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Stuart MacBride is a Scottish writer, widely known for his bestselling Logan McRae and Ash Henderson detective novels. He gained worldwide recognition for his crime-thriller novels set in the city of Aberdeen, featuring Detective Logan McRae as he goes around solving a spate of dark and mysterious crimes.
Stuart MacBride started his writing career in 2005 with the first Logan McRae novel titled “Cold Granite.” He received the Barry Award for the Best First Novel the following year, and since then, Stuart has authored fifteen novels belonging to his most popular Logan McRae series along with several other short-stories and some standalone books..
Born in Dumbarton and raised in Aberdeen, Stuart MacBride went from scrubbing toilets to being a bestselling author whose novels have received acclamation worldwide!
Let us take a brief look into the life and career of this eminent murder-mystery genius!
Stuart MacBride was born on 27th February 1969 in the Scottish town of Dumbarton, which is a short ride away from the bustling city of Glasgow. The first two years of his life were spent there, after which, his family moved up to Aberdeen where Stuart spent most of his life.
Stuart’s early life saw him struggle a lot with academics owing to a complete inability to spell and an outrageously volatile attention span. Nevertheless, he managed a mediocre academic life while living in a small suburb, seven miles west of Aberdeen.
University was something Stuart never saw eye to eye with and hence, failed to graduate from the Heriot-Watt University at Edinburgh where he was studying Architecture. Having faced his fair share of troubles in the city, Stuart aborted his course and went off to work on the offshore rigs.
Working offshore came with its share of struggles but provided him with a good income, most of which he blew in the pubs and clubs of Aberdeen. Immediately following his days as an offshore worker, Stuart began a career in graphic designing and quickly became a studio manager for a nationwide marketing company.
After this, Stuart would go on to change his professions numerous times, from being a professional actor to a web designer and programmer. It was during his days of working in IT that Stuart authored his first book “Cold Granite” featuring Detective Logan McRae which finally gave him the big break.
The Logan McRae Series by Stuart MacBride is a fine specimen of the dark crime-thriller genre that ingrains elements of dark humor which makes it a very refreshing read. The protagonist of the novel is Detective Sergeant Logan McRae who, along with his team, works for the Aberdeen Police Department in hunting down criminals accused of some eerily dark crimes.
Set in the city of Aberdeen, the Logan McRae Series has elements of sly humor blended within a dark and ghastly subject matter. This is a classic dark-humor style mystery series that is best enjoyed by people with a taste for such novels.
The detective has a strikingly riveting personality with an incredible eye for detail. Nonetheless, he does find himself in some frustrating situations quite often as he investigates crimes. The author brings to life some exceptionally captivating characters through this series that are entirely loveable, but come with their share of flaws.
One of the most interesting of all is that of Detective Inspector (DI) Roberta Steel, Logan’s immediate boss. She is a heavy-drinking, foul-mouthed lesbian with the heart of a lion. With a story as dark as night, a character such as hers serves as a welcome refresher to the readers thanks to her sly wit.
Stuart MacBride is an author that has seen the peaks of success through his marvelous works in the crime-thriller genre. His very first book, “Cold Granite” fetched him Barry Award for the Best Debut Novel in 2006. There has been no looking back for him since then.
Around 2.5 million copies of his books have sold worldwide apart from them being translated to 18 different languages. Throughout his career, he has won several awards and accolades, including the prestigious ITV Crime-Thriller Award in 2008 for the Breakthrough Author of the year.
MacBride received an honorary doctorate from Dundee University in 2015 owing to his wonderful contributions to the world of literature.
Stuart MacBride currently resides in northeastern Scotland along with his wife Fiona and their cat Grendel. Apart from producing the Logan McRae novels, he has been writing another series, the Oldcastle novels and numerous short stories.
He has also written the highly acclaimed “Skeleton Bob” story series which appeals to both adults and children, with the proceeds going to the seemingly bizarre, but critically important and worthy, “Million For A Morgue” campaign. This was set up with crime book authors to raise money for a state of the art morgue to built at The Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification at The University of Dundee,.which specialises in forensics related to human identification. This has helped in solving crimes against people, including using their hand identification techniques to catch paedophiles whose hands can be seen in video footage..
