- N. N. Light
4.5 stars for The Low Road: A McLaren Mystery by @JoHiestand #britishmystery #mystery #bookreview
Title: The Low Road: A McLaren Mystery (The McLaren Mysteries Book 16)
Author: Jo A. Hiestand
Genre: British Detective Mystery, British Mystery
Former police detective Michael McLaren arrives in Scotland, ready to immerse himself in the fun of the Highland Games and to enjoy a holiday with Melanie. But the old saying of plans oft going awry rears its ugly head: Simon Shaw, a member of McLaren's folk group, dies. Murdered a year to the day following his uncle's death.
McLaren is determined to find out who killed Simon. Needing justice for his friend is only half of his incentive. He also needs to appease his guilt for suggesting the group sing there in the first place.
As McLaren becomes immersed in the investigation, he wonders if the two deaths are linked, or have to do with the family or their clan. Perhaps Simon's former wife killed him, bent on revenge more powerful than mere divorce. Or was the killing tied to an old hunt for diamonds? After all, diamonds aren't only a girl's best friend. Sometimes they birth greed and murder. And entrap the innocent.
The next McLaren mystery takes Mac back to his roots...Scotland. Set to simply be a chance to see the old place and share a time with Melanie - of course, something has to happen. This book will work extremely well as a standalone.
This is a McLaren unlike any other I have read before. Fans of the classic whodunit will be caught up trying to solve this mystery long into the book. The descriptive narration of the landscape is first-rate. The character development is also spot on. You learn so much about Mac's uncle and his uncle's dad, you will feel like you live in Scotland.
If there is an issue here, it only comes for readers who are deeply invested in the McLaren/Melanie relationship. It has been such a pleasure to watch this relationship slowly grow through the series. Two souls damaged by loss slowly trying to live and love again. In the last book, we had such an incredible scene when Mike bared his feelings to Melanie and she reciprocated. The issue here is this scene is almost repeated verbatim. It seems Mike and Melanie have forgotten they already professed love to each other in the last book.
Fans of the McLaren mystery series will want to read this book. Fans of stories that feature Scotland will love this book. Fans of a hard-to-figure-out mystery will enjoy this book.
My Rating: 4.5 stars
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Trade Paper: https://amzn.to/3r1RHH7
Jo A. Hiestand grew up on regular doses of music, books, and Girl Scout camping. She gravitated toward writing in her post-high school years and finally did something sensible about it, graduating from Webster University with a BA degree in English and departmental honors. She writes a British mystery series—of which two books have garnered the prestigious N.N. Light’s Book Heaven ‘Best Mystery Novel’ two years straight. She also writes two Missouri-based mystery series that are grounded in places associated with her camping haunts. The camping is a thing of the past, for the most part, but the music stayed with her in the form of playing guitar and harpsichord and singing in a folk group. Jo carves jack o’ lanterns badly; sings loudly; and loves barbecue sauce and ice cream (separately, not together), kilts (especially if men wear them), clouds and stormy skies, and G.F. Handel. You can usually find her pulling mystery plots out of scenery—whether photographs or the real thing.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N