A Cold Highland Wind

A Lady Emily Mystery

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Buy on Amazon Buy on BN.com Buy on Bookshop.org
*This page contains affiliate links, so we may earn a small commission when you make a purchase through links on our site at no additional cost to you.
Send NetGalley books directly to your Kindle or Kindle app

1
To read on a Kindle or Kindle app, please add kindle@netgalley.com as an approved email address to receive files in your Amazon account. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
2
Also find your Kindle email address within your Amazon account, and enter it here.
Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 17 Oct 2023
St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books

Description

In this new installment of Tasha Alexander’s acclaimed Lady Emily series set in the wild Scottish highlands, an ancient story of witchcraft may hold the key to solving a murder centuries later.

In the summer of 1905, Lady Emily, husband Colin Hargreaves, and their three sons eagerly embark on a family vacation at Cairnfarn Castle, the Scottish estate of their dear friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge. But a high-spirited celebration at the beginning of their stay comes to a grisly end when the duke’s gamekeeper is found murdered on the banks of the loch. Handsome Angus Sinclair had a host of enemies: the fiancée he abandoned in Edinburgh, the young woman who had fallen hopelessly in love with him, and the rough farmer who saw him as a rival for her affections. But what is the meaning of the curious runic stone left on Sinclair’s forehead?

Clues may be found in the story of Lady MacAllister, wife of the Laird of Cairnfarn Castle, who in 1676 suddenly found herself widowed and thrown out of her home. Her sole companion was a Moorish slave girl who helped her secretly spirit her most prized possessions—a collection of strange books—out of the castle. When her neighbors, wary of a woman living on her own, found a poppet—a doll used to cast spells—and a daisy wheel in her isolated cottage, Lady MacAllister was accused of witchcraft, a crime punishable by death.

Hundreds of years later, Lady Emily searches for the link between Lady MacAllister’s harrowing witchcraft trial and the brutal death of Sinclair. She must follow a trail of hidden motives, an illicit affair, and a mysterious stranger to reveal the dark side of a seemingly idyllic Highland village.

In this new installment of Tasha Alexander’s acclaimed Lady Emily series set in the wild Scottish highlands, an ancient story of witchcraft may hold the key to solving a murder centuries later.

In the...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781250872333
PRICE $28.00 (USD)
PAGES 304

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 137 members


Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed this book. Will be looking for other books by this author. I love anything based in Scotland!, 5 Stars

Was this review helpful?

A brilliant mystery set in the Scottish Highlands in 1905, intertwines with a story set in the same area during the witch hunts of the 1600’s. Colin and Emily Hargreaves have been invited to their friend’s, Jeremey the Duke of Bainbridge’s, Highland estate. Not too far into their stay, their precocious children find the body of a murdered gamekeeper. Not ones to sit back and let just any body investigate, Colin and Emily take it upon themselves to find out who really killed the gamekeeper. Setting out to investigate clues, they come upon a number of suspects who may have had a motive to kill. Several are keeping secrets, that if uncovered, could jeopardize the investigation, and cause a murderer to roam free. In 1676, the village surrounding Cairnfarn castle is riddled with rumors of witch hunts and trials in the neighboring district. Lady McCallister, who is now widowed and is forced to leave the castle with only her slave girl in attendance, moves into the Cairnfarn village. When odd things begin to happen around their new home, Lady McCallister is charged with witchcraft, the punishment being death. She must race to clear her name with the help of the only girl that she has been able to trust, before it is too late. Back in 1905, Lady Emily comes across clues from the past that might help her discover who the killer is before they strike again. “A Cold Highland Wind” is the latest novel in the Lady Emily Mystery Series by Tasha Alexander. While not my favorite of her novels, this one had love, treachery, betrayal, a crocodile (!), and the beauty of the Scottish Highlands all wrapped up into a cozy mystery that will transport readers to another time and place. I thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC of this book. I am not required to give a positive review. All opinions within this review are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This was one of the most engaging installments in the whole Lady Emily series, thanks in no small part to the comedic bits of three precocious children and two great-aunts. And I’m not big on kids, so to say they were good additions to the story really means something.

Set in Scotland, this is a get-right-down-to-business kind of mystery, with multiple intriguing characters and setups that reminded me of an Agatha Christie. There are also alternating chapters with a throwback storyline from the 1600s that isn’t connected to the mystery at hand but does help provide a sense of place. This technique has come to be a regular feature in the Lady Emily stories, but I appreciated that it didn’t have the usual star-crossed lovers; it tread somewhat new ground and was the better for it. The whole book moved along at an enjoyable pace, and I found it quite easy to stay engaged with the plot. I also like it that Lady Emily has developed a little more subtlety in her revolutionary ways. Recommended for lovers of cozy mysteries!

Was this review helpful?

This seventeenth addition to author Tasha Alexander's <i>Lady Emily Mystery</i> series sweeps the reader off to the Highlands of Scotland as our plucky heroine and her family visit their dear friend Jeremy Sheffield, Duke of Bainbridge. Among his holdings is Cairnfarn Castle, deep in the Scottish Highlands and with it, a history wrought with subterfuge and witch trials. It is the making for wonderful adventures for the three young Hargreaves sons. All is well until the body of Bainbridge's gamekeeper is found by the loch after a folicksome ceilidh at the castle. Knowing that Hargreaves and Lady Emily have experience with investigations, Jeremy seek their assistance in finding out what happened to gamekeeper Angus Sinclair. And so the story begins.

Author Tasha Alexander writes an exquisite narrative capturing two stories set two centuries apart, with a narrow thread which connects them. Both are centered in the Highland village of Cairnfarn and the respective dukes' castle. The author has captured well the fear and shenanigans centered on suspected 17th century witches - accusations made against women just because they're different. Conversely, she captures well the social landscape of a small village where everyone knows everybody's business. Gossip and eavesdropping are common activities. Again, small people are just that. Aside from the solving of the murder mystery, I personally found the chaste interactions with the young sons absolutely delightful. Their minds are open to myths, legends, nature and storytelling and their hearts remain pure. Eventually, the two stories are connected across the two hundred and twenty nine year divide and the stories draw to a satisfactory conclusion.

I am grateful to Minotaur Books for having provided a complimentary copy of this book. Their generosity, however, has not influenced this review - the words of which are mine alone.

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: October 3, 2023
ISBN: 978-1250872333
No. of pages: 304

Was this review helpful?

I thoroughly enjoyed reading A Cold Highland Wind: A Lady Emily Mystery by Tasha Alexander. I give it five stars.

Was this review helpful?

Another solid entry into the Lady Emily series with most of the regular cast: Colin, Jeremy, the boys, and Cedric the alligator. The secondary story of a witch hunt in the 1690s is a little bit of a red herring as it doesn't have a solid link to the murder that occurs at Jeremy's Scottish estate, but it is interesting nevertheless.

Was this review helpful?

I love this series and this entry was no exception. Cold Highland Wind is a wonderful installment in a long running series but also reads great on its own.
If you love sottish settings and mystery you will love A Cold Highland Wind.

Was this review helpful?

A Cold Highland Wind is a wonderful installment in a long running series but also reads splendidly as a stand alone.
I loved the writing style and setting. Pacing was a little wonky in the mid story but it evened out wonderfully.
Readers who love sottish settings and mystery will find a delightful treat in A Cold Highland Wind by Tasha Alex.

Was this review helpful?

