Stirling 8th - 10th September 2017


B is for Bloody Scotland

Posted on 8th September

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Bloody Scotland is only one day away and the excitement is bubbling. The Booktrail has been a fixture on this blog for the past six weeks and what a journey it’s been! The writers and the destinations! Iceland, Germany, London and the dark, dark heart of Scotland.

Stirling is of course the final destination and where the best and the bloodiest writers will be hanging out and quite possibly getting ideas for a murder or two whilst they’re at it. So for the last post before the festival I thought I’d do a little Bloody Scotland Mini World tour to get those literary travelling bugs biting.


B – Bloody Scotland

Bloody Scotland is made up of Gritty Glasgow, Evil Edinburgh and Dastardly Dumfries and Galloway to name but a few. Tartan Noir celebrates everything that is good about crime fiction firmly set on Scottish soil.

L – London

London is the stomping ground of Mark Billingham’s character. Tom Thorne. He’s a busy guy fighting crime all over the capital but then again not as busy as Mark himself who’s displaying his musical talents as well as footballing prowess in this years festival.

OO – Crime at the Coo

This could be very bloody indeed. Billed as cramped, chaotic and criminally captivating, Craig Robertson is the host so you know you’re going to get some Gallus banter right there.

D – DCI Kate Daniels

Kate Daniels is just over the border in Northumberland but she’s heading North for some Scottish banter. (Don’t mention the Wall). She works with quite a team, but if DCI James Atkins were to make an appearance, since there is very bad blood between them in her latest book Gallows Drop, the Blood of Bloody Scotland may well be his.

Y – Yorkshire

Yorkshire is where Peter Robinson does his fictional killing. The landscape seems so nice so not surprisingly fictional Eastvale provides a setting, modelled on real towns such as Ripon and Richmond but bigger. Otherwise Yorkshire would be depleted of people by now, given the number who have fictionally died in Peter’s hands.

S – Sanday

Lin Anderson wins the award for the novel set furthest North this year. Sanday is an island community, distant, lonely and deadly. Nothing is welcoming here – the weather, the landscape, the daylight or indeed the past. But Lin entices you there with her latest creepy read.

C – Capital City of Scotland – Edinburgh

The capital city of Scotland is awash with criminal undertones. Ian Rankin and Quintin Jardine are the King of Scottish crime fiction and are closing the festival this year. Rebus and Skinner are Edinburgh’s best and most alternative tour guides when you think about it. Both came out of retirement recently as, well, Scotland missed them. No One foot in the grave for this lot!

O – Orkney

This is one journey I’ll never forget – I crash landed with Doug Johnstone, felt the effect of the plague with Louise Welsh and Lin Anderson took me to remote Sanday. The islands might be stunning, but they’re remote, bleak and mythical and the perfect spot as no one here will hear you scream….

T – Trouble with Hamish Macbeth

Trouble comes in many forms but MC Beaton has written some of the funniest characters in crime fiction. Agatha Raisin kills with Quiche amongst other things and Hamish Macbeth is a Highlander who could tell you a thing or two about the locals.

LAND – The land in Scotland is the canvas for criminally good crime fiction

Scotland has produced some of the finest crime fiction ever in my eyes. The rugged landscape more than lends itself to the gruesome goings on. I mean, where else could you find isolated islands, a alleyway named ‘Fleshmarket Close’ and a police constable working deep in the heart of the Highlands where there seems to be just as many Highland cows as people?

As a certian popular song might go: “I would walk five hundred miles and I would walk five hundred more, Just to be at Bloody Scotland where that Tartan Noir is at your door.”

So raise a glass, celebrate the best of Scotland and remember the wonderful William Mcllvanney, widely regarded as the father of Tartan Noir, whose name has been put to the prize celebrating the best names in crime fiction, all gathered at Bloody Scotland this weekend.

I do proclaim this the best festival yet! Enjoy!


booktrail-logoThis is the seventh and final post of the Booktrail blog takeover for a series of posts exploring where setting shapes a number of novels from authors attending Bloody Scotland this year.

Visit the booktrail for maps, travel guides and reviews for the books featuring in Bloody Scotland.

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The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival, Scottish Company No SC404578, Registered office: Caledonian Exchange, 19A Canning Street, Edinburgh EH3 8HE.
The Caledonian Crime Writing Festival is a Scottish Registered Charity, known as Bloody Scotland; Charity No SC042615