A bus tour of Scotland awakens ancient clan hatreds.
Emily Andrew Miceli and her husband, a retired chief inspector, own a travel agency and are regular tour leaders for a group of mostly senior citizens from Iowa. Now that they’ve found the joys of smartphones, the seniors are sometimes too busy texting to look up and enjoy the scenery. To attract more business, they’re providing a free trip to the person who wins a geocaching contest, an updated scavenger hunt using cellphone GPS and websites to find hidden objects. The group is divided into teams whose bickering reflects ongoing antipathies. One member, Isobel Kronk, goes so far as to remove the sought object, which turns out to be the ancient Maccoull dagger, an artifact with a dark history. The very next morning she is found dead in bed. The cause is unknown, but her end doesn’t look peaceful. The hotel owner and several tour members with Scottish blood are sure the Maccoull curse has killed her, but the police are eager to find a living suspect. The tour is allowed to proceed even though the cause of death is still unknown. The next death causes the police to retain Emily’s Nana, who’s been handing out herbal medicine foisted on her by Emily’s mom. The seniors, invigorated by their sleuthing during their last trip in Holland (Dutch Me Deadly, 2012), are ready for their next mystery. Hotels out of Fawlty Towers, haggis and boat accidents on Loch Ness all threaten to distract Emily as she attempts to unmask a ruthless killer.
Bits of Scottish history enliven the mildly amusing mystery.