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Beneath the Abbey Wall (Joanne Ross #3)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  300 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Now the acclaimed mystery series about a newspaper staff in a 1950s Highlands town continues--everything is quiet and quaint until one of their own is murdered. In a small Scottish town, the local newspaper staff doesn't see much excitement. But that all changes when their no-nonsense office manager Mrs. Smart is found murdered one dreary autumn night. For the staff of the...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published November 13th 2012 by Atria Books (first published November 1st 2012)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,119)
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Amber Midgett
Maybe I’m just not meant for the genre. It is entirely possible that A.D. Scott’s latest novel is a work of brilliance in the world of mystery titles, but I would never guess.
The story opens with journalist McAllister (does he have a first name?) being called in to the morgue to identify a body – it turns out to be an employee of his, Mrs. Smart. When he delivers the news to his team that she has been murdered, nobody takes it as hard as Don McLeod, who drinks himself into a stupor before bei...more
Helen
This is the third in MS Scott's series about the northwest of Scotland, at the outflow end of the Great Glen, in the 1950's. American rock has just begun to reach the north so the weekend dances are beginning to have two halves, the old folks and the teenagers. The Highland Gazette is thriving under the new editor, Joanne is becoming accepted as a reporter and Rob's band, the Meltdown Boys has added some Everly Brothers to their play list. It's fine until the Sunday evening when Mrs. Smart's bod...more
Laura
I am not sure what I expected from this mystery novel, and I'm still left hanging as to whether that helped my rating for this.

"Beneath the Abbey Wall" contained all of my favorite elements for the perfect gothic mystery: historically placed, set in Scotland, small community, a mysterious death that throws everything off-balance. The characters were nothing spectacular, which is excellent: no one wants to read about the most perfect person on the planet. We have the traditional commanding McAlli...more
Janet
Murder Mystery
1957, Inverness,Scotland. The 3rd book in a series of the "Highland Gazette."

Murder, Mayhem and Melancholy find their way among the staff of the "Highland Gazette", this time. One is viciously killed (Mrs. Smart) - found dead beneath the Abbey Wall. Another has been arrested (Don McLeod) for the murder and remains in the gaol (jail) - broken down and without hope. The Police have their man. A seemingly open and shut case. It is up to McAllister and the rest to find the guilty party...more
Nicole
After my professor handed me my first advanced copy of a book ever, I quickly began reading it. Because she covered the back, I knew virtually nothing about the book or its author. I think going into it so blind led to some disappointment on my end.
The prologue suggests an otherworldly presence the night an unnamed man finds the Highland Gazette’s office manager, Mrs. Smart, dead. Though not partial to murder mysteries, I love paranormal stories. Thus, the prologue really peaked my interest. Sev...more
Peggy
What can I say... Ms. Scott did it again! In this third installment of the 'Highland Gazette' series we are transported back to 1957 to the small town in Scotland and a visit with the staff of The Highland Gazette! I've been waiting a year for it and I wasn't disappointed!

Mrs. Smart wasn't really a key player in the last two books, just a background character. This book she gets front and center even though she is dead. We learn a lot about her and her past. Don McLeod the paper's Deputy Editor...more
Hana Howard
The story revolves around characters involved in unrequited love, seeking love, and disregarding love. The mystery seems to be a background for these people to learn from their mistakes of the past and get things right going forward.

The setting is the Highlands in the year 1957 in a small Scottish town. When Mrs. Joyce Eileen Smart the office manager of the local newspaper is found murdered, the staff of the paper find themselves at the center of news. For the staff of the "Highland Gazette," th...more
Hilary
Tragedy strikes the Gazette's office when one of their own is found dead, and before long nothing is as it seemed. Even Joanne's life is no longer simple - she's falling for the handsome foreigner - and McAllister fears he might lose her.
Barbara Townsend
I so wanted to enjoy this book. I love books where the locale is Scotland. I normally read novels in a series in order, but I bought this novel in a bookstore in Canada. There were references to prior novels that I disregarded. The omniscience and multiple PVs were distracting. I had to re-read the first ten pages because I couldn't figure out who was who and what was what. The long strings of adjectives were annoying. Disjointed, hard to read, sentences seemed almost out of order.
Diane S.
3.5 This is the third book in this series, set in Scotland in a 1950's newsroom. I love how each of her book covers have a different color tartan plaid. This is a solid who done it, not alot of blood and gore, no gruesome serial killer, just a character centered mystery and old fashioned follow the clues. Along the way we are treated to some of the Scottish countryside and some very relateable characters. I enjoy these. ARC from publisher.
Jill
This is the third book in a somewhat cozy murder mystery series set in the 1950’s in the Scottish Highlands. The recurring characters operate a small newspaper, the Highland Gazette. Sometimes, in order to get the bottom of a story, they end up investigating and solving a crime as well.

