Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Time for the Dead (Rhona MacLeod Book 14)

Time for the Dead

I’m a big fan of Skye. The drive from my home village of Carrbridge to the island is one of my favourites. Being a west coaster (born in Greenock on the Clyde), heading into the west feels like going home.

When I first met Rhona in Driftnet, I decided to make her adopted and her adopted parents come from Skye. Spending time on the island during her childhood, she loves the place.

When life gets too hectic for me, I always imagine heading west to a little cottage beside the sea. I expect that’s why after the horror of Sins of the Dead, a traumatised Rhona heads for that cottage on Skye with its blue painted door right next to the shore… her parents’ island home and hers as her younger self.

She goes there to heal, she hopes, and to find the person she was before Sins of the Dead, before she lost faith in her ability to do her job.

DI Wilson wanted her to go to Castlebrae, where folk traumatised by front line duty are helped, but Rhona refuses to do that. At the end of Sins of the Dead, McNab takes her by motorbike to Skye instead.

That journey affects them both. Rhona sees the route often travelled in a whole new light. McNab, the urban warrior finds himself entranced by riding his Harley on the open road, with Rhona as his passenger.

As Time for the Dead opens we find Rhona still struggling with the fallout from Sins of the Dead, despite all her efforts to put the past behind her. With Chrissy, McNab and DI Wilson anxiously watching from afar and keen for her to return to the fold, she is still stuck in that other world, the world where scents and sounds can send her back into remembered horror.

Her cover is good. She chats to McNab dutifully on Skype. She hillwalks with Jamie McColl, who she knew as a teenager, but still she is stuck in no man’s land until one day, taken to A.C.E. Target Sports by Jamie, who’s arranging a stag do there for a friend…Rhona meets a Border collie called Blaze, who changes everything.

Taken by Blaze to a spot in the woods on the hill behind A.C.E. Target Sports, she discovers what appears to be a crime scene…or is it?

Thus begins the re-awakening of Rhona’s forensic desire to discover the truth, in particular how the horror of an incident in the war in Afghanistan may be playing out its conclusion on the Isle of Skye.


Pre-order Time for the Dead on Amazon

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Win tickets to THE STAIRCASE event in Glasgow

Today’s BLOODY SCOTLAND contest offers winners two pairs of tickets for tomorrow night's THE STAIRCASE event at the Glasgow O2 Academy at 7pm where I will be moderating the discussion with David Rudolf.

(venue address: 121 Eglinton St, Glasgow G5 9NT)
The contest closes at 11pm BST this evening (17th October 2018).

Two random entries with the correct answer to the question below will be selected to each win a pair of tickets to tomorrow night's THE STAIRCASE event.

QUESTION: How many different countries were represented last month at the 2018 Bloody Scotland international crime writing festival in its most cosmopolitan programme ever?

To enter the contest, answer the question above giving the number of countries in an email with subject line THE STAIRCASE to

The two lucky winners will be notified by email as soon as possible after 11pm tonight.

Good luck!!!

Update: Correct question answer was 14 countries. The draw has been made from the entries with the correct answer, and the two lucky winners have been informed. (11:20pm 17th October 2018)

Related links;-

Buy tickets for THE STAIRCASE event on 18th October 2018

The Staircase | Netfix Official Site

Bloody Scotland international crime writing festival

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Staircase - Accident or Murder?

Have you watched the true crime documentary The Staircase on Netflix? If not I urge you to do so, because what happens in the real world is often far more strange and horrific than anything we crime fiction writers could dream up.

The Staircase documents the extraordinary criminal case against Michael Peterson in Durham, North Carolina, for the murder of his wife, which lasted for fifteen years, eight of which he spent in prison. The case is famous for its ‘bad forensic science’, manufactured by the police and forensic services in order to obtain a conviction.

It is also an extraordinary mystery, because how Kathleen Peterson actually met her death is still not clear.

One thing that is certain however is that David Rudolf, who defended Michael believed firmly in his innocence.

In Scotland, we crime writers are privileged to work closely with Police Scotland and our own forensic services so that we might get our facts right. Police Scotland believe that it’s important that the general public are informed about forensics and related matters as any one of us may be asked to sit on a jury and be required to interpret the forensic evidence being presented.