"A Cold Highland Wind" is a mystery set in 1905 in Scotland. There's also a secondary story going on in 1676 that tells details of a past event referred to in the main story. This book is the 17th in a series. You can understand this book without reading the previous ones, and this story didn't spoil the mysteries or major events of the previous books.

Historical and setting details were woven into the story without slowing the pacing. The main characters were engaging and reacted realistically to events. Emily and Colin had to identify the victim, which wasn't as easy as it initially seemed. Emily asked good questions, followed up on clues, and considered possible scenarios until she figured out what was going on. I started suspecting whodunit only a little bit before Emily did, so whodunit was guessable from the clues.

There were no sex scenes, though married sex was implied. There were only a few uses of bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable novel.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this latest - and 17th - installment in Tasha Alexander’s series featuring feisty, whip smart Lady Emily. Set in the Scottish Highlands this time ‘round, the novel focuses primarily on the efforts of Lady Emily and her hunky, liberated hubby to solve a murder mystery while revealing women’s plights and championing women’s rights in word and in deed in 1905. Their twin sons, ward Tom and Duke Jeremy all make frequent appearances in this book, as (hilariously) does the boys’ pet crocodile, Cedric. Jeremy’s great aunts, who reside in the medieval wing of the family Highlands castle, are utterly delightful characters and deserve special mention. With crisp and intelligent prose and propulsive plotting, Alexander has created a strong sense of place and time and expertly woven in many a history lesson as well as witty and entertaining dialogue, a large cast of interesting secondary characters, and a good amount of tartan plaid.

A second storyline is set in the same village in 1676, the era of Scottish witch hunts, and additionally touches on themes of slavery and freedom in including a Moorish woman heinously kidnapped from Tunisia, enslaved and then gifted to a Scottish laird’s wife. While not as well developed as the main storyline, it compliments and provides important historical context for the Lady Emily thread.

Highly recommended to all Lady Emily “regulars” and other fans of intelligent, well researched historical mysteries featuring strong women protagonists. I’ve read every book in this series and look forward to Lady Emily’s latest adventures each year. Many thanks to Minotaur Books and NetGalley for the privilege of a complimentary ARC. Opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This book was absolutely amazing. I loved this book so much. I love this series and I can't wait for more to come out and I can see what other adventures we will go on together.
I just reviewed A Cold Highland Wind by Tasha Alexander. #NetGalley
[NetGalley URL]

Was this review helpful?

1905, Cairnfarn, Scotland.

Lady Emily Hargreaves and her husband Colin, with their three precocious sons (and one crocodile) in tow, descend upon the Highland estate of Emily’s childhood friend Jeremy, the Duke of Bainbridge. Expecting a relaxed family holiday to introduce the boys to Jeremy’s menagerie, the Hargreaves are instead thrown headlong into a murder investigation after their sons stumble upon the body of Cairnfarn Castle’s gamekeeper.

Emily and Colin soon learn the gamekeeper had secrets of his own to hide, and they set out to piece together the puzzle surrounding his death. Was it an affair of the heart motivating his killer, as more than one village girl was in love with him? Or was it driven by the past he fled in Edinburgh? The vicar and his young wife, the newly installed female doctor, Cairnfarn residents, and village herbalist — all paint different portraits of the victim, further muddying the waters.

Entwined in the modern narrative is a parallel story of Cairnfarn in the late 1600s, when the fervor of the witch hunt was rampant throughout Europe and the British Isles. Tasnim, dubbed Tansy, is a young Moorish woman kidnapped from her family and forced into a life of slavery and then servitude as a ‘free’ woman far from home in Scotland. Unable to leave her mistress Rossalyn after her complete reversal of fortune, Tasnim finds herself living in a tiny cottage in the village, learning to survive in yet another role in which she’s been cast. When the suspicion of witchcraft hits close to home, Tasnim worries she’ll be an easy target as a foreigner, yet things play out in an unexpected way.

I love this series. This entry was no exception. I did guess major aspects of the plot resolution, but that did not detract much from my enjoyment of the story.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

Was this review helpful?

This is the first book I have read in this series and I was looking forward to reading it as it takes place in the Scottish highlands. Lady Emily and her family are excited to embark on a family vacation at
carnefarn Castle. The boys soon discover the body of the gamekeeper.

I enjoyed Lady Emily investigating the murder and slowly putting all the pieces together. I really got a kick out of the kids and the crocodile.

It was entertaining and quick read.

Was this review helpful?

Book: A Cold Highland Wind
Author: Tasha Alexander
Series: Lady Emily Ashton Mysteries, #17
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Print Length: 304
Overall Rating: 5/5 Stars
Blog Rating: 5/5 Saltire Flag

Cairnfarn, Scotland 1905

This mystery is set in the Scottish Highlands where Lady Emily and her family which consists of her husband Colin Hargreaves and their three sons. They go on a holiday at Cairnfarn Castle,an estate owned by their close friend Jeremy who happens to also be the Duke of Bainbridge. Unfortunately a horrific murder occurs to Jeremy’s gameskeeper, Angus Sinclair, his dead body is found on land near the loch! What is even worse is that the Hargreave’s sons discover the body!

Furthermore, instead of a relaxing vacation the Hargreaves will be investigating this murder. It turns out there is a long list of reasons and many secrets this deceased man was hiding and had many enemies! For example he deserted his betrothed and there was another man who was jealous of him who loved the woman he was betrothed to!

Also another plot and clues is brilliantly weaved into this novel which is also in Scotland but in 1676. In this story Lady MacAllister whose husband was the Laird is now a widow of Cairnfarn Castle. Her only friend is a moorish slave girl who secretly uses black magic and witchcraft and yet Lady MacAlister is accused of witchcraft and the punishment is death! Which is not true but how can she prove her innocence?

Now Lady Emily can see a connection between the witch trial of the and the murder of Angus Sinclair where she follows all the clues which involves an affair and many mysteries involving dark magic here in the beautiful highlands of Alba. Will Lady Emily find the answer and solve this murder or be clueless without any answers? Read and find out in this fast moving Scottish mystery.

Disclaimer: I received an advance readers copy from the publisher. I voluntarily agreed to do an honest, fair, review and blog through netgalley. This reviewer always follows Amazon’s guidelines to help other reviewers. All words, thoughts and ideas are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Lady Emily finds herself with her family in the Scottish Highlands in this latest installment of Tasha Alexander's popular mystery series. She, Colin and her boys are hoping to spend a quiet holiday visiting a family friend, but instead find themselves embroiled in a murder involving mistaken identity, village intrigue, and scandal. Almost everyone is telling lies, and it is up to Emily and Colin to determine which ones matter, and which secrets are motivitating the killer to act.

I give this book a solid four stars. The cast of characters is particularly entertaining (I love the Great Aunts,) and there is a secondary story set in 1676 which provides some historic background and additional local details. I have read and enjoyed other books in this series, but it is not necessary to have done so to appreciate this one.

I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the publishers in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

Dual storyline takes the reader to Scotland in the 1600s in the thick of the witch trials and back to the 1900s with Lady Emily and her family also in Scotland. When the boys discover a dead body, everyone in the village is surprised when local son Angus Sinclair is found brutally murdered. What turns the investigation upside down is the discovery that Angus Sinclair is not the native son everyone remembers, but someone impersonating him. In the 1600s newly widowed Lady MacAllister is thrown out of her home by her greedy brother-in-law. The two stories not really connect, but they make for a very enjoyable book. Another excellent entry into this delightful series.

Was this review helpful?