Anne Perry is an internationally acclaimed English novelist who is widely recognized for her bestselling Thomas Pitt and William Monk detective novels. Born in London, Perry’s life itself makes for a story that wouldn’t seem out of place in a crime fiction novel. With a massive list of titles to her credit, Perry is hailed to be one of the finest writers of the historical crime fiction genre of this generation. Perry’s novels have sold over 26 Million copies worldwide, with her Victorian Age novels featuring Thomas Pitt and William Monk being bestsellers. Her sheer volume of work is incredible enough on it’s own and when combined with the quality of her work, she stands out from the crowd. Today, we will take a small tour of Perry’s rather intriguing life.
The early life of Anne Perry had been one that had seen several unpleasant events, some of which are rather dark in nature. She was born in Blackheath, London on 28th October 1938 and was the daughter of a well-known physicist, Dr. Henry Rainsford Hulme. Early in her life, Perry was diagnosed with tuberculosis and was sent to the Caribbean, and later to South Africa, in hopes that a warmer climate would prove to be a cure for her ailment. In 1948, Perry, along with her family, moved to a private island off the coast of New Zealand where Perry enjoyed a life of luxury and independence.
By the time she turned ten, Perry had missed nearly three years of school. But thanks to her mother who taught her to read and write at an early age, Perry had been able to catch up and swiftly grew fond of literature. Unfortunately for Perry, bad times seemed to catch up with her yet again as she fell ill once again at the tender age of thirteen. This left her parents with no choice but to take her out of school and as a result, Perry never received any further formal education.
The darkest phase of her life came at the age of fifteen when she, along with her best friend Pauline Parker, murdered Parker’s mother, Honorah Reiper. The duo committed the crime on 22nd June 1954 in a park in Christchurch where they battered to death Honorah Reiper with a brick wrapped in stockings. The supposed reason behind the ghastly act was the fact that Anne’s parents were in the process of separation and she was to be taken to South Africa to live with some relatives. The two teenage best friends who were deeply engaged with each other did not want to be separated and hoped the murder would somehow stop their separation.
There was, and continued to be for many years, a lot of speculation raised on her relationship with Pauline Parker, the daughter of her victim. In those times, it was considered a controversial subject.
Perry was convicted of the crime and faced five years in prison after which she changed her original name (Juliet Marion Hulme) to her current one and moved back to England. The Parker-Hulme murder case formed the basis of a Hollywood film, “Heavenly Creatures,” starring Kate Winslet and Melanie Lynskey. Surprisingly, it was only a few months after the film’s release that the word got out on Anne Perry’s past, most of which was hidden till then.
Her career as a writer didn’t actually begin until 1979 with the publication of her first novel “The Cater Street Hangman,” which introduced us to Detective Thomas Pitt. Following this book’s release she was on a rapid upward spiral.
Anne Perry is most widely celebrated for two of her bestselling Victorian England historical crime thrillers, the Thomas Pitt Series and the William Monk Series. Both of the two novel series feature one male and one female protagonist. The Thomas Pitt series is undoubtedly one of her finest works and deals with the detective Thomas Pitt aided by his wife, Charlotte, who is also well connected in society through family. Often with her relative’s help, they investigate mysterious crimes in the streets of Victorian London.
Set in the timeline between 1880s-1890s, Perry skillfully brings the setting to life through some fantastic use of imagery and wordplay and swiftly gets the readers engrossed in the well-crafted mysteries of Victorian England. The Thomas Pitt series features a total of thirty-two novels with Murder on the Serpentine being the latest installment to the series
The William Monk mystery series is set on a slightly earlier timeline compared to the Thomas Pitt novels, with its events occurring between the years 1850 to 1860. This series features the amnesiac William Monk matched with Hester Latterly, a Crimean war nurse as they put pieces together in uncovering some of the darkest mysteries of Victorian England. Monk’s partner, Hester Latterly plays a crucial role throughout the entire series, often proving to be a better detective than the protagonist.
