Book Review: Dementia Adventure & Seaweed In My Hair

Dementia Adventure & Seaweed In My Hair by Miller Caldwell

The holidays are over, but here in northern Michigan winter is settling in for her usual long stay. On these cold winter nights I love to grab a book and a hot beverage (Bailey’s optional) and park myself in my favorite reading chair. And sometimes I like to take a break from my usual nonfiction or sci-fi / fantasy and indulge some less serious reading. So there I was on a couple of nights last week, digging into Miller Caldwell’s paired novellas Dementia Adventure & Seaweed In My Hair.

These stories are numbers two and three in a trilogy set on the Scottish vacation island of Arran. If the setting and the author’s name sound familiar, it may be because I reviewed the first story in this set, Murders at Blackwaterfoot, back in November of last year.

The police constable, Rory Murdoch, who was the main player in the first story retreats to a secondary role in these two stories. 

Dementia Adventure follows retired postman Ronnie Jackson. Ronnie is an early riser, and on a few of his morning walks along the beach he spots what appear to be two men running drugs ashore from a boat. When he reports what he sees to the police he’s greeted with disbelief. Constable Murdoch wonders if Ronnie’s dementia is getting the better of him. Things go downhill for Ronnie as he persists in reporting what he sees on his morning walks to Murdoch. I can’t tell you much more than that without giving away the story. Just know that you’ll find Ronnie a likable and sympathetic character, and that Constable Murdoch doesn’t come off too well in this story.

The next story, Seaweed In My Hair, is the longer of the two stories in this book. It seems that Caldwell has saved his best for last - I found this to be the best of the trilogy. 

In Seaweed, a young couple is doing their best to get ahead in busy London. Kate and Greg Bailey realize that since they have portable work skills they could relocate just about anywhere. Kate is a hairstylist while Greg owns a fitness club.  One day at work, Kate learns about the island of Arran from a client. She’s taken with the idea of relocating there. Greg is less enthusiastic about uprooting from London, for reasons we learn about as the story progresses.

 Again, I don’t want to give too much away. I can tell you that at least one of the two does relocate to Arran, and there suffers an unfortunate encounter with a criminal. (That brings Constable Murdoch back into the picture.) Along the way a romantic tale also unfolds. The combination of the two story lines - the crime and resulting trial, and the romance - actually work quite well together.  

The thing to know about all three of Caldwell’s Arran stories is that they are light reading. The author's writing style is very matter-of-fact, and without a lot of exposition. For me, as an American, I did learn a bit about Arran and Scotland (and it’s justice system) from reading these stories. But mostly, I appreciated them for taking me somewhere else on a few cold winter evenings. Three Stars ⭐⭐⭐ for Dementia Adventure & Seaweed In My Hair.

NOTE: This blog post is my stop on Love Books Tours online tour for Miller Caldwell's Dementia Adventure & Seaweed In My Hair. I received a review copy from the author and Love Books Tours in exchange for participating in the tour and providing a fair and unbiased review.

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Title: Dementia Adventure & Seaweed In My Hair
Author: Miller Caldwell
Publisher: Beul Athris Publishing (Scotland)
Publish Date: August 17, 2021
ISBN-13: 9798457916258
List Price: £10.00 (Paperback as of 01/2022)