"Fateful Words" By Paige Shelton: Review/Giveaway

Review by Kathleen Costa

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

Delaney Nichols, a Kansas native, took a major leap across the Atlantic to Edinburgh, Scotland. There she accepted a job with a The Cracked Spine, a bookshop specializing in rare and used books and manuscripts. She’s adjusted well to the idiosyncrasies of the highlands and soon married a local pub owner, but she found real joy, and some surprises, organizing an accurate catalogue of an extensive and eclectic collection belonging to her boss, septuagenarian Edwin MacAlister. The location and extent of the collection was suppose to be a closely guarded secret, so, of course, many people knew of, or at least suspected, its existence and its value. Currently, Delaney needs an expert to help with her inventory of a box of glasses and monocles, so she heads off to the Scotland Antiques Center to talk to local expert Michael Norway. He indicates he’ll need some time to research the items, but before Delaney leaves, he gives her a gift, a gift that leaves her stunned.

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Fateful Words
Earns 5/5 Book Lovers … Clever & Engaging Gem!

Delaney is panicked discovering Edwin has just taken off leaving her to lead his annual invitation-only literature tour. He’d stepped away from much of the day to-day business at the bookshop, but he didn’t delegate his literature tours he’d made legendary over the decades. Four guests, diverse in age, gender, and background, had been selected from letters they submitted sharing fascinating reasons to be part of the group. They were eager to participate in the week-long immersive tour of Edinburgh and its connections to literature and film, but excitement turned to disappointment when they learned Edwin was gone, and Delaney would be in charge.

Although it wouldn’t be the same, Delaney knew she’d be able to at least offer the guests a nice experience with books and Edinburgh, but when checking if all were settled in at the Green Inn, she finds out from Geoff, the manager, Edwin’s credit card didn’t clear. His assistant, Carmel, warns payment is expected or the guests will need to go elsewhere. Too many niggling feelings with Edwin gone and no word why, the odd incident at the hotel, and one guest keeps disappearing, but it gets complicated when someone is mugged and another flies off the roof. This is going to be one bumpy ride!

Cheers! I came late to Paige Shelton’s Scottish Bookshop Mystery series and worried I’d missed so much starting with the eighth book. No need, it isn’t a prerequisite to read the other books, although you’ll move them to the top of your “must read” list. Enough background was provided to hook me right away with the Scottish setting being my favorite, Delaney’s “bookish voices” as a unique way to illustrate her intuition, and enough dubious behaviors, clever twists, eavesdropping curiosities, and someone going missing to keep me swiping the screen to a surprise resolution. Delaney is clever, knows her limitations, but tests her boundaries, assimilated well with the highlands, and a must for me, responds and interacts realistically to the various obstacles and characters. Shelton did well to put readers, like me, in the middle of the beauty, culture, and history of Edinburgh, provide a diverse, multigenerational cast, and challenge my skill as an arm-chair detective. Lots of fun!

Scottish Bookshop Mystery

The Cracked Spine (2016)

A Christmas Tartan short story (2016)

Of Books and Bagpipes (2017)

Lost Books and Old Bones (2018)

The Loch Ness Papers (2019) 

The Stolen Letter (2020) 

Deadly Editions (2021) 

The Burning Pages (2022)

Fateful Words (2023)

Be a Big Paige Shelton Fan!

New York Times bestselling author Paige Shelton pens an eclectic set of series. Along with her Scottish Bookshop mysteries she is the author of the Farmers' Market mysteries set in South Carolina with lots of jam, jellies, and murder, the Country Cooking School mysteries set in an Old West performance town in Missouri, A Dangerous Type mysteries set in an old mining town in Utah where old books, typewriters, and crimes are the focus, and Alaska Wild mysteries where a novelist must hide out in the harsh vistas of Alaska.

Website: Paige Shelton

Facebook: Paige Shelton, Author

Enter to win a copy of Fateful Words by Paige Shelton by making a comment below about a potpourri of topics: (1) a favorite brick & mortar bookshop, (2) any anecdote about Scotland culture, visit, or heritage, or (3) a favorite book, movie, or television show set in Scotland., or simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "fateful,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen May 20, 2023. 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 last 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:

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.
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. My favorite bookstore was The Almost Perfect Bookstore, but unfortunately, it is now closed.

  2. I've kept up with this series and really
    enjoy it. Looking forward to the newest
    in the series. thanks txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

  3. I love this series! The Cracked Spine would be an awesome place to explore. My favorite is a kind of nearby indie store, Sweet Reads.

  4. A number of years ago I had a wonderful trip to Scotland. I saw memorable sights and even ate haggis!

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  5. 1.Buxton Bookstore in downtown Charleston
    2. We were blessed to go to Scotland several years ago along with friends. We were in a pub near our hotel. Of course a soccer game was on TV. When it was over the bartender rang a bell for last call, but our friend was not ready to call it a night. He took the pounds/pences out of his pocket and pushed them towards the bartender complaining that he didn’t understand the monetary system. He asked how much time it would buy him. The bartender looked at what was in front of him and announced “the bar is open until (our friend) is done.”
    3. Your bookstore mysteries are my favorite Scottish book series

  6. We used to have a fabulous local bookshop named Humpus Bumpus Books, but like all good things in the brick and mortar world, it went away. They also traded paperbacks and audiobooks. I loved it and am sad of its demise.

  7. The comment about Humpus Bumpus book store was from me--Madeleine Gilbert Spangler

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

  9. We're watching a show set in Scotland right now called "Guilt". It's very convoluted and really well done, we're both enjoying it immensely. Thanks for the chance to win this book, it looks excellent. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  10. Oops! Forgot to mention, I'd prefer a print copy if I win. Thanks crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  11. We have a winner!
    Lorie Ham


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