Sunday, August 26, 2012

Review: Scone Island by Frederick Ramsay

Here's another one that was a surprise.  I didn't realize when I downloaded the ARC via Net Galley, that it was #8 in the Ike Schwartz Mystery series.  I only saw Maine, Coast, Lighthouse, island, and I thought "Perfect for a vacation read!"  I'm so glad I didn't pay any attention to the publisher's blurb before I read it, because after I saw their recap, I wondered if I'd read the same book.  I'm sure you can find their skinny on the Poisoned Pen Press website, so I'll just give you my Two Cents on this one.

First of all, it can be easily read as a stand-alone, although I am now motivated to go back and find earlier ones in the series.

Secondly, it's definitely a police procedural with some clandestine espionage from Ike's previous life coming back to haunt both the good police sheriff of Picketville Virginia and his wife Ruth who is recovering from injuries suffered before this book takes place.  If you believe the PPP folks and their marketing blurb, you'll think this is about settling an estate and the FBI.  If you believe the opening page of the book itself ("Dear Readers") you'll be more inclined to think you're going to read a story about Ruth and Ike going to Maine (no electricity, no cell phones, a true rustic adventure) to rest and recuperate from Ruth's injuries, and being pursued by Ike's former colleagues at the CIA. When you read the book, it doesn't really matter....just that Ike and Ruth don't get the relaxing vacation they bargained for.

Anyway, there are bodies galore, mysterious deaths, great scenes of how to cope in the modern world without modern machinery and weapons (or do they?) and a rip-roaring, fun, old fashioned who dunnit.  I really enjoyed this book.  The sense of place is spot on.  The characters are lovable, quirky, and of a certain 'over-the-hill' age that is welcome to see in this day of well-buffed anorexic, egoistic body-builders; there's a well-developed plot,that while it has twists and turns, does not leave the reader in a knot.

Although I haven't read the earlier ones in the series, I suspect this one is a worthy addition.  Just read the book and don't believe anything anybody tries to tell you about the story (even Tutu).

Author: Frederick Ransay
Publisher-Format: Poisoned Pen Press, (2012) egalley 268 pages
Subject: mysterious murders
Setting: fictional island off coast of Maine
Series: Ike Schwartz mysteries (#8)
Genre: retired crime fighter cozy mystery
Source: ARC from publisher via Net Galley


  1. I also downloaded this one and hope to get to it this fall.

  2. This sounds delightful. I've stopped reading blurbs and take publishers' glowing synopses with a grain of salt. I even tend to avoid books that compare a new author to a famous one or compare a new book to a type of book. It's all just baloney. I'd rather trust the book bloggers I follow.


Welcome, thanks for stopping by. Now that you've heard our two cents, perhaps you have a few pennies to throw into the discussion. Due to a bunch more anonymous spam getting through, I've had to disallow anonymous comments. I try to respond to all comments posing a question, but may not always get to you right away.