The Scotland highlands have never felt so dangerous! Interweaving the stories of Colin and Lady Emily with a tale of a former servant tangled up in the witch trials of the 1600s. One of the mysteries wrapped up a little too neatly at the end for me, but I still love the characters and will follow their journey wherever it may go!

Was this review helpful?

Another solid installment in this long-running series. I greatly enjoyed seeing Scotland through Lady Emily's eyes.

Was this review helpful?

This is the first book in this series that I've read, and I don't feel like I've missed out on anything. I think this can be a stand-alone read. With that said, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and plan to read the other books in this series. I like the main characters, Lady Emily, and her husband. They were on vacation with their children at a friend's Scottish estate, and met some interesting characters after a murder had taken place nearby. I love the setting and the two time periods with witchcraft hysteria in 1676 and that knowledge assisting with the investigation in the current period in year 1905. I was engrossed throughout and enjoyed the sleuthing that took place. Thank you, NetGalley, and the publisher for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

This series by Tasha Alexander is a perfect winner. It hits all the right notes - period setting, heroic and feisty heroine, rich and often exotic settings, intelligent romance, and intriguing mysteries. The new story is set in the highlands of Scotland. Emily's friend Jeremy is hosting the family at his estate, but, of course, murder happens. Alexander weaves a complex and engaging mystery. Excellent entry!

Was this review helpful?

Another delightful addition to the Lady Emily mysteries! Emily, Colin, and their brood are off to Scotland but a midnight murder derails their vacation at longtime friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge's estate. Emily is witty, Colin is dreamy, Jeremy is droll, and the children are wonderfully fleshed out (which isn't always the case!).

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this latest addition to the Lady Emily historical mystery series. A large part of the appeal was the setting in the Scottish Highlands. I am a fan of this series and I believe that having read previous books and knowing Lady Emily’s backstory added to my enjoyment.

My slight criticisms of this book were that I wish there had been more of Lady Emily and her husband, Colin. There was also a second story in a different timeline in alternating chapters that I didn’t find necessary and only minimally related to the main story.

However, there is plenty of charm and I am already looking forward to future books in this series. I received an ARC from the publisher.

Was this review helpful?

I read and loved the first several books of the Lady Emily series, but skipped quite a few to pick up this book. I’m glad I did, and will be going back to fill in those that I’ve missed. It was good to see Lady Emily and Colin, and her children now big boys of ten! The mystery was well done, but I really enjoyed the Scottish setting and the dual timeline tying in the witch trials of the 17th century. It was very enjoyable, and I look forward to gong back to complete the series.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for giving me the chance to read and review this book.

Was this review helpful?

I haven’t read any other novels by Tasha Alexander so came to this one completely fresh, without any idea of what to expect. I wasn’t disappointed! Set in the Scottish Highlands, we meet Lady Emily and her husband, Colin, and a mystery to be solved. Solid characters and an interesting storyline made this an entertaining and fun read. I can see why so many love this series! Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and publisher for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Book Title: A Cold Highland Wind
Author: Tasha Alexander
Series: A Lady Emily Ashton Mystery #17
Publisher: Saint Martin’s Press ~ Minotaur Book
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Pub Date: October 3, 2023
My Rating: 4 Stars
Pages 304

Story is told from the POV of Lady Emily in 1905 and Tansy in 1676.

1905: Investigators Lady Emily Hargreaves and her husband Colin along with their three sons – twins Richard/ Tom and Henry are planning a Holiday by visiting Cairnfarn Castle, the Scottish estate of their dear friend Jeremy Sheffeld, Duke of Bainbridge.

However, they find themselves in a murder investigation after the boys find the body of Duke’s gamekeeper, Angus Sinclair. It appears Angus Sinclair was engaged to marry Dr. Harris but had enemies as well as secrets. There is a curious runic stone left on Sinclair’s forehead?

1676: There is another story that took place also at Cairnfarn Castle.
Tansy a young girl from North Africa was taken from her family who were not servants but educated as well as cultured. She was forced into the life of slavery. Lady MacAllister, mistress of Castle Cairnfarn kidnapped Tansy and gave her as a wedding gift to Rossalyn who was actually horrified with such a gift. She feared what would happen to Tansy so had her stay with her and, of course, did not treat her as a servant.
In the late 1600s, when the fervor of the witch hunt was rampant A young Moorish woman kidnapped from her family and forced into a life of slavery Scotland,

This turned out to be a great read for me. In addition to Tansy’s story ~ witchcraft is always interesting.
This is Book #17 in the Lady Emily series so I am not sure if it is the first or if others included witchcraft.
I find witchcraft sooo bazar the fact that it not only but everywhere is unbelievable,
In [author: Tasha Alexander]’s ‘Author’s Notes’ she tells us that
Between 1563 and 1736 people in Scotland were accused of witchcraft at a rate of five times greater than the rest of Europe.
This thought just popped into my head ~
What if the Earth was invaded by aliens who were testing Earth’s inhabitants and threw us the idea of witchcraft? We certainly proved that most of Earth’s inhabitants were not all that intelligent thus the aliens knew we were a waste of their time. However, it seems they do stop by every once in a while to confirm what they already know.

I was going to delete my head popping idea but thought you might enjoy a laugh or yoou just might be thinking Hmmm!

About Author, Tasha Alexander. ~She is the daughter of two philosophy professors,
She goes on to say~ I grew up surrounded by books. I was convinced from an early age that I was
born in the wrong century and spent much of my childhood under the dining room table pretending it
was a covered wagon. Even there, I was never without a book in hand and loved reading and history
more than anything. I studied English Literature and Medieval History at the University of Notre Dame.
Writing is a natural offshoot of reading,

This is Book #17 in the Lady Emily Ashton and I am embarrassed to say my first but it won’t be my last. It was more enjoyable than I expected.

Want to thank NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books for this early eGalley.
Publishing Release Date scheduled for October 3, 2023.

Was this review helpful?

Agatha Christie meets Alice Hoffman in this "Lady Emily Mystery Series". The tale takes place in Cairnfarn, Scotland and alternates between 1905 and 1676. It has everything you need to keep the pages turning: murder, witchcraft, unrequited love and a mysterious false identity. My favorite part of this book was the finely drawn characters and witty prose. In spite of the mostly serious situations, I laughed out loud multiple times at the dialogue between some of the more eccentric inhabitants. Enjoyment start to finish.

Was this review helpful?

I was happy to read the latest adventures of Lady Emily and her family, this time taking place in Scotland. The mystery was engaging, there were a lot of suspects, and I was surprised by who the murderer turned out to be.

The parallel story, set in the 1600s was also interesting, though personally I would have liked a little more closure to that storyline.

Although this is part of a series and enjoyment is heightened by knowledge gained of the characters in previous books, it could definitely work as a standalone as well.

Thank you to NetGalley for the early read.

Was this review helpful?

It is rare to pick up the 17th book in a series and be able to understand and enjoy the mystery. But this was my first Lady Emily Ashton novel, and it was an enjoyable read! The pacing was a little slower than I typically like in a mystery novel but I really enjoyed the murder plotline! The characters were engaging and even though I guessed the murderer pretty early on, I enjoyed watching the twists and turns to their investigations. But I didn't understand why there was a subplot set in he 1600s. The plotlines barely mixed and the chapters set in the 1600s really slowed down the storytelling. But overall, it was a sweet mystery and makes me interested in what happened in the first 16 books in this series!

Thank you to Minotaur Books for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Was this review helpful?

