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Paying the Piper Mass Market Paperback – Nov 13 1988

6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reissue edition (Nov. 13 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345345185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345345189
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 1.3 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 272 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #822,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Publisher

It's hard to say which is my favorite of McCrumb's Elizabeth MacPherson murder mysteries. She's a funny lady and every one of her very well-plotted MacPherson novels is full of all manner of zany characters. In some ways, though, this early one -- 1988 -- is one I'd recommend first to a reader new to Sharyn McCrumb. It's set on a small Scottish island, full of ominous atmosphere, naturally, where Elizabeth, a forensic anthropologist, and a crew of archaeologists are looking into prehistoric burial rites. And then, of course, a crew member dies. I tried to play detective while I read, but Paying the Piper totally faked me out -- McCrumb used one of the most ingenious murder methods I've ever come across in a lifetime of reading mysteries.

--Margaret Sanborn, Senior Publicity Copywriter

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

By Amazon Customer on April 16 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this story, as in all her Elizabeth MacPherson mysteries, Sharon McCrumb has provided readers with a detective who is intelligent yet fallible. Mystery fans who are tired of the omnipotent detective who solves the case by apparent esp will love this series. Elizabeth has just as hard a time putting the clues together as you or I. The hints are there, but they are easily missed in all the fascinating details of excavating an archeological find. Her secondary characters in the form of an intensly irritating bagpipe player, arrogant doctor and quirky scientists will entertain even readers not fascinated by the mystery genre. This book would be an excellent introduction to McCrumb's light-hearted style of fiction. Anyone who enjoys this book would be well advised to try all of the Elizabeth stories as they are all equally enjoyable.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One wouldn't want to be stranded on a nearly deserted island with this heroine. Nor should anyone rely upon Elizabeth MacPherson's detective skills - it takes 3 murders, a pseudo-suicide and several casualities before she solves the mystery. Furthermore, the Elizabeth/Cameron "romance" looks like a dysfunctional family prototype. But, if you take the lighthearted fare as offered, it's still an enjoyable journey and a pretty good read. The unabridged audio recording (read by Davinia Porter and Ian Stuart) doesn't quite do the trick, Elizabeth with a British accent? Mr. Stuart seems clueless, but with little or no charm at all. Somewhat strident in tone, and not a particularly good pairing of readers and books.
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By bettiola on Dec 17 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed this mystery, and while it followed (in a satisfying way) some of the traditions of the genre, it also avoided a lot of the cliches through the depiction of interesting, non-stereotypical characters and relationships. Strangers stuck on an inhospitable island together, unexplained accidents and mysterious deaths, the haunting sound of bag pipes coming across the water, a brewing storm - these all come together to provide pleasantly shivery reading. The reader of the audio version has a lovely lilting voice, and while it's a little odd to have her speaking in the voice of the American female protagonist's diary, she does a great job with the Scottish accents!
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