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A Double Death on the Black Isle: A Novel Paperback – September 27, 2011


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A Double Death on the Black Isle: A Novel + Beneath the Abbey Wall (Joanne Ross) + A Small Death in the Great Glen: A Novel
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books; Original edition (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439154945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439154946
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #293,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"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)

About the Author

A. D. Scott was born in the Highlands of Scotland and educated at Inverness Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. She has worked in theater, in magazines, and as a knitwear designer, and currently lives in Vietnam.

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Customer Reviews

Well written and all the loose ends tied up.
paddygirl
Recommended; I can't wait to read the first in the series and will be looking forward to episode #3.
S. McGee
The heroine is strong, the supporting characters well-fleshed out.
Auntie Annie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S. McGee TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
It's 1957 and in a small town in the Highlands, eyebrows are raised when Joanne Ross begins living apart from her husband and goes to work at the local newspaper. But she's becoming intrigued by the job, even as she struggles with her confidence about her ability to pull her weight as more than just a typist. A fire on a fishing boat in the town's harbor ignites a chain of events that end up transforming her life. The fire turns out to be just the first mystery that generate a lot of headline news for Joanne and her colleagues as they relaunch the paper. When two bodies are found on the same day, however, the news is more than just the news: the lives of people close to them are affected.

When I started reading this, I didn't realize it was the second novel in a series (the first being A Small Death in the Great Glen: A Novel. It turned out that that didn't matter too much, after I'd made it through the first few pages in the e-galley I received from the publisher, and I ended up liking the book so much that not only did I stay up until the wee hours over the weekend to find out "whodunnit" but put in an order for book #1 before I finally headed for bed.

That said, what really captivated me most about this mystery wasn't the puzzle itself, but the author's portrayal of the Highlands in the 1950s, an era in which a woman could get a reputation for being "fast" simply by being in a hotel bar with work colleagues, in which summer farm fairs are a highlight of the year and villagers rarely travel more than a dozen miles outside their community.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Auntie Annie VINE VOICE on September 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second book in this series by A.D. Scott. I loved the first, and I immediately upon finishing it, ran out and ordered the second. The series takes place in Scotland, and the protagonist is a young mother (in an abusive marriage), working for a local newspaper and trying to pull her life together while not bringing disgrace upon herself (a divorced woman! shocking!) and her family. The heroine is strong, the supporting characters well-fleshed out. The plots are complex but do not feel contrived. A really really good series from an excellent author!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mandy56 on September 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What can I say? A.D. Scott is a riveting writer. I am from Scottish descent and appreciate her writing about that period in Scotland. It still is that way in some remote areas.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book developed and held my interest by well-developed characters and a beautiful description of rugged landscape and interesting people inhabiting it in northwest Scotland many years ago.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love all her books. you really get into the characters and what life in the Highlands is like, especially for a woman at that time. Well written and all the loose ends tied up.
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By Queen Gyndolyn on August 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While slow moving at times, I enjoyed the story. A great picture of female treatment & life in the high lands during the time period.
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Format: Paperback
Joanne Ross is a single mother with a former abusive husband in the late 1950's. She finds a job as a typist for the Highland Gazette, but because of her former life she is unsure of her own reporting. Rob McLean is a young star reporter who is just using his time at the Gazette to make a name in news. Patricia Ord Mackenzie a childhood friend of Joanne's came from a Highland-gentry family who owned an estate on the Black Isle. Patricia's, beneath her class, fisherman husband and a son of one of the estate farmers both die on the same day. It is easy for Patricia, because of her place in society, to convince everyone that her husband's death was an accident. It was not so easy for the two brothers who had been in a fight with the son of the farmer. They were Tinkers, travelers who moved from estate to estate to help. As the Gazette begins to investigate both deaths Joanne must deal with her friendship, her abusive husband, and the society that objects to a woman who seems to be gaining in confidence.

I actually put off reading this book for a while because I didn't think it would be that interesting, but it grabbed me from the beginning page. This is a book of action and characterization. The mystery is typical, but Scott is good at maintaining interest through different hints and accounts in her writing. This was a great summer read, undemanding and fun with just the right amount of twists and curious developments.

I was given a free copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a review. I am not obligated to give a positive review.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book kept me interested and I enjoyed it very much. the story line moved right along I would pass it on.
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