Fans of Ann Cleeve’s Shetland mysteries must read A.D. Scott! Her Highland Mystery series begins with “A Small Death in the Great Glen”, set in the “fierce and stunning landscape” of Inverness in the mid-1950’s. These books are absolutely captivating, atmospheric, with a host of well realized, intriguing characters and plenty of suspense. The social norms and expectations of the times are well presented, sometimes excruciatingly so as in the case of Joanne Ross, typist at the local newspaper, whose marriage to the abusive Bill is fraught with anguish.
Centered on the local weekly newspaper, the first book in the series examines the dark sides of life in this rural village: sexual abuse, spousal abuse, antipathy toward the Travelers and toward foreigners, and the narrow-mindedness of the times.
Yet, for all of these dark issues, the experience of reading this book and meeting these characters is satisfying and affirming. There is compassion and humor and understanding – and of course plenty of strong tea and good whiskey!