Legend in Green Velvet

Legend in Green Velvet - Elizabeth Peters A fun romp of a mystery though Scotland, complete with all the kitsch an American gal sold on Scotland and the Highlands could want - including a hero who looks like a member of the Royal family without his beard! Interesting that someone so enamored of Scotland should be so attracted to someone who looks like Prince Charles! That Prince Charles has never been very attractive, IMO, so I looked up pictures of him in that era; I still don't see the attraction. Too bad, I had much higher hopes for our hero, Jamie.The story starts with a good, solid introduction to our heroine, Susan. Scotland is her passion, and she knows all things Scotland, including it's history, it's poets, and it's poetry. Susan's imaginary friends and later, imaginary boyfriends, included Bonnie Prince Charlie, not the pop stars of her day. So when Susan gets the chance to join an archaeological dig in the middle-of-nowhere Scotland, she saves her pennies and heads off. But first, a quick stop in Edinburgh for some sight seeing.Except a madman/poet Tammas slips part of an old Scots poem into her purse during one of his ranting, wild-eyed public monologues... and despite the locals thinking of him as only "color", Susan is quickly whirled into dangerous intrigue. A good-looking American who calls himself Jackson joins her tour the next day, and he seems to be interested in all things Susan. Until he lures her off into the nearby scrub and violently kisses her - yes, violently; she's bruised in the encounter, and her purse is spilled (deliberately?). And when she returns to her hotel room, Susan discovers it in shambles. Why? Over a scrap of old poetry?When Susan sees Tammas again the next evening, he runs from her, and she follows him through the streets and back alleys of Edinburgh. At one point, she's pelted with rocks and falls, skinning her knees; to escape the rock onslaught, she rushes up the stairs to fall into the arms of.... a masked man in full Highland dress - the dress of Bonnie Prince Charlie. This masked man, James (or Jamie), takes her to the party he was just heading out for, where she tries to tell him her story, but Susan doesn't think Jamie believes her. Until he takes her to Tammas' house... where they find Tammas dead - stabbed. With his last breaths, Tammas struggled to get near a hammer and a stone. Why? What message was he trying to send?Soon Jamie & Susan are on the run, fugitives accused of murdering Tammas. There's a lot of camping in caves, talk about food, eating of food, some cuddling... Jamie ends up in a kilt and shaves his bushy beard and mustache, where Susan discovers that Jamie looks like a member of the Royal family and uses it to their advantage to get first-aid, food, shelter, and even a motorcycle.But what the heck is going on? Why is the dig site so important? What is this mystery about?-------------------It does take awhile for the pieces to fall into place. And there are a couple of shocking moments when Susan is literally slapped or punched by a man. I truly didn't expect those moments in an otherwise fluffy and "fun" adventure. Although I must say that via Susan, the author delivers a succinct summary of the fuss about why the Stuarts claimed the thrones of Scotland and England. There's some good history in here, if you don't skip it to get to the action. Again, through Susan, the history is good "color" and well-told.But the overall "mystery" and all the falderal surrounding it... reminded me of a Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew story with kissing, some slapping of the heroine, and some mild violence.