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Review 🔍 Deadly Editions by Paige Shelton

April 7, 2021


It’s a quiet, snowy morning at The Cracked Spine bookshop, when bookseller Delaney Nichols receives a mysterious visitor, a messenger. He presents her with a perplexing note: an invitation to a meeting with eccentric socialite Shelagh O’Conner, who requests Delaney’s participation in an exclusive treasure hunt. Delaney is intrigued, but also cautious: Shelagh, while charming in person, has a reputation for her hijinks as a wealthy young woman in the ’70s. She was even once suspected for the murder of a former boyfriend, though ultimately cleared of all charges.

But Delaney is enticed by the grand prize at the end of the treasure hunt: a highly valuable first edition copy of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. The winner is also to receive the contents of Shelagh’s vast library, and all participants will earn a large sum of cash.

The night after the first meeting of the treasure hunters, however, several homes in Edinburgh are robbed in a manner reminiscent of Shelagh’s old tricks. And when a man connected to Shelagh is killed, suspicion builds. Except Shelagh herself has disappeared from her home, seemingly kidnapped by the villain.

Terror mounts throughout the city as Delaney attempts to solve the mystery, while trying to evade the killer’s clutches. But it’s hard to know who to trust when around every corner, a new monster could be lurking.

Release Date:
Apr 6, 2021
Series: A Scottish Bookshop Mystery
Book: 6
Publisher: Macmillan
Imprint: St. Martin’s Press
Price: $13.99

Sometimes extraordinary offers come with loads of complications.  For Delaney Nichols, an unexpected offer, joining a select few in a “friendly” treasure hunt for a very valuable book, turns into a murder-mystery, that then turns into a kidnapping, which then turns into a copy-cat case, or is it something else, entirely? Author, Paige Shelton, takes you on an engaging and detailed search for clues, while the players make alliances, and the mystery unravels.  This is the sixth book in the A Scottish Bookshop Mystery by author Paige Shelton

There was a lot to take in, in this detailed multiple-mystery and murder story.  Although, a bit particular, the author is very thorough with the background narrative of each character.  I enjoyed the quiet pace and the circumstantial state in which the mystery found itself most of the time. Mainly, I was guessing at the who and the why, throughout the book.  Regardless, of the pace and the long narrative, I found the story to be interesting and exciting. 

There are many interesting characters in this story.  The main character Delaney Nichols, bookish and astute, drives the story with her unwavering search for the truth.  Her drive and dedication were the reasons she was selected to participate in the select group included for the treasure hunt.  All the participants in the group were chosen for their particular attributes by character Shelagh O’Conner, an eccentric and well-known book connoisseur, known for her vast collection of rare and collectable editions. And just as eccentric as her flawed character, is her obsession with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, which is the main focus of the mystery revolving this case.  But not all is what it seems, and as the mystery resolves, you realize that it was organized just so, from the very beginning. 

I found this book to be calculating in its delivery of clues and direction.  Purposeful, in captivating my attention.  I thoroughly enjoyed the mindful, mental exercise and I deliberately read it slower than other mysteries.  I liked how this book tricks the narrative and holds you till the very end. 

~ Patricia

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