By Kaitlyn Dunnett
Published by Kensington Publishing
Copyright © 2010
The Liss MacCrimmon Scottish Mysteries continue with “The Corpse Wore Tartan.” In an effort to help her boyfriend Dan Ruskin, and boost business in her Scottish specialty shop, Liss has been helping coordinate the visit of the SHAS (Scottish Heritage Appreciation Society). The SHAS holds an annual celebration of Scotland’s beloved poet Robert Burns in a different location every year, and this year they have chosen a grand hotel called “The Spruces” which was recently opened by Joe Ruskin, Dan’s father. A Successful event like this could do wonders for the Spruces reputation and financial outlook.
The arrival of the SHAS brings with it many cantankerous members with old grudges and financial problems. As expected the occasion begins to unravel quickly with a stolen brooch, a barbed and insinuation filled speech, and the death of a high ranking SHAS member. To top this all off Maine does not have the nicest weather in late January, and this proves to be no exception as Moosetookalook is hit with a double header blizzard knocking out power and anyway out of the hotel. The thief and murderer are trapped, and in addition all the SHAS members and other guests staying in the hotel will have to be lodged and fed without hope of compensation. This could spell disaster for Liss and the Spruces on so many different levels.
I really enjoyed Dunnett’s endeavor on this go round. I read the Second book in the series “Scone Cold Dead,” and while I liked it I didn’t really care for the love triangle that she introduces. I thought why does love have to be so hard? I also wondered: why does Liss have to be so hard headed and independent. Kaitlyn really handled each of those things very well in this installment, though I won’t give anything away. And as with the second novel I found the mystery easy enough to follow, although if she added one more character I think I would have needed to start taking notes just like Sherri Willett. Also, the twist in the identity of the killer at the end of this book, while so very simple, took me completely by surprise because among the many scenarios I considered I never thought of the one Dunnett concocted. Once again, this is a first rate mystery series for those, like me, who aren’t into gore, serial killers, or psychomaniacs.
As an aside, the Liss MacCrimmon Scottish Mysteries always remind me of the SNL “All things Scottish” skit and the line “If it’s not Scottish, It’s Crrrraaaap!” not that they are in any way similarly hilarious, but rather it is this whole celebration of how cool it is to be a Scottish. Kaitlyn Dunnett seems to have a love for “all things Scottish” and it spills out in her Liss MacCrimmon books. While I’m not Scottish (I’m Welsh/English) her books make me wish I was on occasion.