The Shetland Sea Murders Launched Aboard The Swan

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23 August 2021

The Shetland Sea Murders, the latest book by local author Marsali Taylor, and the ninth in her gripping mystery series, was recently launched aboard the traditional sailing vessel the Swan. This was a fitting venue, as the book is largely inspired by the Swan, and partially set aboard her...

A number of people attended the launch, enjoying light refreshments before Marsali welcomed everyone and read part of the first chapter of her book, set aboard the Swan. She also spoke about the inspirations for her latest book, including her own trips on the Swan and the stories she heard aboard from one of our long standing volunteers, Ian Nicolson – who she has credited in the book.

Marsali spoke fondly of her trips aboard Swan and those she has met through the Swan Trust, as well as her delight at being able to launch her book aboard: “Following a tough 18 months for everyone, it is fantastic to be able to launch my latest book in person on a historic vessel that I love. The Swan was a big part of the inspiration for this book and I hope it inspires readers to take their own trip aboard this wonderful vessel. I myself still hope to one day sail to St Kilda aboard the Swan - maybe next year!…”

Mary Irvine, Trustee at The Swan Trust said: “We were thrilled when Marsali told us her next mystery was to be inspired by, and partially set aboard, the Swan. I really enjoyed the launch aboard, and am looking forward to reading my signed copy!”

The Shetland Sea Murders sees indomitable sailor Cass Lynch helping out aboard the Swan, for her last chartered sailing trip of the season, to the islands of Vementry, Papa Stour and Foula. Anchored off Vementry, the crew are awoken in the middle of the night by a Mayday call to the Shetland coastguard. A fishing vessel has become trapped on the dangerous Ve Skerries. In the days that follow, there’s both a shocking murder and a baffling death. On the surface there’s no link, but when Cass becomes involved it is soon clear that her life is also in danger. Convinced that someone sinister is at work in these Shetland waters, Cass is determined to find and stop them. But uncovering the truth could prove to be deadly…

The Shetland Sea Murders can be purchased through online retailers, including the Shetland Times Bookshop.

If you would like to help support the Swan, follow these links to donate or volunteer with the Trust.


Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

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