Death from a Shetland Cliff

Death from a Shetland Cliff (The Shetland Sailing Mysteries) by [Marsali Taylor]

I have never been to Shetland but this book took me there as if through a wardrobe and straight into “islandic” Narnia. Marsali Taylor captures the landscape, the people and the spirit of Shetland so wonderfully and with such attention to every idiosyncratic detail that I felt instantly transported there. The place came to life through the characters, the dialect and their unique way of life.
It was my first book by Marsali Taylor, but it won’t be the last (I already have one of the earlier ones on my kindle). The protagonist, Cass seems to be your everyday, ordinary lass in her early thirties, not afraid of hard work, quite personable, a happy cat owner, well-rounded, dating Gavin who is a police detective. But on the other hand, she is also far from stereotypical: a second mate on a Norwegian ship, a passionate sailor who lives on her boat, and of course, an astute sleuth.
This mystery, revolves around Tamar, a fantastically drawn character of an elderly lady who is as feisty, as sharp-minded and as independent as anyone half her age. After a fall, she is back to her croft which seems to have been burgled in her absence. Distant family members suddenly take interest in her and flock to her house, allegedly to offer support, but evidently to also search through her papers. There seems to be a family connection to a wealthy laird, and potentially a juicy inheritance. A body of a man is found. The plot develops and weaves in and out of plausible causes of his death and his links to Tamar. The conclusion was not quite what I expected, but it is nonetheless believable and interesting.

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