A new to me cozy series from Greta McKennan is on the blog today with the third book in the A Stitch in Time Mystery series, focused on a seamstress with a knack for historical clothing and handwork as the Highland Games are the background for
My first introduction to this series, I found Daria to be both intriguing and empathetic, while the lesser-known and unknown tidbits from history that made their way into the story added both interest and ‘I didn’t know that’ moments. The over-arching set up here is the Highland Games, and Daria is attending as a vendor, while soaking up as much of the action as time allows. And there is plenty of that: an author with a newly released and popular fictional tale of Bonnie Prince Charlie who’s taken a fancy to Daria, her roommate Aileen there to perform with her band knows (perhaps well enough to argue with) one of the highly touted contestants, another of her bandmates Corgi, wants a kilt to wear while trying his hand at the games – since the cheap one he already has will cost him points as inappropriate. If that’s not enough, she’s also in the midst of designing a wedding gown with a nod to Scotland, and a chance meeting with a local historian offers her the chance to see a dress in the archive of the museum, with a diary – both belonging to a well-known former resident.
Sure – the twists and turns are deep in this one – but the way that McKennan wove them all together – each thread building and extending from the initial whole cloth that is the games and Daria’s participation. From there – each story branches out to have its own character that is the focal point – all stemming from the connection to Daria. From Ladd’s poisoned whiskey death to Aileen’s landing in the prime suspect position with Daria’s knowledge that she couldn’t be the killer AND her willingness to dig deeper which places her in harm’s way keep this fast-paced whodunit dig for the truth moving quickly forward. When you add in the historic elements about tartans, the rules for clothing for Highland Games participants, food, bagpipes and even a bit about the Bonnie Prince, there isn’t a ton of time to lose interest or feel overwhelmed, so good are the introductions of new elements, questions and facts. Of course the culprit was completely obvious when revealed, with ‘reasoning’ that made sense, if one is a killer. I didn’t find that I was confused or lost jumping into this series partway through, and thought the character of Daria had a solid mix of curiosity, sense and a cleverly constructed occupation that allowed for plenty of interest to a reader. A perfect getaway cozy read that has me interested in the earlier titles in the series.
Title: Royally Dead
Author: Greta McKennan
Series: A Stitch in Time Mystery #3
Genre: Contemporary Cozy Mystery
Published by: Lyrical Underground
Published on: 11 September, 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Google
A seamstress who specializes in historical detail, Daria Dembrowski is happy to welcome the Highland Games to town—it’s all fun and games until someone gets “kilt.”
Daria’s roommate, Aileen, plays guitar in a metal band, but one of her bandmates is branching out musically and asks Daria to craft a kilt for an upcoming bagpipe competition. The locals in Laurel Springs, Pennsylvania, are really looking forward to the Highland Games, and the Scottish regalia needs to be just right.
Then one of the athletes collapses during the event, a victim of poisoned whiskey. As suspicion spreads and the police turn their attention to Aileen, Daria vows not to let the real killer get off scot-free . . .
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: