Hop Scot

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Pub Date 05 Dec 2023 | Archive Date 30 Nov 2023

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Description

It's all aboard for a Campbell Clan Christmas! Lexy swaps cinnamon lattes for boiled sprouts when the Last Ditch crew travel from California to an idyllic Scottish village for the holidays, but something very unmerry is lurking below the surface . . .

Lexy Campbell is long overdue a trip to Scotland to see her parents, and an unexpected death in the extended Last Ditch Motel family makes Christmas in a bungalow in Dundee with nine others seem almost irresistible.

But when Lexy and the Last Ditch crew hop across the Atlantic, there's been a change of plan and they're whisked off to Mistletoe Hall in the pretty village of Yule, where the surprises continue. The news that a man disappeared from the crumbling pile sixty years ago, along with an unsettling discovery in the bricked-up basement, means that Todd, Kathi and Lexy - Trinity for Trouble - must solve another murder.

Deadly secrets, berry rustlers, skeletons and a snowy Christmas Eve in the booze aisle at Tesco: the Last Ditch crew won't forget their Scottish holiday in a hurry!

It's all aboard for a Campbell Clan Christmas! Lexy swaps cinnamon lattes for boiled sprouts when the Last Ditch crew travel from California to an idyllic Scottish village for the holidays, but...


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ISBN 9781448307692
PRICE $29.99 (USD)
PAGES 240

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Average rating from 29 members


Featured Reviews

Thank you NetGalley and Severn House for the eARC.
With the sorry state of the world today, it was a joy to read Hop Scot, what a hoot, I loved it!
Lexy and her motley group of friends in California are treated to a trip in a private jet, (courtesy of their doctor friend), to Lexy's original home of Scotland. They're staying in her parents' newly bought mansion, which is a hotel in the making.
There are so many hilarious events in this book, especially the differences between California and Scotland: the swearing, the non-bleached teeth, the unhealthy food, the drinking, smoking etc. The lack of wokeness is refreshing and I can't wait to find out 'will they go or will they stay'!
Highly recommended.

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"Hop Scot" by Catriona McPherson is a delightful and entertaining Christmas mystery that whisks readers away to the idyllic Scottish village of Yule for the holidays. Lexy Campbell and the Last Ditch crew, known for their adventures, find themselves in a charming but enigmatic village, where Christmas takes an unexpected turn.

The story is a perfect blend of cozy Christmas vibes and an intriguing mystery. As the characters navigate a new setting and unexpected twists, the narrative keeps readers engaged and guessing. The disappearance of a man sixty years ago and a mysterious discovery in the bricked-up basement set the stage for another captivating murder investigation.

Catriona McPherson's writing is filled with humor and warmth, making it easy for readers to connect with the characters and immerse themselves in the holiday spirit. From snowy landscapes to quirky village traditions, the book captures the essence of a Scottish Christmas, creating a vivid and enchanting backdrop for the mystery to unfold.

The Last Ditch crew, including Lexy, Todd, and Kathi, are a lovable trio who never fail to bring humor and camaraderie to the story. Their interactions and the banter between them add depth to the narrative, making them relatable and endearing to readers.

Overall, "Hop Scot" is a delightful and heartwarming Christmas mystery that combines holiday cheer with an engaging whodunit. Catriona McPherson's storytelling prowess shines through in this cozy and festive tale, making it a perfect read for the holiday season. Whether you're a fan of mysteries or simply looking for a feel-good Christmas story, this book is sure to delight.

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The Gang from California is heading to Scotland for Christmas. But what is it about Lexy and her friends that keeps them dead center of murders and mysteries? Because even in Scotland these three find themselves having to solve yet another murder..even if it is from six decades ago. Ho, Ho, Ho, Merry (murder mystery) Christmas!

This is the first book I have read by this author and the first in this series, but it surely won’t be the last! I loved the whole Christmas time and Scotland setting to be perfect and the three are a hoot that make me want to come back for more time and time again! I’ll be catching up on this one before the next book is released!

