Skip to content

Val Macdermid Bibliography Meaning

Val McDermid

Scotland (1955 - )

Val McDermid grew up in a Scottish mining community then read English at Oxford. She was a journalist for sixteen years, spending the last three as Northern Bureau Chief of a national Sunday tabloid. She is now a full-time writer and lives in South Manchester.



A Place of Execution (1999)
Killing The Shadows (2000)
Naked Came the Phoenix (2001) (with Nevada Barr, Mary Jane Clark, Diana Gabaldon, J A Jance, Faye Kellerman, Laurie R King, Pam and Mary O'Shaughnessy, Anne Perry, Nancy Pickard, J D Robb, Lisa Scottoline and Marcia Talley)
The Grave Tattoo (2006)
Trick of the Dark (2010)
The Vanishing Point (2012)



Val McDermid Box Set (2011)
Val McDermid 3-Book Bundle (2013)



The Writing on the Wall (1997)
Stranded (2004)
Magnetic North (2005) (with Neil Astley, Andrew Crumey, Julia Darling, Sean O'Brien and Jacob Polley)
Crime Writers: A Decade of Crime (2013) (with Mark Billingham, Ann Cleeves, Harlan Coben, P D James and Steve Mosby)
Cross Roads (2013)
Gunpowder Plots (2013)
Bloody Scotland (2017) (with Lin Anderson, Chris Brookmyre, Ann Cleeves, Doug Johnstone, Stuart MacBride, Peter May, Denise Mina, Craig Robertson and Sara Sheridan)
Murder On Christmas Eve (2017) (with Margery Allingham, Lawrence Block, Marjorie Bowen, John Dickson Carr, G K Chesterton, Michael Innes, Ellis Peters, Ian Rankin and Julian Symons)


Picture Books

My Granny is a Pirate (2012)



Ghost Writer (2013)
Footloose (2018) (with Peter James)


Series contributed to

Quick Reads 2006
Cleanskin (2006)


Austen Project
2. Northanger Abbey (2014)


Non fiction

A Suitable Job For A Woman (1995)
Life's Too Short (2010)
The Library Book (2012) (with Alan Bennett, Ann Cleeves, Seth Godin, Susan Hill, Tom Holland, Lucy Mangan, China Miéville, Caitlin Moran, Kate Mosse, Julie Myerson, Bali Rai, Lionel Shriver and Hardeep Kohli Singh)
Forensics (2014)


Short stories

When Larry Met Allie (2000)


Val McDermid recommends

No Laughing Matter (1997)
(Nick Madrid, book 1)
Peter Guttridge
"Made me laugh out loud and wince in sympathy at both the violence and the humiliation meted out to the narrator . . . enormous fun."

Bad Vibes (1998)
(Fizz and Buchanan, book 3)
Joyce Holms
"Engaging and entertaining... Deft, daft and definitely delicious."

Blood Guilt (1998)
(Kit O'Malley Mystery Series, book 1)
Lindy Cameron
"Kit O'Malley, smart-mouthed, sharp-witted and sexy. Don't start this book if you have somewhere to be."

Walking with Ghosts (1999)
(Sam Turner, book 4)
John Baker
"His characters endear themselves to us, and we care what happens to them. The writing is always quirky, never flashy, and . . . he leaves us wanting more of an engaging crew who feel like friends by the end of the book."

Birdman (1999)
(Jack Caffery, book 1)
Mo Hayder
"Not for the faint-hearted...what sets Birdman apart is Hayder's talent."

Over My Dead Body (2000)
(Eddathorpe, book 6)
Raymond Flynn
"A solution as clever as any I've read this year. DI Graham, with his homicidal Lakeland terrier, is an unconventional copper form the same breed as Frost and Morse. On this form, like them he should win fans and keep them."

Unnatural Fire (2000)
(Countess Ashby De La Zouche, book 1)
Fidelis Morgan
"Fidelis Morgan's tale of love and greed and alchemy in 1699 is a heady compound of wit, wisdom and wildness. It's an unsentimental warts-and-all portrait that reeks of authenticity, written with a brio that reflects the age."

Folly (2001)
Laurie R King
"One of the most literate and gifted writers the mystery world has seen for some time."

Resolution (2001)
(Garnethill, book 3)
Denise Mina
"Denise Mina is set to carve a niche for herself as the crown princess of crime."

The Desperate Remedy (2002)
(Henry Gresham, book 4)
Martin Stephen
"Henry Gresham is a hero for all seasons, and The Desperate Remedy is a dashing delight that challenges what we think we know."

Dreaming the Eagle (2002)
(Boudica, book 1)
Manda Scott
"A staggeringly imaginative invocation of Britain's secret history ...Breathtakingly good, it reveals the best and worst in all of us."

Bitter Blue (2003)
(Sal Kilkenny, book 6)
Cath Staincliffe
"It's always exciting to see a writer get better and better, and Cath Staincliffe is doing just that."

The Fire Baby (2004)
(Philip Dryden, book 2)
Jim Kelly
"Quirky, emotionally intelligent crime fiction that leaves the reader hungry for more."

Rattle (2017)
(DS Fitzroy, book 1)
Fiona Cummins
"It's a rare debut that has this much polish. Harrowing and horrifying, head and shoulders above most of the competition."

Sirens (2017)
(Aiden Waits, book 1)
Joseph Knox
"Sirens is a powerhouse of noir. Joseph Knox owns Manchester and paints it in all its grimy colours."

The Lost (2018)
(Stone and Oliver, book 1)
Mari Hannah
"Nobody understands the many faces of cops better than Mari Hannah."

