Top positive review
History, mysticism and a splendid setting
21 November 2017
I avidly read Marsali Taylor's books, mostly because I find them charming and well written. The setting too is a big winner for me and, having visited Shetland and seen the historical sites alluded to in this one as well as the harbourside in Lerwick, this book especially exerts a strong appeal. I love Cass, and wish she'd make up her mind about Gavin. But I enjoy the shilly-shallying! The detective story is as ever perfectly crafted and with some interesting characters, including the larger-than-life Maman, Cass's opera singer mother. I thought it was a good idea in this book to change the action to another area of Shetland - especially as it brings in so much Viking past. The author is particularly gifted at letting her love and considerable knowledge of history shine through in her novels, even while keeping them sufficiently pacey and in the now.
There's always a little extra to tempt the reader's palate in Marsali's novels and here it's the Shetland guddocks, or riddles. They also add to that element of mysticism that practical Cass always tries so hard to steer around in this series but often finds herself confronting head on. Maybe that's what I enjoy most of all.