Summary and book reviews of Beneath the Abbey Wall by A. Scott

Beneath the Abbey Wall

by A. D. Scott

Beneath the Abbey Wall by A. D. Scott X
Beneath the Abbey Wall by A. D. Scott
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Nov 2012, 352 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Karen Rigby
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

As a decade of change comes to a close, murder hits close to home in a small Scottish town...

On a dark, damp Sunday evening, a man taking a shortcut home sees a hand reaching out in supplication from a bundle of sacks. In an instant he knows something terrifying has happened.

On a dark, damp Sunday evening, a man taking a shortcut home sees a hand reaching out in supplication from a bundle of sacks. In an instant he knows something terrifying has happened.

In the Highlands in the late 1950s, much of the local newspaper's success was due to Mrs. Smart, the no-nonsense office manager who kept everything and everyone in line. Her murder leaves her colleagues in shock and the Highland Gazette office in chaos. Joanne Ross, a budding reporter and shamefully separated mother, assumes Mrs. Smart's duties, but an intriguing stranger provides a distraction not only from the job and the investigation but from everything Joanne believes in.

Beneath the Abbey Wall brilliantly evokes a place still torn between the safety of the past and the uncertainty of the future, when rock 'n' roll and television invaded homes, and a change in attitudes still came slowly for many. As the staff of the Highland Gazette probes the crime, they uncover secrets deeply rooted in the past, and their friend's murder becomes the perfect fodder for strife and division in the town and between her colleagues.

CHAPTER 1

After twenty-five years as a journalist, McAllister was used to late nights, so when the doorbell rang at twenty past eleven he was awake, reading, and on his third single-malt whisky of the evening. As he put down his book and rose to answer the door, he felt uneasy. Who would be awake in this Scottish Highland town this late on the Sabbath?

Police Constable Ann McPherson stood on the doorstep. "Mr. McAllister. We've found a woman. She's dead. One of my colleagues thinks she works—worked—at the Gazette . . . "

WPC McPherson saw a flash of dread cross McAllister's face. "It's not Joanne."

Ann McPherson knew McAllister and liked the editor of the Highland Gazette; liked his wit, his intellect, and secretly admired his tall dark brooding elegance. She had also guessed at his fascination with Joanne Ross, a reporter on the Gazette, a woman fifteen years younger than his forty-five, a woman whose smile and changeable-as-the-ocean-blue-green eyes and ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

A. D. Scott weaves charged emotion into Beneath the Abbey Wall, a well-paced novel that bridges the gap between British “gentleman detective” mysteries – which include characters such as Hercule Poirot, Inspector Morse, and Adam Dagliesh, among others, and which often entail ingenious executions of a crime – and hardboiled police procedurals that suggest bleak views of humanity...continued

Full Review (419 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

(Reviewed by Karen Rigby).

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Scott vividly evokes Scotland of the period…The well-drawn characters, who come from a range of backgrounds, give a broad view of the social milieu.

Kirkus Reviews
The third installment in this fine character-driven series...expertly evokes an area struggling with a painful past as it seeks a better future.

Booklist
Starred Review. A plot that's ingenious, characters that are both believable and surprising, and evocative Highlands atmosphere make this another must-read.

Author Blurb Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of Hush Now, Don't You Cry
Beautifully written and atmospheric, Beneath the Abbey Wall transports the reader to the bleakness of Scotland after World War II. This has everything I enjoy in a book: a terrific sense of place, real people, complicated relationships and a suspenseful peeling away of layers of back-story.

Author Blurb Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of Hush Now, Don't You Cry
Beautifully written and atmospheric, Beneath the Abbey Wall transports the reader to the bleakness of Scotland after World War II. This has everything I enjoy in a book: a terrific sense of place, real people, complicated relationships and a suspenseful peeling away of layers of back-story.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

Scottish Gypsies/Travellers

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.

Scottish Travellers at the famous Aikey Brae Fair, Aberdeenshire, c.1906In 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 Gypsies is used in the Lowlands and Border areas, with some regarding Gypsies as derogatory, preferring Romas instead. (For more on the Roma people in Britain, view the Beyond the Book for An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear.) Scotland also includes New Travellers, ...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

More books by A. D Scott

If you liked Beneath the Abbey Wall, try these:

  • The Blackhouse jacket

    The Blackhouse

    by Peter May

    Published 2014

    About this book

    More books by this author

    From acclaimed author and television dramatist Peter May comes the first book in the Lewis Trilogy - a riveting mystery series set on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a formidable and forbidding world where tradition rules and people adhere to ancient ways of life.

  • Death of a Dreamer jacket

    Death of a Dreamer

    by M.C. Beaton

    Published 2007

    About this book

    More books by this author

    Newcomers usually don't stay long in remove Lockdubh, Scotland, but artist Effie Garrard settles in and apart from being a dreamer and a little odd, seems to be fine. Then she's found dead, an apparent suicide, but police constable Hamish Macbeth feels in his bones it is murder - but is he too distracted by his own personal affairs to see ...

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Prophet
    by Michael Koryta
    Hot diggity! How can you lose by reading a gritty whodunit about football, even if you're not a ...
  • Book Jacket: Dog Flowers
    Dog Flowers
    by Danielle Geller
    In Dog Flowers, Danielle Geller tells us what is wrong with her family: heavy drinking, abandonment,...
  • Book Jacket: The Sea Gate
    The Sea Gate
    by Jane Johnson
    In Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, set in England, readers are introduced to Becky, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from Suffragette City
    Stories from Suffragette City
    by M.J. Rose, Fiona Davis
    Our First Impressions readers were fascinated by the historical fiction from a range of authors ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Narrowboat Summer
    by Anne Youngson

    From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    At the Edge of the Haight
    by Katherine Seligman

    Winner of the 2019 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates
How can we summon a moment of lift for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
Who Said...

The worst thing about reading new books...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T M T C, T M T Stay T S

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 the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.