Visitors to this page also looked at these authors

Val McDermid Books In Order

Publication Order of Lindsay Gordon Books

Publication Order of Kate Brannigan Books

Publication Order of Tony Hill/Carol Jordan Books

Publication Order of Karen Pirie Books

Publication Order of Austen Project Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Publication Order of Short Stories

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Publication Order of Picture Books

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Val McDermid is a popular Scottish author who was born on June 04, 1955 in Fife, Scotland, United Kingdom. She is particularly famous for writing all her novels in the Mystery, crime and Thriller genres. She has written 4 different mystery novel series based on the lives of 4 main protagonists. Almost all the novels written by McDermid are widely popular all over the world because of her unique characterization of the characters of the novels and suspenseful plots. She has said in many interviews that she received a great motivation from the great writing works of the famous authors at the time when she started her writing career. These famous authors include Ian Rankin, James Lee Burke, Reginald Hill and Ruth Rendell. The novels written by McDermid have been translated into more than 30 foreign languages all over the world. She has been able to sell more than 11 million copies of her novels in different parts of the world. This success helped McDermid to become the No. 1 bestselling author of her time. McDermid has won many international awards for her successful novels, such as the CWA Gold Dagger and the LA Times Book Award. She has also been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the ITV3 Crime Thriller authors in the year 2009.

Later on. McDermid also won the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger and the Pioneer Award by the Lambda Literary Foundation. McDermid has been writing as a full time author since the success of her initial novels and she spends equal amounts of time in her homes in Edinburgh and Cheshire. She hails from the Kirkcaldy town of Fife in Scotland and completed her college studies from the St. Hilda’s College in Oxford. In her college, she was the first student coming from a state school in Scotland as she did her schooling from the Kirkcaldy High School. Because of her sincerity in the studies, she was made the President of the common room for the juniors. McDermid went on to complete her graduation and began working as a journalist. She even worked as a dramatist for a short period of time. It was in the year 1987 that she received the first success in her writing career when her novel Report for MUrder was published. Since then, she has never turned back and has been enjoying her successful career as a novelist. In the year 2011, the Sunderland University awarded McDermid with an honorary doctorate. McDermid went on to establish the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival and a Crime Novel of the Year Award in the name Theakston old Peculier, which were co-founded by one of her fellow authors.

Author Val McDermid has successfully developed three main characters of her series, Kate Brannigan, Tony Hill and Lindsay Gordon. She has described Lindsay Gordon as a journalist, Tony Hill as a clinical psychologist and Kate Brannigan as a private investigator. The three characters feature in three different novel series. The series, Tony Hill and Carol Jordan, written by McDermid has been adapted into a television series titled ‘Wire in the Blood’ and features actor Robson Green, playing the role of the main protagonist. McDermid has said that she did the description of the character Jacko Vance as a TV celebrity and having the lust for torturing, murdering and having relationships with under-age girls, is based on her personal experience after she interviewed Jimmy Savile. She believes that the novels written by her belong to the Tartan Noir crime fiction genre of Scotland. Other than writing novels, McDermid writes columns in the British newspapers and also contributes in many broadcasting channels of Europe. McDermid sponsors a stand in her name at the Raith Rovers ground in her hometown. She does this to honor her father who was a great inspiration for her. She has now become a board member of the club after sponsoring the stand for more than a year. McDermid has admitted that she is a lesbian and shares her son along with her former spouse, who was born through donor insemination and was conceived by McDermid’s ex spouse. McDermid lives along with three cats in Northumberland and Stockport and supports the Raith Rovers team. She also has a border terrier dog and considers the Northumberland coast as one of the relaxing places in the world.

The Inspector Karen Pirie series written by McDermid consists of a total of 3 novels published between the years 2003 and 2014. The first novel of the series was published by St. Martin’s Press in the year 2003 and was titled ‘The Distant Echo’. The plot of the novel is set in Scotland and features Inspector Karen Pirie as the main protagonist. In the opening sequence of the plot, a dead body of a young barmaid is discovered near the Scottish cemetery on a winter morning in the year 1978. The 4 men who found her dead body become the prime suspects in her murder. However, Alex Gilbey and his 3 best friends were never charged with the murder case as there was no other evidence except the blood on their hands. The case gets reopened 25 years later and Alex Gilbey and his friends are once again tried for the murder of Rosie Duff. A stranger has emerged who plans of delivering the justice by taking revenge in his own style and brings back the haunting memories of the case in the lives of Alex and his friends. Soon, 2 of Alex’s friends die in suspicious conditions. Alex believes that he and his family are going to be the next targets of the killer and so he thinks of saving himself and his innocent family by returning to the haunting past and uncovering the truth about the death of Rosie Duff.

The second novel of the Inspector Karen Pirie series was published in the year 2008 by the HarperCollins Publishers. It was titled ‘A Darker Domain’ and revolved around the happenings in the lives of the main characters, Sgt. Phil Parhetka, Inspector Karen Pirie, Mick Prentice, Bel Richmond, Logan Laidlow and Sir Broderick Grant. The plot of the novel is set in Fife and Glenrothes in Scotland and in Tuscany in Italy. The plot of the second novel opens up during a time of the year 1984 in Fife. An Heiress named Catriona Maclennan Grant and her very young son get kidnapped by some criminals. The kidnappers demand a huge ransom for the lives of the lady and her son. However, the delivery of the ransom money goes horribly wrong and Heiress Catriona Maclennan gets killed while running away from the kidnappers and her son goes missing without any trace. After that, the plot of the novel shifts to the time of the year 2008 in Tuscany, when a jogger gets stumbled upon an evidence related to the kidnapping case of Catriona Maclennan. As a result, the old case gets reopened once again. Detective Sergeant Karen Pirie is hired to carry out the investigation of the evidence, who sees the case as an opportunity to make a name for herself by solving the murder case of Catriona Maclennan and serving justice.

Book Series In Order » Authors »