Publication Date: 10/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound
Hannah Reed on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
National bestselling author Hannah Reed brings mystery lovers the first in a brand-new series, in which a young writer finds herself swept up in a murder amidst the glens and lochs of the Scottish Highlands…
After the recent death of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, thirty-something Eden Elliott is seriously in need of a fresh start. At the urging of her best friend, bestselling author Ami Pederson, Eden decides to embark on an open-ended trip to the picturesque village of Glenkillen in the Scottish Highlands, to do some hands-on research for a book of her own. But almost as soon as Eden arrives in the quaint town, she gets caught up in a very real drama…
The town’s sheep shearer is found murdered—clipped with his own shears—and the locals suspect Vicki MacBride, an outsider whose father’s recent death left her the surprise heir to his lucrative sheep farm. Eden refuses to believe the affable heiress is a murderer, but can she prove that someone is out to frame her new friend before she finds herself on the receiving end of more shear terror?
Hannah Reed takes her readers to the highlands in her latest novel, Off Kilter. This is the first book in the Scottish Highland's mystery series and cozy fans will set up and take notice. This book offers an enchanting Scottish village, a new romance novelist, and a kilted highlander to boot! Reed proves that she has more under her bonnet than bee's, as she moves away from her Queen Bee series and into something new. A good first look at a new cozy series!
What I liked:
Most cozy mystery readers are familiar with just about every setting imaginable for a cozy series. But most, generally take place in the United States or England. Hannah Reed, as well as, a few other cozy writers are branching out and starting to write cozies with a setting that is further afield and cozy readers are responding in a big way. Being of Scottish ancestry the setting for Off Kilter is right up my alley. I loved the village of Glenkillen and all of inhabitants that Reed has created for this series. She has so many options and places for this one to go. I can't wait to see what she does next.
Reed's heroine, Eden, is a girl after my own heart. She is a budding romance novelist and she needs a little inspiration after a tough year in which she losses her mother and goes through a divorce. Eden is a little older than most cozy heroine's and I think that was a real advantage here. She has more experience and more know-how than some of the younger heroines and she is looking for a new start. I thought her struggles as a writer were so on point. They are just the issues I have struggled with myself and she was so easy to relate to. Reed did a great job with her.
The mystery begins even before the plane lands in Scotland when Eden meets Vicki MacBride on the way over. Little does Eden know that by befriending Vicki she is putting herself right in the middle of a family squabble that might get her killed. When the local sheep shearer ends up dead and she and Vicki seem to be suspects number one and two, it's time for
Eden to try to figure who would want this guy dead. I enjoyed not only the tidbits about Scotland but also the info about the sheep farming business and I thought it all gelled so well with the plot of the story. The mystery was easy to understand but hard to predict. I think Reed left herself a lot of room to expand on this town and it's people and this mystery was a very good start.
What I didn't like:
I can't really put my finger on anything in particular that I didn't like about this book. I loved the setting and the main character, but it felt a little stop and start here and there. It was a bit jerky and I found myself flipping back to see if I had missed something here and there. It wasn't a deal breaker and I enjoyed the book very much, but the pace was herky-jerky now and than.
This is a very good start to a new series. The characters were fun and well developed. The heroine was a little older and a little wiser. The pace was a bit off, but there is so much potential with this one. Reed my be on to something with this series, we'll have to wait and see!
Off Kilter is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
Hannah Reed is the national bestselling author of the Queen Bee Mystery series, as well as the Scottish Highland Mysteries. Her own Scottish ancestors were seventeenth century rabble-rousers who were eventually shipped to the new world, where they settled in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. Hannah has happily traveled back to her homeland several times, and in keeping with family tradition, enjoyed causing mayhem in the Highlands.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Off Kilter by Hannah Reed.
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~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, October 23rd.
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