Cover image for Lost books and old bones / Paige Shelton.
Lost books and old bones / Paige Shelton.
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Minotaur Books, April 2018.
Physical Description:
306 pages ; 22 cm.


Call Number
Material Type
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SHE Book Adult Mystery / Suspense Fiction

On Order



Set in Edinburgh, Scotland, Lost Books and Old Bones is a delightful new mystery by Paige Shelton, featuring bookseller and amateur sleuth Delaney Nichols.

Delaney Nichols, originally of Kansas but settling happily into her new life as a bookseller in Edinburgh, works at the Cracked Spine in the heart of town. The shop is a place filled with curiosities and surprises tucked into every shelf, and it's Delaney's job to research the rare tomes and obscure artifacts that people come to buy and sell. When her new friends, also students at the medical school, come to the shop to sell a collection of antique medical books, Delaney knows she's stumbled across a rare and important find indeed. Her boss, Edwin MacAlister, agrees to buy the multivolume set, perhaps even to keep for his own collection.

But not long after the sale, one of Delaney's new friends is found murdered in the alley behind the Cracked Spine, and she wonders if there is some nefarious connection between the origin of these books and the people whose hands they fell into. Delaney takes it upon herself to help bring the murderer to justice. During her investigation, Delaney she finds some old scalpels in the bookshop's warehouse--she and discovers that they belonged to a long-dead doctor whose story and ties to the past crimes of Burke and Hare might be connected to the present-day murder. It's all Delaney can do to race to solve this crime before time runs out and she ends up in a victim on the slab herself.

Author Notes

Paige Shelton had a nomadic childhood as her father's job as a football coach took the family to seven different towns before she was even twelve years old. After college at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, she moved to Salt Lake City where she thought she'd only stay a few years, but she fell in love with the mountains and a great guy who became her husband. After a couple of decades in Utah, she and her family recently moved to Arizona.

Paige is the author of the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, including The Cracked Spine and Of Books and Bagpipes .

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Deceit and misdirection abound in Shelton's diverting third Scottish Bookshop Mystery (after 2017's Of Books and Bagpipes). Kansan Delaney Nichols is finally feeling at home in Edinburgh, thanks largely to her job at the Cracked Spine, a mysterious bookstore specializing in rare manuscripts and historical objects. Delaney is fascinated when medical student friends tell her of their "wee bit odd" professor who's obsessed with Burke and Hare, 19th-century killers who sold the corpses of their victims to Dr. Robert Knox for dissection in his anatomy classes at Edinburgh University. But when one of the students is found dead in the alley behind the bookstore with a human skull placed next to her body, Delaney vows to discover who did it. Could the murder have to do with artifacts in the bookstore that may have belonged to Dr. Knox? Impulsive Delaney rushes thoughtlessly into danger, and the intricate plot becomes confusing in places. But Shelton's lovely depictions of Edinburgh, its denizens, and its bookshops will enchant lovers of cozies with a Scottish setting. Agent: Jessica Faust, BookEnds Literary Agency. (Apr.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Library Journal Review

Delaney Nichols is enjoying drinks with a group of Edinburgh medical students who had come to the bookshop where she works to sell some antique medical texts. By the next morning, someone has tried to break into the Cracked Spine, and one of the students is found murdered in the alley. Delaney is sure the crime can be traced to the previous night's conversation about scalpels owned by a notorious 19th-century doctor who had bought corpses for dissection from murderers -William Burke and William Hare. When she finds the scalpels in the bookshop's warehouse, she is determined to find the killer. Once again, as in Of Books and Bagpipes, Delaney is caught up in a mystery filled with Scottish history. The spirited unconventional amateur sleuth at times overshadows the other characters with her impulsiveness, rashness, and aggressiveness in inserting herself into the police investigation. VERDICT Shelton's atmospheric Scottish bookstore lacks its usual charm in this weak third series entry. Fans of quirky bookstore cozies may want to try Vicki Delany's "Sherlock Holmes Bookshop" mysteries.-Lesa Holstine, Evansville Vanderburgh P.L., IN © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.