An American in Scotland by Lucy Connelly

Lucy Connelly has rocked the Richter scale with the first installment of her new Scottish Isle Mystery series, An American in Scotland. This is just one of those debuts that I can’t say enough good things about.

Dr. Emilia McRoy, formerly a resident of Seattle, Washington, finds her way across the pond to Scotland, her distant heritage. She’s left behind a harried career in emergency medicine and a boatload of personal tragedy. Private practice in a small cozy village should be a less stressful and more peaceful atmosphere (or so she thought).

When she arrives in the picturesque cobblestone village of Sea Isle, she’s a bit perplexed. Her agent helping her transition into her new life, drops her off at a beautiful old church instead of the cozy home she envisioned.

But this is not your typical old church. The former village doctor converted the inside of the church into a full fledged doctor’s office complete with medical equipment and furnished living quarters. Now not only is this her new home and practice, but it also comes complete with staff!

The moment she set foot in Sea Isle, she became the new village doctor. The village residents have been anxiously awaiting her arrival. For the most part, she’s greeted with friendly smiles and curious questions. One exception would be a loud-mouthed lout, Smithy, who harbors an old grudge against any and all “McRoys” – and he’s not shy about it.

And even though it’s only her first day in her new life, she’s not only crossed paths with the intimidating Smithy, but winds up stumbling across a dead body! Talk about a tough first day on the job! But it’s about to get even tougher. Upon examining the body with Ewan Campell, the staunch village constable, they both are already off to a bad start. “She” is sure this is outright murder – “he” is adamant it was an accident.

But as Emilia quickly settles into her new practice, she’s also doing some of her own sleuthing into the suspicious death. The consequences are deadly. With ominous threats setting her nerves on edge, she’s still undeterred. No way is she giving up her new practice, her newfound friends or unveiling the real killer.

Everything about this mystery is pristine. The setting: extraordinary and unique. The characters: peppered to perfection. The plot: rock solid. Motives: Lucy Connelly gives us plenty.

And there’s even a reminder to anyone who’s about to “sign” on a dotted line: Dr. Emilia McRoy learns the hard way, that when you sign a contract to be the “new” doctor, always read the “fine print!” The fact that — oops — she didn’t, loads this mystery with plenty of fun and edgy surprises that will keep the reader wanting more – and “more” is what you’ll get!

This is one of my personal favorite debuts. There wasn’t one thing I could find that I didn’t absolutely love about this book. An American In Scotland has it’s own special identity in the world of cozy mysteries. Uniquely creative and exceptionally well-done, it will be released on April 4th by Crooked Lane Books.

A copy of this book and photo were provided by Crooked Lane Books.

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