A Small Death in the Great Glen

Written by A. D. Scott
Review by Helene Williams

There’s a lot going on in a small Scottish town in 1956. The local paper, the Highland Gazette, is struggling to define itself as a bona-fide news source rather than just a local gossip rag. John McAllister, the new editor-in-chief, has his own internal demons to fight. Joanne Ross is the only woman on staff, and she yearns to define herself as something other than someone’s wife and mother. She fights both the boys’ club feeling that women don’t work outside the home, and her husband, who returned from World War II a virtual stranger. Both the local gypsies and the European immigrants are mistrusted. Oh, and a young boy has been found dead in the canal—murdered. Thus begins the first in A.D. Scott’s mystery series. The scenery is definitely mid-century Highland, as are the attitudes. There’s some late 20th-century foreshadowing, but overall the tone is authentic and the action intriguing. The family scenes are touching and show a real interest in the characters, and Scott ties up the many ends of her introductory tale with aplomb.