Ah,another day, another cozy mystery set in Scotland. Hooked on Ewe is the sequel to Off Kilter, the first book by Hannah Reed set in the Scottish Highlands. I wasn’t in love with it, but they are fun reads and the Scottish setting has given me the happy autumn shivers. It is also funny, because this is the third series that I have read this year set in Scotland and the sixth book in general. Something tells me a trip to Scotland is in order. Without further ado…
From the Publisher:
It’s early September in Glenkillen, Scotland, when American expat (and budding romance novelist) Eden Elliott is recruited by the local inspector to act as a special constable. Fortunately it’s in name only, since not much happens in Glenkillen.
For now Eden has her hands full with other things: preparing for the sheepdog trial on the MacBride farm—a fundraiser for the local hospice—and helping her friend Vicki with her first yarn club skein-of-the-month deliveries. Everything seems to be coming together—until the head of the welcoming committee is found strangled to death with a club member’s yarn.
Now Eden feels compelled to honor her commitment as constable and herd together the clues, figure out which ones are dogs, and which ones will lead to a ruthless killer . . .
What I Loved:
- The Setting. I know, this is beating a dead horse, but I love the Scottish setting. In Hooked on Ewe, we get to delve a little deeper into Scottish Highlands life: We see sheep shearing, a sheep herding competition with the sheepdogs, the beginning of fall with its cold rain and high seas, and warm pubs with roaring fires and delicious food. I loved the simple scenes like when Eden’s friend Vicki is dyeing the wool for her yarn club, directly from the sheep on the farm. It also gives a strong sense of the community they live in.
- The Mystery. Maybe I am a little “procedural,” but I enjoyed seeing the actual detective work in this installation. Out of the twenty-something yarn kits that were given to the yard of the month club, one of the kits was used to commit murder. Inspector Jamieson, along with Sean and Eden (more on that below) methodically find and account for each kit to find out who the killer is. Finally, a cozy with solid police work without illogical suppositions. And, Reed managed to write it so that the killer wasn’t too obvious despite the methodology.
What Didn’t Work as Well:
- Eden’s New Role. Apparently in Scottish law enforcement, the inspector can deputize private citizens to act on a volunteer basis. We were introduced to Sean in the first book, but now, Inspector Jamieson has also decided to deputize Eden. Why he would deputize an American woman who has to leave the country in three months and who meddled so much in the last book, she almost got killed is beyond me. In Hooked on Ewe, Eden again almost gets killed, and pepper sprays someone. She clearly doesn’t have the gumption for detective work, even if Jamieson thinks she has good instincts.
- The Lack of Romance. I am not normally one to insist on romance in a cozy; however here, Eden and Leith were set up nicely in the first book, and not much has happened since. Leith makes only two or so appearances, and while Eden’s romance novelist friend is haunting her, the only romance Eden gets is one boat ride to se the sunrise. I hope that they actually do end up dating, because it felt like a lot of setup just for the two of them not to get anywhere.
This was a cute, if a little unbelievable cozy. I would recommend to cozy fans that love a change of scenery and love a good backstory, but don’t need as much romance. Three waves, though I was on the fence about four. Buy it here in paperback!