2017-09-02 09:12:51 UTC
"Caledonia Legend of the Celtic Stone An Epic Saga of Scotland and Her People" Book 1 in the Caledonia series by Michael Phillips
This one is from my pile of new authors I've collected over the years. I have no idea why I picked it up. I didn't think it was a mystery. It was from my effort to expand my interest into other genres.
The main character is Andrew Trentham an MP from Cumbria in the LibDem party. Son of a retired MP, his mother, who was in the Conservative Party. Also his parents. An old fellow named Duncan McaRanoch who lives on the Threntham estate, and an American reporter trying to break into television journalism in London.
This was published in 1999 so its a bit outdated in the politics although they are mostly fictional. The Queen has retired/abdicated in 1996 and Charles is to be crowned King. The Stone of Scone is transported back from Edinburgh for the coronation but is stolen from the Abbey under the noses of plenty of security people. The same week the leader of the LibDems is murdered. Much to his surprise, Andrew ends up the new leader of his party although there are 4 other candidates. These are the murder elements.
But the bulk of the book involves Andrew searching for his identity as someone other than his mother's son, and his heritage which takes him through a genealogical journey to his Scottish lineage. He was thrown for a loop when his
girl friend drops him the very day he planned to propose.Same week the stone is stolen and his party leader is murdered.
The book moves back and forth from 1990's London to previous historic periods in Scotland as far back as several thousand years. Andrew hears stories of the ancient people of Scotland from Duncan and we share the adventures, involving love, war, survival, adventure, the Christianizing of Britain, the battles to drive out the Romans, the massacre at Glen Coe.
Although I am used to books moving back in forth in time because of my addiction to Oulander Series, this was jangled my nerves a bit because in this series there is no continuity of character because of tmie travel. Its just that you come to the end of a chapter and on the next page you are several centuries away from when you were on the previous page.
I'd rate it 4 out of 5 I think. Might even hunt up the next one and have it ready when Draughlander hits again in January, sure to be a long one again.
The mystery part was interesting. We knew somewhat whodunnit and probaby why at the beginnng, but not all the bad guys and they used more than one name which the reader is not told. Despite the fact that there is not gruesom blood and guts, no forensics to speak of, no angst ridden relationship with cops, it doesn't really fit in the cozy genre either, except that the "detective" MP is an amateur. The reporter is slightly less amateur.
I did very much like the ending when Andrew finds the stone and fumbles through a desperate car chase over quite a lot of country side being chased by the robbers. And there were some surprises among the culprits who committed all the crimes.