Synopses & Reviews
Booklist called A Double Death on the Black Isle, “a stunner…with lots of action, lots of atmosphere.” Now the acclaimed mystery series about a newspaper staff in a 1950s Highlands town continues—everything is quiet and quaint until one of their own is murdered.
In a small Scottish town, the local newspaper staff doesn’t see much excitement. But that all changes when their no-nonsense office manager Mrs. Smart is found murdered one dreary autumn night. For the staff of the Highland Gazette, the investigation becomes personal when the deputy editor, is accused of the crime.
It’s the late 1950s, the decade of rock n’ roll and television, and change is coming, but slowly. It’s up to budding reporter Joanne Ross to step into Mrs. Smart’s shoes and keep the newspaper office running, all while raising two girls alone. But newcomer Neil Stewart proves a major distraction for Joanne.
And what does the tragic tale of children stolen from the Travelling people more than thirty years previously have to do with this murder? In a mystery with twists and turns and no clear-cut solution, the secrets of the past must be unravelled before justice can be found.
Beneath the Abbey Wall is a finely wrought, atmospheric mystery that ratchets up the thrills, pulling you into the chilling grip of small-town life in Scotland where every corner is haunted by the past.
"In Scott's appealing third novel set in the 1950s Scottish Highlands (after 2011's A Double Death on the Black Isle), the arrest of Donal McLeod, the Highland Gazette's deputy editor, for fatally stabbing the newspaper's business manager, Mrs. Smart, throws the newsroom into chaos. None of the staff can believe Donal is capable of cold-blooded murder, least of all editor McAllister and reporter Joanne Ross, who set out to find the real killer. The police, on the other hand, think Donal had ample motive as a major beneficiary of Mrs. Smart's will. Scott vividly evokes Scotland of the period, where tweed skirts are de rigueur for women, and separation from a spouse is almost unheard of. The well-drawn characters, who come from a range of backgrounds, give a broad view of the social milieu especially Glaswegian McAllister, a relative newcomer to the Highlands. Agent: Peter McGuigan, Foundry Literary + Media." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Beautifully written and atmospheric, Beneath the Abbey Wall
transports the reader to the bleakness of Scotland after World War II. This has everything I enjoy in a book: a terrific sense of place, real people, complicated relationships and a suspenseful peeling away of layers of back-story.” —Rhys Bowen, New York Times
bestselling author of Hush Now, Don't You Cry
"The third installment in this fine character-driven series...expertly evokes an area struggling with a painful past as it seeks a better future."
“Scott vividly evokes Scotland of the period…The well-drawn characters, who come from a range of backgrounds, give a broad view of the social milieu.”
“A plot that’s ingenious, characters that are both believable and surprising, and evocative Highlands atmosphere make this another must-read.”
“Scott doles out the clues and keeps it interesting all the way to the end.”
“Good solid writing in a character-driven story,”
AS A DECADE OF CHANGE COMES TO A CLOSE, MURDER HITS CLOSE TO HOME IN A SMALL SCOTTISH TOWN. . . .
On a dark, damp Sunday evening, a man taking a shortcut home sees a hand reaching out in supplication from a bundle of sacks. In an instant he knows something terrifying has happened.
In the Highlands in the late 1950s, much of the local newspaper’s success was due to Mrs. Smart, the no-nonsense office manager who kept everything and everyone in line. Her murder leaves her colleagues in shock and the Highland Gazette office in chaos. Joanne Ross, a budding reporter and shamefully separated mother, assumes Mrs. Smart’s duties, but an intriguing stranger provides a distraction not only from the job and the investigation but from everything Joanne believes in.
Beneath the Abbey Wall brilliantly evokes a place still torn between the safety of the past and the uncertainty of the future, when rock ’n’ roll and television invaded homes, and a change in attitudes still came slowly for many. As the staff of the Highland Gazette probes the crime, they uncover secrets deeply rooted in the past, and their friend’s murder becomes the perfect fodder for strife and division in the town and between her colleagues.
About the Author
A. D. Scott was born in the Highlands of Scotland and educated at Inverness Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She has worked in theater and in magazines, and is currently writing the next book in the acclaimed Highland Gazette mystery series.