Tuesday, 23 June 2020

2020 Bloody Scotland Debut Shortlist and McIlvanney Prize Longlist announced

Four years ago the Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award was renamed the McIlvanney Prize in memory of William McIlvanney who is often described as the Godfather of Tartan Noir. Last year Bloody Scotland also introduced a prize for The Bloody Scotland Debut Scottish Crime Book of the Year. This year both are sponsored by the Glencairn Glass. At a time when debut writers have suffered more than anyone else due to bookshop closures the debut prize is more important than ever:

Watch the video as Denise Mina, Richard Osman, Karen Robinson
and Ian Rankinreveal the McIlvanney longlist
and Bloody Scotland Debut Prize shortlist.


Hold Your Tongue Deborah Masson Hold Your Tongue (Transworld)
The Crown Agent Stephen O’Rourke The Crown Agent (Sandstone)
See Them Run Marion Todd See Them Run (Canelo)
Pine Francine Toon   Pine (Doubleday)


Time for the Dead
Lin Anderson Time for the Dead (Macmillan)
Bad Memory Lisa Gray Bad Memory (Thomas & Mercer)
Whirligig Andrew James Greig Whirligig (Fledgling)
A Dark Matter Doug Johnstone A Dark Matter (Orenda)
How The Dead Speak Val McDermid How the Dead Speak (Little, Brown)

The Island
Ben McPherson The Island (HarperCollins)
Bury Them Deep James Oswald Bury Them Deep (Headline)

The Art Of Dying
Ambrose Parry, 
aka Chris Broomyre and Marisa Haetzman
The Art of Dying (Canongate)

The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing
Mary Paulson-Ellis The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing (Mantle)

The Red Red Snow
Caro Ramsay The Red, Red Snow (Severn House)

Watch Him Die
Craig Robertson, Watch Him Die (Simon & Schuster)

Francine Toon   Pine (Doubleday)

Finalists for the McIlvanney Prize will be revealed at the beginning of September and the winner of both prizes will be revealed on Friday 18 September. The Bloody Scotland Debut Prize will be judged by a panel including crime writer and founding director of Bloody Scotland Lin Anderson and representatives from Waterstones and the Glencairn Glass. The McIlvanney Prize will be judged by Stuart Cosgrove, writer and broadcaster, James Crawford, chair of Publishing Scotland and presenter of BBC series Scotland from the Sky and Karen Robinson, Editor of The Times Crime Club.

The McIlvanney award recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones. The 2020 longlist features established crime writers and debuts, corporates and indies. Previous winners are Manda Scott with A Treachery of Spies in 2019 (who chose to share her prize with all the finalists), Liam McIlvanney with The Quaker in 2018, Denise Mina with The Long Drop in 2017, Chris Brookmyre with Black Widow in 2016, Craig Russell with The Ghosts of Altona in 2015, Peter May with Entry Island in 2014, Malcolm Mackay with How A Gunman Says Goodbye in 2013 and Charles Cumming with A Foreign Country in 2012. The inaugural Bloody Scotland Debut Prize 2019 was won by Claire Askew with All The Hidden Truths.

Related links:-

Bloody Scotland website | Glencairn Glass

Friday, 17 April 2020

Paperback Writer

Driftnet Paperback

For those who have been waiting for the return of Driftnet in paperback form, the wait is finally over this month.

I received this box of beautiful paperbacks today from my publisher.

The Scottish No.1 bestselling book  has a lovely new cover and is already selling well.

Driftnet Paperback

Bestselling Forensic Scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod Series

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Blaze Dog Detective - The Magic Flag Mystery

The Magic Flag Mystery

For Rhona fans, the first time they will have met border collie Blaze fae Skye will have been in the current Rhona book Time for the Dead. It was during a walk with Blaze in the woods behind Ace Target Sports where he lives, that the idea of a book set on Skye with Blaze as Rhona’s forensic assistant, was born.

 Through his first fictional outing Blaze accompanied me on a book tour, was the first dog to ever appear at the Edinburgh Book Festival, and was also the first dog to appear at Bloody Scotland too, with his own badge!

