Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Val McDermid


Val McDermid grew up in Kirkcaldy, in the heart of the Fife coal fields, and was educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford, being the first student from a state school in Scotland to do so. After graduation, she became a journalist, and had limited success as a dramatist. However, her first real success was as a novelist with Report for Murder in 1987, the first Lindsay Gordon mystery.

What she writes: McDermid writes three very different series, the first with Lindsay Gordon, a lesbian journalist; secondly the Kate Brannigan series featuring a private investigator; and finally the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series, with clinical psychologist Hill and his sidekick, Detective Chief Inspector Jordan which has been translated into the popular PBS mystery program called Wire in the Blood.

Val, a boisterous, fun loving Scot who can play a mean guitar while singing her own versions of songs, also has four excellent suspenseful standalone novels and has been the recipient of many awards.

Watch an interview with Val McDermid on the Meet the Author UK website.


List of works
Kate Brannigan Series
  Dead Beat (1992) Clean Break (1995)
  Kick Back (1993) Blue Genes (1996)
  Crack Down (1994) Star Struck (1998)
Lindsay Gordon Series
  Report for Murder (1987) Conferences are Murder (1993)
  Common Murder (1989) Union Jack (1993)
  Deadline for Murder or Open and Shut (1991) Booked for Murder (1996)
  Final Edition (1991) Hostage to Murder (2003)
Tony Hill/Carol Jordan Series
  The Mermaids Singing (1995) The Torment of Others (2004)
  Wire in the Blood (1997) Beneath the Bleeding (2007)
  The Last Temptation (2002)  
Non-Series Works
  A Place of Execution (1999) The Distant Echo (2003)
  Killing the Shadows (2000) The Grave Tattoo (2006)
Short Stories
  The Writing on the Wall and Other Stories (1997)
  Stranded (2005)
Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year 1995 for The Mermaids Singing
Los Angeles Times Book Prize for A Place of Execution, which was also nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel and named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year
Anthony Awards Best Novel winner 2001 for A Place of Execution
Macavity Awards Best Novel winner 2001 for A Place of Execution
Dagger Awards Best Novel nominee 2004 for The Torment of Others
What the critics say
"Val McDermid is a roaring Ferrari amid the crowded traffic on the crime-writing road." -
The Independent
"There is no one in contemporary crime fiction who has managed to combine the visceral and the humane as well as Val McDermid... She’s the best we’ve got." - New York Times
"Thomas Harris crossed with Agatha Christie… Chilling." - The Observer


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