Cover Image: The Burning Pages

The Burning Pages

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Thank you @minotaur_books for the gifted copy! ⁣
I’ve had The Burning Pages on my shelf for almost a year and it’s another one that just stared at me and I kept thinking, “today shall be the day”. It’s always in my travel bag, but I never pick it up.⁣
I started it on Saturday in the AM and finished it Sunday night. While The Burning Pages is book 7 in The Scottish Bookshop Mystery series, I didn’t feel like I needed to read the other 6 to get a good backstory. I felt Shelton did a great job with that and didn’t make me feel like I was really reading a “recap”⁣
So, #cozyupto2023 starts off with a bang. The mystery itself was wild, and my heart broke a bit. (For the books AND the person) I really liked Delaney and this group and can’t wait to see what book 8 has in store!⁣
Thanks again @minotaur_books this is currently out now.
Was this review helpful?
The Burning Pages is the seventh book in the Scottish Bookshop mystery series. The main character, Delaney, is an American woman who relocated to Scotland to work in a unique bookshop, the Cracked Spine. Delaney occasionally helps solve mysteries.

The Burning Pages starts with Delaney attending a dinner celebrating Robert Burns at the Burns House. It seems Delaney was invited to help make amends between her bookshop’s owner and one of the other dinner attendees. After the dinner, the Burns House burns to the ground. Delaney is on the case when her friend is accused of the crime.

The Burning Pages can be read as a standalone novel, but I recommend starting with The Cracked Spine, the first book in this series. Each book in the series has a unique mystery, but the relationships between the characters grows throughout Delaney’s time in Scotland.

The Burning Pages is a delightful cozy mystery. The characters are likable and the story is entertaining. Light, fun, and quirky. A good read for fans of cozies.

I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Delaney was way too pushy in this book while investigating the mystery and at one point she is basically harassing a person to confess to a crime they didn't commit. The story seems to drag in the middle with out a lot of information or clues given to help solve the mystery, and the beginning of the book is crammed full of all the red herrings and twists.
Was this review helpful?
The Burning Pages is the 7th Scottish Bookshop cozy mystery by Paige Shelton. Released 5th April 2022 by Macmillan on their Minotaur imprint, it's it's 304 pages and is available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. Mass market paperback due out second quarter 2023. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats.

All of the Scottish Bookshop mysteries are self contained and as such work well enough as standalones. The characters' interrelationships have developed over the course of the books, so there will be some missing backstory, but the author is adept at giving the necessary information, so readers who choose to pick up this one first won't likely experience any problems with keeping the story straight.

For lovers of very light bookstore cozies, these are engaging and fun. This outing sees Delaney and her boss, Edwin, are involved in a Burns' night dinner fiasco which sees the Burns House itself up in flames and this time there's a body in the ruins.

All in all, it's a diverting, very light, readable cozy mystery with an eccentric ensemble cast. Some of the plot setups and developments are a bit much, and the dialogue is occasionally unpolished. A strong suspension of disbelief is required. The language and content are squeaky clean and perfectly safe for commute or work reading.

Four stars. The author is a talented and capable storyteller, and bookstore cozies are very popular.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
Was this review helpful?
Loves this cosy mystery. The description and details of Scotland were so vivid and pristine that I became so engrossed in the book that I thought I was there. While I adore the Hamish McBeth series this series gives MC Beaton a run for her money. If you're looking for a Scottish mystery then this is your book.
Was this review helpful?
“Suspicion is a heavy armor and with its weight it impedes more than it protects.” The quote is my nod to the great Scott, Robert (Rabbie) Burns. A Burn’s Night Supper complete with neeps and tatties,  ends in a burned down meeting space and more. Was it an accident, was it arson? With accusations flying the past seems to collide with the present sending Delaney on the path of not one but two mysteries. Thankfully, she has the bookish voices to help her, as well as her family and friends (who are a lot like family). An engaging story that has you turning pages, questioning motives, and hoping that there is a happy ending for Hamlet.
Was this review helpful?
A charming Scottish setting and a delightful, yet deadly, mystery!

This series is such a wonderful escape! I loved the charming Scottish setting and the cottage of Burns House. This book was hilariously funny, brilliantly plotted, and everything I needed for a cozy escapist read. A joy from beginning to end!
Was this review helpful?
Nice cozy mystery. Great atmospheric story if you are interested in Scotland. Even though this is the seventh book of the series, you could read this and not be lost. A few twists and surprises.
Was this review helpful?
Paige Shelton's Scottish bookshop mysteries are always entertaining and, if not high literature, they are better written than the average cozy. THE BURNING PAGES, number seven in the series, continues the story of a small-town Kansas girl, Delaney, who moves to Edinburgh to work as an archivist in a bookshop and falls head over heels for Scotland in spite of finding herself in the midst of the occasional murder investigation (or maybe because of it). The title is a clever pun on the importance of Robert Burns to both Scottish literary history and this book, and the importance of fires to the plotline.