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The gang head to Scotland to celebrate the holiday cheer in this fast-paced and well-written drama. Upon arrival to Lexy’s hometown, her parents take the crew on an adventure to a new home and it’s the engaging dialogue that sets the tone when a skeleton is found and Lexy, Todd and Kathi are on the hunt for the person responsible for putting the missing man behind a brick wall. With her parents' intriguing quips, the previous owners’ eccentricity, and the owners’ family, it’s fair game as to who is going to solve this puzzling case. With a mixture of humor and determination in deciphering the clues, the trio comes to a startling conclusion, and what a nice little twist that was. Catriona as always delivers a satisfying read with visually descriptive narrative that made me feel like I was in Scotland with the rest of them.

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Lexy and the residents of the Last Ditch motel go to Dundee to celebrate Christmas with her parents, but no sooner have they landed than Lexy's parents drop bombshell after bombshell on the group and Lexy finds a skeleton walled up behind the storeroom in her parents' new home.

This is a funny series in both meanings of the word. There is a lot of humour derived from the differences in language between Brits/Scots and Americans which can become grating. I received an ARC of the fourth book, really enjoyed and went back and read the first two books, then kind of overdosed on the humour and found the ending a bit confusing. Then I seem to have totally missed the fifth book but saw this on NetGalley and requested it. Then it sat on my TBR pile for six weeks because I remembered the humour.

Anyway, this was a laugh-riot. There was still a lot of humour derived from the different vocabularies of the Americans and the Scots but it felt gentler, less manic. I understood the ending as well.

If the thought of two gay doctors, a germophobe, a family with an extremely loud baby, twitchers (as in bird fanciers), a mistletoe thief, a small Scottish village, and a big Tesco shop on Christmas Eve eve sounds like your idea of fun then this could be the book for you.

I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

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"It's all aboard for a Campbell Clan Christmas! Lexy swaps cinnamon lattes for boiled sprouts when the Last Ditch crew travel from California to an idyllic Scottish village for the holidays, but something very unmerry is lurking below the surface...

Lexy Campbell is long overdue a trip to Scotland to see her parents, and an unexpected death in the extended Last Ditch Motel family makes Christmas in a bungalow in Dundee with nine others seem almost irresistible.

But when Lexy and the Last Ditch crew hop across the Atlantic, there's been a change of plan and they're whisked off to Mistletoe Hall in the pretty village of Yule, where the surprises continue. The news that a man disappeared from the crumbling pile sixty years ago, along with an unsettling discovery in the bricked-up basement, means that Todd, Kathi and Lexy - Trinity for Trouble - must solve another murder.

Deadly secrets, berry rustlers, skeletons and a snowy Christmas Eve in the booze aisle at Tesco: the Last Ditch crew won't forget their Scottish holiday in a hurry!"

I mean, Christmas means murder to me. Through in a Scottish setting and I'm extra happy.

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This hilarious breath of fresh air from Catriona McPherson has rocketed on to my all time favorite Christmas mystery list. This series centers on Scot Lexy Campbell, who has settled in the strange land of California, and lives in a motel surrounded by an array of interesting characters who often help her solve crimes. Her “real” job is working as a life coach, but honestly, sleuthing takes front and center stage for her.

In this outing McPherson has flipped the script, and sent Lexy and her buddies home (Lexy’s home, anyway) to Scotland for Christmas. While it was a trip planned for just her and her fiancée, their buddy Roger the doc says he needs to get out of town and buys them all swanky airplane tickets – how can they refuse?

On the way over, Lexy warns her friends that Scotland is rainy, cold, grey and full of hostility at every corner. They ignore her. When Lexy’s parents – who seem especially twinkly to Lexy – appear to pick them up at the airport, they are not taken to Lexy’s childhood home of Dundee, but to the tiny town of Yule (adorable as it sounds) where they have apparently bought a castle that functions as a B & B. Lexy and her friends are the first guinea pig guests.

As her friends rhapsodize over the adorable town and the beautiful home, it’s not until Lexy meets the snarky barmaid at the local pub that she actually feels she’s back in Scotland. When a skeleton is found in the cellar in a concealed room, all heck breaks loose, involving a baby owl, a broken tree branch, stolen holly boughs, and the various parts of the family who have just sold the place to Lexy’s parents.

This book was both charming and funny. The mystery is clever but it’s only part of the fun of the story, which is just the right length, just the right number of characters, and just the right amount of sweetness and spice. In short, just right. I enjoyed this read about as much as any book I’ve read in quite awhile, and that includes a re-read of a few Agatha Christie titles. Happy Hogmanay!

