“The Cracked Spine” Paige Shelton

THE CRACKED SPINE

By Paige Shelton

Delaney Nichols is an archivist who is no longer employed at the small museum in Kansas where she’s worked since receiving her Master’s degrees in literature and history. The one thing she’s craving now is an adventure. So she has packed her belongings and moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, to take on a new job at a bookstore called, “The Cracked Spine.” She knows that this will be very different but is game for whatever comes her way.

The first stumbling block is the trouble she has understanding the accented speech of the pleasant cabbie who delivers her to the bookstore door. Soon, however, she meets her fellow workers and feels more at home. There’s Hamlet, a young student with a disturbed past; and Rosie, an elderly lady who greets her with a big smile. The shop owner, Edwin, is a big fan of rare books/manuscripts and even has a locked room full of them, and they all need cataloging.

The very next day, Delaney accompanies him to a private auction to bid on even more rarities. Edwin expects to meet his sister, Jenny, there—an addict he’s trying to help by letting her keep his recent purchase of a very valuable Shakespeare First Folio. Unfortunately, Jenny is found murdered and the Folio is nowhere to be found.

The police officials are looking at Hamlet for the crime, as well as other addicts that Jenny lived near. Delaney goes on the hunt with some help from her landlords, Elias and his wife, along with the support of a good looking pub owner. Delaney is so eager to help out that it almost gets her killed, but the ending will surprise you.

“The Cracked Spine” is a terrific read and as any readers, like me, who have worked in a library know, this is a great beginning to what will become a great series.

Reviewed by Mary Lignor, Professional Librarian and Co-Owner of The Write Companion

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