There is a strong feeling of the past in this book, as Delaney becomes enmeshed in history related to Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet, as well as the lives of the poor over the last few generations. Shelton's descriptions of the dark alleys and crumbling buildings predominate, giving a sort of Dickensian atmosphere to the book (although I'm sure it's heretical to say so). The reader feels transported to an earlier time of gas-lit buildings and social inequality.

Several plot lines converge over the course of the book, one dealing with an old birth certificate Delaney finds in a bookshop filing cabinet and another with a group of Burns enthusiasts that has unexpectedly invited Delaney to join in a celebration of Burns' life. Several fires with literary implications bring focus to the connections between the various threads of the story. In all of the books in the series, Delaney "hears" snippets of guidance from literary voices, and this book is no exception. Whether these voices are supernatural in nature or simply Delaney's memory of bits and pieces from her own reading history is up to the reader to decide. In this particular book, focused so much on the past, it's not hard to imagine that they might be somehow ghostly in nature.

As always in this series, the book is a fast read with the plot moving along quickly and the overall tone being kind. Delaney has made many friends in Scotland, and they are as supportive and caring as is Delaney herself. Having read all of the books in the series, I may not be the best judge of whether the continuing main characters are fully fleshed out in this book alone, but the new supporting characters, who may or may not reappear, feel like real people. This is a series that keeps the reader wanting more without resorting to the device of leaving the reader hanging. Each book is a self-contained mystery, resolved at the end. Shelton has managed to continue to find book-related mysteries for Delaney to become involved in without becoming repetitive and that always share Delaney's love of Edinburgh.
Was this review helpful?
Another great book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. I think this series gets better with each book. In this installment, Delaney is invited to a Burns Night dinner, held by one of Edinburgh’s Burns Societies. When her boss Edwin hears about it, he warns her about going because he was deeply involved with the members and the society.  His association with them ended on a very bad note, and he’s afraid someone is trying to get to him through Delaney. 

Unfortunately, it became clear that Delaney was invited under false pretenses, so she and her coworker and friend Hamlet  left right away.  The next day she hears that the building burned down and a body was found inside, and Hamlet is brought in for questioning. 

Delaney needs to solve the crime to protect Hamlet and Edwin, and bad blood from the past comes out as she investigates.

I loved the characters and the descriptions of Edinburgh. This is a must read for cozy mystery lovers, 4 stars.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed as in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
This is another great read by Paige Shelton.  I've found this series to be very interesting learning the Scottish traditions.  The characters are now like friends that I always enjoy visiting.

The mystery was well-written and had the twists and turns to keep me reading.
Was this review helpful?
Paige Shelton has always known how to get the reader's attention. She writes beautiful plots and stories that are hard to ignore, with characters that come alive on the page. In the latest addition to the “A Scottish Bookshop Mystery” series, The Burning Page exemplifies all of the best in writing and cozies. 

Robert Burns is Scotland’s most famous poet; long after he died, people still celebrate and obsess over his work. Delaney is unexpectedly invited to a Burns Night dinner at what is known as the Burns House. Feeling as though something is amiss, she enlists the help of Hamlet to accompany her to the dinner. It doesn’t take long after they arrive to find out it is a setup to get to her boss, Edwin. After she and Hamlet abruptly leave, they learn that the Burns House has perished in a fire, along with one of the dinner party members, who it turns out was murdered.

Delaney works quickly to ensure Hamlet, even though he may have a motive, isn’t wrongly accused of the victim’s death. Questioning those who were at the Burns house the night of the dinner and a few people associated with a fire that destroyed a bookshop twenty years earlier, she concludes that the murder is directly related to Burns’ work. Delaney needs to clear her friend of any wrongdoing and solve the murder before history repeats itself.

Characters in this series are always easy to understand and empathize with; they fit into the world of books and Scottish history with no problem. There are twists and turns, red herrings, and strange fires that keep readers guessing until the end. But there are also a few surprises, and these will keep you coming back for the next book in the series. Robert Burns was a real poet and is to this day a symbol for the Scottish people. The Burning Page is a beautiful addition to the series and creates enthusiasm for the next.
Was this review helpful?
Paige Shelton continues her Scottish bookshop mysteries with The Burning Pages.  The workers at the Cracked Spine bookshop get caught up in murder and Bobbie Burns intrigue when Delaney Nichols gets invited to a Burns night and the location burns to the ground with one of the diners inside.  Edwin, the owner of the Cracked Spine, has a mixed history with another bookstore owner, Hamlet, a worker at the bookstore has a family connection with a family of fortune tellers, and people are not being honest about the past.  Follow the participants as they circle towards solving the murder.  Excellent cozy from Scotland.
Was this review helpful?
3 stars.