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The latest in a series that plays off differences between Scotland and the US- and it should be fine as a standalone. Lexy's going home for Christmas- but things have changed. Her parents are just the same except that they have a large new home they're planning to turn into a bed and breakfast. She's brought her pals Todd and Kathy with her so when a body, a long dead body, is found, of course they will investigate. This time out it's Todd and Kathy who struggle a bit with the differences in attitude and language but that doesn't hamper them from finding the village. This series rides on humor (sometimes it gets to be a bit over the top) and warmth between the characters- the mysteries are pretty standard cozy stuff. Thanks the Netgalley for the ARC. A good read.

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Oh my days - the Last Ditch crew are coming to Scotland! For Christmas. It was only supposed to be Lexy to introduce her fiance to her parents. But, one by one, all of them decide that they all need a holiday. Luckily, and they don't find this out until they get there, Lexy's parents have just bought a Mistletoe Hall in the village of Yule (I know!). Which they intend to open as a B&B. Lexy and her friends being test-guests!
Things tick over for a while as they settle in but then there's a crash and a baby owl is disturbed. (Yes I know, it's the season for many things, Christmas, but not usual baby owls but still...) and then there's a theft. And just when they are all just about coping with that little lot, there's a discrepancy with the length of a corridor. A wall is removed and... there's a body...
And so begins more of the same fun and frolics that you will have grown to expect from this series. Being a series, you have read the previous books, haven't you. I think you should as there are a lot of strange characters in this series and they all have their own idiosyncrasies which you might not appreciate if you go in cold.
The mystery was all things I expected from the crew but with the added sprinkle of the change of scenery (away from the motel) and the addition of some veritable Christmas cheer. It held my attention all the way through as it meandered towards the end, with a lot of observational humour peppered throughout. Especially concerning Scottish weather, pubs and Big shops!
All in all, a worth addition to an already well loved series... I am very excited to see what the crew get up to next time. My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.

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I love a golf old fashioned whodunnit. I love a small town setting. I also love it when it's set in my own wee country but most of them tend to be written by Americans or Canadians. That means things are always just a wee bit...off no matter how well researched. So this was a breath of fresh air - a mystery written about an ex-pat Scot, coming to Scotland for the holidays, written by an actual ex-pat Scot!

I really enjoyed getting to know the indomitable Lexy and her clan of quirly family members - biological and found. Learning more about her life pre-California and the stressed relationship with her parents over her change in careers and the breakdown of her marriage.

This family excels at keeping secrets, for good or ill, and they all have this notion of what their past relationship was like - if you blend all the versions together you'll probably get something approximating the truth.

The American branch of Lexy's family seem to think she's overegged the gruesome Scottish weather and the sheer bloody-mindedness of the locals. But they are all spectacularly surprised to find that Lexy is not quite as wrong as they thought. They all latch onto facets of the locals that they love and before you know it Lexy is not only trying to find a murderer but is also trying to tamp down all the new found Caledonophilia they have!

I've missed the previous books in the series but have now added them to my ever-growing TBR. This story is a great mix of murder, locked room mystery, nostalgia and the subtle insults that only Scots can level at themselves and our country. I had a giggle over all the "Greggs" and weather jokes and subtle taking the mickey out of Americans and their love affairs with castles, Outlander and all things Tartan.

Just the right length and mix of characters to enjoy but not get bogged down in trying to keep everyone straight. I did feel the local police were the butt of too many jokes but as I do work for Police Scotland I can take offence and a joke at the same time!

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My thanks for the ARC goes to NetGalley and Severn House. I'm voluntarily leaving a review without receiving compensation.

Genre: Mystery, Farce, Cozy Mystery
Gore Level: Low
Language: Pretty high with f-bombs and such
Representation: Multiple side characters fit within the LGBTQ community, Racially diverse secondary characters

There are A LOT of best friends in this friend group! As in, the guide at the front was pretty essential. Two in the group went missing in action for most of the book, but there is a steep learning curve if you haven't read other books in the series.

There are more characters carried over from previous books than suspects. Since I was navigating the farce of the owl and owl egg, the Scottish turns of phrase, Christmas, quirky characters, and Tesco—it made it harder to figure out whodunnit. I thought this part of the novel came together brilliantly.

