The Cracked Spine

A Scottish Bookshop Mystery

Book 1
Sold by Minotaur Books
16
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Wanted: A bold adventurer who wants to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keenly intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things thought lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners.

Never an adventurer, no one was more surprised than Delaney Nichols when she packed her bags and moved halfway across the world to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine, a bookshop located in the heart of the city. Her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime, albeit a cryptic one, and Delaney can’t wait to take her spot behind the desk.

The Cracked Spine is filled with everything a book lover could want, each item as eclectic as the people who work there; the spirited and lovable Rosie, who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An extra bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his cobalt eyes, and a gentle brogue—and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is brutally murdered. Never did Delaney think that searching for things lost could mean a killer, but if she’s to keep her job, and protect her new friends, she’ll need to learn the truth behind this Scottish tragedy.

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About the author

PAIGE SHELTON had a nomadic childhood as her father's job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she'd only stay a couple years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After many decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona.
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3.6
16 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Minotaur Books
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Published on
Mar 29, 2016
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781466861213
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Cozy / General
Fiction / Mystery & Detective / International Mystery & Crime
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, Lost Books and Old Bones is a delightful new mystery by Paige Shelton, featuring bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols.

Delaney Nichols, originally of Kansas but settling happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, works at the Cracked Spine in the heart of town. The shop is a place filled with curiosities and surprises tucked into every shelf, and it’s Delaney’s job to research the rare tomes and obscure artifacts that people come to buy and sell. When her new friends, also students at the medical school, come to the shop to sell a collection of antique medical books, Delaney knows she’s stumbled across a rare and important find indeed. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister, agrees to buy the multivolume set, perhaps even to keep for his own collection.

But not long after the sale, one of Delaney’s new friends is found murdered in the alley behind the Cracked Spine, and she wonders if there is some nefarious connection between the origin of these books and the people whose hands they fell into. Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. During her investigation, Delaney she finds some old scalpels in the bookshop’s warehouse—she and discovers that they belonged to a long-dead doctor whose story and ties to the past crimes of Burke and Hare might be connected to the present-day murder. It’s all Delaney can do to race to solve this crime before time runs out and she ends up in a victim on the slab herself.

Perfect for fans of M. C. Beaton or Susan Wittig Albert, the Potting Shed Mystery series from bestselling author Marty Wingate heads to Scotland as Pru Parke plans her wedding . . . all while a vengeful murderer is poised to strike again. 
 
After her romantic idyll with the debonair Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse culminates in a marriage proposal, Pru Parke sets about arranging their nuptials while diving into a short-term gig at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. At hand is the authentication of a journal purportedly penned by eighteenth-century botanist and explorer Archibald Menzies. Compared to the chaos of wedding planning, studying the journal is an agreeable task . . . that is, until a search for a missing cat leads to the discovery of a dead body: One of Pru’s colleagues has been conked on the head with a rock and dumped from a bridge into the Water of Leith.
 
Pru can’t help wondering if the murder has something to do with the Menzies diary. Is the killer covering up a forgery? Among the police’s many suspects are a fallen aristocrat turned furniture maker, Pru’s overly solicitous assistant, even Pru herself. Now, in the midst of sheer torture by the likes of flamboyant wedding dress designers and eccentric church organists, Pru must also uncover the work of a sly murderer—unless this bride wants to walk down the aisle in handcuffs.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
 
The Potting Shed series: THE GARDEN PLOT | THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE | BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE | THE SKELETON GARDEN | THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL | BEST-LAID PLANTS
 
The Birds of a Feather series: THE RHYME OF THE MAGPIE | EMPTY NEST | EVERY TRICK IN THE ROOK | FAREWELL, MY CUCKOO

Praise for Between a Rock and a Hard Place
 
“Pru Parke is one of my favorite cozy mystery heroines.”—Michelle’s Romantic Tangle
 
“If you enjoy cozies and gardening this is a great series for you.”—Babs Book Bistro
 
“Between a Rock and a Hard Place is a really fun read with a really good murder mystery. Plus there’s a catnap, a great ending, and a wedding! Who doesn’t love a wedding?”—Jane Reads
 
“The story will keep you captivated and intrigued right to the last page.”—Shelley’s Book Case
 
“Between a Rock and a Hard Place, the Potting Shed mysteries as a whole . . . and, okay, anything written by Marty Wingate are on my list of favorites. And I’m leaving space on that shelf for her next novels.”—Back Porchervations
USA TODAY BESTSELLER • In an entirely appealing mystery debut, Marty Wingate introduces readers to a curious Texas ex-pat whose English gardening expertise on occasion leads her to unearth murderous goings-on.
 
