Bad weather and bad blood taint several dozen kilt wearers.
The supper honoring Robert Burns is not without incident. One of the guests claims to have had his clan crest brooch stolen just before it. His twin brother antagonizes everyone at it. And a near-blizzard cuts out the electricity, the phones and all means of leaving The Spruces, the grand old hotel of Moosetookalook, Maine. Event coordinator Liss MacCrimmon (A Wee Christmas Homicide, 2009, etc.) and her beau Dan Ruskin rush about trying to placate the trapped revelers while Officer Sherri Willett and her guy Pete insist they can handle matters until the state police arrive with no help from amateur detectives, thank you very much. Still, Liss, who can’t help but chat up the staff and the guests, learns that one twin’s skean dhu, his ornamental dagger, may have been used to slit the throat of the other; that a discarded bagpipe may have been used to stun the victim first; that an ex-fiancée of one of them is wandering the halls; and that there are too many passkeys loose in the hotel and too many ungrieving suspects, including one twin’s new widow. A snowshoe trek to town will help sort matters out, but not before both Liss and Sherri decide on the wrong killer and indeed misname the poor victim, and poor Dan is trussed up like a bit of haggis.
Woe betide the writer who dares people her plot with twins, a mystery cliché for years.