Read Scottish - St Andrew's Day

Read Scottish – St Andrew’s Day Edition

Happy St Andrew’s Day.

St Andrew is the patron Saint of Scotland. The St Andrew’s Cross or Saltire also adorns the Scottish flag and there are towns, streets and universities named after him. The 30th of November has been celebrated as St Andrew’s feast day in Scotland for over 1000 years. So to mark the occasion I am encouraging you all to read Scottish and giving you some suggesting awesome books written by Scottish Authors, both native and adoptive or books set in Scotland. Most of my suggestions are within Sci-fi and Fantasy Genre but I am partial to Scottish Crime Fiction too. This is not an exhaustive list so please feel free to add your recommendations in the comments (though please no Outlander!)

Some of my Favourites

Edinburgh Nights
T. L. Huchu

One of my favourite series. It is set in Edinburgh. Tendai Huchu himself is an Edinburgh resident whom I have had the pleasure to chat with on several occasions. (Note to Tendai: I am still writing it will be finished!)

About the book:

When ghosts talk, she will listen . . .

Ropa dropped out of school to become a ghost talker – and she now speaks to Edinburgh’s dead, carrying messages to the living. A girl’s gotta earn a living, and it seems harmless enough. Until, that is, the dead whisper that someone’s bewitching children – leaving them husks, empty of joy and life. It’s on Ropa’s patch, so she feels honour bound to investigate. But what she learns will change her world.

She’ll dice with death (not part of her life plan . . .) as she calls on Zimbabwean magic and Scottish pragmatism to hunt down clues. For Edinburgh hides a wealth of secrets. And in the process, she discovers an occult library and some unexpected allies. Yet as shadows lengthen, will the hunter become the hunted?

Places in the Darkness
Chris Brookmyre

I enjoy both Brookmyre’s Sci-fi and Crime Fiction.

About the book:

A propulsive science fiction tale of murder and memory, all set on a futuristic space station.

Hundreds of miles above Earth, the space station Ciudad de Cielo – The City in the Sky – is a beacon of hope for humanity’s expansion into the stars. But not everyone aboard shares such noble ideals.

Bootlegging, booze, and prostitution form a lucrative underground economy for rival gangs, which the authorities are happy to turn a blind eye to until a disassembled corpse is found dancing in the micro-gravity.

In charge of the murder investigation is Nikki “Fix” Freeman, who is not thrilled to have Alice Blake, an uptight government goody-two-shoes, riding shotgun. As the bodies pile up, and the partners are forced to question their own memories, Nikki and Alice begin to realize that gang warfare may not be the only cause for the violence.

They Way or All Flesh
Ambrose Parry

Ok Ambrose Parry is one have Christopher Brookmyre another half his wife Marisa Haetzman so both socttish writers and its set in Edinburgh

About the book:

A vivid and gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Edinburgh, from husband-and-wife writing team Chris Brookmyre and Marisa Haetzman.

Edinburgh, 1847. City of Medicine, Money, Murder.

Young women are being discovered dead across the Old Town, all having suffered similarly gruesome ends. In the New Town, medical student Will Raven is about to start his apprenticeship with the brilliant and renowned Dr Simpson.

Simpson’s patients range from the richest to the poorest of this divided city. His house is like no other, full of visiting luminaries and daring experiments in the new medical frontier of anaesthesia. It is here that Raven meets housemaid Sarah Fisher, who recognises trouble when she sees it and takes an immediate dislike to him. She has all of his intelligence but none of his privileges, in particular his medical education.

With each having their own motive to look deeper into these deaths, Raven and Sarah find themselves propelled headlong into the darkest shadows of Edinburgh’s underworld, where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to make it out alive.

The Tick and the Tock of the Crocodile Clock
Kenny Boyle

Kenny and I have known eachother for a while being in the same social circle while I was in Uni. This is one of my favourite reads of 2022 as it really captured Glasgow perfectly.

About the book:

Wendy just wants to be a poet. So how comes she’s on the run after an art heist?

An aspiring writer from the Southside of Glasgow, Wendy is in a rut. She tries to brighten her call-center job by shoehorning as many long words as possible into conversations with customers. But her manager isn’t amused by that and, after a public dressing-down, Wendy walks out.

Jobless and depressed, she finds consolation in a surprise friendship with another disgruntled ex-colleague, wild-child painter Cat, who encourages her to live more dangerously. It’s just what Wendy needs and it’s also brilliant for her creative juices. But a black cloud is about to overshadow this new-found liberation, as well as to put Wendy on the wrong side of the law.

Fresh, insightful and funny, as well as unflinchingly honest about the tougher side of life, Kenny Boyle’s debut novel takes us deep into the psyche of a likeable misfit who treads a fine line between reality and fantasy – and just wants the world to see her true self.

Mirrorland
author

Carole Johnstone is a Lanarkshire author and mirrorland is set in Edinburgh. I have her second novel Blackhouse on my TBR and it is a whodunit set on a remote scottish island

About the book:

With the startling twists of Gone Girl and the haunting emotional power of Room, Mirrorland is a thrilling work of psychological suspense about twin sisters, the man they both love, and the dark childhood they can’t leave behind.

