An archaeological dig in the Scottish Highlands seems an unlikely spot for murder.
Motherly history teacher Dotsy Lamb and her best pal Lottie are boarding at Castle Dunlaggan while Dotsy digs in the earth and Lottie searches for genealogical information. Dotsy is thrilled to turn up a gold coin that may be from the time of Macbeth, her area of interest. When the bloody body of Froggy Quale, the student expert on spores and pollen, is discovered, the castle guests and dig staff all fall under suspicion. The police are most interested in Froggy’s roommate, American graduate student Van Nguyen, the dig’s media specialist. Castle owners William and Maisie Sinclair keep a stiff upper lip even when William’s brother John, director of the dig, dies of liver failure, possibly as a consequence of eating wild-mushroom soup, and the gold coin disappears along with a recently discovered amethyst earring and a very valuable stamp. Convinced that Van is innocent, Dotsy investigates. She finds some hard feelings among the ranks of the students, a series of dubious suicides in the Sinclair family, an illicit affair and some magic mushrooms and Super Bowl tickets, each of them suggesting new motives for murder.
Intrepid Dotsy’s second adventure (Death of an Obnoxious Tourist, 2006) provides its share of twists and turns in the classic style.