Staff Picks: Scottish Mysteries

Written by Louise, staff member, Keshen Goodman Public Library

We are sure we aren’t the only ones dreaming of travel and adventure right now, and one of our favourite places to dream about is Scotland; where the locals welcome you with a hardy lunch and a big cup of tea. For mystery lovers, the Scottish countryside—with its mysterious hidden-away glens, dramatic seascapes, and old castles—lends itself beautifully to stories of murder and mayhem.

Check out these favourites that are available digitally on OverDrive, opens a new window or hoopla, opens a new window.

1. The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

(available on OverDrive, opens a new window)

When Rowan stumbles across an ad for a live-in nanny, she's looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—with a staggeringly generous salary. And when she arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten, by the luxurious "smart" house fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

2. Wild Fire, opens a new window by Ann Cleeves

(available on OverDrive, opens a new window)

Shetland: Welcoming. Wild. Remote.

Drawn in by the reputation of the islands, a new English family move to the area, eager to give their son a better life. But when a young nanny's body is found hanging in the barn of their home, rumours of her affair with the husband begin to spread like wild fire.

3. Death of a Gossip, opens a new window by M. C. Beaton

(available on OverDrive, opens a new window)

When society widow and gossip columnist Lady Jane Winters joined the fishing class, she wasted no time in ruffling the feathers—or was it the fins?—of those around her. Among the victims of her sharp tongue and unladylike manner was Lochdubh Constable Hamish Macbeth. Yet not even Hamish thought someone would permanently silence Lady Jane's shrills—until her strangled body is fished out of the river.

4. Resurrection Men, opens a new window by Ian Rankin

No trip to Scotland would be complete without entering the world of John Rebus, nicknamed the Dickens of Edinburgh. Inspector John Rebus has messed up badly this time, so badly that he's been sent to a kind of reform school for damaged cops. While there among the last-chancers known as "resurrection men," he joins a covert mission to gain evidence of a drug heist orchestrated by three of his classmates. But the group has been assigned an unsolved murder that may have resulted from Rebus's own mistake. 

5. Perfect Remains, opens a new window by Helen Fields

(available on OverDrive, opens a new window)

On a remote Highland mountain, the body of Elaine Buxton is burning. All that will be left to identify the respected lawyer are her teeth and a fragment of clothing. In the concealed back room of a house in Edinburgh, the real Elaine Buxton screams into the darkness...

6. Natural Causes, opens a new window by James Oswald

(available on hoopla, opens a new window)

In this first novel of an exciting Edinburgh-set novel, the remains of a young girl have been discovered in a sealed room, carefully arranged in a cruel and macabre ritual that appears to have taken place more than sixty years ago. For Tony McLean, a newly appointed detective inspector in the Edinburgh police, this baffling cold case ought to be a low priority-but he is haunted by the young victim and her grisly death.

Additional reading ideas

Check out Novelist for more great reading ideas, or call us on the Ask the Library phone line, opens a new window at 902-490-5753.