Monday, April 3, 2023

An American in Scotland - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  An American in Scotland (A Scottish Isle Mystery #1) by Lucy Connelly

Rating:  Liked It! (3.5 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  The small idyllic town of Sea Isle, Scotland, harbors some dark secrets, and Dr. Emilia McRoy is determined to uncover all of them—no matter what the diagnosis in this charming cozy, sure to enchant fans of Sheila Connolly and Charlene O’Connor.

Sea Isle was supposed to be the fresh start Dr. Emilia McRoy dreamed of. Far from the busy emergency room across the Atlantic in Seattle, she hoped to settle down and begin this new chapter as a small-town doctor to the quirky residents who immediately welcomed her. When she stumbles across a dead body, she starts to think that she may not be as Scot free of the drama and intrigue as she initially thought.

Emilia soon learns she has bigger issues at hand. It starts with realizing she’ll work closely with the less than helpful local constable, Laird Ewan Campbell. Her luck continues when she discovers that part of her new responsibilities includes being the coroner for the very body she found. Finally, when the body goes missing before she can even begin the autopsy, Emilia must convince the townspeople that a crime did, in fact, occur. The deeper she digs into the picturesque town, the more suspicious she becomes. And then there are her sleep issues. It may be due to the ever-growing list of suspects, a number of threatening letters, or the surprise visitor who breaks into her house at night. But she’s never backed down before, and she doesn’t intend to start now.

Someone doesn’t want this doctor to treat the ailments of Sea Isle, but Emilia McRoy is determined to find the murderer before they kilt again.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I can't resist a Scottish setting and this sounded like an interesting beginning of a series.

My Impression: This is the first book in a series about an American doctor, suffering from burnout after her time in an ER in Seattle, agrees to become the doctor for Sea Isle, Scotland.  Emilia McRoy has recently discovered that she has Scottish ancestry from this area of Scotland and is curious to learn more about her family's roots as well as get used to a much slower pace of life.  Unfortunately, those hopes are turned upside down when Emilia has a verbal altercation with a man who very shortly ends up dead.  In her new role as coroner Emilia begins an investigation either fighting or cooperating with the local constable who also happens to be her boss, Laird Ewan Campbell.  

Right from the start I liked the setting.  Going from Seattle to a small island in Scotland has to be quite a shock and an exhausting journey.  The author does a good job of bring the town to life and showing it peopled with residents who are mostly kind hearted but not always the most welcoming to new residents.  Emilia is intelligence and dedicated as both a doctor and an accidental investigator.  Even though her experience with the victim wasn't pleasant she strongly believes in justice and is determined to make sure that happens.  I also liked that Emilia made friends relatively easily.  She does care about people and is a nice person.  She doesn't get her feelings hurt over every little detail and is quick to realize when she comes off a bit harsh and apologize.

My main issue with this book is the pace and number of characters.  Since the reader is plunged into a new town along with the main character we are introduced to a fairly large cast of characters and while I could keep Mara and Abigail straight as they have considerable page time I had a hard time remembering a lot of the other smaller characters.  As well, with the introduction of all these characters it took about 30% of the book for the plot to really get going and pull me in.  I suspect these are issues that occurred only because this was the first book in the series and I'm really looking forward to reading the next book.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author? I would!  Despite my issues with this one I did like the characters and am excited to see where the series goes.

Would I Recommend this Book? Yes with the reminder that it does have a bit of a slow start but if you persevere I don't think you'll be disappointed!

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I can't resist that Scotland setting either! :D

  2. I can have a hard time keeping track of a large cast of characters but I love the sound of the setting.

  3. I love the setting and the cover is so pretty. Too many characters mess me up too.

  4. I hate having to face into a whole lot of new and varying characters, however the setting and Dr. / Laird issues would pull me in.

  5. Despite the number of characters and pacing, I am glad you enjoy this series.