In this book, one of their own, the the Gazette’s office manager, Joyce Smart, is found murdered. The paper’s deputy editor, Don McLeod, is the chief suspect. The other members of the staff can’t believe Don is gu...more
Kris
3.5 STARS


In Book one and two Mrs. Smart - the newspaper's office manager - is a background character. We do not find out much about her but she is reliable and holds the Highland Gazette together. The lack of detail of her life and her no nonsense attitude intrigued me and I was hoping in this book we would learn more.

It has been a few months since the last novel and in this book the Highland Gazette is thoroughly rocked. First there is the death of Mrs. Smart and then Don McLeod is charged for...more
Leslie
This is an amazing mystery--atmospheric, character-driven, surprising (and I won't say more). I expect it will make an excellent discussion book. My favorite quote from the book: "Hector had spent the past weeks scuttling around like a demented guinea pig." How's that for description? Hilarious.
Susan
John McAllister leads a small newspaper staff determined to move the weekly Highland Gazette into the mid-20th century. However, when the business manager, an older lady who holds the paper’s production together, is murdered things threaten to fall apart. It doesn’t help that the deputy editor is in prison charged with the killing. The setting and most of the characters show a lot of promise for an interesting series. However I found, Joanne Ross, the central figure, quite repulsive. In this ins...more
Elaine
I picked this gem up for a song at a chain bookstore - I was hooked into buying it by the fact that the story centered around a local newspaper in Scotland.

We never meet Mrs. Joyce Smart, the murder victim, but through her co-workers and towns people who want to see her killer brought to justice, we come to know her as a full character in the story.

My heart ached along with Joanne Ross's, McAllister's and Don McLeod's and leaped with joy whenever there was a shred of hope glimmering on the hor...more
Ann
The staff at the "Highland Gazette" are back. In this installment, Mrs. Smart, the office manager is found murdered on the steps of an abbey. Don MacLeod is arrested for the murder and imprisoned. McAllister and the other members of the Gazette staff all try to find out who was the murderer. Was it a stranger, or Mrs. Smart's husband, a former soldier who lost both legs in India. This is a good book with a good plot. I knew who did it but couldn't figure out how it was done. A very good read.
Bonnie
It is 1957 in a small town in the Highlands of Scotland when a man taking a shortcut home sees a hand reaching out from a bundle of sacks. This inciting force at the beginning of the novel starts the action immediately. The murdered woman turns out to be office manager for the local newspaper called the Highland Gazette. Joanne Ross is a reporter who assumes Mrs. Smart's duties while a freelance writer working on a thesis adds intrigue and a romantic intrigue to the office dynamics.

The editor o...more
Melissa
I wasn't too crazy about the first book, but was intrigued by the 2nd book. With this book-I'm completely hooked. I love how the author took minor characters introduced in the previous books and made an intriguing murder mystery. Hoping there will be a #4 in this series!

"Now the acclaimed mystery series about a newspaper staff in a 1950s Highlands town continues--everything is quiet and quaint until one of their own is murdered. In a small Scottish town, the local newspaper staff doesn't see muc...more
June Ahern
I am unsure what to think of this novel, "Beneath The Abbey Wall" by A.D.Scott. I chose it because of the setting, a small town in the Highlands of Scotland. The title and cover were also enticing. The story, which takes place in the later 1950's, begins with a murder of a well respected no-nonsense, but quite private woman, Mrs. Smart. The murder of Mrs. Smart, the office manager of the local newspaper, "The Highland Gazette" is of course, a shock. Such a nice woman! They declare. Never the les...more
Barbara
BENEATH THE ABBEY WALL
AD Scott
This is the third in the series featuring Joanne Ross, a reporter for a weekly newspaper in small town close to Aberdeen, Scotland. The series is set in the mid-1950’s, when single mothers had their babies taken from them, “for the good of the child”, and divorce was practically a crime. Joanne is separated from her abusive husband, trying to find the proof of his infidelity to divorce him, and the mother of two young girls. And she works at a job outside the home!...more
Suspense Magazine
It’s 1957 in the Scottish Highlands. American rock ‘n roll music is popular and so is television, but the government still blanks the screens for one hour in the evening. There are small town successes and woes for the staff of the local newspaper. There is also murder and one of their own is suspected. Welcome to the second Highlands murder novel by A.D. Scott.

