The Blue Hackle
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First print-published by Five Star/Cengage in 2010.
In a stately home, no one can hear you scream . . .
Alasdair Cameron and Fergus MacDonald were childhood friends. Their fathers’ caps carried a blue hackle, the badge-feather of a distinguished Scottish regiment. Now the feather in Fergie’s cap is the decaying Dunasheen Estate on the Isle of Skye. His desperate schemes to save his home depend on a collection of historic artifacts, a handful of paying guests expecting a traditional Scottish New Year celebration, and the help of Alasdair and Jean Fairbairn.
For Jean and Alasdair, the bells of the new year are also wedding bells—their rings are ready, their guests are invited, and the Gothic folly of Fergie’s chapel is waiting. Then a guest is found murdered, lying in blood that’s thicker than the sea that carried generations of Scots to distant shores even as their descendants’ hearts turn homeward.
The police crash the party, and Alasdair and Jean find themselves juggling knowledge, belief, and a list of suspects whose secret agendas raise more than a few hackles.
Is that the icy winter wind, or the banshee-wail of a long-dead MacDonald chatelaine affirming that only Fergie’s motives are true-blue? Or is he hiding a secret agenda beneath his fool’s cap and bells?
Ring out the old, ring in the new. But if Alasdair and Jean can't untangle the threads of the past and net a present-day killer, then they and their wedding rings won't get to the church on time—and more blood will flow for the sake of Auld Lang Syne.
- Lillian Stewart Carl, June 2011
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