Monday, March 9, 2015

Book Review & Giveaway: A Wee Murder in My Shop by Fran Stewart


About the book: Hamelin, Vermont, isn’t the most likely place for bagpipes and tartan, but at Peggy Winn’s ScotShop, business is booming…

While on a transatlantic hunt for some authentic wares to sell at her shop, Peggy is looking to forget her troubles by digging through the hidden treasures of the Scottish Highlands. With so many enchanting items on sale, Peggy can’t resist buying a beautiful old tartan shawl. But once she wraps it around her shoulders, she discovers that her purchase comes with a hidden fee: the specter of a fourteenth-century Scotsman.

Unsure if her Highland fling was real or a product of an overactive imagination, Peggy returns home to Vermont—only to find the dead body of her ex-boyfriend on the floor of her shop. When the police chief arrests Peggy’s cousin based on some incriminating evidence, Peggy decides to ask her haunting Scottish companion to help figure out who really committed the crime—before anyone else gets kilt…


Not many cozies are set in Vermont, so that's the first thing that really appealed to me about this book. Set in the fictional town of Hamelin, Vermont, Peggy Winn is the owner of ScotShop which specializes in all things Scottish. Following the discovery that her boyfriend and friend are having an affair, she goes on a buying trip to the Scottish Highlands. She stops at a little giftshop she's never noticed before, and can't resist buying a beautiful old shawl. Little does she know that the shawl contains the ghost of a 14th century Scotsman who ends up following her back home to the States. (The shawl previously belonged to his beloved and he is still grieving for her.) Upon her arrival back home, Peggy discovers that her cheating ex-boyfriend has been murdered in her shop, and her cousin is arrested for the crime. With only an extremely cryptic note in his pocket, Peggy teams up with her ghost and a lawman to catch a killer.

From Paige Shelton's Country Cooking School mysteries to JJ Cook's Sweet Pepper Fire Brigade mysteries, I adore books that feature a "love story" between a ghost and a living person, and this debut is no exception. Scottish historicals and time travel romances are extremely popular right now, and I can easily see this book appealing to readers of those genres. The scenes where Peggy is trying to talk to her ghost and carry on a real-life conversation at the same time are very entertaining and humorous. With a limited cast of secondary characters, one would think pin-pointing the killer would be easy, but I found the opposite to be true...it was harder! I was stumped until the final revelation.

Really my only issue is that in spite of the book seeming a bit tedious at times, I felt that the ending was rushed. Various loose ends, particularly surrounding the ScotShop's assistant manager Gilda's mysterious "migraines" left me intrigued, and will definitely have me picking up the second book in the series hoping that some of my questions will be answered. In the meantime I'll be left wondering why Dirk the ghost attracts spiders to him like bees to honey...

Feline trivia: Fran Stewart is also the author of a series of cat cozies, the Biscuit McKee Mysteries.

Giveaway: Leave a comment by noon eastern on Friday, March 13th, for your chance to win a copy of A Wee Murder in My Shop. (US entries only, please.)

38 comments:

  1. Sounds interesting! Great cover.
    kpbarnett1941[at]aol.com

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  2. Sounds very interesting. Love the kilt on the cover. poohwine1217@gmail.com

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  3. Love the title and cover; thanks for the chance to win :)
    jslbrown2009(at)aol(dot)com

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  4. A Wee Murder in My Shop sounds delightful, and the cover is adorable. I have this book on my TBR list. :)
    myrifraf(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. Sounds like a fun read—thanks for the chance to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

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  6. We've heard that Fran Stewart's books are really fun to read so would love to win your giveaway!

    Hugs, Pam and Sam junekimm AT aol DOT com

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  7. The reviews I have read have been good and this is my kind of COZY!!!!! Thank you got the Giveaway!!!!#!#

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  8. All things I like in a mystery - single small business owner, anything Scottish, what sounds like a hot ghost ... I'm in. DZ87507@gmail dot com

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  9. Scotland is a place on my bucket list. I enjoyed your review. Thanks for the chance of winning a copy. robeader53@yahoo.com

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  10. I just love the cover!!!

    harbingerdc(at)gmail(dot)com

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  11. This book would be a delight. Many thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  12. Thanks for this great feature and giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

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  13. Sounds like a great read. Love the cover.

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  14. Sounds delightful.
    Wonder why the Scotsman can't use the shawl link to find his beloved?
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

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  15. sounds very interesting love ghost and romances mixed together thanks for sharing

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  16. Sounds interesting, thanks for the chance to win.
    momzillasteel at gmail dot com

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  17. Sounds like a wonderful series. Thank you for this opportunity. areewekidding@yahoo.com

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  18. Oh I am so excited for this new series! It sounds so wonderful. Thank you for the chance.

    brookeb811 at gmail dot com

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  19. It is very interesting that she teams up with the ghost! You don't see that happening too often. Sounds like a fun mystery.
    - Purrs from your friends at www.PlayfulKitty.net

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  20. Don't you just love cozy mysteries? It's fun when an author starts up a new series. I hope everyone will visit Thursday March 12, when I stopover to talk about my latest Klepto Cat Mystery.

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  21. Another new (to me) author! Thanks! patucker54 (at aol dot com)

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  22. A ghost story- I love those. You look adorable Truffles.

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  23. Comin' home to a dead body... NEVER good in real life but in a cozy mystery book? Such fun!

    Purrs,
    Nissy

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  24. Comin' home to a dead body... NEVER good in real life but in a cozy mystery book? Such fun!

    Purrs,
    Nissy

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  25. I agree with all who left comments -- the cover IS great, and I do think the ghost/live person theme is fun, although I may be biased, since I'm the one who wrote it. Ordinarily I would have been here all morning and afternoon replying to the various comments, but life kind of got in the way.

    I have to answer the comment by "libbydodd" -- don't think I didn't think about that, but if I'd written Dirk as being able to trace his way back to his lady love through the shawl, there wouldn't be any more excuse for the series. We need him here in the 21st century! Still, it was a very good idea you had!

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  26. I so like Scottish historicals---this should be a nice change of pace since it's a cozy and really set in Vermont. I'll have to find this book. Thanks for the contest.
    suefarrell.farrell@gmail.com

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  27. I read a number of Scottish cozies these days... Then again my dream pet was always the Scottish Wolfhound. Unfortunately my partner has a nastier bite but I'm still hoping.

    I'd love to win and add this book to my ever growing home library.

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  28. This sounds like a book that would be fun to read.

    kaye dot killgore at comcast dot net

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  29. Love the cover with the Scottie on it. Have to add to my TBR pile. Kuzlin at aol.com

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  30. The cover is very pretty and it sounds like a great book. Thank you for the chance.
    Moonbay7399@gmail.com

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  31. Sounds like an interesting read.. Thanks for the giveaway.

    Kimberlee
    girllostinabook@hotmail.com
    www.girllostinabook.com

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  32. Can't wait to find out who wins the giveaway!

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  33. I love good mysteries. Thank you for letting me enter to win.

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  34. The cover is inviting. From the reviews I've read I've added this to mt TBR wish list. servedogmom@yahoo.com

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  35. Excited for this one. Love the idea of a Scottish ghost. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway. :)
    Scouts579 (at)aol (dot) com

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  36. I love ghost stores! Thank you for the giveaway!
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

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  37. sounds purrfect. Mommy and I love ghost stories! I'll cross my paws!

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  38. thank you for the giveaway.....
    would love to read this book!!

    cyn209 at juno dot com

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