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Death on a Longship (Shetland Sailing Mysteries #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  193 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
When she talks her way into a job skippering a Viking longship for a Hollywood film, Cass Lynch thinks her big break has finally arrived - even though it means returning home to the Shetland Islands, a place she hasn't set foot on since she ran away as a teenager to pursue her dreams of sailing. When a dead woman turns up on the boat’s deck, Cass, her past and her family c ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published August 15th 2012 by Attica Books
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P.J. O'Brien
Aug 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I could say how much I loved reading this book, or I could give an objective way of measuring that. This weekend, I spent most of my waking time reading it, and I had to force myself to put it down occasionally to go out into the unseasonably mild August sunshine. I’m someone who prefers being out in the garden or by the pond, so this is saying a lot. And as I was getting close to the end, I made myself slow down; I wasn’t ready to leave the setting yet (Shetland) or say fond farewells to Cass, ...more
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mysteries
Recommended by a friend in Shetland.

I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery set in Shetland. The author peppers the book with enough dialect that you learn a few words (there is also a bit of a dictionary 8n the very back) but not so much that the reader would get frustrated.
This first novel in the collection introduces some main characters, with the lead being a woman skipper named Cass. All of the characters are well developed and the story moves at a nice clip.

I need more! Now to the second book.
David Gilchrist
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I love the setting in the Shetlands.The story for me was overlong and convoluted. To the point it was discussed if bed sheets should be changed, seemed the author was trying to reach a word count.
Apr 02, 2018 rated it liked it
Didn’t really take to this to this book.
Cassandra takes a job on a film set that will take her back to her childhood home on Shetland. So far so interesting.
A body is discovered on Cass’s boat, even more interesting, but as we go along everything that is asked of Cass needs a long chapter as she looks back on her life. Every building and room well described, childhood memories gone over in depth, the family home, her father, how she met new friends and remembers old friends.
The death is discove
This was a decent read, decent enough that I would try others in the series. I found it quite hard to get through and didn't find myself caring quite enough about most of the characters. The first in a crime series often has a lot of work to do and can be pretty lumpy... but at least this one has a lot in it and errs on the overstuffed rather than thin side. I see various descriptions of them as 'Cass Lynch Mysteries' and 'Shetland Sailing Mysteries' - lots of Cass with her interesting family ba ...more
Liked this, a bit different (I don't know much about sailing but the author manages to make you understand the main bits and a bit about the sailing world without overloading you with information). The setting is mainly Shetland with a bit of Bergen. The twin theme seems to be turning up in a lot of the books I have read recently! Told from the point of view of an innocent suspect, which is interesting (the police are definitely outsiders in the story). Not a mainstream publisher (in fact one wh ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Leider konnte mich dieser Krimi nicht wirklich überzeugen. Ich fand Cass als Protagonistin einfach schwierig, ich habe keine Beziehung zu ihr aufgebaut und es war mir eigentlich relativ egal, was passiert. Ich habe eigentlich eher immer darauf gewartet, ob jetzt noch irgendeine zwischenmenschliche Beziehung ins Spiel kommt, aber irgendwie ... klar, das Verhältnis zu ihrer Familie gibt da schon auch einiges her, aber trotzdem finde ich, dass Cass schwer zu fassen bleibt. Der Fall an sich ist auch ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it, loved everything about it. Murder, mystery, sailing, the sea, and not over complicated. About to launch into book 2.
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2018
This book was a bit different, totally loved the setting,
Andrew Kirkhouse
Pleasant read

A nice easy read with nothing to taxing to think about. Nice setting , enjoyable read . I will read more of these books
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shetland
Good mystery, interesting characters, and Shetland as a setting.
Rob Cook
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable murder mystery with a hint of Murder She Wrote at the end as the murderer is unmasked. Plenty of suspects and an engaging protagonist. Looking forward to reading some more!
Kayla West
Jan 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
All my life I have wished to be able to sail along the sea. To be able to smell the saltwater fresh in the air and watch as the waves bob me along in my wooden contraption. To watch the sails billowing out as the wind filled them. Alas, I have never lived close by to the water so I have, as of yet, not been able to fulfill this very wish—which makes me greatly appreciate any author who can transport me into the role of a sailor or skipper of a beautiful ocean-bound vessel with just the magic of ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cass Lynch ist auf den Shetlands aufgewachsen und ein Meeresmensch durch und durch. Deshalb verdient sie jetzt auch ihr Geld am allerliebsten damit, dass sie Yachten von A nach B überführt, lebt auf einem Boot und hofft, eines Tages zum Skipper befördert zu werden. Sehr ertragreich ist das nicht, weshalb sie nebenbei als Kellnerin jobbt, doch eines Tages bietet sich ihr eine interessante Chance: für Dreharbeiten zu einem historischen Film wird ein Skipper für ein originalgetreu nachgebautes Wiki ...more
Rebecca Graf
Sep 22, 2012 rated it liked it
Like mysteries? I know I do. That is what drew me to this book as well as its unique title and storyline. Death on a Longship by Marsali Taylor is a very unique mystery.