Lady Emily, her husband Colin, and their twin sons as well as their ward, are all in Scotland. The year is 1905. They are visiting Cairfarn Castle and their friend Jeremy, the Duke of Bainbridge. The boys are looking for adventure and Emily and Colin are looking for a restful holiday.

When the boys find a dead body, Emily and Colin automatically want to help solve the mystery. They do not want Jeremy and all the people who live there to be distressed.

There is also another story which is intertwined with the main story. That story takes place in 1676 and the narrator is Tansy, a Moorish woman who was taken from her home and forced into slavery. She has become the companion of Lady MacAllister. When they are removed from their home in the castle, their life in a small cottage becomes a nightmare. There is an accusation of witchcraft.

The two stories are intertwined. Lady Emily must use her talent to piece together information she has gathered in order to solve the mystery.

Ms Alexander is an author who has refined her craft to near perfection. She is a precise writer who draws the reader into her story and provides a fast moving plot.

This is my first Lady Emily story, yet I did not feel as though I were lost at any time.

The characters are very well drawn. Each of the characters are complete people. Emily and her family are all whole humans. I felt I got to know each of them. The boys are real boys who act like real children. Emily’s inner humor comes across as we get to know her thoughts on secondary characters. In other words, these characters feel very real.

Lady Emily’s powers of deduction are in full view here.

I received this book from the publisher in the hope of an honest and fair review. I am voluntarily writing this review and all opinions are completely my own.

Was this review helpful?

We are transported to the Scottish Highlands in book 17 of the Lady Emily series. I’ve enjoyed these books from the beginning and am always happy to travel the world with Lady Emily and her family circa 1905. The books can be read as stand alone as well. The author must have so much fun writing these books!

Was this review helpful?

Lady Emily, her husband, and their three sons are vacationing at their friend’s castle in Scotland. On the first night there, the body of the gamekeeper is found murdered on the beach of the adjoining loch. And curiously, there is a runic stone sitting on his forehead. Who killed the gamekeeper and why? And what is the connection between a former Moorish slave, the former lady of the castle, and a trial for witchcraft in 1676 and the murder in 1905?

I am a sucker for Scotland and will buy/read any book set there. So, when I saw this book in the SMP Influencer email, I accepted the invite. I didn’t know (mainly because I didn’t pull it up on Goodreads) that this was the 17th book in the series. I admit I had second thoughts about reading it. But the lure of Edwardian-era Scotland was too big of a pull, and I dove right in.

A Cold Highland Wind is the 17th book in the Lady Emily Ashton Mystery series. Yes, you read that right, book 17. But, surprisingly, readers can read this book as a stand-alone. There are mentions of past cases that stay just mentions.

A Cold Highland Wind is a slow-paced book. I tend to read books relatively fast; this book took me two days to read. But, the slow pace worked. There were parts of the book where I wanted it to move more quickly, but that was just me.

The first storyline centers on Lady Emily’s investigation into the gamekeeper’s death. This well-written storyline had me guessing who killed the gamekeeper (and the housekeeper later in the book). She was a thorough investigator who left no stone unturned during the investigation. The lead-up to the big confession was heartbreaking (for all involved), but what happened after shook me. I was teary-eyed at the end of that storyline.

The second storyline held my attention more than the first one. It follows Tansy (or Tasnim), Rosslyn, and a witchcraft trial. Again, this was a well-written storyline. But Tansy’s plight kept my attention more than the 1905 storyline. She was kidnapped, sold as an enslaved person, suffered unimaginable situations, and ended up in Scotland. I was astonished at how this storyline ended up. From how it began and what it ended up as was different from what I expected.

The characters in A Cold Highland Wind were interesting. I liked that Lady Emily and Tansy bucked the traditional perceptions of women of their times. I did find some of the secondary characters a little flat, but they weren’t the ones that were important.

The author keeps the two storylines separate for the entire book. They are only connected at the end of the book when Lady Emily’s friend mentions items prevalent in the second storyline.

The mystery angle of A Cold Highland Wind was terrific. The author did a great job of keeping me guessing what would happen in the 1676 and 1905 storyline. With 1676, I expected the last half of the storyline to go differently than it did. I thought it was going to go another way. In the 1905 storyline, I did not expect the killer to be who he was or what that person did. As I stated above, I was distraught by what happened and got teary-eyed.

The end of A Cold Highland Wind was typical. The author wrapped up both storylines and connected them. I liked how she left enough room to wonder if another book would be.

I recommend A Cold Highland Wind to anyone over 16. There is violence and a very mild sex scene but no language.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, NetGalley, and Tasha Alexander for allowing me to read and review A Cold Highland Wind. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

Was this review helpful?

Atmospheric and immersive which is what I expect from her novels. I have love the character development and settings as this series has continued over the years. The Scottish setting was perfection itself.

Was this review helpful?

Trigger warning: sexual violence, spiritualism, racism

Lady Emily and her husband, Colin Hargreaves, and their three sons are accompanying their friend, Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, to his castle in the Scottish highlands. But, as always, a murder interrupts their peaceful vacation and they embark on an investigation--first, to learn the true identity of the murdered man, and second, to find and bring to justice his murderer. But some clues seem to tie the murder to another time and another century, when people were being burned at the stake. We also follow two women from that time period, a White woman and her Moorish companion, who are trying to survive their suddenly reduced circumstances in that same small, Scottish town, and who seem doomed from the start.

I really do enjoy this series! I really appreciated that this installment spent more time exploring the personalities of Lady Emily and Colin's sons. As always, the place and both time periods seemed well-researched and came alive through the story. I love learning about them! I am still not a fan of the "impending doom" cliffhanger statements that usually end each of the older timeline (in this case, that of 1676), but I understand why they are employed. I did, however, appreciate the exploration of power dynamics between genders and the different parts of society in that time period, especially between Moorish slaves and the White majority. Alexander never disappoints!

Thank you to @NetGalley and St. Martin's Press/Minotaur for my advanced electronic copy. All opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

This seventeenth book in the Lady Emily Mysteries takes place in Scotland. Emily, her husband and three sons are visiting Emily's friend Jeremy who is the Duke of Bainbridge. When the body of Jeremy's gamekeepers is discovered near the loch after a party, Emily and Colin are on the case.

I enjoyed the Highland setting. I also liked the way the personalities of their three sons are developing and I enjoyed watching Emily and Colin as they interacted with their children and fought for some private time of their own.

With a variety of suspects including a number of women who were romantically interested in the gamekeeper, there was a lot of investigating to do. Throw in that the gamekeeper wasn't who he said he was, and a nice mystery develops.

I will admit that I wasn't very happy with the resolution of the mystery but can see that it was appropriate to the time and place. I was a little confused about the flashbacks to 1676 and really don't see how they were relevant to the 1905 story.

Fans of the series and of historical mysteries will enjoy this story.

Was this review helpful?

In 1905, while vacationing at Cairnfarn Castle, the estate of a dear friend, Lady Emily investigates the sudden death of the gamekeeper.

Alternating chapters reveal the story of widowed Lady MacAllister and her Moorish companion, both thrown out of Cairnfarn Castle in 1676 by the new laird.

While this book was interesting, there was no connection between the two stories other than the location. The synopsis implied the past story of witchcraft would hold the key to solving this murder, but I really don’t think there is any evidence to support that claim.

Overall, this cozy mystery was a light, easy read that kept my interest.

Note: You don’t need to have read previous books in series to enjoy this one.

