“Royally Dead” By Greta McKennan: Review/Giveaway

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win an ebook copy of this book at the end of the review and a link to purchase it.

Having previously designed clothing for an 18th century-based reality show and Civil War reenactors, Stich-in-Time business owner Daria Dembrowski has taken up the challenge of opening up a vendor booth at Laurel Springs’ First Annual Highland Games. Now that Daria has begun focusing on historically accurate garments, the seamstress is hoping to promote her custom-made kilts and tartan bags and accessories. Daria also plans to enjoy the sights of the festival, which include seeing her bridal client’s dance students perform as well as the unique Highland Games. One of the participants in the latter, Ladd Foster, displays an unhealthy competitive spirit that has him angrily facing off against rivals who accuse him of cheating. Ladd doesn’t restrict his questionable ethics to caber tossing and hammer throws, and his interest in an underage dancer infuriates a very protective father.

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As much as Daria attempts to run interference and soothe tempers – which includes that of her roommate, punk rock band member Aileen – it still doesn’t prevent the inevitable death of the infuriating Scottish competitor. It seems that Ladd’s whiskey flask was poisoned with torch fluid, and those with access are limited to a very small pool of suspects. Unfortunately that definitely includes Aileen, who publicly threatened Ladd for touching her guitar and refuses to cooperate in any amount with the police. Daria knows that Aileen has a very short fuse and limited tolerance for people in general, but there’s no shortage of others wishing for Ladd’s death. Getting Aileen to open up is akin to dealing with a feral cat, though, so Daria will have to investigate other avenues if she hopes to discover who wanted the Scottish caber tosser dead.
mystery book cover
Image Source Lyrical Press

This is another fun entry in the series that highlights a fascinating time in history. A visiting bestselling author immerses Daria into the time of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rising of 1745, which leads her to delve into the town’s founding family and museum. Helping her along the way is Daily Chronicle reporter Sean McCarthy, who definitely is treating her like a buddy and not sending out romantic signals at all. Nope. This mystery series is never more compelling than when it explores unique cultural traditions, here the ridiculously difficult sports and, of course, stuffed-in-sheep (or deer, if that’s what’s available) haggis. The dance, sports, music, and cuisines of the past are all explored, along with very realistic human emotions that exist in every era. A spark of romance gives readers much to look forward to in the future, even as they can expect to look to the past in this very entertaining mystery series.

To enter to win an ebook copy of Royally Dead, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "royall,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen November 3, 2018. U.S. residents only.If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast featuring mystery short stories and first chapters read by actors!

You can use this link to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. This sounds really interesting--I'd love to read it. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.com

  2. Great cover!
    Donah42 at aol dot com

  3. Sounds like a great read. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  4. new to me author.
    Thanks for the review.
    kckendler at gmail dot com

  5. Great looking cover. Caught my eye and would love to have a copy to read.

  6. Sounds like a fun read. Looking forward to reading.

  7. This sounds interesting; I would love to start reading this series!


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