Never have I believed this more strongly than when I watched the jurors in the Peterson case being manipulated and lied to over the evidence being presented to them.

So when I received a call to ask if I might moderate the discussion with David Rudolf at the O2 Academy in Glasgow on 18th October, I was delighted to accept.

David will be talking about the extraordinary Peterson case, and answering questions posed by the audience.

Related links;-

Buy tickets for event on 18th October 2018

The Staircase | Netfix Official Site

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Day of Thunder in Aviemore

Another amazing day on Saturday in Speyside, with me getting a 'backie' on the 'Thunder In The Glens' rideout, and then a SINS OF THE DEAD book launch event with 'The Ladies of Harley' in Aviemore.
I'll just let the pictures (and video) tell the story ...   (may contain traces of Mary Grant)

I've come to the right place then ... ;o)
Definitely come to the right place !!!  :o)
With my biker (Jim from Dunedin Chapter HOG)
Waiting for the rideout to start with Fran and Jim, 'Mad Dog' McGuire (yellow hi-viz), 
and Alex Saunders, my Editor from Pan Macmillan

 Getting ready to roll ...
And we are off !!!

The Sunday Herald photographer (Paul Campbell) must have been VIP-spotting  ;o)

After a wonderful two hour experience on the rideout through Carrbridge (my village) and over the Dava Moor and through Boat of Garten and Grantown-on-Spey (for a pit stop), it was back to Aviemore for more bikes/books shenanigans ...

First time I've walked into a room where there were 100+ 'Ladies of Harley', the ladies of
Waterstones Aviemore selling my books, and free BLOODY SCOTLAND cocktails from
STIRLING GIN    ...    And the 'Ladies of Carrbridge' hadn't arrived yet!

Two 'Ladies of Carrbridge' were definitely on their way! #ScotrailBookLaunchExpress
Talking books and bikes ...
... more BLOODY SCOTLAND cocktails (from STIRLING GIN) ...
...  then  the 'Ladies of Carrbridge' arrived ...

... and I eventually got to sit down and relax.
Did I mention that Mary Grant (left) is in SINS OF THE DEAD?

Related links:-

Dunedin HOG Chapter

Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Books and Bikers in Festival Edinburgh

Amazing day yesterday in Edinburgh with SINS OF THE DEAD events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and then at Waterstones bookshop on Princes Street.

 I 'll pretty much let the pictures (and video) speak for themselves ...

Meeting up with the Dunedin Chapter on Castle Street
Can we ride six Harleys into the Edinburgh Book Festival please?

Harleys, a Bloody Scotland umbrella, tartan tights, my new book ... what more do you need?
SINS OF THE DEAD - Book 13 in the Rhona MacLeod Series
The Ladies of Harley ...
... and with the boys
... with the boys again in the Spiegeltent (Antti Tuomainen and Russel MacLean) ...

... talking about books
...and signing books ...
... beside a man who makes me look small!
Then celebrating SINS OF THE DEAD at Waterstones West End ...

... and the perfect end to the day : BLOODY SCOTLAND cocktails from Stirling Gin
Related links:-

Dunedin HOG Chapter

Sunday, 19 August 2018

The Voice that Changed My World: My Voice

The Voice that Changed My World: My Voice
By Soraya Mohamadi (Read by Lin Anderson)

There is a sports stadium full of people. There must have been about 4000 people. Young boys and girls, men, women, parents… Teachers… workers…

All are paying full attention, waiting, curious to hear more. On all sides red banners and placards are seen, with ‘8 March 2003’ in large letters, and more about it: March 8. International Women’s Day.

It’s my turn. The programme presenter calls me by name on the microphone. I am in black, my head covered with a horrible black shawl that I am forced to wear. I feel its heaviness on my head, but you can be sure I will just use it as a weapon against them. However much they want us to be made invisible by it, they can never stop me from voicing my beliefs.

I step toward the stage: light, heavy, anxious, proud, tall, straight and firm. For a second I glance round, scanning all the eyes and ears waiting to hear from me. Wow, this is just amazing and exactly what we wanted. I know I need to speak with my biggest voice to be heard by the world. I
start loudly, saying “Happy 8th of March, the symbol of freedom and equality, to you all great comrades and to the world.”