Thanks to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, does like an excuse to dress up, and his dear friends coming to visit him en famille at his estate in Scotland means it's time to break out the Bainbridge tartan, a flamboyant concoction of bright turquoise, scarlet, and yellow designed by his late lamented Uncle whom he inherited Cairnfarn Castle from. Emily, Colin, and their three children are headed north to visit Jeremy because of one of their children. Henry is very persuasive and upon learning that Jeremy is in possession of a menagerie he demanded to inspect the living conditions of the animals. And yes, this would be the same Henry who walks around with his crocodile Cedric on a lead. He seems to think that animals should be free, but what's safest for the animals might not be safest for the residents of Cairnfarn. Luckily there is a new danger on the horizon, that of a murderer. On their second day at Cairnfarn the village hosted a ceilidh for their new doctor. A new doctor who happens to be a woman! There was dancing, drinking, storytelling, a punch that packed a punch, and Jeremy in Bainbridge tartan from tip to tail, and, before the night was out, murder. Only the body of Jeremy's gamekeeper, Mr. Sinclair, wasn't found until the next morning. By Emily's precocious children. His body was a bloody sight and on his forehead lay a single stone with a rune carved in it. One would think that such brutality couldn't exist there beside the loch in quiet splendor. But that's one thing Emily has learned over the years, death can happen to anyone at anytime. Now they just have to figure out the who and the why. And there are plenty of candidates, especially when you're victim is a handsome stranger in a new place who kept to himself. When Mr. Sinclair arrived in Cairnfarn he left behind a fiance in Edinburgh to steal the hearts of the local lassies. One lassie in particular loved him desperately but her affections were not returned. Could either of these spurned ladies have been the culprit? Or perhaps the young farmer in love with the girl Mr. Sinclair spurned? When love and lust is at play anyone could be capable of murder. And Cairnfarn has a dark history of witchcraft. And everyone knows though shalt not suffer a witch to live...

Having reached seventeen volumes and an ever expanding cast of beloved characters I'm always wondering who will be drawn into Lady Emily's current case. Will her mother-in-law deign to make an appearance? Will the ghost of Kristiana von Lange loom large? Will Cécile du Lac be lured away from Paris and yet another paramour? Could Emily's dear friend Ivy Brandon stop by? Or what about the formidably smart American Margaret Seward? Or could it be just Jeremy, the Duke of Bainbridge? While I love all these characters more than I can say I was not the least bit disappointed to see that just Jeremy was on board for the latest adventure. As much as I love every single entry in this series the two books that top my list are The Adventuress and A Terrible Beauty. And The Adventuress gives us so much wonderful Jeremy I could die happy, he wouldn't have died happy, but thankfully he got away from his fiance. His minute cameo at the end of the last adventure wasn't enough, I needed more and thankfully Tasha somehow knew. What's more, here we have Jeremy attempting to adult and being almost nearly useful. In a kilt. Sadly, there is no Colin in a kilt. Once you meet Jeremy's Greats you will hope that perhaps they will be able to force Colin into a kilt for their own amusement, because they know a fine specimen of a man when they see one, but sadly it was not to be. And I'm sorry for that slight kilt spoiler, but I think that it's important to make sure you don't suffer the same crushed dreams I did. But at least there's Jeremy, you think he's growing up, taking on responsibility, and then he has the vapors and has to go lie down for a bit, have a drink, and possibly a game of billiards. As Tasha said, "The Ducal Struggle® is real." Yet thankfully we are introduced to some of Jeremy's relatives who are very much wanting to get their fingers into all the pies versus keeping their hands as clean as possible with their nails as nice as the valet can make them. I'm talking about the aforementioned Greats. These are Jeremy's great-aunts, Miss Adeline and Miss Josephine. They have sequestered themselves in their own salon in Cairnfarn from which they know all and see all and desperately want to know about the murder. They are my new favorite characters and if they don't minimally get their own novella I shall have a fit of the vapors myself.

Was this review helpful?

This is another in the Lady Emily series. In 1905 Lady Emily and her family travel to the remote Scottish estate of their friend the Duke of Bainbridge for the summer. Shortly after their arrival the gamekeeper is murdered. There are a number of suspects. Lady Emily and crew investigate and find a link to a 1676 witchcraft trial.
Thanks to NetGalley for an eGalley of this title.

Was this review helpful?

3.75 stars

This reliably entertaining historical series featuring the intrepid Lady Emily and her hunky husband Colin is always fun. This story finds their family at a castle in Scotland with lots of atmospheric weather and references to witchcraft in days of yore.

As usual, the author intersperses their adventure with another story from long past, in this case the tale of a young Moorish woman abducted from her home in Tunisia and brought to Scotland as a slave, a disturbing and sad tale loosely based on an actual scenario.

The two narratives blend well and there's lots of action to keep you turning the pages. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

Lady Emily, husband Colin, and their three sons have traveled from the Nile to Cairnfarn Castle in Scotland. The estate is owned by their friend the Duke of Bainbridge, Jeremy., and they are hoping for fun and relaxation. However, at the local celebration, the duke’s gamekeeper is found dead. Angus Sinclair left Cairnfarn once but has now returned and appears to have collected his score of enemies.

The second storyline is set is 1676. The now widowed Lady MacAllister has been removed from her home following the death of her husband. Her companion is a former Moorish slave girl. The two women realize that they left the Lady’s family books behind and steal into the castle to retrieve them. When a poppet is found, Lady MacAllister is accused of being a witch.

I read book 16, and the ending made me fall in love with Lady Emily’s sons. I would have loved to read about their journey to Scotland. I imagine hijinks ensued. I do wish there had been a little more involvement with the boys throughout the mystery as well, especially since it was the boys who discovered the body.

As this is book 17, I would encourage everyone to read from the beginning. However, if they are like me and ignore that advice, this is capable of being a standalone novel. No previous spoilers, and there’s really not much need for specific background on characters. Any background provided is more for the plot than it is for development or growth.

I enjoyed the mystery as well as the investigation. I knew from previous books that the reader would be transported from Lady Emily’s timeline to a past timeline. Eventually the storylines begin to connect. However, I find that every other chapter makes the story pace slower. I would become engrossed with Lady Emily and Colin’s investigation, and then find having to reconnect with someone entirely different. Maybe if it was every other chapter, or a middle section devoted entirely to that past, would have helped.

Overall, I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Was this review helpful?

I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommend.

Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for advanced copy, and I give my review freely.

I just reviewed A Cold Highland Wind by Tasha Alexander. #NetGalley

Was this review helpful?

Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge complains that whenever Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are around, someone gets murdered. Sure enough, his gamekeeper on his Scottish estate is found dead by one of the Hargreaves boys. The motive for death becomes even more muddled when they find he is not who he said he was. He took on another man's identity. A parallel story set a few hundred years earlier finds local women threatened by the possibility of witchcraft. Both stories are very engaging with satisfying solutions.

Was this review helpful?

Scottish murder!

