Otto Penzler’s Mysterious Press has been releasing Bibliomysteries for a number of years now. These are short stories written by some of the leading names in crime fiction. Each of the stories focuses the central mystery around the concept of books – every one of them in their own unique way dictated by the author’s writing style. The twenty-seventh title in the series has recently been released – Every Seven Years by Denise Mina.

Every Seven Years is a story about Else Kennedy, a successful television soap opera actress who returns to her small hometown in Scotland to attend to the death of her mother. Else left town seven years earlier after being bullied by her friends and neighbors. Convinced that because humans shed all their cells every seven years, she is now a new person and can handle the pressures associated with a return, Else approaches the visit with cautious optimism.

Her most high-profile appearance in town is a speaking engagement arranged by an old nemesis – Karen Little. When Karen gives Else a book as a thank you gift – a book containing a secret note from yesteryear – Else realizes that the taunting of the past is only going to continue into the present. With the help of an old boyfriend, Else hatches a plan to kill Karen and defend her mother’s checkered past.

Denise Mina has crafted a gem of a story in which nothing is as it first seems. Like all the stories in this series, Every Seven Years can easily be read in one sitting. With settings and style that reflect the author’s lengthier works, these are great introductions to writers you might not have had a chance to read yet. So, if you haven’t visited Denise Mina’s Scotland, why not give Every Seven Years a try?


Disclaimer: An e-galley of this title was provided to BOLO Books by the publisher. No review was promised and the above is an unbiased review of the novel.