MLA Gold Award Site

Excerpt from Beneath the Abbey Wall by A. D. Scott, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Beneath the Abbey Wall

by A. D. Scott

Beneath the Abbey Wall
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Nov 2012, 352 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Karen Rigby

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


McAllister had met her before but could not say he knew her. He stood. "Countess Sokolov."

"Please, no formalities, I prefer to be know as Mrs. Sokolov. Even though I am legally a countess, it sounds so pretentious."

As she smiled, McAllister saw that her eyes, as pale blue as a duck's egg, had that ethereal quality which, in a photograph, would make the eyes seem empty.

"I can see by your dram it must be . . . unfortunate." She said this to her brother. "Do you want to tell me now or shall I make tea first?"

"Tea first, please." Beech believed not so much in tea for shock, more in the tea ritual.

The three sat around a small table set by a window overlooking a profusion of flowerless shrubs that McAllister, being a Glaswegian, guessed to be azalea, the only garden plant he knew.

Rosemary Sokolov poured, saw her brother stir two spoons of sugar into his cup, and knew this was not going to be good news.

"Mrs. Smart has been killed." Beech was gentle but direct in his speech. They were both of an age where they had seen too much of death to use platitudes. "There is no way to soften this—my dear, the police are saying she was murdered."

Rosemary looked into her cup as though searching for an explanation in the tea leaves—or perhaps to hide the salt water in her eyes. "That poor woman—after all she has been through . . . "

They were silent for a moment, the pause like the one minute's silence on Armistice Day, to reflect on the dead. The phrase would stick in McAllister's mind. After all she has been through.

"I'm sorry," McAllister said putting his teacup carefully back into the delicate saucer, "there is not much I can tell you. But if and when I do hear more, I'll let you know." He stood. "Please excuse me, I must get back to the office."

Beech saw him out. "I'll come in this afternoon," he said, "see if I can be of any help."

"I'd be grateful."

They shook hands. The idea of Beech in the office was reassuring. The much older man had a calming presence and a good sense of the milieu of a newspaper. He knew all the casual correspondents and contributors. His name alone was enough to calm the most querulous complainants. His voice, when he telephoned to ask a favor or two from recalcitrant councilors or noble lords, made the listener believe that their opinion mattered. Plus, the family name, and that of the matriarchal lineage, made him a formidable figure in Highland society.

Thank goodness I can rely on Beech, was McAllister's thought as he strode off along the river to the town and the next edition of the Highland Gazette. We will surely need all the help we can get.

Excerpted from Beneath the Abbey Wall by A. D Scott. Copyright © 2012 by A. D Scott. Excerpted by permission of Atria Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Scottish Gypsies/Travellers

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Everyone Brave is Forgiven
    Everyone Brave is Forgiven
    by Chris Cleave
    I've always been interested in the history of the Blitz, the period of intense aerial raids of ...
  • Book Jacket: Saving Montgomery Sole
    Saving Montgomery Sole
    by Mariko Tamaki
    Understanding identity is one the most important parts of adolescence. For some teenagers, those who...
  • Book Jacket: All Tomorrow's Parties
    All Tomorrow's Parties
    by Rob Spillman
    In this absorbing memoir, co-founder of Tin House magazine, Rob Spillman, recalls his artistic ...
Win this book!
Win The 100 Year Miracle

50 Copies to Give Away!

The 100 Year Miracle is a rich, enthralling novel, full of great characters.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Alaskan Laundry
    by Brendan Jones

    A fresh debut novel about a young woman who moves to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper
    by Phaedra Patrick

    In a poignant and sparkling debut, a lovable widower embarks on a life-changing adventure.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Sign O T T

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.