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St Mungo’s Robin
A Gil Cunningham Murder Mystery

by Pat McIntosh

      Glasgow notary Gil Cunningham is thinking about his impending nuptials to Alys Mason when he is embroiled in yet another murder mystery. Robert Naismith, Deacon of St Serf’s almshouses has been found dead in the garden, stabbed and obviously killed only a few hours before. The dead man wasn’t popular, and Gil has to sift through many suspects, including his thwarted mistress, the old men in Naismith’s care (including one younger madman) and even a ghost. As if that wasn’t enough, he also has to cope with his sister Isobel and wonder why his fiancée seems to have some secret problem.

With Ms McIntosh you can expect a labyrinthine plot, plenty of wry Scots humor, some engaging characters and an almost tangible mediaeval Glasgow. The larger canvas of history takes a back seat this time, and the story focuses on smaller matters involving the almshouses and their unpopular murdered Deacon. This is the fourth book in the series, and it shows no signs of flagging yet with an inventive plotline and surely endless material for a whole shelf more books. Part of this is due to the author’s good sense in choosing an unused venue and period for her setting, and then researching it so reading the books is the next best thing to actually being there. Sadly, there is still no sign of a glossary and for all us non-Glaswegians some of the dialect is incomprehensible, making the reader guess and not always understand some crucial parts of the tale. It is not a difficult mystery to guess for all its intricacies, but very enjoyable for all that. This is a book to be read slowly and savored and, like the rest of the series comes highly recommended.

The Book

Constable (Constable & Robinson)
29 March 2007
Historical Crime - 1493, Glasgow
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The Reviewer

Rachel A Hyde
Reviewed 2007
© 2006