A Double Death on the Black Isle

A Novel

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.
  • Atria Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439154946 | 
  • September 2011
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for A Double Death on the Black Isle includes discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author A.D. Scott. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.

Topics and Questions for Discussion

1. Joanne and Patricia’s friendship is based on their shared history, but no longer translates as clearly to their present. Look closely at their interactions. How does their relationship evolve over the course of the novel? What moments in the text serve as particular turning points?

2. Were you familiar with the Tinkers (or Travelers) before reading this novel? Are there other minority groups that you find them similar to?

3. Rob is offered a job at the bigger, fancier newspaper in Aberdeen, but he decides to stay at the Highland Gazette. Did you agree with his decision?

4. As Rob thinks through Joanne’s excuses for her bruises, he hits upon the truth: “Joanne, it’s simple. Take him to court, have him locked away. And to his almost twenty-year-old thinking, it was that simple.”  To the narrator and Joanne herself, however, it clearly isn’t. What do you think?

5. Family loyalty is critically important in this novel. Discus see more

More Books from this Author

A Kind of Grief
The Low Road
North Sea Requiem
Beneath the Abbey Wall

About the Author

A. D. Scott
Photo by Etienne Bossot

A. D. Scott

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 and in magazines, and is currently writing the next book in the acclaimed Highland Gazette mystery series.