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The Gathering Murders

(Inspector Torquil McKinnon #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  976 ratings  ·  74 reviews
The mysterious drowning of Ranald Buchanan, an acclaimed Gaelic fisherman-poet, on the first night of the literary festival hardly sets the right tone for the celebrations. For one thing, it rekindles age-old fears about the Selkie, the seal-folk who claim their victims and drag them beneath the waves... Torquil McKinnon, Inspector in the Hebridean Constabulary, soon has ...more
Hardcover, Large Print, 340 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Ulverscroft (first published January 1st 2006)
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Stina It is written phonetically. That is, as it is pronounced. I realise it isn't proper English, but each part of the country use their own "dialect" of…moreIt is written phonetically. That is, as it is pronounced. I realise it isn't proper English, but each part of the country use their own "dialect" of sorts. Some may be hard to read and interpret as I found when I started reading the Poldark series and the speech of the lower working class Cornish people was very hard to interpret. Northern England and Scottish use words like "cannae" which is generally interpreted as "cannot". Don't let this spoil the book for you though. It is just the way some of the Highlanders and Hebrideans speak I would guess.(less)
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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First and foremost, a large thank you to Keith Moray, and Sapere Books for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.

In this series debut, Keith Moray takes the reader deep into the Hebrides to recount this Scottish murder mystery sure to impress with its local nuances. Torquil ‘Piper’ McKinnon heads up the West Uist Constabulary, a quiet force of three bracing for two significant events coming to the island for the weekend. The
Veronica ⭐️
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, crime
The Gathering Murders is the first book in the Inspector Torquil McKinnon Mystery series.

Picture a picturesque Isle in Scotland, a small close knit community suddenly swelling to thousands for a weekend of games, contests and a literary festival. This is The Gathering, eagerly organised by the town’s council but stretching the small constabulary of three to their limits. Throw into the mix a murder that has the outside media in a frenzy and Inspector Torquil McKinnon is having trouble just
Elaine Tomasso
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank Sapere Books for an advance copy of The Gathering Murders, the first novel to feature DI Torquil McKinnon of the fictional West Uist police.

The Kyleshiffin, West Uist station (all three officers) are gearing up for a busy few days as the island is holding a literary festival as well as the annual Gathering (Highland Games I think). What they don't expect is to find the Gaelic Bard dead in a drunken accident. This, however, takes a more sinister hue when another author is
Todd Simpson
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great Book. It’s always exciting to find a new Author that can grab your attention, with a thoroughly well written and entertaining story. Keith Moray has done a fabulous job with this story, and especially since I had no idea who the killer was, until the end of the book. The plot certainly grabbed my attention at the beginning, and I thought it was quite clever the way the Author kept us guessing. A great group of characters as well.
The Literary Festival for writers was being held on the
Linda Strong
This is the first crime thriller in the detective series featuring Inspector Torquil McKinnon.

The Gathering is actually a literary festive. All the best writers, poets. musicians are invited to attend. It's quite an honor to win an award, McKinnon is also entered into a couple of the contests... for playing his bagpipes.

It starts out busily enough. Because so many attend this festival, the department of law is being overrun with the need for security and hopefully keeping crime at bay.

A local
Enjoyed the setting of the small Scottish island with a literary festival and the gathering (like the Highland Games). Worthwhile listening to on audio just for the narration and the accent. Quite a slow burner though and towards the end it all became a little over the top far-fetched. Nicely written though and with plenty of suspects, reminiscent of old-fashioned murder mysteries.
I would like to thank Sapere Books for this free copy in exchange of an honest review.

3.5 Stars
This was a rather surprising book. I was attracted to it at first by the name of the Inspector, i thought it sounded intriguing, and also by the summury of the book that reminded me somehow of Agatha Christie's books (and i mean this as a compliment to the story obviously).

Anyway, i soon found out that the story held my attention totally, not only because of the plot but especially because of its
Kirsty ❤️
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this. I managed to not only read it in one day but a working day as well. I loved the pace of it. Despite a total of 3 murders in the end the whole thing is wrapped up in a matter of days and the speed of that comes across in the writing. You get swept along as McKinnon desperately tries to solve the murders before his boss comes over to the island to take over. And to stop anyone else dying of course.