I enjoyed the book and some of the silly moments along with the ways the author pokes fun of both Americans and Scots. Get gets a check mark in the funny box. The mystery aspect was also creative. I always love a good plot twist.

If you've read the previous ones in the series, you're not going to want to miss this one. If you're new to this author, you might want to start at the beginning.

Happy reading!

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The Last Ditch gang returns, this time for a travel adventure as Lexi leads them all to Scotland, where her parents have some major surprises for her. Everyone has a reason to want to take the trip, and the opportunity to travel in luxury makes it an easy decision for all. I hope for the author’s sake that this book required lots of first-hand research on super-high-end travel with friends. The change of scene makes everything fun, with all the familiar personalities on display but with plenty of new things (and different birds!) to bring out everyone’s funniest quirks. Lexy’s narration is casually hilarious—Catriona McPherson at her best. Solving the mystery of a decades-old murder (a puzzle with the danger long past) is just right for a Christmas vacation project for this crew.

Thanks to Netgalley and Severn House for a digital advance review copy.

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I'm not normally a fan of picking up a series midway through but this was the exception to the rule. The characters read like old friends. I love the setting for the book and the plot though complicated (yes Scots law really is as confusing as that) was entertaining and engaging. I'll definitely be reading the rest of the series.

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Why not kick off the new year with a new mystery series sure to make you laugh out loud? I know I will.

After reading Hop Scot by Catriona McPherson, where Lexy Campbell’s friends and cohorts join her on a hop across the country and the pond, from California home to Scotland for the holidays, I have to go back and start the Last Ditch Mystery series from the beginning, for more of this crew, a bit of chaos and laughter.

McPherson’s writing is spectacular in beautiful, impeccable detail. From the first sentence: “The sacks of sand and cement were heavier than the corpse and felt even more dead, settled over a shoulder as they were, their bulk held still with both hands.”

Her keen insight and quick wit are also spot-on to make for a fun read with a twisty mystery that keeps you guessing. Throw in a school of fish out of water at Christmas in a Scottish castle and hilarity is bound to ensue.

I highly recommend Catriona McPherson’s Hop Scot. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve already purchased the first book in the series: Scot Free. I received this advance reader copy from Severn Books, courtesy of NetGalley.

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Lexy Campbell and the Last Ditch motel gang travel to Scotland to visit Lexy's parents and spend Christmas together. But instead of a nostalgic homecoming, Lexy is shocked to learn Judith & Keith Campbell have recently bought a huge stone mansion with plans to open a B&B.

Mistletoe Hall in Yule at first looks idyllic but berry thieves and the discovery of a 60-year skeleton in the bricked-up basement forces Lexy, Todd, and Kathi to investigate.

This is a delightful hilarious entry in the Last Ditch mystery series.

I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and Severn House. All opinions are my own.

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Hop Scot is the sixth cozy(ish) Last Ditch mystery by Catriona McPherson. Released 5th Dec 2023 by Severn House, it's 240 pages and is available in hardcover and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout.

This is such an exuberantly fun "closed" setting for a murder mystery. It's holiday themed, with the group of misfit friends jetting off to Scotland to visit Lexy's parents and experience the dubious joys of Scotland in the wintertime. They couldn't possibly be more disparate; plucked from different cultures, socioeconomic strata, backgrounds, orientations, and family makeups, they're knitted together by circumstances and their apparently genuine fondness for one another. And now they're on the loose in Scotland.

Faced with a skeleton in a previously bricked up room in Lexy's parents' new manor home, a la Cask of Amontillado, they are determined to sleuth out the guilty party and set about investigating in their own inimitable way. The "whodunit" and "how" is an impressively funny comedy of errors which reads like a cross between I Love Lucy, Scooby-Doo, and Queer Eye, with a little comedic Lost in Translation for good measure.

Despite being the 6th book in the series, it worked quite well as a standalone and readers won't have much trouble keeping the principal characters straight. All the disparate subplots wind together quickly into a satisfying (and exciting) denouement and resolution. The author has quite a talent with comedic timing and characterization and her comparisons of American and Scottish culture are spot on and very funny.

Five stars. Definitely a good one for fans of comedic light murder cozies, and this series continues to move from strength to strength.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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