Beneath the Abbey Wall
is A.D. Scott's third mystery in a series that features employees of the Highland Gazette, a fictional newspaper set in the Scottish Highlands during the 1950s. Following A Small Death in the Great Glen
(2010) and A Double Death on the Black Isle
(2011), which hinged on crimes the staff reported, this latest installment hits closer to home. Mrs. Smart (neé Joyce Mackenzie), the inimitable office manager, is murdered, and Don McLeod, the deputy editor and Joyce's lover, is arrested despite seemingly little evidence. Editor-in-chief McAllister and Rob McLean, a twenty-two-year old reporter and the son of the local solicitor, rally to vindicate their colleague with the help of Jimmy McPhee, a local Traveller (see Beyond the Book). Together the men uncover a long list of secrets: about Joyce's family; the reason behind her...
Beyond the Book
One of the plot details in Beneath the Abbey Wall
involves a family of Travellers whose histories twine with the murder victim's Jimmy McPhee, and his mother Jenny McPhee, a highly regarded storyteller.
In Scotland, the Traveller population is referred to by the government as Scottish Gypsies/Travellers (distinct from Irish Travellers), though the names members use to refer to themselves varies by region. Travellers is more common in the Highlands, while...