KcKinnon and his two staff are well drawn, it's easy to picture them and they
Mar 11, 2019 rated it did not like it
Quite absurd.
BAM The Bibliomaniac
Many thanks to Sapere Books and Keith Moray for the ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.

This is book one in a series. It takes place on the islands off the coast of northern Scotland, which I know nothing about, so I thought I'd give it a read.
The book begins with a couple of revenge killings, and murders proceed from there. Murder, murder, murder.
In other news on West Uist the largest author and book convention is about to commence. And I'm not there because why? The area is obviously
Donna Maguire

I really enjoyed this story and was delighted to see that it is part of a series! It is a great plot and I loved the pace and punchy nature of the story.

The main characters in the book were great and I loved how they interacted and how personable and likable they were. I loved Torquil's character in particular and with the events in the book it made him a really genuine character and that made me like him all the more.

I have a love of books set in
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is set in the beautiful Scottish island of West Uist following the story of a police inspector investigating the strange murders on the quiet island (the place where people leave the keys in their car let alone the doors unlocked).

I’m not gonna give spoilers away, but when you’ve read enough criminal fiction you learn to pick up some clues along the way. That being said, there are a lot of red herrings in this novel- I knew who was gonna die but I didn’t guess the murderer!

My biggest
May 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Why not try book set on remote Scottish island where residents are preparing for a fest that welcomes book fans as well as celebrates piping (as in bagpipes) and the throwing of the hammer by men in kilts? It may not be such a good idea if you prefer your Scotch neat. There are so many ingredients thrown in with murders that one small island cannot contain them.
I was entertained by some elements but feel in need of reward for having finished the book.
David Gilchrist
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
More action than most thrillers with this book, the characters are really likeable and very well developed, well written and the story flows well. Will be reading more from this author.
Mr Robin Smith
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book by Keith Moray introduces us to Torquil McKinnon, a recently promoted, bagpipe playing, Detective Inspector of police, based on the mostly crime free Hebridean island of West Uist, where the usual small population of 600 are welcoming an influx of visitors, guests and competitors for the island’s annual literary, Scottish music and highland games festival – The Gathering. Fiona Cullen, a former West Uist resident and Torquil’s long ago ex-partner, now a famous Scottish crime writer, ...more
Rob Ford
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Authentic, yes. Well written, yes. If you want lots of suspects to murders, yes. However, too much tripping into Gaelic, looking at Scottish traditions and a Hebrides way of life did not interest me at all. Plus, some of the characters were slightly unbelievable to be honest. Perhaps this was the author's intention, to keep the reader interested if struggling to finish it - like me!

Thanks to Sapere books for allowing me the chance to review this book.
Jennifer (JC-S)
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-books
‘All you needed was a little help, wasn’t it?

Welcome to The Gathering, the annual literary festival held on West Uist, a tiny island in the Scottish Hebrides. It’s a grand event which causes the population of the island to double, thus creating a few headaches for the small local police force. The influx of people means that there’s parking to be managed, and sometimes people over indulge in the drink. But Inspector Torquil McKinnon and his team have made their plans, and hope that all will go
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 Stars
The annual West Uist literary festival – The Gathering – always attracts the best in the business. But with the tiny island population suddenly doubling, the local police force, all three of them, is stretched to breaking point. Ranald Buchanan, the local poet, is found dead, with his head brutally caved in, and Inspector Torquil McKinnon investigates. Before Torquil can find out more, another victim is found. The island is on lockdown. There is a serial killer in their midst.
A well
The Gathering Murders features Inspector Torquil McKinnon as he hunts for the murderer of a local poet. The small Scottish island is bursting with tourists during their literary festival, which makes finding the killer more difficult. When the next victim is his one time love interest, the murders become personal.

While I loved the premise of the book, some points just didn't do it for me. The addition of quite a bit of bagpipe facts seemed out of place and weren't woven into the story smoothly.
Ken Schloman
Aug 21, 2018 rated it liked it
My rating has bounced around between 2 and three stars as I thought about the novel after reading it.
I read The Gathering Murders as a Kindle edition. Personally I think this is necessary given the ability Kindle gives to have a dictionary link handy. Otherwise this poor Midwesterner would have needed a dictionary available to decipher some of the terms used to describe landmarks, etc. The Gaelic dialect, while interesting, slows the read down.