Cass is a woman struggling with family issues that have haunted her since her teens. She is forced to face them again when she is made skipper of a longship for a movie production that her father is connected with. As she finds the body of one of the main people on the film crew, she thinks back over the last few weeks including
Christine Kling
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am always on the lookout for new authors who have a true gift for writing about boats and the sea, and I am pleased to say I can now add Marsali Taylor to that short list. I’ve just finished her debut mystery, Death on a Longship, about female sailor Cass Lynch who lives aboard her own little sailboat and then lands her first captain’s job as skipper of a Viking longboat being used in a film shot in her home waters in the Shetland Islands.

The first part of the book reveals Cass’s back story by
Norma Bush
Oct 03, 2012 rated it liked it

I received this book as a Good Reads giveaway.

Where to begin:

First -- if the author is interested in this book being successful in the American market, she would do well to edit using American English. British terms, such a "a page of A4 paper," will throw most reader off. And, there are a few typos, duplicate periods, and mid-sentence line breaks which could be removed in the process.

Second -- very few of the average readers live as close to the sea as the author does. I grew up on Puget Sound
Jan 15, 2013 rated it liked it
A lot of Shetland crime reading for me this year, which is ironic considering its virtually crime free status.

Cass is the skipper of a Viking boat being used for a Hollywood film (another everyday occurrence in Shetland) when she discovers a body of one of the film crew. She then has to find the murderer to avoid her family being under suspicion.

Marsali Taylor has lived in Shetland for a long time so her knowledge of the islands really comes from and I am really interested in Shetland dialect gl
Brenda Sparks
Sep 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
I will not give away plot points in this review—nothing worse than knowing who did it in a who-done-it.

The story takes place in Shetland and follows Cass as she becomes skipper of a Longship. The story centers on Cass revisiting her past to learn that things were not as they seem. Ms. Taylor immerses the reader by giving vivid details about Shetland and the places there in. I felt like I was there at times, with her authentic dialog and descriptions.

The writing style is different than what I'm
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as a goodreads first read. It took me a bit to get into it but eventually I got into the story and really enjoyed it. As another reviewer mentioned, there are a few formatting errors in the book and I would also recommend that the author review the dialogue--some of the things that the American characters said seemed a little out of place to me. However aside from that I thought it was a nicely written murder mystery with some great twists! I felt like I learned a lot about ...more
Lexie Conyngham
Jul 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If it's true that a Shetlander is a sailor with a bit of land (by contrast with an Orcadian, who's a farmer with a boat), then this book belongs in Shetland. I spent the first while feeling rather seasick but that is the choice of subject matter rather than the quality of the writing. Otherwise an enjoyable and atmospheric read, with convincing characters amongst the Shetlanders, anyway.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it liked it
Good characters and good story in an unusual setting. Not literature, but really enjoyed it as light reading and want to read others in the series now.
A murder mystery set in the Scottish Isles. Looking forward to reading some more from Marsali Taylor.
Jan 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant start to the Cass series... Could not put the book down....!
anabel m bedard
rated it it was amazing
Mar 21, 2018
Tim Otton
rated it did not like it
Jun 11, 2017
Valerie Schicker
rated it it was amazing
Mar 12, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Jan 03, 2016
rated it liked it
Dec 30, 2017
John Blackley
rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2018
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Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and came to Shetland as a newly-qualified teacher. She is currently a part-time teacher on Shetland’s scenic west side, living with her husband and two Shetland ponies. Marsali is a qualified STGA tourist-guide who is fascinated by history, and has published plays in Shetland’s distinctive dialect, as well as a history of women's suffrage in Shetland. She's a ...more
More about Marsali Taylor

Other books in the series

Shetland Sailing Mysteries (6 books)
  • The Trowie Mound Murders (Shetland Sailing Mysteries #2)
  • A Handful of Ash (Shetland Sailing Mysteries #3)
  • The Body in the Bracken (Shetland Sailing Mysteries #4)
  • Ghosts of the Vikings (Shetland Sailing Mysteries #5)
  • Death in Shetland Waters (Shetland Sailing Mysteries #6)