books · cosy · mystery · review

Book Review – Cosy Mystery

The Iron Dog

by Liz Graham

Carmel McAlistair has a new job at the local archives, a blossoming relationship with Inspector Darrow of the RNC and a growing sense of home in St. Jude Without, Newfoundland. What could possibly go wrong?
When a skeleton clutching a partial treasure map is unearthed below a city street, Carmel finds out how tenuous her grip on happiness is. Her neighbors believe the pirate loot is their inheritance. Her archivist boss guards the secret jealously until she is found murdered – with Carmel, covered in her blood and standing over her, the chief suspect.
It doesn’t look good for Carmel and, to make matters worse, Inspector Darrow is forced to recuse himself from her case because of conflict of interests, leaving her to the mercy of the local constabulary’s most notoriously vicious investigator. Meanwhile, the safest place for her might be to remain in jail….
Pirates, murder, jealousies and tested loyalties swirl in The Iron Dog, the third volume in the Carmel McAlistair series, set on Canada’s most easterly coast.


My thoughts: With treasure maps, pirates, ghosts and fairies this is a story to fuel your imagination and keep you turning those pages. Carmel McAlistair has a knack for finding trouble, and can frequently be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Helping her out of her dilemmas is a strong – and very original – cast of characters. I hadn’t read any of the previous books in the series, but I will go back and catch up for sure.

This is a well-written story with fully-developed personalities whose interactions are novel, funny, bizarre and intriguing. It reminded me of the Murder She Wrote stories, where the characters of a small cove are all talking about a murder in their neighbourhood. This book has the same cosy feel to it, although adding a Scottish detective and a rusty-coloured dog named after Irn Bru was a masterstroke in my eyes. I did guess the murderer early on, but I enjoyed the misdirection and began to doubt my own sleuthing skills for a while.

I must add that the cover is stunning – it’s one thing I generally take little notice of as a Kindle reader, but every so often a great cover will catch my eye. This is one of those times when it’s worth getting the paperback version too.

A most entertaining book for those who enjoy a good mystery in a great setting. Available now on Amazon, click here for details.