Mrs. Smart, the Gazette’s office manager is found knifed and the paper’s top editor, Don McLeod is the number one suspect. The staff mus...more
Anne
Mystery fans who like Tartan Noir Scottish mysteries might enjoy A.D. Scott's three mysteries set in a small highland town in the 1950's.

A Small Death in the Great Glen (2010)
A Double Death on the Black Isle (2011)
Beneath the Abbey Wall (2012)

Not quite dark and brooding enough to be considered 'Tartan Noir' and definitely not as dark as Ian Rankin's Inspector Rebus mysteries, these books will appeal to fans of Val McDermid or Kate Atkinson. I just finished the third in Scott's series.

Beneath the...more
Cathy Cole
Once again A.D. Scott has worked her magic and drawn me into the world of Inverness, Scotland, in the late 1950s. Attitudes may be changing quickly elsewhere, but in this small Highland town, change doesn't come easily... or fast. The cast of characters fit this setting beautifully. McAllister, a newspaper man from Glasgow, wants to modernize the paper and make it a success. Reporter Joanne Ross has put an end to her abusive marriage. Hector Bain, staff photographer and "serial nuisance" may be...more
Lynn
Beneath the Abbey Wall is a wonder. It's set in a little Scottish town that you can just picture in your mind, with a weekly newspaper, quirky characters, and a handsome stranger who wears blue jeans [unheard of]. The year is 1957.


A love story, or maybe two or three. A haunting theme of children stolen from Tinkers [Gypsies] and put in orphanages or sent abroad for adoption. A woman is murdered; a suspect arrested. His lawyer and most of the town think him innocent, but how to prove it?


A single...more
Janet Meissner
I loved the Scottish setting. A universally liked woman on The Highland Gazette in a small Scottish town is murdered. It appears that if her murder is to be solved, it will be up to the paper's staff to do the investigation. The murder seemed solved until I read the last few paragraphs. Now I'm going to have to pass the book around to get friends to read it and weigh in on who-dun-it.
Margaret Wichorek
THis is the third mystery in a series set in the Scottish Highlands. The principal characters are mostly employees of a small weekly newspaper ,circa mid 1950's, along with a some local townsfolk and a some Travelers(tinkers). The books are very atmospheric. the characters interesting and the plots are excellent. There is one more book yet to read in the series and I'm looking forward to that.
writer...
Added to both Scotland & Canadian Reading Challenges 2013. The setting is familiar and descriptive Scottish Highlands while a main character is Canadian with plenty of Canadian historic detailing.

Absolutely blindsided by this novel. My head was still spinning days after completing the final twist and the final page. A murder committed that effectively brings the past into the present in unusual ways, affecting more than a few individuals and adding relational chaos to several.

Beside the comp...more
Rita	 Marie
The third in a series set in 1957 Scotland, this is the best yet. All three have wonderful twisty plots (very twisty!) and interesting characters, plus a dash of romance here and there. But the first two suffered from some not-so-wonderful writing -- repeating phrases, long draggy sections, etc.

Excellent writing in this one, although the very last bit of ending is a tad peculiar, almost as if one can't be sure what the author intends. A few paragraphs conflict completely with everything that ha...more
Amy
Apr 15, 2014 Amy added it
Enjoyed - appreciated the way the characters rallied around their friend, and did the best to help determine what really happened.
Sherry Meador
This series keeps getting better, this is 3rd in the series. Looking forward to #4
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3393105
Pen name of Ann Deborah Nolan.

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 theatre, in magazines, and as a knitwear designer and currently lives in Vietnam and north of Sydney, Australia.
More about A.D. Scott...
A Small Death in the Great Glen A Double Death on the Black Isle: A Novel North Sea Requiem The Low Road: A Novel Advances in Soil Science, Volume 6

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