North Sea Requiem by A.D. Scott is a truly cozy murder mystery. It’s cozy in the sense that you can sink into the feeling of actually inhabiting the 1950s Highland village that the author describes. Each character is not only vividly painted and unique, they often get their own opportunity to tell their part of the story through their eyes. Scott uses multiple points of view throughout the story, and I enjoyed getting to know so many personalities and seeing the village and the effects of the mystery from different angles. Quite honestly, the mystery itself took the back burner to my enjoyment of the setting and characters. I wanted to work for the Highland Gazette. I wanted to meet Joanne and Mae Bell and all of the other colorful characters inhabiting this story. This beautifully written mystery did included plot twists, red herrings, and all of the other elements that make mysteries shine, but it was the people of the Highlands, the dynamic characters moving this mystery forward, who will stay with me.
When a severed leg is discovered after a sporting match, the staff of the Highland Gazette and many of those in the surrounding village are drawn into the mystery of its meaning and origins, which may just involve a stylish American widow whose Scottish husband disappeared in an flying accident years before.
The fourth gripping, evocative, and lyrical mystery in the acclaimed series that brilliantly evokes the Scottish Highlands of the 1950s.
A. D. Scott’s extraordinary mystery novels have been called “beautifully written and atmospheric” (Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of Hush Now, Don’t You Cry), “a visit with an old friend in front of a fireplace on a cold wintry night” (Suspense Magazine), and “must-reads” (Booklist). In her latest, Scott pits the staff of the Highland Gazette against their greatest adversary yet in a mystery that her fans will relish.
When a woman discovers a severed leg in the boot of one of the local hockey player’s uniforms, it’s a big scoop for the Highland Gazette. But reporter Joanne Ross wants a front page story of her own, and she hopes to find in Mae Bell, an American jazz singer whose husband disappeared in an aircraft accident five years ago and who is searching the Highlands for her husband’s colleagues.
Things take a very sinister turn when Nurse Urquhart, who discovered the severed limb, suffers a hideous and brutal attack. Even stranger, she was the recipient of letters warning her to keep her nose out of someone’s business—letters that Mae Bell and the staff of the Highland Gazette also received. What could it all mean?
Unfolding against a gorgeously rendered Scottish countryside, North Sea Requiem captures the mores and issues of another era, especially in Joanne Ross—a woman wrestling with divorce, career, and a boss who wants to be more than just her superior. The result is a poignant, often haunting mix of violence, loss, and redemption in a narrative full of unnerving plot twists and unforgettable characters.