I read the first in this series a little while ago and I wasn't overly impressed; however, as is my way, I'd already bought a couple more in the same series so thought I would give the second one a chance.
The story goes something like this: Brooklyn Wainwright is a book binder, she's attending the Edinburgh Book Fair and bumps into an ex of hers who asks her to look after an old book of (unknown) poems by Robbie Burns which may or may not be a fake and which may or may not bring shame on the Royal Family. Pages later and the ex is dead, bumped off in mysterious circumstances. Several more deaths follow, plus a kidnap of sorts, brake-tampering during a car journey to the famous Roslyn Chapel, a break-in in Brooklyn's hotel room and various other mishaps and misfortunes. And there's a bit of romance going on with Brooklyn and her beau Derek Stone, a British security officer.
Things started badly when on page nine our heroine "slammed a pound note" on the shop counter; my first splutterings were thus: 'since when have pound notes been legal tender in the UK?', but I decided to do a little investigating before condemning the author and it seems that they are still issued in Scotland (by the Royal Bank of Scotland) in very small quantities, but I do wonder just how likely it would be that a visitor who had only just arrived from the USA would have a £1 note; I've been to Scotland several times and have never seen one (they were withdrawn from circulation in 1988 in the rest of the UK and replaced with £1 coins.) I wonder whether the author has ever been to Scotland (or any other parts of the UK) or whether her research on what the people and places are like was done via the internet? Also, apparently, when you are in a pub on the Royal Mile the barman comes to your table to take your drinks order. Ha. Not likely, love. Unless, perhaps, you happen to be in a pub where you're also eating, but even then you often place your order at the bar. There were several other moments like these in the book which left me saying, 'No, we don't do that' or 'That would never happen', which was frustrating to say the least.
Then there was the supposed 'kidnap' in which Brooklyn is bundled into a taxi with a doctor and two other chaps who turn out to be very civil. And let's not forget the bit where the brakes on the hire car go kaput and Brooklyn, friends and family (oh, did I forget to mention that her mum and dad flew in from their hippy commune in California for a little holiday?) end up in a haystack in the middle of a farmer's field.
Oh, and the ongoing romance with Commander Derek Stone is annoying and sappy to say the least.
Are you getting the feeling that I didn't much care for this book? Well, you'd be right. I should have given up after the first in the series, but I'm a sucker for cozy crimes and wanted to give it another chance. Bit of a bummer that I've got the next two books in the series in my unread bookcase. Ebay, here they come.
If you are looking to read a cozy crime book, I really wouldn't recommend this one, or the the first one from this series (Homicide in Harcover); there are much better books/series out there.
PS - The giveaway I mentioned in my last blog post is still up and running - have a look and leave a comment/guess!