Good points-- really liked the lead character,
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderfully old-fashioned whodunit reminiscent of the best classic mysteries. Set on a fictional island in the Hebrides, during a festival called The Gathering, a poet is found dead. At first it seems like an accident but, when another author is murdered, Inspector Torquil McKinnon suspects foul play. There is a very long list of suspects and the bodies keep piling up. Torquil finds clues that eventually will point him in the right direction, but at first seem to make everything more ...more
Jul 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably three and a half stars rather than four - but a great read, worth more than three. The mixed emotions of Torquil - and others in the novel are well conveyed. I engaged with the characters, accepted their motivations, both honourable and dishonourable.

The setting is invoked with skill. I’m interested in this part of the world and really enjoyed its contribution to the narrative. While their is an element of romance in both the setting and the plot, it is nicely undercut by
Greville Waterman
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gaelic Noir!

A new writer for me to discover and enjoy and enjoy it I most certainly did.

This tale takes us to the Hebrides and introduces us to DI Torquil McKinnon of the West Uist police and the acquaintance is well worth while. A Gaelic poet is murdered at the local literary festival and all sorts of red herrings emerge before the mystery is solved.

The book is well written, fairly brief and spare and engages from the start.

A worthy addition to the ranks of excellent police procedurals.
Aug 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
The Gathering Murders was this month’s read at the Kindle English Mystery Club on Goodreads. I have to admit it, rather red-facedly, it was my selection. I struggled starting this as the beginning didn’t grab me at all. I liked the setting and the idea of murders at a literary festival, but the characters, a he-man motorcycling bagpiping cop and the leather wearing, motorcycling “Queen of Crime” came across as caricatures rather than life-like characters. The resolution was a little far-fetched ...more
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Utterly boring story and characters.
I would actually give the book 4.5 stars! I loved it but for the lack of dialogue to begin with and mostly description. To me it makes a book too "heavy" like I am reading a text book. When I began, I actually pondered whether to continue and if I would enjoy it. So glad I did though.

Keith Moray takes us deep into the landscape of the Hebrides as he recounts this highland Scottish murder mystery with all the local overtones from the community to the harmonious Gaelic dialect. "The Gathering
Graham McGhie
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Gripping Thriller set on a remote Scottish Island:
Set in the (fictional) scenic island of West Uist, part of the Hebrides, a murderer is on the loose as the Island population swells for the annual cultural "Gathering". Inspector Torquil McKinnon is tasked with apprehending a murderer who seems set to reduce the number of renown Scottish writers single-handed. This is a comfortable read with a good plot which will keep you guessing all the way to the final chapter. As the first book in a series
Apr 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Gathering Murders is the first in a series of crime novels set on a fictitious island in the Outer Hebrides. West Uist has only three police officers – recently promoted Inspector Torquil McKinnon, Sergeant Morag Driscoll and Constable Ewan McPhee, aided by two special constables, the Drummond twins. The writer evokes a strong sense of place and the isolation of living in this remote part of Scotland. This is particularly apparent in the forensic examination of crime scenes – here they can’t ...more
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Gathering and Literary Festival takes ache on the small Hebrides island of West Uist. It is a combination of sporting events, piping contests, and Literary lectures. It is visited by hundreds of people looking for enjoyment. However, death appears to be on the program. The island's foremost poet, Ranald Buchanald is found dead in what appears an accident. Then, however, Fiona Cullen, a well known crime writer and once girl friend of Inspector Torquil MacKinnon, is found murdered.
I knew
Bruce McNair
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The small Scottish Hebrides island of West Uist is host to a combined Highland Gathering and Literary festival. But during the festivities, two of the celebrities end up dead. Inspector Torquil McKinnon is put in charge of the investigation even though he had a relationship with one of the victims. In an attempt to stop the killer from fleeing, he stops everybody from leaving the island. And he incurs the wrath of his superintendent over his handling of the case. Can he catch the killer? And can ...more
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Pen name of Keith Moray Souter, also writes as Keith Souter and Clay More.

Other books in the series

Inspector Torquil McKinnon (5 books)
  • Deathly Wind (Inspector Torquil McKinnon #2)
  • Murder Solstice (Inspector Torquil McKinnon #3)
  • Flotsam and Jetsam (Inspector Torquil McKinnon #4)
  • Death in Transit (Inspector Torquil McKinnon #5)