scottish locale (including the vernacular.  I read all sorts of Tartan Noir and hearing characters speak in their native accent really sets the scene.) and the characters were easy to relate to, inviting and realistic. I thought the characters and their relationships were well defined without feeling like a lot of information is dumped in your lap.  I would've liked to have seen some scenes with the victim, just to give some perspective, but with so little information about her, I really didn't connect with her death.  But that's okay, I was already heavily involved with the other characters.

 

The plot was also very well crafted, with many red herrings, twists and turns to keep me guessing. While a lot of the story was background and setting up the characters, it didn't detract (or distract) from the really great plot and I admit I didn't expect the ending.

 

If I could give this book more than 5 stars, I would. It was a really great read from start to finish.  I can't wait for the next book!