The Stolen Letter is the fifth book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. The book successfully blends a cozy mystery plot, British royalty, and many paranormal elements like reincarnation and book characters that give advice. And it has more plot than a bushel of other cozy mysteries. Yet the author somehow makes it work. The conclusion skillful weaves all the plot threads into a fine and coherent tapestry.
American Delaney works as a manager and researcher in an old bookshop called The Cracked Spine in Edinburgh, Scotland. She recently returned from her honeymoon with Tom, a local pub owner. Soon after her return, Delaney literally runs into her twenty year older double, who is on her way to the bookshop. The doppelganger is named Mary Stewart. Mary is convinced she is the reincarnated Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. When told about it, Delaney laughs. However, Delaney hears the characters from books speaking directly to her in her head. In fact, the voice she hears may be Mary Stuart. Was Mary and Delaney’s meeting destined? Mary certainly thinks so,
“We might never understand it, but we were destined to meet, Delaney, I’m sure of it. Today, we might not understand why, but I suspect we will someday.”
In the meantime, The Cracked Spine is in danger of being closed and demolished by the city. To stop it, Delaney must find the old Burgess ticket that gives the owner, Edwin, the right to continue his business.
When there is a car bomb in the village, killing Mary’s husband, Henry, Delaney decides to investigate. Centuries earlier, the queen’s husband, also named Henry, was murdered by the queen’s lover in an explosion. Could history be repeating itself?
I love history. In my opinion, there can never be too many subplots as long as they are all tied up in a nice bow at the end. The Stolen Letter delivers on both fronts. I know much more about Queen Elizabeth and Mary, Queen of Scots. Plus I had a pleasant afternoon being immersed in modern day Edinburgh. 4 stars!
Thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for my honest review.