Cat lives in Los Angeles, far away from 36 Westeryk Road, the imposing gothic house in Edinburgh where she and her estranged twin sister, El, grew up. As girls, they invented Mirrorland, a dark, imaginary place under the pantry stairs full of pirates, witches, and clowns. These days Cat rarely thinks about their childhood home, or the fact that El now lives there with her husband Ross.

But when El mysteriously disappears after going out on her sailboat, Cat is forced to return to 36 Westeryk Road, which has scarcely changed in twenty years. The grand old house is still full of shadowy corners, and at every turn Cat finds herself stumbling on long-held secrets and terrifying ghosts from the past. Because someone—El?—has left Cat clues in almost every room: a treasure hunt that leads right back to Mirrorland, where she knows the truth lies crouched and waiting…

A twisty, dark, and brilliantly crafted thriller about love and betrayal, redemption and revenge, Mirrorland is a propulsive, page-turning debut about the power of imagination and the price of freedom.

Goldilocks
Laura Lam

Laura Lam an adoptive Scot! She lives and works in Edinburgh and many a scot sneak their way into her stories. For example in goldilocks the stolen spaceship is launched from a Scottish spaceport!

About the book:

The Earth is in environmental collapse. The future of humanity hangs in the balance. But a team of women are preparing to save it. Even if they’ll need to steal a spaceship to do it.

Despite increasing restrictions on the freedoms of women on Earth, Valerie Black is spearheading the first all-female mission to a planet in the Goldilocks Zone, where conditions are just right for human habitation.

The team is humanity’s last hope for survival, and Valerie has gathered the best women for the mission: an ace pilot who is one of the only astronauts ever to have gone to Mars; a brilliant engineer tasked with keeping the ship fully operational; and an experienced doctor to keep the crew alive. And then there’s Naomi Lovelace, Valerie’s surrogate daughter and the ship’s botanist, who has been waiting her whole life for an opportunity to step out of Valerie’s shadow and make a difference.

The problem is that they’re not the authorized crew, even if Valerie was the one to fully plan the voyage. When their mission is stolen from them, they steal the ship bound for the new planet.

But when things start going wrong on board, Naomi begins to suspect that someone is concealing a terrible secret — and realizes time for life on Earth may be running out faster than they feared . . .

The Maleficent Seven
Cameron Johnston

Johnston is a fellow Glaswegian and while I have not yet read his Age of Tyranny series I did enjoy this one!

About the book:

When you are all out of heroes, all that’s left are the villains.

Black Herran was a dread demonologist, and the most ruthless general in all Essoran. She assembled the six most fearsome warriors to captain her armies: a necromancer, a vampire lord, a demigod, an orcish warleader, a pirate queen, and a twisted alchemist. Together they brought the whole continent to its knees… Until the day she abandoned her army, on the eve of total victory.

40 years later, she must bring her former captains back together for one final stand, in the small town of Tarnbrooke – the last bastion against a fanatical new enemy tearing through the land, intent on finishing the job Black Herran started years before.

Seven bloodthirsty monsters. One town. Their last hope.

Hell Sans
Ever Dundas

Another Scottish Writer I am in the middle of reading Hellsans which has such an interesting concept and set up. Also as someone with complex and chronic allergy based condition it is nice to have some rep.

About the book:

When every word you read, whatever it says, fills you with euphoric calm – that’s HellSans; a typeface used everywhere by the government. To keep people happy. Blissful. And controlled.

Unless you’re allergic. And then every word is agony. Then HellSans is hell, and reading it will slowly kill you.

HellSans is the story of two women.

CEO Jane Ward is famous and successful, until she falls ill with the allergy and her life falls apart, dumping her in the ghetto with the other HSAs (HellSans Allergic). Where she meets…

Dr Icho Smith, a scientist who has a cure for the allergy. But she’s on the run from the government, and the Seraphs, a terrorist group with their own plan for the HSAs…

HellSans innovative structure allows you to read either Jane or Icho’s story first, before their lives meet in the terrifying finale.

HellSans is dystopia writ large. A novel where words can kill.

Edinburgh SFF Writers Group

I am part of the Edinburgh Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Group and it is filled with amazing and inspirational authors. They are a fantastically supportive bunch and Here are some examples of the awesome work from some of the group members.

Books I have read/I am reading…

The Atrocity Files
Charles Stross

The first book in the Laundry Files series and one of an extensive back catalogue of Charlie’s work. This is the book I started with but I am sure he could suggest other starting points.

About the book:

NEVER VOLUNTEER FOR ACTIVE DUTY . . .

Bob Howard is a low-level techie working for a super-secret government agency. While his colleagues are out saving the world, Bob’s under a desk restoring lost data. His world was dull and safe – but then he went and got Noticed.

