An Introduction to the Continuing Characters in the Liss MacCrimmon Scottish-American Heritage Mysteries


         Liss MacCrimmon is the sleuth in Kaitlyn Dunnett's mystery series, set in modern-day Maine.
         Liss had been earning her living as a professional Scottish dancer with a company called Strathspey (think Riverdance, only Scottish) but a career-ending knee injury sends her back to her home town, Moosetookalook, Maine, to recover. There, since this is a mystery series, she soon comes face-to-face with murder.
         The name MacCrimmon is an important one in Scottish history. The MacCrimmons were a famous family of bagpipers. Depending on who you believe, they originally came to Scotland from Cremona in Italy, or from Ireland. I thought this would be a particularly appropriate name for a character in a series that has a Scottish heritage theme running through it. As for the first name Liss (not Lisa as some of the online bookstores have it), it is short for Amaryllis. Her mother, Violet, named her Amaryllis Rosalie MacCrimmon.
         The first book in the series, Kilt Dead came out in August 2007 in hardcover, followed by the paperback edition in July 2008. There were also Mystery Guild and large print editions. The other books in the series so far are Scone Cold Dead (2008), A Wee Christmas Homicide (2009), The Corpse Wore Tartan (2010), Scotched (2011), and Bagpipes, Brides, and Homicides (2012).

Above is the inspiration for one of the most important continuing characters in the Liss MacCrimmon Mystery Series, Lumpkin the cat. Although described in the books as "a big yellow tom," in reality he is buff-colored. He doesn't weigh quite as much as his fictional counterpart, either, although he's making every effort to reach that point!

For more information on Lumpkin and his origins, and more cat photos, click here:


Dan Ruskin is also an important continuing character in the series. Liss has known Dan since they were kids together. As Kilt Dead opens, he owns the house she grew up in, works in his father's construction business, and is a custom woodworker on the side. Most importantly, he's there to help out when she needs him.

For anyone who wonders where the inspiration for Dan's woodworking came from, you have only to look at the website of Kaitlyn's husband, found by clicking here:

I now have a separate page on Dan and his family, with illustrations. Please visit by clicking here:




to send email to Kaitlyn Dunnett, click here:


© 2007-12 Kathy Lynn Emerson (aka Kaitlyn Dunnett). All rights reserved.

Last updated 11/16/12