Tuesday Tease: It Happened in Scotland

A cozy Scottish village setting, a second-chance-at-love story, and narrator Kirsten Potter equal listening pleasure.

There are two reasons to listen to this audiobook: Kirsten Potter and Scotland. In the interests of complete honesty, I would probably listen to almost any Scotland-set tale. It’s the most craggy, magical place to visit, and they like butter as much as I do. (I’m including a link to the absolute best shortbread – Stag Stornoway Shortbread – that you can only get in the Outer Hebrides. It’s worth the flight . . .  and the ferry ride . . . trust me.) So take a cozy Scottish village setting and a second-chance-at-love story and add the memorable vocal stylings of narrator Kirsten Potter, and you get true listening pleasure. Did I mention it’s a series? I jumped in mid-series with this title and had no problem following along. I liked hearing hints about other characters and their stories, and I kept thinking it would be fun to go back and listen to the other stories.

In IT HAPPENED IN SCOTLAND, Rachel journeys to Scotland as a widow, bringing her daughter Hannah to meet her husband’s family, not realizing her old flame Brodie has also returned to the village of Gandiegow. Potter manages the intricate backstory of this contemporary, small-town saga with great aplomb. She incorporates Scottish terminology and accents into her character-driven voicings, differentiating Scots of various ages and temperaments, ensuring that each character is unique.

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IT HAPPENED IN SCOTLAND
Kilts and Quilts, Book 6
Earphones Award Winner
by Patience Griffin, Read by Kirsten Potter

Watch a behind-the-mic video and find other audiobooks narrated by Kirsten Potter at our website!

Solve: The Environmental Mystery

In honor of Earth Day, I’m looking at some popular environmentally-focused mysteries, like Nevada Barr’s Anna Pigeon series. What are some of your favorites in this realm?

Saturday is Earth Day, and since I’m a bit of an environmental enthusiast, I thought it fitting to celebrate with some of my favorite mysteries featuring crime solvers who are passionate about the planet. They’re park rangers and game wardens and wildlife specialists encountering murder and mayhem amid the beauties of nature. And they sure do find plenty of mischief to keep them busy.

113830One of the ground-breakers in this sub-genre of mystery is, of course, Nevada Barr. She introduced her spitfire protagonist, National Parks Ranger Anna Pigeon, back in 1993 with TRACK OF THE CAT. Since then, Anna has traversed the American landscape in National Parks across the country. 2016 brought the 19th Anna Pigeon novel, BOAR ISLAND, alongside the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service. Seasoned veterans Barbara Rosenblat and Joyce Bean have narrated the majority of the series in audiobook, giving series devotees a consistent voice for Anna Pigeon and bringing the beauty of Barr’s settings to life. Have you checked out this series? Do you have a favorite?

57204Randy Wayne White takes us off dry land with his marine biologist protagonist Doc Ford. White had his own experiences with sea life while working as a fishing guide on Sanibel Island, so fittingly, Doc Ford’s first appearance was titled SANIBEL FLATS in 1990. Last month, his 24th adventure launched—MANGROVE LIGHTNING. I have a special affinity for this series partly because one of my favorite narrators has performed the majority of the series: George Guidall. There have also been recordings from two other seasoned greats in the mystery genre, Dick Hill and Ron McLarty.

vicious-circleOf course I would be terribly remiss if I didn’t mention C.J. Box’s Wyoming game warden, Joe Pickett. Box introduced Pickett in 2001 with his debut, OPEN SEASON. Last month Pickett returned in the seventeenth installment for the series, VICIOUS CIRCLE. David Chandler has been along to supply Pickett’s voice since the very beginning. And the amazing landscape of his Wyoming home gives Box plenty of nature in which to wreak havoc.

sick_puppyThis is just a small snapshot of the mysteries that embed themselves in the jobs connected to nature and wildlife or environmental issues. Thrillers make use of issues like toxic poisonings (John Grisham’s THE APPEAL) and even the more humorous mysteries can have an ecological theme (Carl Hiaasen’s SICK PUPPY).  What are some of your favorites in this realm of mysteries and suspense? Any you wish were on audio but aren’t? I’d love to see Robert Greer’s ASTRIDE A PINK HORSE or Kirk Russell’s John Marquez series recorded for audio.