Danger in Edinburgh

Danger in Edinburgh
by Emma Dakin

Isobel Ferguson, a character in Danger in Edinburgh, stopped by for a wee chat before she headed out to get involved in a most murderous murder.

Danger in Edinburgh (The British Book Tour Mysteries)

Cozy Mystery, 4th in Series
Setting – Scotland
Claire Barclay, owner and tour guide of The British Mysteries Book Tours, leaves her house in Hampshire and her significant other, Mark Evans, puts her dog Gulliver into her van, and heads off to Scotland for the start of a fortnight tour.

She expects to lead her guests to various literary sites where authors set their stories. She had just settled everyone into their luxurious Edinburgh hotel when, on a quick outing with Gulliver, she discovers a body. A young woman has been the victim of the serial killer who targets university students.

All the guests speculate on the murders and attract the attention of the inspector. Claire is frantic to protect her guests from police investigation. At the end of the tour, after she has put her charges safely on their respective planes and trains, Claire takes a last walk with Gulliver and meets one of the café regulars. She sees irrefutable evidence of murder and is so surprised that she betrays her knowledge and puts her own life in jeopardy.

Grab some tea set out on the table for you, have a seat, and meet Dr. Ferguson!

I’m Dr. Isobel Ferguson, and I am presently a tourist on Claire Barclay’s British Mystery Book Tour. I’m a psychologist and grounded in practical work of helping the anxious, the fearful, and the oppressed, but I love a good mystery, just wallow in it, you know. So I lit out of Texas for Scotland. I just love the medieval atmosphere of the guest hotel where, although the rooms are spick ’n’ span, the floors are irregular in height and the walls are not quite straight. I like people, friendly folks, and I’m going to enjoy myself and my fellow guests.

We all congregate like birds from different flocks at the Magpie Café, next door to the Royal Stuart where I meet the owner Brue MacBain and his daughter Isla, who waitresses when she’s not at her university. She interests me as she’s taking psychology and doing a research paper on psychopaths, something I know quite a lot about, more than anyone should. One or two of my patients have been downright scary. It isn’t just academia that interests me. There’s a local mystery.

“You’ll not believe it,” Isla said as she delivered our orders. “There was another murder last night. I heard it on the early telly news.”

“Near here?” I ask her.

“Nae. Nae.” Her father denies it as he tries to keep bad news away from paying tourists.

“It was so,” Isla says indignantly. “Just around the corner the telly says.”

I looked at her fellow tour mates. They were mystery fans. They’d be slaverin’ to know details. “A real mystery?”

Joseph, from Los Angeles, is one of our group. He’s my age and seems an interesting man but not interesting enough for me to indulge myself. Worthy but too respectable. He’s a true crime mystery reader. He looks up alert. “What happened.”

“I dinnae have the details. I will get them later at the uni,” Isla promises.

“I’d appreciate that,” Joseph said.

I would as well. We got more news later in the day when Isla came back from her classes. It was a friend of hers who had been killed, and Isla was both upset and furious.

“You’ll help me, won’t you?” she asked me. She knows I’m a psychologist.

“I will help you.” That was how I came to spend time sitting with a group of university students, trying to create a profile of the killer.

Isla has other help. Her friend is a detective inspector of Police Scotland as it is called here. He and his constable came to the café for breakfast and encouraged Isla in her pursuit of knowledge about the killer, more to help her assuage her grief, in my opinion, than to seriously consider her efforts.

Joseph showed a lot of interest in the crime, but then he was a true crime reader and was interested in many crimes. I got a little distracted by a personable professor of history from the local university who paid me flattering attention, but I kept my hand in with Isla and her friends and was astounded and horrified when the killer made an attempt on Isla. The identity of the killer fascinated me, and I’m surprised how close we came to creating the perfect profile.


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Emma Dakin

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About Emma Dakin 

Emma Dakin lives in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of Britain. She has over twenty trade published books, including a 2022 Award winning memoir Always Pack a Candle: A Nurse in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, but continues to enjoy writing The British Book Tour Mysteries. Her love of the British countryside and villages and her addiction to cozy mysteries keep her immersed in discovering the different cultures of the country and the different dialects. She gives us characters who live and work in those villages, isles and cities. She introduces readers to the problems that disturb the idyllic setting. Research is essential to give the reader an authentic setting. It was necessary for Emma to sit in The Whiski Bar on The Royal Mile, to tour Edinburgh Castle and Holyrood and to play her fiddle in the Tay Inn. A trip to the Highlands and the iconic isle of Iona were vital. When not writing or traveling, she paddles with her outrigger crew on the waters of the Pacific Coast and walks her dog who is much less obedient than Claire’s fictional Gulliver.