Death in a Shetland Lane is the second book by Marsali Taylor I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed A Shetland Winter Mystery, and this one was wonderful as well. Death in a Shetland Lane starts with a prologue set in the past and then returns to Cass, the main character.
Marsali Taylor, the author, has done a wonderful job with the story. It was such a pageturner, and at the same time, I didn’t want the story to end, as I love the Shetland setting, the language and the people as Marsali describes them. It was great meeting old friends, like Cass’ boyfriend Gavin and Magnie, another islander who is a wealth of information.
Death in a Shetland Lane is such an ominous story, and it didn’t take very long for the death to take place. But was it murder? Cass has to think about it and shares her concerns and before she knows it, she is in the middle of it all. Cass is told to stay out of things, of course, but surely simply chatting to people can’t harm? I love how Cass thinks and the way she approaches people. She isn’t very catty, but people seem to open up to her, maybe because she is a little quiet? In between talking to people, she has her driving theory test to take as well, another storyline.
Death in a Shetland Lane is set in early Spring, and the descriptions of Shetland made me want to go soon! Seeing it’s book 11 in the series, it sounds like a dangerous place as well, haha. Death in a Shetland Lane has quite a lot of sailing references, as Cass is doing up her boat and has bought new sails. This blends in perfectly with the story though, giving it a wonderful backdrop. Even though I know nothing about sailing, I could just imagine the pleasure of feeling the new sails, of seeing them flapping in the wind for the first time and the smell of new cloth.
Death in a Shetland Lane features Gavin, Cass’ boyfriend, and I was glad to ‘see’ him back. They have moved in together, despite Cass’ father’s grumbles. There are decisions to be made for the future, so in between thinking about the strange fall that resulted in Chloe’s death, her driving test, her new sails and the people around Chloe, Cass also has to think ahead.
The two cats are adorable, and in Death in a Shetland Lane, Kitten causes a stir, adding another layer to the story. I do love the sound of their life jackets, and both Cat and Kitten sound cute. They have gotten into some habits with Cass having been away, but it seems Gavin and the two cats have managed together.
Death in a Shetland Lane is not massively fast-paced, as that wouldn’t be the Shetland way, I suppose. The story is gripping though, and keeps you turning the pages. It’s not a slow read, as there is so much going on, it’s just that the mystery and murder aren’t solved in a day, but you get to settle into a lovely rhythm with Cass and enjoy the ride! There are the other sailors, there is a special Viking-type festival, there are outsiders and antique dealers. There is even a haunted house…
Death in a Shetland Lane has a lovely amount of it dedicated to Gavin and Cass’ relationship, making you feel like you know them, or would at least recognise them if you’re ever walking around Shetland. There are quite a few couples in Death in a Shetland Lane, and the way they’re all different is something I enjoyed a lot.
My one problem with Death in a Shetland Lane? The book finished (very satisfactorily, I must say, no loose ends or cliffhangers!), and then I realised book 12 isn’t here yet… I can only hope there will be a book 12, and soon!
I received a review copy via Reading Between the Lines but was under no pressure or obligation to write a favourable review.