It’s 1905, Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves are holidaying at Castle Cairnfarn in the Scottish Highlands along with their gorgeous and wickedly precocious sons, twins Henry and Richard, and their beloved adopted son Tom. They’re guests of Emily’s childhood friend, Jeremy Sheffield, the Duke of Bainbridge. Jeremy is a bumbling delight with two madcap great aunties who keeps every one on their toes. The boys particularly enjoy the aunties, for reasons that become quite clear. Mind you the boys do insist on walking Cedric the crocodile. I would not be so blasé. Crocodiles as pets! Hmmm! Recipe for disaster!
As always there’s another story running in tandem, set in Cairnfarn in 1676. The tale of Tansy, a young moorish girl sold into slavery and eventually passed on to Rossalyn, Lady MacAllister, mistress of Castle Cairnfarn. Rosalyn frees her, but as Tansy often soliloquises, what good will that do her if she can’t return to her family and homeland in Tunisia. This part of the story turns into a tale of women dispossessed, of women accused of witchcraft, and of artefacts from that date.
Meanwhile back in 1905 the boys upsettingly discover the body of the gamekeeper, murdered rather nastily. Emily and Colin, find themselves pressed into investigating. What follows is a rather convoluted exploration of who kew what when.
I laughed at how the boys kept interrupting their parents at inappropriate moments!
The boys are just so earnest and funny in their moves to do their own thing. As we close Jeremy is trying to talk one of them (any one!) into being pronounced his heir. The Duke can’t be bothered with marriage.
Another winning and solid addition to the Lady Emily Mysteries.
(I do love the cover BTW)

A St Martins Press ARC via NetGalley.
Many thanks to the author and publisher.
(Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.)

Was this review helpful?

A well done dual time line novel that moves between the story of Tansy, a Tunisian woman in 1676, and Lady Emily, Colin and their boys in 1905. The trip to Cairnfairn Castle was meant to be a vacation for the family but then the boys stumble upon the murdered body of the castle's game keeper. He was not a good person but the killing was gruesome. In alternate chapters, Tansy, who is living as quietly as possible, is mourning her more or less exile to an unfamiliar and unwelcoming place, and then she's the subject of rumors of witchcraft. It wasn't immediately obvious to me how these two tales would match up but trust that they do. This the latest in a long running series and it should be fine as a standalone (although those who have followed along will especially appreciate seeing the boys become a bigger part of the story.) Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. A very good read.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an advanced copy of the next Lady Emily mystery by Tasha Alexander.

Lady Emily, her husband, and their children visit their friend Jeremy in the Scottish highlands. The title fits the story perfectly. This story switches back and forth between 1676 and 1905.

After a ceidlh, a guest is found murdered and Lady Emily sets out to find out who the killer is. Further investigations reveal dark secrets among the Highlanders. The suspects include a besotted servant in love with the murder victim, another servant who saw the victim as a romantic rival (both vying for the same woman's attentions) and possibly an outsider. The story switches back to 1676 about a recent widow thrown out of her home by her stepson and her companion who was a Moor slave, "freed" by the widow. This is during the time of the witch hunts.

This is a story about betrayal. It took me a while to figure out the connection between 1676 and 1905. Perhaps that was the author's intent?

Liked the other Lady Emily mysteries better than this story.

Was this review helpful?

A Cold Highland Wind by Tasha Alexander
Lady Emily Mysteries Book. 17 I have been reading this series since the beginning but have missed a few here and there. This one was a little bit sad because of the ending with the murderer. The alternate storyline set in the earlier time period had a mostly good ending but it was a little nerve wracking getting there. I kept worrying about what would happen next. This may have been a bit of a letdown for me because the previous book that was set in Egypt was so fabulous and this one just didn’t quite measure up to that one. Also, Jeremy was so down on himself in this book that it was a bit irritating. I do love that Lady Emily is an emancipated woman and her husband is a hottie

Was this review helpful?

Every time I start a new Lady Emily book I wish I hadn’t already read all of the earlier books in the series… Tasha Alexander has a knack for building a rich historical world through very thorough research. At the same time, she cleverly weaves together cerebral mysteries that have you guessing until the end.

The mystery is told from two perspectives, like all of the Lady Emily books — one from our lady detective during the early twentieth century and another from a woman from an earlier time (in this case, a Moorish woman from the early 1600s).

For this installment, we’ve traveled to the Scottish highlands, to the castle of Emily’s childhood friend and frequent series guest Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge.

The setting and theme is perfect for October — there’s a spookiness about the dreary highlands and the 17th century Scottish witch trials. There’s of course a murder, and Emily and her friends have to solve it. There are also a couple of secondary mysteries that keep you on your toes. Overall, a great installment and I already can’t wait until the next one!

Thanks to Netgalley, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books and Tasha Alexander for the ARC.

Was this review helpful?

I was given an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review as follows:

I’ve read a few books in this delightful series and will definitely read them all. Lady Emily and her husband, Colin are once again tasked with finding a murderer. They never leave a stone unturned. Adding another fun element to this story are their 3 sons, her childhood friend, Jeremy and the Greats. I must admit I was surprised by who the culprit was. In the dual timeline, it investigates a witch hunt in the same area in the 1600’s. This was fascinating as well.

The 3 sons are young and close in age and as different as night and day. All of them delightful. I enjoyed the setting in Scotland and learning about some of the traditions. The Greats were so refreshing. I want to be just like them as I age gracefully..

One of the many things I enjoy about this author is unique ability to create vivid word pictures in her books. She uses more adjectives than any author I’ve read. This adds such a richness to her stories.

Highly recommend.

Was this review helpful?

In book 17 of the series, it's 1905 and Lady Emily and her family are visiting their friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainbridge, at his Scotland estate his gamekeeper is murdered. Emily and her husband, Colin, have solved many a murder in the past so they set their skills to figure out what happened in this case. Complicating things are the discovery that the gamekeeper wasn't who he said he was and there appear to be many suspects, clues, and red herrings. There is a second story within the story in alternating chapters, set in the late 1600's during a period when witch trials were happening in Scotland, chronicles what happened to Lady MacAllister and her companion (and former slave) after Lady MacAllister's husband dies and her stepson casts her out of her home. The characters are the highlight of this book, including quirky kids and great aunts and lots of strong female characters, and the mystery is skillfully unveiled.

Was this review helpful?

This is a somewhat lighthearted mystery set between the 1600s and 1905 in the Highlands of Scotland. In the former time, a Moorish woman navigates her feelings about being kidnapped and enslaved before ending up working with a relatively kind aristocratic woman who is kicked out of the castle after her husband dies. Think witch trials. Meanwhile, in 1905, a said castle, a woman and her family visits her old friend the duke and finds herself investigating the murder of one of his employees.

Both storylines made interesting reads, but I'm still not sure how they're related other than characters in both collected ancient Viking runes with symbols carved on them. I enjoyed the wide variety of characters in the small towns. You could really feel the nosy-neighbor vibe. I was a little thrown at how adult the kids in the latter timeline sounded when they spoke. It came across a bit unnatural. Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the read and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys mysteries or historical fiction.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley and Minotaur Books for this ARC. This is a great instalment to the Lady Emily series! A holiday in Scotland with family and friends turns into a murder investigation and a look into the witch hunt of the 1600s. If you enjoy historical fiction with a bit of romance and an intricate murder mystery this series is for you!

Was this review helpful?

I’ve enjoyed several books in the Lady Emily series, and this is another excellent installment led by the feisty, brilliant heroine who bucks societal norms in 1905. One of the great things about these books is that they can easily be read as standalones, but if you’re already familiar with the characters, each book adds a new layer to an endearing and memorable cast.

In this latest installment, we get to spend more time with Lady Emily’s family including her dashing husband Colin, who she has solved many mysteries with in the past, and her three precocious sons who are all close in age, as they embark on a holiday to her childhood friend Duke Jeremy’s castle in the Scottish Highlands. When the castle’s gamekeeper is found brutally murdered with a runic stone left on his forehead, Lady Emily and Colin set out to unravel a mystery which becomes more complicated by the day as they learn the gamekeeper is not who he pretended to be, and that Cairnfarn Castle has a dark history steeped in witchcraft.

