A former police officer with Strathclyde Police and a manager with Springbank Distillery in Campbeltown, Argyll, Denzil Meyrick is now a Scottish bestselling novelist.
Since 2012, he is writing the DCI Daley series. Set in the fictitious town of Kinloch (modeled on Campbeltown), the series is about the criminal investigations led by D.C.I. Jim Daley. Meyrick also wrote other Tales from Kinloch and recently published the standalone thriller “Terms of Restitution”.
How to read Denzil Meyrick’s Series in Order?
I. Reading The DCI Daley series in order
- Whisky from Small Glasses – When the body of a young woman is washed up on an idyllic beach on the West Coast of Scotland, D.C.I. Jim Daley is despatched from Glasgow to lead the investigation. Far from home and his troubled marriage, Daley finds himself a stranger in a close-knit community. Betrayal, fear, and death stalk the small town of Kinloch, and the case becomes more deadly than Daley could ever have imagined.
- The Last Witness – James Machie was a man with a genius for violence, his criminal empire spreading beyond Glasgow into the UK and mainland Europe. Fortunately, James Machie is dead. But now, five years later, he is apparently back from the grave, set on avenging himself on those who brought him down. Top of his list is his previous associate, Frank MacDougall, who unbeknownst to D.C.I. Jim Daley, is living under protection on his lochside patch, the small Scottish town of Kinloch.
- Dark Suits and Sad Songs – When a senior Edinburgh civil servant spectacularly takes his own life in Kinloch harbor, DCI Jim Daley comes face to face with the murky world of politics. To add to his woes, two local drug dealers lie dead, ritually assassinated. It’s clear that dark forces are at work in the town. With his boss under investigation, his marriage hanging on by a thread, and his sidekick DS Scott wrestling with his own demons, Daley’s world is in meltdown. When strange lights appear in the sky over Kinloch, it becomes clear that the townsfolk are not the only people at risk. The fate of nations is at stake. Jim Daley must face his worst fears as tragedy strikes. This is not just about a successful investigation, it’s about survival.
- The Rat Stone Serenade – It’s December, and the Shannon family are returning home to their clifftop mansion near Kinloch for their annual AGM. Shannon International is one of the world’s biggest private companies, with tendrils reaching around the globe in computing, banking, and mineral resourcing, and it has brought untold wealth and privilege to the family. However, a century ago Archibald Shannon stole the land upon which he built their home – and his descendants have been cursed ever since. When heavy snow cuts off Kintyre, DCI Jim Daley and DS Brian Scott are assigned to protect their illustrious visitors.
- Well of the Winds – Many years later, the postman on Gairsay, a tiny island off the coast of Kintyre, discovers that the Bremner family is missing from their farm. There’s a pot on the stove and food on the table, but of the Bremners there is no sign. When DCI Daley comes into possession of a journal written by his wartime predecessor in Kinloch, Inspector William Urquhart, he soon realizes that the Isle of Gairsay has many secrets.
- The Relentless Tide – When Professor Francombe and her team of archaeologists find the remains of three women on a remote Kintyre hillside – a site rumored to have been the base of Viking warlord Somerled – their delight soon turns to horror when they realize the women tragically met their end little more than two decades ago. It soon becomes clear that these are the three missing victims of the `Midweek Murderer’, a serial killer who was at work in Glasgow in the early 1990s. DCI Jim Daley now has the chance to put things right – to confront a nightmare from his past and solve a crime he failed to as a young detective.
- A Breath on Dying Embers – When the luxury cruiser, hastily renamed Great Britain, berths in Kinloch harbor, the pressure is on DCI Jim Daley. The UK Government are taking a high-powered group of businessmen and women on a tour of the British isles, golfing and seeing the sights, as part of a push for global trade. But when one of the crew goes missing, and an elderly local ornithologist disappears, will the pressure become too great?
- Jeremiah’s Bell – Teenager Alison Doig disappeared from Kinloch over thirty years ago under mysterious circumstances. Her reclusive family still lives in a remote part of the Kintyre peninsula, amidst rumors of wrecking, smuggling, and barbaric cruelty. Now, rich American hotelier Alice Wenger has arrived in town, determined to punish those who made her suffer in the past. But someone has vowed to keep hidden sins concealed forever. DCI Jim Daley’s team must race against time to expose long-held secrets and shameful lies before there are any more victims.
