I received a copy of the The Cracked Spine as an eBook from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This novel is a fun, thrilling, contemporary murder mystery that held my attention thought the ten hours it took me to read it on my Kindle. I’m hoping that review only enhances you’re curiosity to give this novel a chances however I am going to honest tell you why I did not give the novel a 5 out of 5 rating despite how badly I wanted to be blow away.
The Crack Spine begins with an invitation for a job that any bibliophile would find hard not to refuse.
“Wanted: A bold adventurer who would love to travel the world from a comfortable and safe spot behind a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes. A humble book and rare manuscript shop seeks a keen intelligent investigator to assist us in our search for things though lost, and in our quest to return lost items to their rightful owners. This multitasked position will take you places you can’t even imagine. Apply only if you’re ready for everything to change. Please note: this position is located in Edinburgh, Scotland.”
After reading that job description who won’t want to pack their belongings and buy the cheapest air fare to Scotland without a second hesitation. I was nearly researching if such a placed existed because of how amazing the story presented itself. While reading the novel I came across a few details that I found that made the reading distracting from the main storyline.
Our protagonist Delany hears voices, not the type of voices that tell you that you have forgotten to wear deodorant this morning but character voices from books she has previously read. Thought the novel the characters might quote a line from their own novel which Delany can hear, they also give her great librarian super abilities when trying to find lost items. However the character voices aren’t always readily available when she needs them most. This psychic bibliophile power doesn’t truly explain itself clearly to me. I feel that either there should be a clear environmental definition of magical properties being used in this novel or not. I feel that the use of book quotes, or character voices was a clever way to show a connection Delany has to her books but did not add any help when trying to find the Folio.
The moment Delany moved to Scotland she, like any other person, had a major difficultly understanding the native Scottish dialect. Majority of the Scottish characters dialogue is written in dialect physical Scottish speech, using “wee” or “Aye” and even the occasional “las”. Shelton also continued to extended the Scottish dialogue by changing ever word as if it was spoken by a Sots physically. At the beginning of Delany’s travel to Scotland I found this written technique of dialogue to be thrilling because I felt connected to Delany when she could not understand even the cabbie Elias when he spoke to her. However after reading the novel for a long period of time my fascination with the Scottish written dialogue quick turned to annoyances. I felt that if Shelton had reduced the Scott written dialogue as time progressed with Delany stay in Scotland to show how she was actually beginning to translate their thick accent into understandable speech. If this writing technique would have been used, it would have shaved at least 2 hours of my reading time. There were also a few issues I had beyond the written accents of the characters.
I understand that this is the first novel of the Sottish Bookshop Mystery I enjoyed the fact that the novel was not felt on a huge cliff hanger like most murder myster series are, however I felt that the primary love interest of the romance element of the novel was extremely rush as well as the ending.
Even though I listed nothing but the flaws of The Crack Spine by Paige Shelton I wish for you not to be discourage. This novel has great characters who you will fall in love with. If you never fallen in love with Scotland this novel will surely encourage you to fall in love with it’s generous people, wonderful historical environment and of course the lack of red heads. I would surely fallow this series. Who would turn down a mystery in a book shop? Not I nor should you!
Please make sure to keep a eye out for
The Crack Spine by Paige Shelton publisher are
St. Martin’s Press Minotaur Books
Expected publication date 29th of March 2016