Now, Bob is up to his neck in spycraft, parallel universes, dimension-hopping terrorists, monstrous elder gods and the end of the world. Only one thing is certain: it will take more than a full system reboot to sort this mess out . . .

This is the first novel in the Laundry Files.

Ascension
Nicholas Binge

Out on April 23rd 2023
I am lucky to have an ARC of this that Nick kindly signed at our last ESFF meet-up. I am only a couple of chapters and will have a review up before release.

About the book:

A mind-bending speculative thriller in which the sudden appearance of a mountain in the middle of the Pacific Ocean leads a group of scientists to a series of jaw-dropping revelations that challenge the notion of what it means to be human

An enormous snow-covered mountain has appeared in the Pacific Ocean. No one knows when exactly it showed up, precisely how big it might be, or how to explain its existence. When Harold Tunmore, a scientist of mysterious phenomena, is contacted by a shadowy organization to help investigate, he has no idea what he is getting into as he and his team set out for the mountain.

The higher Harold’s team ascends, the less things make sense. Time moves differently, turning minutes into hours, and hours into days. Amid the whipping cold of higher elevation, the climbers’ limbs numb and memories of their lives before the mountain begin to fade. Paranoia quickly turns to violence among the crew, and slithering, ancient creatures pursue them in the snow. Still, as the dangers increase, the mystery of the mountain compels them to its peak, where they are certain they will find their answers. Have they stumbled upon the greatest scientific discovery known to man or the seeds of their own demise?

Framed by the discovery of Harold Tunmore’s unsent letters to his family and the chilling and provocative story they tell, Ascension considers the limitations of science and faith and examines both the beautiful and the unsettling sides of human nature.

The Children of Gods and Fighting Men
Shauna Lawless

I am in the middle of the audiobook for Shauna’s debut and loving it! she also shared the cover for book 2 and it is just as gorgeous!

About the book:

The first in a gripping new historical fantasy series that intertwines Irish mythology with real-life history, The Children of Gods and Fighting Men is the thrilling debut novel by Shauna Lawless.

They think they’ve killed the last of us…

981 AD. The Viking King of Dublin is dead. His young widow, Gormflaith, has ambitions for her son – and herself – but Ireland is a dangerous place and kings tend not to stay kings for long. Gormflaith also has a secret. She is one of the Fomorians, an immortal race who can do fire-magic. She has kept her powers hidden at all costs, for there are other immortals in this world – like the Tuatha Dé Danann, a race of warriors who are sworn to kill Fomorians.

Fódla is one of the Tuatha Dé Danann with the gift of healing. Her kind dwell hidden in a fortress, forbidden to live amongst the mortals. Fódla agrees to help her kin by going to spy on Brian Boru, a powerful man who aims to be High King of Ireland. She finds a land on the brink of war – a war she is desperate to stop. However, preventing the loss of mortal lives is not easy with Ireland in turmoil and the Fomorians now on the rise…

Books on my TBR (I promise I will get to them soon!) …

The Way the Light Bends
Lorraine Wilson

Set in Scotland, by a Scottish author and under a Scottish Press so its triple scottish. I have this on my TBR but recent talk has been of the stunning cover reveal for Mother Sea which will be released in May 2023. It is just a stunning cover!

About the book:

Sometimes hope is the most dangerous thing of all.

When their brother dies, two sisters lose the one thing that connected them. But then a year after her twin’s death, Tamsin goes missing.

Despite police indifference and her husband’s doubts, Freya is determined to find her sister. But a trail of diary entries reveals a woman she barely knew, and a danger she can scarcely fathom, full of deep waters and shadowy myths, where the grief that drove Tamsin to the edge of a cliff also led her into the arms of a mysterious stranger … A man who promised hope but demanded sacrifice.

Thief Mage Beggar Mage
Cat Hellisen

The last line of the blurb says it all for me so this was straight on to my TBR when Cat launched it. I will make time in December, the cover is looking at me, with all it’s pretty, I just have to.

About the book:

Tet is no longer a priest-mage; thrown out from his temple and cursed by his gods to return a stolen relic. With every passing year, the curse works deeper into his flesh, breaking and twisting him until finally, driven by pain, Tet makes a drastic play to escape the gods.

His luck turns sour, and the escape costs him his soul, drawing his death even closer when he is captured by the despotic White Prince. In order to escape the prince, retrieve his soul and break the curse, Tet must form a fragile alliance with a man he cannot trust. An alliance made brittle by lies and deception; one that may take his heart as well as his soul.

Thief Mage, Beggar Mage is a lush, queer reimagining of Andersen’s The Tinderbox, embroidered with dreams, secret identities, stolen magic, giant spectral dogs, clockwork monsters, prophetic dragons, and the grand games of gods and humans.


If you think I have missed a particular book, or you think there is one I should add to my TBR A.S.A.P then please do let me know.

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

One thought on “Read Scottish – St Andrew’s Day Edition

  1. You already have some of my favourites on here so only one to add; The Four Treasures series by Caroline Logan which starts with The Stone of Destiny. All four books are out and available on Kindle Unlimited too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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