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Scottish-themes book reviews

Kansas Bookworm June 27, 2005

Rob Miller: John Muir, Magnificent Tramp.  (Forge, 19.95, ISBN 0-765-31071-6) Biography

    Very readable biography of the Scottish-American naturalist California has chosen to represent it on the States Quarter program. 

    Muir.who emigrated to the U.S. at 11 with his family, was an inventive genius who could have amassed a huge fortune, but chose instead to spend his life protecting the natural world.  No hermit, he was happily married and adored his two daughters.

    Muir’s biography, fittingly, is the first in Forge’s American Heroes series.

Lillian Stewart Carl: The Secret Portrait (Five Star, $25.95, ISBN l-59414-307-2) Mystery

    Scottish-American Jean Fairbairn has left 20 years of teaching British history to produce the magazine Great Scot, covering Celtic myths and legends.

    Into her Ediburgh office comes George Lovelace, retired professor, who has moved back to his native Scotland.  He wants her to take a coin he’s found to the national museum to have it authenticated – and purchased, if they want it. They most certainly will–the mint gold Louis d’Or is from Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hidden horde.

   A fast-paced trip through treasure troves, Jacobite legends, ancient deaths, ghosts, paranormal stuff, and even a light touch of romance.

Allan Guthrie: Kiss Her Goodbye (Hard Case, $6.99, ISBN 0-8439-5355-1) Mystery

     Joe is an enforcer for Edinburgh loan shark Cooper, one of the toughest in a field with no lily-livered softies.  Trouble enters his world when his daughter is found dead, an apparent suicide.  Then he’s arrested for murder.  He needs to find out who is framing him, and meet out his own justice.

     Hard Case is a new entry into mystery publishing, specializing in just what the name means.  This is a very gritty novel, meant for those who miss Phillip Marlow, Sam Spade, and Mickey Spillane.

Margaret "Peggy" Baker

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