A Strange Scottish Shore

Written by Juliana Gray
Review by Elizabeth Caulfield Felt

Scotland, 1906. While renovating a castle in the Orkney Islands, the new owner discovers a strange suit, like a selkie hide, hidden in an ancient trunk. Maximilian Haywood and Emmeline Truelove, of the Haywood Institute for the Study of Time, are called to investigate. Lord Silverton follows, to press his marriage proposal to Emmeline and to protect her from any danger. On the train, a ginger-haired man of nefarious intent fights with Lord Silverton, and Emmeline’s would-be lover soon disappears with a portfolio. At the castle, Max and Emmeline study the “selkie” suit and the ancient trunk, and somehow trigger Max’s time-traveling juices. Emmeline can feel/see the presence of Lord Silverton in another time, so Max sends her back to him, to the 1300s.

The plot is unpredictable, and I cared about the characters, who cleverly illustrate their respective cultural time-periods, and then also show how experiencing a different time period affects them. The mysteries of the selkie suit, the ginger-haired man, the portfolio and the whole time travel situation keep the reader guessing. I had not read the first book in the series, A Most Extraordinary Pursuit, and although it isn’t required to understand this story, it would certainly help. It took me several chapters before I could figure out the characters, the relationships, and the whole time-traveling component.

The main mysteries are solved by the end, but there are many questions left, so I foresee another installment in this time-travel, mystery series. A fun read.