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Death on a Longship: The Shetland Sailing Mysteries

Marsali Taylor

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Crime & mystery

The first book in the Shetland Sailing Mysteries by Shetland Noir author Marsali Taylor.

The first book in Marsali Taylor's thrilling Shetland Sailing Mystery series.

'... a well written, enjoyable story with a proper murder-mystery plot... Highly recommended.' Puzzle Doctor, Classic Mysteries

Her big break has finally arrived and Cassie Lynch believes she has struck gold after securing a job to skipper a Viking longship for a film. Even though this does mean returning to the Shetland Islands, the place where she fled far away from as a teen.

However, after settling in it doesn't take too long before the 'accidents' begin.

When an unknown corpse appears onboard, Cass finds herself, her family, and her traumatic past all under intense scrutiny by the disturbingly shrewd Detective Inspector, Macrae.

Cass must uncover all of her local knowledge, her wisdom from sailing that she didn't realise she possessed, and call on her French opera singer mother - who is the embodiment of glamour - to clear them of all suspicion. Will she be able to stay ahead of the murderers game, and avoid becoming the next victim?

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Marsali Taylor

Marsali grew up near Edinburgh, Scotland. Her summer family holidays were spent in a remote cottage in the West Highlands, the region where her detective Gavin Macrae lives. Like her sailing heroine, Cass, she has always been used to boats, and used her 'gap year' earnings to buy her first sailing dinghy, Lady Blue. She studied English at Dundee University, did a year of teacher training and took up her first post, teaching English and French to secondary children in Aith, Shetland. Gradually her role expanded to doing drama too, and both primary and secondary pupils have won prizes performing her plays at the local Drama Festival. Some of these plays were in Shetlandic, the local dialect.

Marsali teaches dinghy sailing at her local club, and is a keen single-handed sailor in her Offshore 8 m yacht, Karima S - the double of Cass's Khalida.


A qualified STGA green badge tourist guide for Shetland, she now spends a good deal of her summer sharing her home with visitors from overseas. She is particularly interested in women's history, and has published Women's Suffrage in Shetland, two years' worth of original research. She followed this with The Story of Busta House, the romantic tale of the house which is the setting for part of Death on a Longship.


Marsali also writes for the monthly magazine Shetland Life - a mixture of travel writing, interviews, investigative journalism and historical research.

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