Last Updated 2 months ago.All of the Books!
Who is Val McDermid?
Sometimes dubbed the Queen of Crime, Val McDermid grew up in Kirkcaldy on the East Coast of Scotland in a working-class family. She was accepted to read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford – at 17 before becoming a journalist. After two years of training in Devon, she worked fourteen years on national newspapers in Glasgow and Manchester.
She wrote her first book at 21, but it has not been published. Instead, the story became a play. She continued to write and find her first success with Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery.
The rest is history as Val McDermid sold more than 17 million books across the globe and is translated into more than 40 languages.
Val McDermid Books in Order:
Allie Burns Series
The new series from Val McDermid!
- 1979 (2021) – 1979. It is the winter of discontent, and reporter Allie Burns is chasing her first big scoop. There are few women in the newsroom and she needs something explosive for the boys’ club to take her seriously. Soon Allie and fellow journalist Danny Sullivan are exposing the criminal underbelly of respectable Scotland. They risk making powerful enemies – and Allie won’t stop there. When she discovers a home-grown terrorist threat, Allie comes up with a plan to infiltrate the group and make her name. But she’s a woman in a man’s world . . . and putting a foot wrong could be fatal.
Karen Pirie Series
Karen Pirie is a young Scottish detective who is promoted to Police Scotland’s Historic Cases Unit and her career in this department begin with reopening the investigation into the murder of a teenage barmaid that has been the subject of a provocative true crime podcast.
For more details, go to the Karen Pirie reading order.
- The Distant Echo (2003)
- A Darker Domain (2008)
- The Skeleton Road (2014)
- Out of Bounds (2016)
- Broken Ground (2018)
- Still Life (2020)
Tony Hill/Carol Jordan Series
Dr. Tony Hill is a clinical psychologist who specializes in repeat violent offenders. He is trained to see patterns. This is why he also works as a profiler for the National Home Office, and for the Bradfield police—with Detective Chief Inspector Carol Jordan. FYI, Bradfield is a fictional English city.
For more details, go to the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan reading order.
- The Mermaids Singing (1995)
- The Wire in the Blood (1997)
- The Last Temptation (2002)
- The Torment of Others (2004)
- Beneath the Bleeding (2007)
- Fever of the Bone (2009)
- The Retribution (2011)
- Cross and Burn (2013)
- Splinter the Silence (2015)
- Insidious Intent (2017)
- How The Dead Speak (2019)
Kate Brannigan Series
Kate Brannigan is a Thai boxing, rock-and-roll female private detective. She works as a junior partner in the private consulting firm named Mortensen & Brannigan. The firm deals with crimes related to security systems and computer frauds.
For more details, go to the Kate Brannigan reading order.
- Dead Beat (1992)
- Kick Back (1993)
- Crack Down (1994)
- Clean Break (1995)
- Blue Genes (1996)
- Star Struck (1998)
Lindsay Gordon Series
Lindsay Gordon is a Freelance journalist in need of cash and a lesbian, Lindsay is the kind of woman trying to do the best and often getting into the worst. Her work as a reporter takes Lindsay into different worlds.
For more details, go to the Lindsay Gordon reading order.
- Report For Murder (1987)
- Common Murder (1989)
- Deadline For Murder/Final Edition (1991)
- Conferences Are Murder/Union Jack (1993)
- Booked For Murder (1996)
- Hostage To Murder (2003)
- The Writing On The Wall And Other Stories (1997) – short stories, limited edition of 200 copies
- A Place of Execution (1999) – When Alison Carter vanished in the winter of ’63, everyone knew it was a murder. Catherine Heathcote remembers the case well. A child herself when Alison vanished, decades on she still recalls the sense of fear as parents kept their children close, terrified of strangers. Now a journalist, she persuades DI George Bennett to speak of the hunt for Alison, the tantalizing leads and harrowing dead ends. But when a fresh lead emerges, Bennett tries to stop the story – plunging Catherine into a world of buried secrets and revelations.
- Killing the Shadows (2000) – Professor Fiona Cameron is a psychologist who uses computer technology to track serial offenders. She vowed never to work for the Met again after they went against her advice and screwed up an investigation as a result. But when her lover, thriller writer Kit Martin, tells her a fellow crime novelist has been murdered, Fiona can’t help taking an interest. With the killer striking again, Fiona is caught in a race against time.
- Stranded (2005) – A collection of short-stories.
