'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Double Death on the Black Isle

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.
synopsis by amazon

A.D. Scott did it again! A great story, well developed characters and another 'OH WOW!' ending!

We open with the local newspaper reporters Joanne and Rob on a huge breaking story, just in time for their first edition of the 'New and Improved' Highland Gazette. A fishing boat in the harbor has an explosion on board. Sandy, the boat's owner and skipper isn't answering questions and seems to have a chip on his shoulder. Who and what caused the explosion? Why were there not local boys on the crew? What was it doing in the harbor? 
We are introduced to a new character here at the explosion, Hector. He is a photographer, an odd little man with a great eye for photos. He joins the Highland Gazette and struggles to be part of the team. His photos become key in solving the mysteries, but will Hector be excepted as one of team?

Joanne's friend Patricia is a domineering sort of girl and seems to be involved at the center of the deaths. She unexpectedly marries Sandy, the boat skipper, and he falls to his death shortly after they are married. On the same day, Frazier, the good for nothing son of the estate manager is found dead in a ditch on estate property. The Traveling People are blamed for Frazier's death and two of the boys are arrested. But did they do it? How is Patricia implicated in these deaths? What about Frazier's parents who practically raised Patricia? What about Patricia's cold, self centered mom, how does she play into all this? She wasn't happy about Patricia's marriage to a 'commoner'. Will Joanne be able to put her friendship with Pat to the side and report honestly and unbiased? Or will she lose the story that could make her career to protect her friend?

I loved watching Joanne grow and blossom in this story! As we found out in the first book, she is a victim of spousal abuse in a time and culture where it was swept under the rug and the man was always right. Goodness, Joanne couldn't even go in the pub with the guys for a drink after a good days work, woman weren't allowed. They had to go sit in the 'snugs', little rooms off the main bar.We get to see the growing seeds of Independence in Joanne in this story. But she has a hard time standing up to Patricia and her husband Bill. Will she finally be able to come into her own and stand up to Pat? Will she finally have the courage to defend herself against Bill? Will he take the kids away from her? Will she finally have the belief in herself that Mac, the editor, has in her? Will Joanne and Mac move closer to being together?Read the book and find out! 

And just like in her lat book Ms. Scott leaves us with a big 'WOW' ending!

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars and can't wait for another installment from A.D. Scott.


  1. Wow endings are great :) One of the things that frustrate me when reading is when I'm really liking a book, and then the ending falls really flat :(

    Sounds like this author managed to combine a great story with well-drawn characters here.

    Great review :)

  2. I'll be reading this one soon, so I just had to read your review. Looks as though I have another excellent book from Scott to look forward to!


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