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

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
  • Book Jacket: So Say the Fallen
    So Say the Fallen
    by Stuart Neville
    Noir crime fiction – Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett anyone? – is an American invention...
  • Book Jacket: The Mothers
    The Mothers
    by Brit Bennett
    Every now and then the publishing industry gushes about a young author destined to become the next ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    News of the World
    by Paulette Jiles

    Exquisitely rendered and morally complex--a brilliant work of historical fiction.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Cruel Beautiful World
    by Caroline Leavitt

    A fast moving page-turner about the naiveté of youth and the malignity of power.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & 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.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.