Beneath the Abbey Wall is the first book I have read by A.D. Scott and I quite liked it. It read, for me, a little bit like a newsroom version of George Gently. There are twists and turns that start with the murder of the Highland Gazette's office manager. Part of my enjoyment of the story is the interaction between the characters as the story evolves. Another part is the different characters' reactions to each new development. The best part of the book was, for me, the different levels of Mrs. Smart's personality and past that were revealed as the story went on.
A murder, changing times, a new face in town with links to the past, good characters that change and evolve, a dark facet of local history unearthed. All of that and a great setting combine to provide the reader with a good solid read.
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.