A Double Death on the Black Isle
By A. D. Scott
Atria Books, Paperback, 9781439154946, 357pp.
Publication Date: September 27, 2011
List Price: $15.00*
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Two Women, Two Murders . . .
A stunning and suspenseful story of families, betrayal, and a community divided.
Nothing is ever quite at peace on Scotland’s Black Isle—the Traveling people are forever at odds with the locals, the fishermen have nothing in common with the farmers, and the villages have no connection with the town. But when two deaths occur on the same day, involving the same families from the same estate—the Black Isle seems as forbidding as its name.
Joanne Ross, typist at the Highland Gazette, is torn whether to take on the plum task of reporting on these murders—after all, the woman at the center of both crimes is one of her closest friends. Joanne knows the story could be her big break, and for a woman in the mid-1950s—a single mother, no less—good work is hard to come by.
But the investigation by the staff on the Gazette reveals secrets that will forever change this quiet, remote part of the Highlands. The ancient feudal order is crumbling, loyalties are tested, friendships torn apart, and the sublime beauty of the landscape will never seem peaceful again.
"Scott brilliantly evokes the life of a small Scottish town.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Scott’s writing is engaging, and her plotting Macbethian. The characters of the crusading small-town newspaper are skillfully drawn and will have readers rooting for them unequivocally.” —Booklist
"The characters are engaging, and the suspense mounts along with a growing sense of dread as events surrounding the death of a young boy unfold." —Peter Robinson
“This mystery is a delight to unravel, with its lively dialect-sprouting players, inhabiting a lavishly described, forbidding but beautiful landscape.” —Kirkus
“Oh, what a delight, this book! Almost perfect in every way.” —William Kent Krueger
"Brims with an intimate knowledge of the Scottish Highlands…a novel to savor.”" —Malla Nunn
"An impressive first novel…Scott uses the background of religious intolerance, prejudice and petty jealousies, to bring together an engaging cast of warm and colorful characters." —Ann Cleeves
“Readers…should enjoy Scott's careful attention to creating characters who convincingly belong to a past era's attitudes and values.” –Publishers Weekly
“Set against the bleak beauty of the Highlands, Scott’s second (A Small Death In a Great Glenn, 2010) continues to explore the slow transformation of Scotland from a highly ordered society while presenting a fine mystery with engaging characters." —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
“Another stunner…Lots of action, lots of atmosphere, and above all, lots of fun.” —Booklist (starred)
“As patrician and working classes prepare to do battle, Scott’s well-written mystery is lyrical and arresting." —Curledup.com (blog)