As always with the Lady Emily mysteries, the characters are the highlight for me, and I really enjoyed getting to know her sons better and being privy to their shenanigans, including those with their pet crocodile, Cedric. There are some great scenes between Emily and Colin, which always give me butterflies. I’ve decided they are one of my favorite historical power couples! We are also introduced to Jeremy’s two great aunts (the Greats) who are an absolute hoot and I hope we get to see more of them in future books.

My only complaint is that the dual timelines didn’t really come together as neatly as I had hoped. In fact in the end it was a bit of a stretch…. but the entertaining cast of characters, superb writing, and atmospheric setting make up for it!

If you enjoy history, small Scottish towns, and solving mysteries alongside a wholesome, dynamic family with a dash of tartan plaid, I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Thank you NetGalley and Minotaur Books for the eARC for review!!

Was this review helpful?

A Cold Highland Wind by Tasha Alexander is another intriguing Lady Emily mystery, full of many red-herrings, a colorful cast of suspects, and an exploration into the culture and history.
I enjoyed reading this book very much, the author creates compelling characters in both time periods and there is enough mystery, intrigue and suspense to keep one saying just one more chapter until the book is finished.
I felt that the setting of the novel was incredible.
Just an all around amazing story.

"I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own."

Thank You NetGalley and Minotaur Books for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

Was this review helpful?

The setting is beautiful, as is the cover. I was swept away to the beautiful Scottish highlands of my ancestors, and I loved every minute of it. There are two periods: the early 1900s (main timeline) and the late 1600s (for a backstory of witch trials in that area). Both stories are compelling and consistently medium-paced, though I’m not sure I enjoyed the frequent back-and-forth between the two.

I adored Lady Emily. She gets the job done with a soft touch and an empathetic heart. Her partnership with her husband, Colin, is just beautiful. He has enormous respect for Emily, and that always shows. I even love that her sons have a pet crocodile named Cedric. It threw in a bit of the unexpected and made me laugh.

The mystery is a true whodunit with lots of red herrings and misdirections. It reminded me of Agatha Christie’s mystery style, and I always enjoy that. It also can be read as a stand-alone even though it’s the 17th book in the series, which is good since this was my first Lady Emily mystery.

I look forward to picking up more Lady Emily mysteries in the future!

Was this review helpful?

This is a fabulous series and if you have not read from the beginning, I urge you to do so! I have listened to them all on audible and hope to do that as well with this one!

Lady Emily and her family travel on a vacation to her good friend's Jeremy's castle. Of course, there cannot be a story without a murder!

Witchcraft, the past and the present meld altogether in a journey of trying to find a murderer and what really happened!

Was this review helpful?

Another wonderful book in this series,Love the writing the location.the characters.Thisis a series I often recommend and I really enjoy.#netgalley #st.martins

Was this review helpful?

Lady Emily and Colin, along with their 3 sons (and pet crocodile), go on holiday to visit friend Jeremy, the Duke of Bainbridge, at his Scottish estate. What follows is a twisty tale of murder, mistaken identity, passion, and hidden motives. Wonderfully drawn characters (Jeremy’s two aunts delightful), gorgeous scenery, and lots of humor make this a solid addition to the series. The 17th century portions were an interesting and haunting picture of life (and the treatment of women) at that time, especially during the witch hunts. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley, and this is my honest and voluntary review.

Was this review helpful?

A Cold Highland Wind by Tasha Alexander is a story told in two timelines: one, 1905, current for Lady Emily and her husband, Colin Hargreaves; and another in 1676 when the Highland were a far different place. They are bound together by a folio of Shakespeare’s works, but the people in 1905 had no idea of the tragedy it had witnessed. Emily and Colin were in the Highlands visiting Emily’s childhood friend, Jeremy, who was a duke and lived in a castle. They had brought their three sons, who were all thrilled to be there but with astoundingly different reasons. They were ten now and independent and intelligent. Emily and Colin’s marriage had stood the test of time and children. As they enjoyed their holiday, they came to know many of the area’s residents, including the gamekeeper, Angus Sinclair. The boys had found his body and wisely split up: one guarding the body, one coming for their parents, and the last going to the village for an adult with some authority. Angus had been an excellent gamekeeper and had an interesting story: he had run away from the village when he was eleven and made his way in the world, eventually getting an education and become a solicitor. Then, for some unknown reason he had returned to his roots and was now dead. The second timeline was during the infamous witch burnings in Scotland and I was filled with dread each time I read one of the chapters in that time, knowing what was coming.

Alexander does a fabulous job with this series. In this story, the murderer came as a shock and the outcome of the witch story as an even bigger one. Alexander has been writing the main characters for so long that she had them down pat, which is why she has so many fans. I wouldn’t call her books cozy mysteries but there is a definite sense of returning to spend time with people you know. The plots are historically accurate but with twists and turns than leave the reader breathless. Including the children, and watching them grow is an added bonus. This was an excellent book. Thank you, Tasha Alexander.

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of A Cold Highland Wind by St. Martin’s Press, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #StMartinsPress #TashaAlexander #AColdHighlandWind

Was this review helpful?

I started reading the Lady Emily mysteries at volume number 14 and have kept up with the series since. From Pompeii to Florence to Egypt and now the Scottish Highlands I’ve enjoyed Lady Emily solving murders in both present and ancient times. The nice thing with this series is that they read a bit like stand alones. All you need to know is Emily is an intelligent woman solving all manner of crimes in the 1900s. Each modern murder mirrors or connects with one in the past. Chapters alternate between her time and some time in history, in this case the 1760s at the height of witch hysteria.

I enjoyed both stories and liked how they each had a major unexpected betrayal. I felt though that we got a lot less of Emily than in previous novels but perhaps that’s just since there are so many in the series? Rural Scotland was a lovely place to experience in both time points, I can’t wait to see where she ends up next.

Thanks to Minotaur Books for gifted access via Netgalley. All opinions above are my own.

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to Minotaur Books for my complimentary copy of A Cold Highland Wind. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I enjoy a good mystery and I adore these Lady Emily Mysteries. Tasha Alexander writes with the same twists and turns as Agatha Christie. This story is told from 2 POV, the current time, 1905 via Emily’s voice and 1676 via Tansy’s voice. Both stories are connected through witchcraft and suspicion.
As always, I was surprised when the murderer was revealed.

When a young Gamekeeper is murdered, everyone in the small town of Cairnfarn is under suspicion. Lady Emily and her husband Colin, work diligently to solve the mystery despite having to also keep their 3 sons safe. I love how they brought their pet crocodile with them to the Scottish Highlands. The boys offer up many laughs throughout the story.

I enjoyed the authors note and her thoughts on freedom. I wholeheartedly agree, how can someone actually be free when they so far from home with no means to return.

Was this review helpful?

A Cold Highland Wind is the 17th (!) installment of the Lady Emily Mystery series by Tasha Alexander. If you missed any - or all - of the previous books in this entertaining historical mystery series, never fear. The mysteries in each book totally stand alone. I read books 14 and 15 and thoroughly enjoyed each. The three books I read had dual timelines that were connected, but it wasn't confusing at all. This time Lady Emily and family find death in the beautiful Scottish Highlands.

