A Christmas Tartan
ISBN: 9781250132659 Minotaur Books, a mystery e-book by Paige Shelton.
Delaney Nichols is a former museum curator from Kansas and now in Scotland hired by Edwin McAlister, the remarkable owner of an unusual book store. One morning he discovers a box containing an odd collection of items on his doorstep and asks Delaney to investigate the possible origin of the collection. The story evolves from this starting point and proceeds into the body of a mystery/fantasy.
Discussion: This purchase was made because the reviewer had a short space of time between review requests. Enjoying mysteries, he noticed this title in the genre, that the author had been recognized for previous work and that it was of novella length. After reading the synopsis, he made the purchase and proceeded to read the book. Reaction was dichotomous. The story evolved into an interesting and well-designed mystery/fantasy. However he was a little chagrined to discover that the already short story actually consumed only 64 % of the purported novella length book. The rest of the ‘novella length’, roughly ONE THIRD, was consumed by an excerpt from the author’s NEXT book. It is granted that the author in her introduction mentioned that it was a “mini mystery”, BUT the prospective reader has no way of learning this fact before purchasing it. It also is granted that the price is nominal. However, it appears that this annoying habit is insidiously and increasingly invading publishing. A sad commentary on a once proud and trustworthy industry and one incidentally that does NOT add appreciably to an author’s reputation.
2 ½* 4* brief mystery/fantasy; 1* for ‘lack of disclosure’.