Do not judge a book by its cover. I remember being in my early teens and seeing a book in a shop window; I loved the title, it sounded full of promises. I bought a copy, and I disliked it. When I saw ‘Hen’s Teeth’, I didn’t like the title. A friend said, “I was told it is funny. Do you want to check it out?” So, I read ‘Hen’s Teeth’, and I loved it. I loved the humour, I loved the main characters, I loved the plot, and while I was not really interested in the Bantams, I loved the dogs. ‘Hen’s Teeth’ was a book for me.
Kellen Stewart is called one night back to the farm she hasn’t seen for four years. Here ex-lover is dead and her childhood friend is grieving. Kellen has a personal sense of humour that doesn’t endear her to most cops. She’s got a willingness to do everything in her power, legal or illegal, to figure out why and how Bridget Donnelly died. So does her long-time friend and willing accomplice Lee Adams. Bridget is not the only mysterious death, Malcolm Donnelly, her brother, has died, too, and their bodies are not where they should be.
Manda Scott writes with a hint of poetry, a love of Scotland, a wry sense of humour, clever and precise details, and a presence that make ‘Hen’s Teeth’ totally unforgettable.
In a genre where mains characters are frequently forensic pathologists (see Patricia Cornwell) and forensic anthropologists (see Kathy Reichs) working on the side of the law, Manda Scott introduces us to a therapist and a pathologist with a personal sense of justice and a sense of duty, who would make you proud to call them friends. Kellen and Lee are written with a depth and warmth that make them real and compelling to the readers.
‘Hen’s Teeth’ was Manda Scott’s first published novel, a brilliant debut for a remarkable talent, and an unforgettable storytelling gift.