Lady Emily, her husband Colin Hargreaves and their three boys are visiting their dear friend Jeremy Sheffield, Duke of Bainbridge, at his estate Cairnfarn Castle in the Scottish Highlands in 1905. A boisterous party at the beginning of their vacation ends in bloodshed when the duke’s gamekeeper is found murdered on the banks of the loch. Angus Sinclair had a number of people who might like to see him dead. And just what did the runic symbol on a stone that was left on his forehead (the part that wasn't bashed in by a rock) signify? Meanwhile, in 1676, Lady Rossalyn MacAllister, widowed wife of the Laird of Cairnfarn Castle, is thrown out of her home by the new laird. Her only companion is Tansy, a young Moorish slave who helps her secretly retrieve her prized, strange books from the castle. After a poppet and daisy wheel are discovered at their cottage, Lady McAllister is accused of witchcraft. What is the link between Lady McAllister's books and the murder of Angus Sinclair? Lady Emily must follow the trail of secret motives, a hidden affair and a mysterious stranger to find justice for the murdered gamekeeper.

The dual timeline at Cairnfarn Castle is told from two different viewpoints: Tansy, the Moorish companion of Lady McAllister, and of course Lady Emily. Both timelines seemed to be unrelated at first except for the location, but the author manages to bring them together for a satisfying conclusion. Tansy was stolen from Tunisia and sold as a slave; she eventually ends up as Lady McAllister's companion, which really wasn't much different than slavery. Rossalyn was pretty much useless without Tansy, who did her best to keep everything going for the two of them when they were kicked out of the castle. This was a time in Scotland when many people were accused of witchcraft and put to death. When Rossalyn is accused of witchcraft, Tansy must make the decision of helping the clueless woman or just keeping her mouth shut. Though that timeline was riveting, I especially enjoyed that of Lady Emily and her lovely family. As Jeremy pointed out to Colin and Emily, they are the only two he knows who have people dropping dead wherever they go! Emily and Colin still have that "spark" even with three precocious, whipsmart boys and always dealing with murder wherever they go. The spotlight is on Emily, of course. She's a modern woman...she doesn't prescribe to the 1905 notion that men make the rules and speak for their wives. She's an excellent interrogator and has a quick mind. I enjoy the little bits of intimacy between Emily and Colin, though they are usually interrupted by children! My favorite supporting characters are the boys Richard, Henry and Tom, His Grace Jeremy and Jeremy's great-aunts, who are referred to by everyone as The Greats. All are good for sometimes needed comic relief; The Greats are especially hysterical. Oh, and I musn't forget Cedric the Crocodile, who is the pet of one.of the children and is led about on a leash! The mystery was a great one, though I pretty much guessed the killer after reading one-third of the book. It was still highly entertaining, and all of the suspects were fully fleshed out and had a good motive to kill Angus, who had quite the secret of his own. Though this is the 17th book in the series, it is in no way stale. I'll be reading the further adventures of Lady Emily and Company as long as Tasha Alexander keeps writing them!

I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

Was this review helpful?

A Cold Highland Wind is #17 in the Lady Emily series. This was my first to read in the series and I was worried I may miss some details because I haven’t read the others. I did not find this to be true- I feel like the story is a stand alone, which is great.
Lady Emily and her husband are teaming up to find a murderer while vacationing at a Scottish castle. The story has a dual timeline that brings together the victim of a witch trial hundreds of years ago with the murder in current times.
I enjoy dual time lines and feel the author did a great job with it.
This was a great read!

Was this review helpful?

“A Cold Highland Wind” the 17th instalment in the A Lady Emily Mysteries by Tasha Alexander. This is the third book I have read by Tasha Alexander and won’t be my last. In this new installment of Tasha Alexander’s acclaimed Lady Emily series set in the wild Scottish highlands, an ancient story of witchcraft may hold the key to solving a murder centuries later.

I found it to be a quick easy read and finished in two days, I really enjoyed the dual narratives telling us the story of Lady MacAllister, wife of the Laird of Cairnfarn Castle 1676 and the witch hunts to lady Emily in the early 20th century in the seemingly idyllic Highland village.

The mystery is interesting and well plotted, and I loved the characters of Lady Emily and Colin.
I kept guessing and second-guessing myself on whodunnit right to the very end. I recommend this book to all my mystery lover friends.

I requested and received an advance reader copy of this book from Minotaur Books and Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Was this review helpful?

I didn't like this one as much as the last Tasha Alexander. Again, I spent much of my time trying to figure out how the two story lines intersected. That may be part of where my disappointment came from. It felt like these were two unconnected story lines and each deserved a full novel, rather than half a novel.

The mystery itself wasn't as twisty as I normally like for a novel, and the character of the gamekeeper not very well fleshed out. As a result, I found I wasn't very invested in who killed him.

I was however, very invested in Tansy and would have happily read an entire book with her as the main character.

Was this review helpful?

A Cold Highland Wind, at #17 in the series, is only my second read of the Lady Emily series. Someday when I catch up on all my reading, I am interested enough to go back and read from the beginning of this series because I really enjoy it.

This installment takes Lady Emily, her husband Colin, and three boys to the Scottish estate of their dear friend Jeremy, Duke of Bainridge. This brings to mind the first thing I enjoyed about this book. I really enjoy the dialogue. The conversations between Emily, Colin, and Jeremy were very witty, sometimes laugh out loud chuckles, and that always adds to my enjoyment.

Just as in installment #16, there were two storylines. One set in the era around 1905, Lady Emily's era. There is a murder on the estate, and she and her husband are asked to become involved to solve the mystery. The other storyline was around the late 1600's, when Scotland (as well as British and what would become the United States), were burning innocent women as riches. There was a slight connection between the two storylines, and I would say the Lady Emily story is definitely the main one, but I also enjoyed the storyline from the past.

I think these are well written with good dialogue, descriptive settings, and good storylines. I look forward to seeing where Lady Emily's adventures take her next!

Thank you to NetGalley, author Tasha Alexander, and St Martin's Press for allowing me to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I am clearly reading out of order if this is book #17 of the series.

This book is an enjoyable mystery set in the Scottish Highlands covering two time periods. The first is 1905, and the other is 1676 a time when Scotland accused 5x more women of witchcraft than the rest of Europe. The story finds Lady Emily Ashton, and her husband, Colin Hargreaves, our resident super sleuths, solving the murder of the mysterious groundskeeper at a friends castle.

Alexander's storytelling makes this a wonderful edition to the cozy mystery genre. It is suspenseful, scenic and perfect for mystery enthusiasts.

Thank you St. Martin's Press for the complimentary copy.

Was this review helpful?

This is a mystery series to which I have not read any of the previous books, but I thought that this was a very fun story. I think that the characters were a little lack luster but I thought that the plot of this was very interesting. I think that this could be a fun series to go back to the beginning on or to just continue on from here.
I thought that the murder mystery element was the best thing about this book and I was excited about a husband and wife duo working on the mystery together, but it did really happen the way that I thought it would.
Overall I think that the writing was solid and if you already like this series I think you will enjoy this book, if you haven't started this series and you are looking for a murder mystery that still has cozy vibes I think this is a fun one to pick up

Was this review helpful?

I enjoy this series. I love the characters. They've become good friends and people I'd like to know. The mystery kept me guessing.

Thank you to the author, publisher and NetGalley for my eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

I adore stories that centered around the highlands. One because I am Scottish and Irish and also another widely popular series based within the same lore and geographical region. However, this book really stood out and defined its own story within the enchanting highlands. Would definitely read more by this author.

Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this title!

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: