Delaney Nichols is ready for a fresh start. One away from the life she knows in Kansas. When she’s let go from her job at a museum, she answers a curious job ad from The Cracked Spine (a small bookstore in Edinburgh, Scotland) and it’s mysterious owner Edwin MacAlister. With a taste for adventure and mysterious habit of “talking” to books, Delaney jumps at the opportunity of a lifetime to start anew.
Landing in Edinburgh, she gets off the plane and happens to hop into Elias’s cab. He’s a father type- friendly and open. Elias drops Delaney off at The Cracked Spine. Immediately, she is welcomed and accepted by the others who work at the bookstore, Rosie, an older woman with a young spirit, who always has her adorable bundle of fur, Hector, near by and Hamlet, who true to his name is a theatrical young man with a rather shady past. Finally, she meets Edwin, the owner who promised her a dream job, where she would sit at the desk previously used by royalty. Edwin is seemingly intelligent, with an aristocratic air, opens up a hidden world of antique collectables to Delaney. A world that is full of secret societies, priceless treasures, and mysterious characters.
Delaney soon finds a home, an adorable cottage behind Elias and his wife Aggie, a mystery to solve, and a new romance with Tom, the owner of a local pub, aptly named Delaney’s Pub. The mystery comes into play when Edwin’s sister, a drug addict who he’s entrusted with a First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays, is murdered. A stranger in a strange place, Delaney begins a journey to solve the murder, find the Folio, and settle into her new home.
The Cracked Spine is a comfy cozy mystery that captures your imagination and really draws you in. It’s hard to stop reading, so I recommend finding a free afternoon or evening and just reading it all the way through. There are some parts where you have to suspend belief and give in to other worldly plot lines, but they are few and far between. The Cracked Spine is a fun read, the first in this new series, and I can’t wait to see (or read) where Paige Shelton takes this series next.