Scots on the Rocks: A Bed-and-Breakfast Mystery Mass Market Paperback – Jun 24 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Daheim's enjoyable 23rd B&B mystery (after 2006's Saks and Violins) takes Judith McMonigle Flynn, her cousin Serena Renie Jones and their husbands to a remote town in Scotland. The idea is to get away from the stresses of running an inn, and from Judith's pesky habit of stumbling over corpses and solving murders, but when a new Scottish acquaintance mysteriously dies, Judith can't help poking around. Why would anyone kill Harry Gibbs? Perhaps his wife, now twice widowed, had developed a romantic relationship with someone else, or perhaps a complex business deal lies behind Harry's demise. The tight-knit locals aren't always willing to open up to Judith, and soon more people die. The many eccentric Scottish characters aren't especially well developed, but the local color—fine wool, romantic castles, freely flowing whiskey and tea—is charming. This cozy makes a good vacation read, whether or not your destination is Scotland. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this twenty-third Bed-and-Breakfast novel, cousins Judith Flynn and Renie Jones travel to a restored castle in Scotland for a vacation with their husbands, who promptly go fishing. Harry Gibbs, grandson of the castle's caretakers, promptly dies in a fiery explosion, leaving his wife as the chief suspect. Judith, never one to let anyone get away with murder, decides to find the killer and, with Renie's reluctant assistance, begins investigating. Daheim describes the setting effectively and does a good job developing the cousins' characters, especially the feisty Renie, but the other players, not so well delineated, are often difficult to keep straight. Only for longtime fans of the series. O'Brien, Sue --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Judith is aging, her hip replacement surgery has slowed her down. Her husband Joe, a retired police detective, and her cousin Renie and her husband Bill conspire to set up Judith with a surprise vacation. Her B & B is staffed with substitute innkeepers, and they are off. Judith is sure the locale is southern California, and packs accordingly.
Unfortunately it is Scotland, a stay in remote Grimloch castle due Joe's police connection, with a promise of some great fishing. The men skip off soon after arrival to fish, leaving Judith and Renie to get to know the Gibbses, the surly and unhappy couple running the castle. They venture into town to get Judith some warm clothing and meet many more eccentric and dysfunctional people, including Moira Gibbs, her husband Harry (grandson of the Gibbses working in the castle); and cranky Mrs. Gunn. Wealthy Moira Gibbs has inherited a large petroleum company, and Mrs. Gunn is running her husband's transport firm and believes in the supernatural.
Soon Philip Fordyce and his young wife Beth, owners of the castle, return early from an island vacation to stay in the private wing. Fordyce runs a company making Scotch whiskey and has a very strange young son, Chuckie, who skulks around the castle being obtuse and nasty.
An explosion on the beach signals the death of Harry Gibbs. Who could have wanted him dead? Was he meddling in his wife's Blackwell Petroleum company too much? The accidental death months ago of Moira's personal assistant, the dashing Italian Davey, is suddenly questioned when his bloodstained coat is found with a note. Then Chuckie begins hinting he knows who killed Harry. Judith and Renie have sporadic and sketchy phone contacts with their fishing spouses, until suddenly they seem to have disappeared.
Judith is her usual kind and inquisitive self; Renie as usual, is always hungry, argumentative and pushy. There are several truly hilarious episodes as they careen around the village of St. Fergna trying to ferret out the facts.
Armchair Interviews says: 23rd in series, and still doing just fine, thank you.
Visions of Hawaii, or The Bahama's float through her head as she tosses in bathing suits and suntan oil.
Imagine her surprise when on the plane she finds that they're on their way to Scotland. Living in the Northwest, cold and wet are normal for the winter, and although there were probably colder and wetter places than Scotland, she couldn't think of any.
Things are even worse as the cousins realize that Joe & Bill picked the spot, because they had made friends with a local Scottish police inspector and he was going to take them on fishing trip, meanwhile Judith & Renie got to stay at an ancient castle high above the North Sea.
Things get off to a rocky start when there's an explosion at Grimloch Castle and a young man is killed. He's married to the local heiress, lives in a stately mansion and father of a new son. Who would want him dead? Or is the curse some say is on his bride? He was her second husband, her first dying tragically and her male friends who have also died unexpectedly.
Judith and Renie decide to investigate, as there is nothing else to do, Joe and Bill are out of touch on their fishing trip.
There are a lot of suspects and this time the local police are actually asking them for their help. More deaths occur and supernatural things start to happen and then Joe & Bill seem to have disappeared.
The cousins have to solve this crime before they and their loved ones end up having the worst vacation they have ever had.
The last few books in this series have been less than stellar. This one, however, has picked up the series a little.
The mystery, as usual was very interesting, complicated and hard to figure out. I actually thought through most of the book that Joe & Bill may have set them up on some type of mystery weekend type of vacation.
Judith is always a great character. Very smart and does real investigations. You don't get the killer suddenly announcing they're the murderer out of the blue as you do in some series, although she will put herself in danger sometimes because she doesn't always think things out.
Cousin Renie is almost back to her likeable self. Renie has always been overly aggressive and willing to fight physically. But in recent books she has almost crossed the line into insanity, with her constant embarrassing remarks to people and the fact that she will start hitting people without provocation. In this book, she has pulled back a little in her embarrassing actions and although she does get physical with a particular character, it seemed more humorous than the insane way she had done in the past few books.
Joe and Bill disappear from the book. I love Joe, he and Judith have the most romantic storyline and I love the interplay between them. But for several books, Joe has disappeared instead of being the supportive, helpful character that he started out as. The series has become an almost exclusive Judith & Renie show. I can't remember the last book where her son and grandchildren actually appeared in the story, and weren't just mentioned in passing.
No returning characters. In earlier books you would see a lot more of Judith & Renie's extensive family. Now they almost seem adrift with only themselves and occasionally their husbands to hang on to.
I love this series and although this book isn't in league with the earlier ones in the series, it's an improvement over the last several books. Get the cousins back home, with their extended families and put Renie and Gertrude on some meds.
This series can be saved.