DEADLY EDITIONS, the sixth book in the Scottish Bookshop Mystery series by Paige Shelton, is another terrific addition to one of my favorite series. The reader is treated to the enchanting city of Edinburgh, Scotland as seen through the eyes of American transplant, Delaney Nichols. I especially enjoyed how the plot revolved around pubs in the area and Ms. Shelton’s strong descriptions brings their quaint charm to life on the pages. I also think that Delaney has just about the best job in the world working as a bookseller/buyer for the Cracked Spine Bookshop and I would dearly love to spend time in such a place. She’s surrounded by a cast of delightful, well-developed characters who each contribute to the appeal and it’s been a pleasure getting to know them over the course of the series. It’s been gratifying seeing them grow and develop relationships, including a marriage between Delaney and Scottish pub owner, Tom. Delaney also has a unique gift in that she can hear “bookish voices” – quotes from books that provide clues to assist in solving a problem or a mystery. It adds to the focus of books and bookshops, and while I’m not familiar with the quotes used, I appreciate the addition.
In this newest release, the plot revolves around the theme of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson. I loved how the author wove complex intrigue involving this classic dark tale into both an exclusive book treasure hunt and into a long-ago unsolved murder and a current day murder. (Since I couldn’t remember much of the story, I reread the classic Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde after finishing DEADLY EDITIONS!) At the center of these crimes is eccentric wealthy Shelaigh O’Connor, owner of a vast book collection. Besotted with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Shelaigh created a scandal in her teen years by emulating some of the elements of the dark book. When a copycat appears and Shelaigh disappears, many wonder if she’s to blame for the crimes committed. As Delaney hunts for the treasured book and for Shelaigh herself, she uncovers clues to who had reasons to murder Shelaigh’s friend. As the multifaceted threads of the story came together, Ms. Shelton pens a suspenseful reveal that had me on the edge of my seat, turning pages faster and faster. My only regret was not savoring it longer since I’ll have to wait another year for the next book in the series.
While there aren’t any recipes in the book, Paige Shelton kindly provided a recipe for a delicious breakfast treat. I found these Scottish Pancakes easy to make and my granddaughters loved these as a quick on-the-go breakfast by simply eating out of hand without syrup.
Following are Paige’s comments about her recipe for Scottish Pancakes:
Scottish Pancakes AKA drop scones, these are my delicious discovery of 2021! I love them. Despite the words “pancake” and “scone,” though, they aren’t really either, at least as I’ve come to know pancakes and scones. Though they are simple, as with anything pancake-y, I am patience challenged – I ALWAYS want to flip too soon.
In my recipe research, I found that most people say that the best way to eat these is simply slathered in butter (I read one post that said there should be butter dripping down your wrist). They are sweeter than regular pancakes, so only-butter works, but I enjoy them with fruit preserves and syrups too.
A special thanks to Paige Shelton for providing a winner with a print copy of DEADLY EDITIONS! Contest ends Sunday, April 11, 2021 at 11:59 pm PST and is limited to U.S. residents. Please use the Rafflecopter box located below to enter. The winner will be announced on this page and on Cinnamon & Sugar’s Facebook page, as well as notified by email (so check your spam folder!)
AKA drop scones, these are my delicious discovery of 2021! I love them. Despite the words “pancake” and “scone,” though, they aren’t really either, at least as I’ve come to know pancakes and scones. Though they are simple, as with anything pancake-y, I am patience challenged – I ALWAYS want to flip too soon. In my recipe research, I found that most people say that the best way to eat these is simply slathered in butter (I read one post that said there should be butter dripping down your wrist). They are sweeter than regular pancakes, so only-butter works, but I enjoy them with fruit preserves and syrups too.
- 1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
- Butter for pan or skillet
- Toppings: butter, preserves, syrup
My preferred way of cooking these is in an electric skillet. I set the temperature at 335 degrees. This is about medium if you use a pan on the stove, or since we’re being Scottish, the “hob.” The electric skillet heats up quickly, but if you’re on the hob-top (that’s probably not a real term), I would recommend getting it up to a consistent temperature before you start cooking.
Place the flour, sugar, salt, and eggs into a mixing bowl. Gently whisk until you have a thick, firm batter. Add the milk, a little bit at a time, until the dough smooths out into a thick but pliable batter. The batter should fall off the whisk very slowly. If you overdo the milk, add a little more flour.
Drop some butter into the pan and swirl it around. Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter into the pan. I use a small ice cream scoop. Allow the pancakes to cook until you see tiny air bubbles on top and the cakes move easily with only a gentle push of the spatula. Flip and then let them cook some more. I am a pancake-patience failure and I always flip the first few too soon. Keep in mind, even though these aren’t big, they are thicker than your normal pancakes. I found that about three minutes on each side was about right – but as you probably know, this can all depend upon getting the heat right. Sometimes I even flip them back to the original side and let them cook a little longer – I know this makes pancake experts cringe. But you gotta do what you gotta do.
You’ll need to wipe off the butter with a paper towel and add new when it begins to get too dark.
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I was provided with an advance copy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.