Let not light see my black and deep desires
From Craig Russell to Val McDermid, from the underbelly of Glasgow to the wilds of the Isle of Lewis, take a tour of Scottish crime - but watch your step.
BFS: You’ve been coined one of the leading ladies of tartan noir. To your mind, what attributes characterise Tartan Noir? How do you feel your work challenges, upholds or develops that tradition?
LA: The term Tartan Noir was coined by Ian Rankin when chatting to American crime writer James Ellroy at a crime fiction event in Nottingham. Ian explained he was a crime writer who wrote about Edinburgh and the darker side of Scottish life. He said, ‘You could call it Tartan Noir.’ Ellroy laughed and signed the book ‘To the King of Tartan Noir’. Although even Ian would agree that the real ‘King of Tartan Noir’ is undoubtedly William McIlvanney with Laidlaw. I think it’s distinguishable from other crime writing, because it’s very Scottish in attitude (the old Jekyll and Hyde effect), use of language and humour. Willie said he wanted to write a story that reflected the people he knew, the voices he heard around him in Glasgow. I think that tradition has continued, although it’s not confined to one location in Scotland. As to my forensic series…well it doesn’t feature a male detective with angst and a drink problem, so in that respect it’s different. Dr Rhona MacLeod may not have a dr...
BFS: You’re a prolific novelist, with two established series of crime novels and a third, non-crime one taking shape. Can you tell us a little bit about what drew you to the crime genre in the first instance?
CR: I always rather pompously describe myself as ‘a writer who happens to write ...
Russian Stuffed Aubergine By ...
It was an open-and-shut case, really. A no-brainer. It didn’t need Sherlock Holmes to study the evidence and deduce the best way forward. After all, here we are publishing books in the country that’s home to one of the most thriving crime fiction scenes on the planet: Conan Doyle, Rankin, McDermid, May, Brookmyre, McCall Smith, Rowling/Galbraith, Atkinson… the list of truly great crime writers and fictional detectives from Scotland goes on and on. So why not start our own crime fiction imprint, publishing the new crop of talented Scottish scribblers who have their own criminal tales to tell? Elementary!
That was pretty much t...
Extract from Mary Paterson, or, The Fatal Error By David Pae, edited by Caroline McCracken-Flesher Published by ASLS
Two years have come and gone, and once more it is an autumn day – a day of blue sky and bright sunshine – a day when throughout the whole extent of broad and bonny Scotland the reapers are in the fields cutting down the yellow grain, enlivening their toil by laughter and song. In all the vales and in...
The Shifting Landscape of a City
Extract from the critically acclaimed novel from Sandstone Press
Find your way around Tartan Noir
A Magdalene Institute. A murder. A secret much deeper than anyone imagined.
The Godfather of Tartan Noir
Christopher Brookmyre gives us a run down of some of his favourite Scottish books and explains why he’s a fan.