It was a natural progession to imagine him in his own series of children’s books. I imagined a cross between The Famous Five (remember Timmy the dog?) and  the Scooby Doo gang. The Famous Five had a lot to do with me wanting to be a writer of crime novels. I loved the way the children and Timmy solved the crimes where adults couldn’t. Very empowering.

So after discussions with Blaze’s Dad, we set about creating The Magic Flag Mystery as the pilot for what we see as a series of adventures for Blaze Dog Detective and his team. Blaze’s team consists of the leader of the pack Blaze of course, with his legendary scenting powers, Laoch his wee brother, who still has much to learn, Rosa, a little girl from the travelling people who’s come to live on Skye, and Rory, who knows the island even better than Blaze does.

We were joined in our endeavours by artist Bronwyn Gilgallon who designed our book cover. Incidentally the image of Rosa is based on my granddaughter Kathleen when she was ten years old.


The book launched on 8th April 2020 as an ebook on Amazon, price £2.99 with the printed copy following once we’re out of virus lockdown.

For all you Rhona fans out there here’s a chance for your kids (and you!) to be with Blaze on Skye for another adventure!

Buy The Magic Flag Mystery



12th April 2020:  After publication on 8th April The Magic Flag Mystery went straight into the Kindle Scottish Crime top 100 !!!



Chapter In My Life :
'That special bond between dog and child was expertly written, it’s a magical bond and one that will soften even the hardest of hearts. Read full review ...

Book Addict
'I really enjoyed this book, as it brought back childhood memories of another lovable Border Collie, Lassie and her adventures.' Read full review ...

Bookmarks and Stages : 'So this book is very much worth transporting yourselves to Skye and joining Blaze with his mischievous, fun brother in Skye, as he tries to solve this mystery' Read full review ...


Related Links:-

Order on Amazon:  The Magic Flag Mystery | Time for the Dead

ACS Target Sports near Portree

Art by Bronwyn Gilgallon
                  Art by Bronwyn Gilgallon


Wednesday, 1 April 2020

PATHS OF THE DEAD - Special Offer 99p

PATHS OF THE DEAD, which was Shortlisted for Scottish Crime Book of the Year in 2015, is on special offer at 99p on Kindle,

'The Spiritualist knows that her son who she spoke to an hour ago is dead'


Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Imagine A Country


A few months ago I was asked to contribute to Imagine A Country, a book to be published by Canongate in March 2020.Contributions were being invited from across Scottish civic society (with the exception of politicians!). I agreed immediately to take part.

The contributors to Imagine A Country were asked to dare to dream about the kind of country we all want to live in, a country that doesn’t exist yet. 

We’ve never needed change more than we do now but if we don’t give shape to that change in our imagination – if we don’t create blueprints for possible futures – we can’t make it happen.

We want this to be a collection of ideas, dreams and ambitions for a country that doesn’t exist yet but which we’d like to live in.

The book is now available for pre-order and a booklaunch event has been arranged for 24th March at 6:30pm as part of the Aye Write 2020 programme.

Imagine A Country at Aye Write

All of the publisher's advance and royalties from Imagine A Country will be divided between five charities – Shelter Scotland, Scottish Women’s Aid, Scottish Book Trust, Refuweegee and Reforesting Scotland.

Imagine A Country

I'm looking forward to attending the booklaunch on 24th March. You can book your tickets for what should be a fascinating event with Val McDermid & Jo Sharp with Phil Jupitus, Jackie Kay, Chris Brookmyre, Louise Welsh, Stuart Cosgrove and Bill Sweeney here:  http://bit.ly/ImagineACountry

Imagine A Country

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Still a Bestseller


Delighted to see today that DRIFTNET is at No. 12 in Scottish Crime on Amazon Best Sellers.

The book started out life as a Scottish No. 1 bestseller, and became the first of a series that now runs to 14 novels.

Book 15, THE INNOCENT DEAD, is due for publication in August 2020.

The paperback version  of DRIFTNET will be re-published by Pan MacMillan on 2nd April 2020.