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Publisher's Summary

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. She's recently befriended a few medical school students after they came into the shop to sell some antique medical tomes. But when one of the students' friends is found murdered outside in the alley, Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. 

During her investigation, Delaney finds some old scalpels in the bookshop's warehouse - she finds out that they belonged to a long-dead doctor whose story 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 danger herself.

©2018 Paige Shelton-Ferrell (P)2018 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the series and this book, but

What happened to Carrington MacDuffie as the narrator? I’ve enjoyed books narrated by Susan Boyce but I thought Ms. MacDuffie really had the voice for this series.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Beatrice
  • Houston, TX, United States
  • 06-08-18

never again

I gave this series another chance but I couldn't get passed chapter 6. Delaney is annoying and the story doesn't make sense. I won't get the next book.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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An exciting Scottish mystery

As <strong>Lost Books and Old Bones</strong> by Paige Shelton opens, Delaney Nichols has gone to a pub one Friday night with two friends who are medical students at Edinburgh University. Sophie and Rena introduce the American from Kansas working at the Cracked Spine, the store specializing in old and rare books, to their fellow medical student, Mallory. She also meets the strange Dr. Eban, who loves to espouse the good things that William Burke and William Hare did for scientific advances in the early 19th century. The two notorious men committed 16 murders in order to create their own supply of cadavers that they sold to Dr. Knox of Edinburgh University to dissect. Though this history might seem arcane, it figures into the plot of this book. As the four women leave the pub, they split up in different cabs.

The next morning, Delany arrives at work to learn that someone broke into the bookstore sometime during the night. Further, somebody has been murdered in the close, the Scottish term for alley, right outside the window of the bookshop, which has had its glass broken. The murdered woman is Mallory. Delany traverses a lot of ground in researching artifacts that seem connected to the case and in chasing down a murderer.

I enjoyed the previous two books in this series, but this is the best so far. We get to travel back in history to the days of Burke and Hare. We see suspicious old scalpels and tour the Skull Room at Edinburgh University, with over 1,000 skulls in it. We also attend a service to honor those people who have donated their bodies to science for medical students to dissect. And we see a more recent case of a murder scandal at Edinburgh University. The book has a great storyline with many fascinating details.

<strong>Lost Books and Old Bones</strong> takes us on a fun tour of Edinburgh, Scotland as Delany does her research into the murder and looks into the past. We learn a bit about Scotland, with plenty of flavor of the land. We get introduced to terminology used by the Scots, as the American Delany gets people to translate such terms for her. I also found the tours of the University of Edinburgh and the museum to be fascinating.

The characters in this book come across as delightful. We really identify with Delany and find her very real, a mixture of intrepid and cautious. The reporter, Bridget, grows on us. When we first meet her, she seems like a nasty woman, but she develops into a more helpful person as the book progresses. The other characters exhibit similar human traits that make us identify with them well.

Susan Boyce performs the audio edition of this book. I think she is an outstanding narrator, with strong, but not too strong, expression. Her voices suit the characters' natures, and I like her Scottish accent. My only problem is that I have gotten to know her voice so well as she narrates the Cupcake Mystery Series by Jenn McKinlay, which I have listened to regularly, so I tended to hear the characters from that series in this performance. However, she still makes the book seem strong in its audiobook edition.

I thoroughly appreciated the experience of listening to <strong>Lost Books and Old Bones</strong>. This book came across cleverly, with a very interesting storyline and side plots, as well as very believable characters. I give the book five stars.