- For Any Other Truth – When a light aircraft crash-lands at Machrie airport, DCI Jim Daley and his colleague Brian Scott rush to the scene. But it soon becomes clear that both occupants of the plane were dead before take-off … Meanwhile, in Kinloch, local fisherman Hamish is unwittingly dragged into danger when he witnesses something he shouldn’t, and hotel manager Annie is beginning to suspect her new boss may not be as he first appeared. And just as Chief Superintendent Carrie Symington thinks she has finally escaped the sins of her past, she finds herself caught in an even deadlier trap.
- The Death of Remembrance – It’s 1983, and a beat constable walks away from a bar where he knows a crime is about to be committed. In the present, an old fisherman is found dead by the shoreline and a stranger with a mission moves into a shabby Kinloch flat. Meanwhile, D.C.I. Jim Daley is trying to help Brian Scott stay sober, and the good people of Kinloch are still mourning the death of one of their own. As past and present collide, Daley finds himself face to face with old friends and foes. Memories can only last as long as those who keep them, and ghosts will not be silenced.
- One Last Dram Before Midnight (2017) – Anthology of DCI Daley short stories collecting “Dalintober Moon,” “Empty Nets and Promises,” “Two One Three,” “Single End,” “One Last Dram Before Midnight,” “The Silent Man” & “Strangers”.
II. Reading The A Tale from Kinloch Series in Order
- A Large Measure of Snow – It’s December 1967, and the town of Kinloch is cut off by heavy snow. With all roads closed, the only way to feed and water the townsfolk is for the fishing fleet to sail to Girvan for much-needed supplies. But the skipper of the Girl Maggie, Sandy Hoynes, has a problem. First mate Hamish has, to everyone’s astonishment, been chosen as Young Fisherman of the Year by a Glasgow newspaper. Marooned in the town and with one eye on a scoop, their reporter decides to join the fishing crew on their mercy mission. The thought of the publicity – and some remuneration – delights Hoynes. But Hamish hasn’t told him the whole story.
- Empty Nets and Promises (A Kinloch Novella) – It’s July 1968, and redoubtable fishing-boat skipper Sandy Hoynes has his daughter’s wedding to pay for – but where are all the fish? He and the crew of the Girl Maggie come to the conclusion that a new-fangled supersonic jet which is being tested in the skies over Kinloch is scaring off the herring. Collecting One Last Dram Before Midnight.
- A Toast to the Old Stones – It’s 1968, and the fishermen of Kinloch are preparing to celebrate the old New Year on the twelfth of January. The annual pilgrimage to the Auld Stones is a tradition that goes back beyond memory, and young Hamish, first mate on the Girl Maggie, is chuffed that he’s been invited to this exclusive gathering – usually reserved for the most senior members of Kinloch’s fishing community.
- Ghosts in the Gloaming – It’s December 1968. Having cheated Sandy Hoynes out of a rowing race and navigation certificate when they were young, Dreich MacCallum makes an unexpected return to Kinloch. With the Girl Maggie up on the slip awaiting urgent repairs, Hoynes takes to his bed, the memory of it all too much. When first mate Hamish persuades his skipper to get up and put the fishing boat back into the water, there are unexpected consequences that put Hoynes’ liberty and reputation at risk. Has Dreich won the day again? But the spirits of the past have yet to have their say. Upon whom will the winter sun set?
III. Reading the Other novels by Denzil Meyrick
- Terms of Restitution – He fled to London, seeking salvation by walking away from his money, his career and his legacy. But when his old second-in-command Malky Maloney tracks him down, Finn knows he must return. Both his real family and his crime family face an existential threat from Albanian mobsters hellbent on taking control of the Scottish underworld and the forces of law and order determined to inflict their own retribution.
If you like this article about the Denzil Meyrick reading order, you may also want to take a look at our guide to the Inspector Rebus series, or the work of Val McDermid. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.