"Argyles and Arsenic" A Highland Bookshop Mystery By Molly MacRae: Review/Giveaway

 Review by Sandra Murphy

Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a signed copy of the book and a link to purchase it.

Downsizing. Whether you have more stuff than room or realize your heirs don’t want your collectibles and view what you call vintage as a charitable donation for the tax write-off, downsizing comes to everyone, even the wealthy. 

Violet MacAskill is ninety-three and ready to rid her home of unused items, some more valuable than others. She invites a select group of people from town to her Scottish manor for a decanting and decluttering party. Everything she wants to keep is behind locked doors. ‘Sip sherry, visit with friends and neighbors, and help yourself to whatever catches your fancy’ is the theme of the evening.

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Image Source Pegasus Crime
Janet and Christine, owners of Yon Bonnie Books and the adjoining tearoom, have been invited. Christine’s mother, who is getting a bit dotty but who will surely remember visits to the manor from her younger years, comes along. As she’s giving Christine a tour of the house while in search of the loo, they come across the dead body of Wendy Erskine, director of the Inversgail Museum. It seems she’s been poisoned in a room that was supposedly locked. 

Rumors fly about food poisoning, and there’s a misplaced tin of arsenic, a missing scrapbook, hand-knit stockings, secret messages, and another death. Constable Hobbs is off the case—he says—because his own grandmother may be a suspect. However, he still solicits all the gossip and facts the women of Yon Bonnie Books can ferret out. 

This is book five in the series. Janet, though American, fits in well with her neighbors and customers. The women have fact gathering down to a science now, storing bits and pieces in the cloud for each other to read. My most favorite character is Ranger, Rab’s dog. Rab makes his own schedule, his own list of chores, in the shop. Meanwhile, Ranger takes his tea towel, hops into his favorite chair in front of the fire, and naps until it’s time to go to the pub. What more could you want than a bookstore, a dog, a pub, a mysterious death or two, and Scotland, all without leaving home? 

The first four books, Plaid and Plagiarism, Scones and Scoundrels, Thistles and Thieves, and Heather and Homicide, were reviewed here.   

To enter to win a signed copy of Argyles and Arsenic, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "arsenic,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen April 30, 2022. US residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win. If entering via comment please include your email address so we can contact you. 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 which features mystery short stories and first chapters read by local actors! A new episode went up this week.

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

Sandra Murphy lives in the shadow of the Arch in St. Louis Missouri. She writes about eco-friendly topics, pets and wildlife for magazines and reviews mysteries and thrillers for KRL. A collection of her short stories, published by Untreed Reads, From Hay to Eternity: Ten Tales of Crime and Deception can be found at all the usual outlets. Each one is a little weird and all have a twist you won't see coming.

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 book sounds wonderful. I love dotty characters.

  2. I've read this and it is a good book.
    Highly recommend.

  3. Sounds like an interesting book. Thanks for the chance.

  4. Sounds intriguing, and I would love to read this and catch up with the series! Thank you for the opportunity!

  5. I love a good book themed mystery. I've been working my way through the Haunted Yarn Shop series and loving them. Starting this series next.

  6. New series for me, sounds good! tWarner419@aol.com

  7. I've been reading about this series lately, but haven't tried it yet. It does sound good and I love Scotland as a setting. acm05 at juno dot com


  8. "Argyles and Arsenic" A Highland Bookshop Mystery by Molly MacRae sounds like an enchanting read that would be great with a cup of tea and a plate of shortbread!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com


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