Pru Parke always dreamed of living in England. And after the Dallas native follows an impulse and moves to London, she can’t imagine ever leaving—though she has yet to find a plum position as a head gardener. Now, as the sublet on her flat nears its end, the threat of forced departure looms. Determined to stay in her beloved adopted country, Pru takes small, private gardening jobs throughout the city.
 
On one such gig in Chelsea, she makes an extraordinary find. Digging in the soil of a potting shed, Pru uncovers an ancient Roman mosaic. But enthusiasm over her discovery is soon dampened when, two days later, she finds in the same spot a man’s bludgeoned corpse. As the London police swarm her worksite, ever inquisitive Pru can’t quite manage to distance herself from the investigation—much to the dismay of stern Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse. It seems that, much as he tries, even handsome DCI Pearse can’t keep Pru safe from a brutal killer who thinks she’s already dug up too much.

Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
 
The Potting Shed series: THE GARDEN PLOT | THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE | BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE | THE SKELETON GARDEN | THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL | BEST-LAID PLANTS
 
The Birds of a Feather series: THE RHYME OF THE MAGPIE | EMPTY NEST | EVERY TRICK IN THE ROOK | FAREWELL, MY CUCKOO

Praise for The Garden Plot
 
“Marty Wingate plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman
 
“Classy, clever and utterly charming . . . Brew a pot of tea and settle in with this immensely enjoyable mystery.”—Rosemary Harris, author of Pushing Up Daisies and The Bitches of Brooklyn
USA Today bestselling author Marty Wingate’s Potting Shed series continues as expert gardener Pru Parke digs up a Nazi warplane—and a fresh murder.
 
Texas transplant Pru Parke has put down roots in England, but she never dreamed she’d live in a grand place such as Greenoak. When her former employers offer Pru and her new husband, former Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Pearse, the use of their nineteenth-century estate while they’re away for a year, she jumps at the chance. Sweetening the deal is the prospect of further bonding with her long-lost brother, Simon, who happens to be Greenoak’s head gardener. But the majestic manor has at least one skeleton in its closet—or, rather, its garden.
 
Working on renovations to the extensive grounds, siblings Pru and Simon squabble about everything from boxwood to bay hedges. But when the removal of a half-dead tree turns up the wreckage of a World War II–era German fighter plane and a pile of bones, the arguments stop. That is, until a rival from Simon’s past pays a surprise visit and creates even more upheaval. It’s suddenly clear someone is unhappy their secrets have been unearthed. Still, Pru’s not about to sit back and let Simon take the fall for the dirty deed without a fight.
 
Marty Wingate’s captivating mysteries can be enjoyed together or separately, in any order:
 
The Potting Shed series: THE GARDEN PLOT | THE RED BOOK OF PRIMROSE HOUSE | BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE | THE SKELETON GARDEN | THE BLUEBONNET BETRAYAL | BEST-LAID PLANTS
 
The Birds of a Feather series: THE RHYME OF THE MAGPIE | EMPTY NEST | EVERY TRICK IN THE ROOK | FAREWELL, MY CUCKOO

Praise for Marty Wingate
 
“Marty Wingate plants clever clues with a dash of romantic spice to satisfy any hungry mystery reader.”—Mary Daheim, bestselling author of The Alpine Yeoman
 
“Classy, clever, and utterly charming . . . Brew a pot of tea and settle in with this immensely enjoyable mystery.”—Rosemary Harris, author of Pushing Up Daisies and The Bitches of Brooklyn, on The Garden Plot
 
“Put the kettle on and settle into a well-crafted village mystery with a delightful new sleuth.”—Connie Archer, bestselling author of Ladle to the Grave, on The Rhyme of the Magpie
Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, Lost Books and Old Bones is a delightful new mystery by Paige Shelton, featuring bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols.

Delaney Nichols, originally of Kansas but settling happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, works at the Cracked Spine in the heart of town. The shop is a place filled with curiosities and surprises tucked into every shelf, and it’s Delaney’s job to research the rare tomes and obscure artifacts that people come to buy and sell. When her new friends, also students at the medical school, come to the shop to sell a collection of antique medical books, Delaney knows she’s stumbled across a rare and important find indeed. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister, agrees to buy the multivolume set, perhaps even to keep for his own collection.

But not long after the sale, one of Delaney’s new friends is found murdered in the alley behind the Cracked Spine, and she wonders if there is some nefarious connection between the origin of these books and the people whose hands they fell into. Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. During her investigation, Delaney she finds some old scalpels in the bookshop’s warehouse—she and discovers that they belonged to a long-dead doctor whose story and ties to the past crimes of Burke and Hare might be connected to the present-day murder. It’s all Delaney can do to race to solve this crime before time runs out and she ends up in a victim on the slab herself.

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