I really want the world to hear me. I am sure it is my loudest voice – but not sure if it is loud enough. But I am certain that it will be heard again, on five continents through satellite and social networks, by tonight at the latest.

I am quite anxious to let people hear all I want them to before I’m forced to stop by the enforcers of authority. I carry on, loudly announcing that the execution of prisoners by the Islamic regime is systematic murder arranged by a system that is supposed to be in power to protect citizens’
life. Moreover, it’s against human rights law, which condemns execution.

I feel, and hear, such strong power in me and my voice. I feel as string as a mountain and loud as a waterfall. Such an amazing moment. That day passed and we said what the public needed to know, before the darkness returned to enfold the daylight.

My comrades and I wanted our voices and strength to stir up a storm that would disturb the sweet dream of oppression. And before we were squashed back in to silence, at least we had broken the icy wall of fear that had locked the voices in our chests over more than 20 years of the regime’s power.

We still have a hard battle.


Thursday, 7 June 2018

Launching Bloody Scotland 2018 (with Tea, Biscuits, & Stirling Gin)

Stirling 4th June

Having long wanted the fabulous and very busy Alexander McCall Smith as part of our festival lineup, we finally succeeded by having him both at the programme launch and even better, as the guest for our first event of 2018, which immediately followed.

Tea and shortbread with Alexander McCall Smith was the best fun as an event Chair it’s possible to have.

Sandy and I are near neighbours in Merchiston Edinburgh (as too is Ian Rankin), although I first met Sandy at an African Charity event in St Stephen’s Church in 2003 just after the first in my Forensic Scientist Dr Rhona MacLeod series Driftnet was published and was Ottakers Crime Book of the Month.

He was talking about The No 1 Ladies Detective Agency and I was singing African songs with Sedenka, one of which was a favourite of Sandy’s, the spellbinding Shoshaloza.

We have both lived in Africa, and fallen in love with it. Myself in Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Sandy in Zimbabwe and Botswana.

Our talk in the packed ballroom of the Golden Lion Hotel, the hub of the Bloody Scotland festival, ranged over the origins of Mma Ramotswe, flying ants which we’d both tasted (Sandy described them as tasting like butter), and the excitement when the rains come and the dust of the savannah explodes into green.

We then moved on to his Edinburgh novels including the Isabel Dalhousie novels. Isabel also also lives in Merchiston with Isabel running a deli in Bruntsfield. I have to say Sandy has captured the location perfectly. We then chatted about 44 Scotland Street and poor beleaguered wee Bertie with the pushiest mother in the world. (it seems Edinburgh is the world leader in pushy mothers... not that I’m one).

Sandy had the audience and myself constantly in stitches throughout, especially when he described his visit to Italy to finish a book, where he hired a bulldozer to get around, when no cars were available on a holiday weekend... which led to the novel My Italian Bulldozer and what looks like the start of a new series.

London 5th June

Our London Bloody Scotland programme launch took place in the wonderful Waterstones bookshop in Piccadilly.

Stirling Gin, one of our festival sponsors were there again with their wonderful Bloody Scotland cocktail, having brought the ingredients all the way south on the train. I have it on good authority that the suitcase was very heavy.

Bob McDevitt our Festival Director welcomed a full house of publishers, agents and authors, many of whom will be appearing at Bloody Scotland, including the wonderful Louise Penny from Canada.
We have writers from fourteen different countries appearing this year, as well as our home grown Scottish talent and our friends from south of the border.

Bloody Scotland Board Member Abir Muckerjee speaks at London launch

Opening with a short clip of the torchlit procession from Stirling Castle to the Albert Hall led by the 2017 McIlvanney Scottish Crime book of the year winner Denise Mina, together with Val McDermid and Ian Rankin both celebrating 30 years in the business of writing crime, gave a flavour of what Bloody Scotland is all about.

Check out the Bloody Scotland website for the full programme and buy your tickets. They are selling fast.


Related Links:-

The List: Bloody Scotland 2018 takes on violence against women, Brexit and the return of the Trainspotting gang

Book tickets for Lin Anderson 22nd September event at
Bloody Scotland