The Arms of Death: Loch Lonach, Book One (Loch Lonach Mysteries) (Volume 1) - Book Review


The Arms of Death: Loch Lonach, Book One (Loch Lonach Mysteries) (Volume 1)

Author: Maggie Foster
Genre: Fiction - Mystery - Sleuth
Date Published: December 2, 2017
ISBN-10: 0998985805
ISBN-13: 9780998985800


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Book Review of :  The Arms of Death: Loch Lonach, Book One (Loch Lonach Mysteries) (Volume 1)


A contemporary cozy mystery, The Arms of Death by Maggie Foster follows an ordinary, working, single girl who becomes an amateur detective after the unexpected death of a close acquaintance, Professor Craig of Genealogy. Ginny Foster’s curiosity and intelligence are challenged by unexpected clues which fuel her detective work. She is the person “most likely to catch whatever” had killed him. She knows that a suggestible mind can talk itself into most anything. It “makes you a hypochondriac”.

Professor Craig was found in a terminally ill condition and admitted into ICU. Within 24 hours he died because of some mysterious virus which even the CDC knew little to nothing about. Professor Craig’s unexpected death and the intervention of the CDC piqued Ginny’s interest and she started her own personal investigation to find the culprit. What started as a fun, harmless activity soon drew Ginny into a dangerous situation.  

Ginny is computer savvy and internet literate. She sets up a spreadsheet to document her sleuthing. If her friend was murdered that implies a murderer, motive, opportunity, and means. Most crimes of passion involve money, but her friend was an underpaid professor. He had no love-life that she was aware of, and was well liked and admired. She didn’t think he had secrets.

To complicate her life she becomes attracted to her boyfriend’s best friend, Jim. Is the attraction chemical? Brain-based? Pheromones? Would her boyfriend, Hal, respond with what her girlfriends called “testosterone poising? The triangle leads to sinister responses and red herrings.

Discovering that both men have kept secrets from her she consults an old Scottish Laird. Mackenzie gives advice in Scottish brogue that is easy to follow. But will she? The author’s inclusion of modern-day Scottish culture in Texas exemplifies her knowledge and understanding of the traditions and customs of the Celtic society. An important feature that makes the story stand out is the geographic location where this work of fiction takes place. The author introduced a small Scottish community in Dallas called Loch Lonach. Readers will be enlightened by glimpses into the ethnicity of these Texans. The author also has a deep understanding of genealogy. With the current interest in DNA profiling, family trees, and ancestors the plot is up to date.

The author’s knowledge of modern medicine is evident throughout Ginny’s search for the means of the murder. An example of her writing style is evident in a scene where Ginny is startled and “the bag of blood flew from her hands, spinning toward the stairs. Caught in the doorframe as the heavy door closed, it burst, splashing her shoes and pants.”

Ginny is a likable, relatable character. Concluding the plot, she realizes she has experience Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s stages of loss: denial, acceptance, anger, and depression but she is ready to get back to everyday life with a Scottish slant. Is she prepared for her involvement in another mystery? Book two, The Swick and the Dead, propels Ginny into another investigation. What is a Swick?

Reviewed by: Carol/Sakshi

About Maggie Foster


MAGGIE FOSTER is a seventh-generation Texan of Scottish descent. Her ancestors were in Texas before it was a Republic. In addition to being steeped in Scottish traditions and culture, she has spent a lifetime in healthcare as a nurse, lawyer, and teacher. Her interests include history, genealogy, music, dancing, travel, dark chocolate, good whisky, and men in kilts.

Visit for more information on Maggie Foster


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