The Burning Glass (Five Star Mystery Series)

Lillian Stewart Carl

Published by Five Star, 2007
ISBN 10: 1594145911 / ISBN 13: 9781594145919
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Synopsis: Fire in the Borders

The rolling hills of the Scottish Borders have seen centuries of fire—Scots, English, battling kings, feuding lords, rampaging clansmen, raiding, looting, killing. But the fire at brooding Ferniebank Castle wasn’t set by an enemy. Isabel Sinclair died there four hundred years ago, on her way to a lover’s tryst, in the conflagration kindled by her own burning-glass.

Or so the story goes.

Now Jean Fairbairn is on her way to write Ferniebank’s story—and to her own tryst with ex-cop Alasdair Cameron, who is now a caretaker of historic properties. He has at last lowered his personal drawbridge for Jean, and they plan to set decaying Ferniebank alight.

But they’re not alone. Ciara Macquarrie, a New Age mythobabbler from Alasdair’s past, plans to transform the castle and its chapel into a bright new conference center and spa. Especially since the chapel was built by the same long-dead hands as cryptic Rosslyn—now a hot tourist attraction, thanks to a popular story titled The Da Vinci Code.

In Scotland, plans go up in smoke. Stories shift and change like reflections in antique glass. Buried secrets rise to haunt the living. The Ferniebank clarsach, Isabel’s harp, disappears—even while its music lingers on. Vandals lurk in the night. Death visits both the castle dungeon and chapel’s ancient well.

To his frustration, Alasdair now has to work in the shadow of the official force. But when the darkness clears, it’s Jean who finds herself facing a murderer.

THE BURNING GLASS is a story of mystery and suspense tightly woven with Jean and Alasdair’s personal story. It takes place in Scotland, on the ever-shifting shore between history and myth, a place where (mis)perception kindles many a fire.
A little romance, a dash of mystery and a soupcon of history make a hearty dish.

Kirkus Reviews

Authentic dialect, detailed descriptions of the castle and environs, and vivid characters recreate an area rich in history and legend. The tightly woven plot is certain to delight history fans with its dramatic collision of past and present.

Publishers Weekly

If you took one of the better X-Files episodes and turned it into a mystery novel with more mature characters, you would end up with something very like The Burning Glass.

Liz Clifford, Reviewed by Liz

Carl also plays with expectations and often turns them on their heads surprising not only the characters but the reader. I loved this book for the characters, the ambiance, the history and culture of Scotland, and the ripping good story.

Gayle Surrette, Gumshoe Review

Wherever Jean goes, it seems trouble will follow and she and Alisdair are once again investigating strange occurrences and possibly murder. The third in a series, THE BURNING GLASS is an entertaining mystery that can be read and enjoyed on its own - great for readers who are craving something light and fun.

Becky LeJeune, Bookbitch

An adventurous romp inside ancient old buildings full of Scottish lore and legend...a fine mystery.

Diane Risso, Romance Reviews Today

From Publishers Weekly: Veteran Carl brings Great Scot reporter Jean Fairbairn and ex-cop Alasdair Cameron to the hills of the Scottish border in their engaging third outing (after The Murder Hole). Alasdair, now a security guard at crumbling, haunted Ferniebank Castle, and Jean, on assignment to do a story about the history and legends of the castle before its transformation into a spa and conference center, anticipate a romantic two-week idyll. Then a councilor in the nearby town of Stanelaw goes missing, as does a folk harp once played for Mary, Queen of Scots. When three people die in quick succession, the lovers dive into a dangerous and intriguing investigation. Authentic dialect (marred only by too-frequent clichés), detailed descriptions of the castle and environs, and vivid characters recreate an area rich in history and legend. The tightly woven plot is certain to delight history fans with its dramatic collision of past and present. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Burning Glass (Five Star Mystery Series)
Publisher: Five Star
Publication Date: 2007
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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