This is the first book in this series that I have read. I really enjoy cozy mysteries and this one was a good time. However, coming in in the middle of the series felt odd to me. and I wish I had known that there were others for me to read first. there really wasn't anything that stood out about this one, to be honest. I enjoyed it while I was reading it but have a hard time recalling many details.
Was this review helpful?
Another excellent edition to a wonderful series! Full of twists and turns that leaves you wanting more and enjoying each moment until the end when the killer is caught!
Was this review helpful?
This is book 7 in the Scottish Bookshop cozy series.  Delaney and Hamlet are invited to attend the annual Burns dinner to honor honor poet Robert Burns.  They are invited to help end a disagreement between the Burns society and her Boss, Edwin.  After the dinner the Burns society building burns to the ground just like Edwin's shop many years ago.  Delaney must solve the crime when Hamlet is arrested for setting the fire.  A good mystery with lots of suspects and clues.  It can be read as a stand alone but you might miss some of the background.  I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I loved every minute of this book that immediately pulled me into the middle of all that was happening and I held on for a great adventure with a wonderful cast of characters and a well-crafted can't-put-the-book down mystery. Paige Shelton is one of my favorite authors and I always look forward to books from her. Do yourself a favor and read The Burning Pages, Book 7 in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series. I received an advance reader copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.
Was this review helpful?
What I Loved:

Robert Burns. Many of the Scottish Bookshop Mysteries focus on a specific time period, author, or book (previous themes included Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the Loch Ness Monster, and Mary Queen of Scots) so I was waiting with baited breath for when Shelton would turn to Robert Burns as Scotland’s most famous poet. I was not disappointed. Centered around a murder at a Robert Burns fan club on Burns Night, I was immediately hooked into the story and Scotland’s rich literary tradition. My new life goal is to get to Scotland for a Burns Night celebration (who knows, maybe I will even survive).

Hamlet’s History. For those of you who haven’t read this series yet, Hamlet is a quiet young man that works at the Cracked Spine book store with Delaney and Edwin. He was an orphan, and Edwin took Hamlet under his wing and Hamlet (as of this book) is in college and doing well. However, Hamlet’s origin story was always shrouded in mystery, and finally in The Burning Pages, we get to learn Hamlet’s story. And man, what a story. As one of my favorite characters in this series, it was delightful and bittersweet to see Hamlet’s origins and how he came to be on the streets. Looking forward to seeing the aftermath of the bombshells from this book.

What Didn’t Work as Well:

Delaney’s Sleuthing. Delaney’s style of sleuthing has always been on the wrong side of bold for me, and Burning Pages was no exception. Delaney goes as far as to try and bully a seasoned barrister to confess to the crime (the barrister did not do it, by the way), and yells at the detective that she has a close relationship with for even thinking Hamlet could be a suspect. She is pushy, stubborn, and doesn’t have any sense of danger avoidance. Delaney is not here to make friends, and I am often confused how she keeps the ones she does have.

The Pace. The middle of Burning Pages frankly dragged. The beginning was a whirlwind and so much fund, the end was twisting and suspenseful, but the middle got bogged down by almost too many red herrings and misdirections. I wish that it was interspersed with more intrigue.

The (Lack of) Bookish Voices. Delaney’s bookish voices come and go in this series, and this installation was on the waning side of the voices. I wish that Shelton had stuck with consistently using the voices and making them a major plot point, but maybe they didn’t “test” well.
Was this review helpful?
Princess Fuzzypants here:  Every time I read a book from this series, it transports me back to the wonderful city of Edinburgh.  I feel like I am walking through the Old City again and it adds much to my enjoyment.  The books give great pleasure too.  I am very fond of the characters- Delaney and Tom, Edwin, Rosie and Hamlet and I love the book store where the stories are set, The Cracked Spine.with its hidden collections and the bookish voices that speak to Delaney.  It is Rabbie Burns who is speaking most this outing.

After Delaney and Hamlet are invited to a special event honouring the poet’s birthday, one of the guests is murdered and the building is burned down.  It begins a tangled web that goes back to Hamlet’s birth, his long lost mother, another Burn’s book and a friendship turned sour between Edwin and another bookseller. And tangled it is with poor Hamlet, through no fault of his own, enmeshed in the middle.  It is up to his friends, especially Delaney and her visiting brother, to find the truth.  What they uncover is sad and not a little tawdry.  But they do discover the architect of decades of chaos.  And while Hamlet will be disappointed in one aspect, the book closes with another potential door opening.

Very entertaining and a real page turner.  I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Five purrs and two paws up.
Was this review helpful?
The Burning Pages is the seventh installment in The Scottish Bookshop series by author Paige Shelton. It fits in the cozy category, and although I haven't read in any other books in the series, I found the characters interesting and engaging and the story and setting of interest.

Delaney Nichols has married a Scot and is living in Edinburgh, and works with a convivial cast of characters at The Crooked Spine bookshop. She is an amateur sleuth, and her skills are put to the test when a home housing the Robert Burns society burns down after a Burns night dinner. One of the members is killed in the fire. When suspicion is cast on Delaney's friend and work mate, Hamlet, she is keen to prove he had nothing to do with the murder. 

For those who like cozy mysteries, and especially for those who follow this series, this will be a welcome and worthy installment. I felt like I was missing out a bit because I didn't know the characters well, and that is part of the charm of a cozy, seeing the characters live life and develop. I would have rated this 3.5 for myself, but didn't want to punish the book for the fact that I hadn't read the previous ones, which would have added to my enjoyment, so I'm rating it 4 stars.

Thank you to NetGalley, Paige Shelton, and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?