- Cleanskin (2006) – When career criminal Jack Farlowe’s body is found washed-up on a Suffolk shore, it looks to the police like a clear-cut case. Broken-hearted at his daughter’s death, he has drowned himself – good riddance and one less crime to solve, according to CID. Then again, maybe not. For, one by one, Farlowe’s enemies are being killed. And the horrific manner of their deaths makes drowning look like a day at the beach…
- The Grave Tattoo (2006) – It’s summer in the Lake District and heavy rain over the fells has uncovered a bizarrely tattooed body. Could it be linked to the old rumour that Fletcher Christian, mutinous First Mate on the Bounty, had secretly returned to England? Scholar Jane Gresham wants to find out. She believes that the Lakeland poet William Wordsworth, a friend of Christian’s, may have sheltered the fugitive and turned his tale into an epic poem – which has since disappeared. But as she follows each lead, death is hard on her heels. The centuries-old mystery is putting lives at risk. And it isn’t just the truth that is waiting to be discovered, but a bounty worth millions
- Trick of the Dark (2010) – When Charlie Flint is sent a mysterious package of cuttings about a brutal murder, it instantly grabs her attention. The murder occurred in the grounds of her old Oxford college – a groom battered to death just hours after his wedding. As his bride and wedding guests sipped champagne, his alleged killers were slipping his bloodstained body into the river. Charlie doesn’t know who sent the package, or why, yet she can’t get the crime out of her head. But as she delves deeper, and steps back into the mysterious world of Oxford colleges, she realises that there is much more to this crime than meets the eye…
- The Vanishing Point (2012) – Stephanie Harker is in the screening booth at airport security, separated from Jimmy Higgins, the five-year-old boy she’s in the process of adopting, when a man in a TSA uniform leads the boy away. The more Stephanie sounds the alarm, the more the security agents suspect her, and the further away the kidnapper gets. It soon becomes apparent that nothing in this situation is clear-cut. As FBI agent Vivian McKuras and Scotland Yard Detective Nick Nicolaides investigate on both sides of the pond, Stephanie learns just how deep a parent’s fear can reach. And the horrifying reality is that she has good reason to be afraid—for reasons she never saw coming.;
- Northanger Abbey (2014) – Part of The Austen Project. An updated take on Jane Austen’s classic novel. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, Cat Morland loses herself in novels (and, of course, her smartphone) and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when her neighbors, the Allens, invite her to attend the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh as their guest. Cat quickly begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family. And then she meets handsome Henry Tilney. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help but wonder if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Maybe she has just been reading too many novels?
Picture book for Children
- My Granny is a Pirate (2012) – When a family secret about Granny is revealed, we discover all about Pirate Granny’s fiercesome reputation and her swashbuckling ways – from making other rogueish pirates walk the plank to singing sea shanties to her dog Jolly Roger. Look again at your granny…could she be a pirate too?
- Resistance (2021) – Journalist Zoe Beck has taken a break from hard-hitting investigative reporting to spend more time with her family in Scotland. She and her friends, who run a food truck, head north, along with 150,000 festival-goers for a weekend of music and camping. Then, some of the food truck’s customers begin to fall ill, and many point to food poisoning. But when the festival ends and the attendees scatter across England, more people begin to get sick and die. What’s worse, it is spreading fast and baffles doctors, resisting all efforts to contain or cure it. With time running out, Zoe is compelled to fight for the truth, even as she loses that which she holds most dear.
- A Suitable Job for a Woman (1994) – In an effort to plumb the real world of working women–and throw new light on her own craft–Val McDermid has interviewed women private eyes from both sides of the Atlantic and assembled their stories with an eye for the absurd and a keen grasp of the gritty nuts and bolts of the profession.
- Forensics – The Anatomy of Crime (2014) – In her novels, Val McDermid has been solving complex crimes and confronting unimaginable evil for years. Now, she’s looking at the people who do it for real. It’s a journey that will take her to war zones, fire scenes and autopsy suites, and bring her into contact with extraordinary bravery and wickedness, as she traces the history of forensics from its earliest beginnings to the cutting-edge science of the modern day.
- My Scotland (2019) – Accompanied by over 100 stunning photographs, this book uncovers Val’s own Scotland in all its glory – from the iconic Isle of Skye to the majestic streets of Edinburgh; from the undiscovered hideaways of the Highlands to the wild and untamed Jura.
- Imagine a Country (2020) – Imagine A Country offers visions of a new future from an astonishing array of Scottish voices, from comedians to economists, writers to musicians. Edited, curated and introduced by bestselling author Val McDermid and geographer Jo Sharp, it is a collection of ideas, dreams and ambitions, aiming to inspire change, hope and imagination.
If you like Val McDermid, you may also want to see our Tana French reading order, or our guide to Ann Cleeves’s Vera Stanhope series. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.