Here, Anne Perry discusses her William Monk character
Both of these bestselling crime-fiction novel series feature captivating storylines combined with incredibly detailed character-centric themes. The Thomas Pitt and William Monk detective novels are one of the finest specimens of historical crime novels that are a definite must-read for readers who enjoy the crime-thriller genre!
Anne Perry has not been the recipient of many major accolades and awards which in my mind, and in those of far more intelligent people than I, is probably owing to a rather dark past in spite of her incredible talent as a writer. However, Perry did receive the prestigious Edgar Award in 2000 for her short story titled “Heroes.” She has also been the guest of honor at BoucherCON and Killer Nashville.
Much of Anne Perry’s adult life was spent in keeping away from her controversial and tragic past. Now, at the age of 79, Perry lives a secluded lifestyle in Scotland. She lives with three dogs and two cats in a restored stone barn in a tiny coastal village o\n Scotland’s north east coast. She is also rumored to be an avid listener of opera and loves to knit in her free time.
Her biography, The Search for Anne Perry, was released in 2012 and hoped to answer the questions of a vast number of curious minds that want to delve deep into the past of this mysterious writer.
Cold Granite (2005)
Dying Light (2006)
Flesh House (2008)
Blind Eye (2009)
Dark Blood (2010)
Shatter The Bones (2011)
Close to the Bone (2013)
The Missing and the Dead (2015)
In the Cold Dark Ground (2016)
The Blood Road (2018)
The latest Kindle, the Kindle Oasis, has more features than it’s predecessors which is not unusual, but it also brings yet another dimension to reading – it’s waterproof.
Yes, it can tolerate water up to 2 meters deep, which unfortunately takes you deep sea divers out of it, and withstand being underwater for a whole hour. Why anyone wants to read underwater beats me, but I imagine it’s simply designed for the average klutz in this world. Reading in the shower is also a possibility I suppose, so if your significant other isn’t around to play with, you can take your Kindle with you – not quite the same, but to each their own.
The slimmest yet at only 3.4 mm (less than 1/4 of an inch), and the lightest at under 200 g (about 6 ounces).
The screen is 7 inches as opposed to 6 inches on previous models.
Memory capacity of 8GB or 32GB – enough space for thousands of books. Previous models 4GB – still ample room for most people.
Battery life up to six weeks.
Includes Audible which means you can listen to your favorite books as well as read them – just not at the same time. Basically, you can be reading your book on your Kindle Oasis, and let’s imagine you then have to get in the car and drive somewhere, you can carry on listening from where you left off.
A feature that is not new with this model but a reminder of just one of the amazing features:
Ever carried on reading a book that you had not looked at for a few days or weeks, and couldn’t remember, for example, the details of one of the characters and what they had said or done? I have, many times. Well, the X-Ray timeline view lets you easily flip through passages to remind yourself of what’s happened in the book.
It also allows you to see all the passages across a book that mention relevant ideas, fictional characters, historical figures, places, or topics of interest. If, for example, you are reading a book set in Dover, England, you can look up more information about that city directly on your device. The relevant information is stored on the device or the app – you do not need an internet connection. Not all books have this feature.
Here’s a quick demo of the first Kindle that was equipped with X-Ray”
Do you like the idea of this new Kindle? Then how about trading in your old Kindle?
The price, set at $249, is not exactly cheap, but if you want the latest including the fact it’s waterproof, you pay for it. If you’re prone to dropping things in the water, or reading in the bath or shower, then this might be for you. The added feature of Audible is interesting and in my mind, useful, but for myself, I’m fine without upgrading.
I reviewed the Kindle Paperwhite before, and at $119. it does everything I need.
Either way, check out Kindle – it’s changing the way we read, which may or may not be a good thing.
My favourite method of enjoying these magnificent stories remains to sit down with a paperback in my favourite chair, but due to frequent travelling, I tend to do most of my reading on a plane – this at least makes flying more tolerable and pleasant.
As with so many people nowadays, time seems to be increasingly scarce. I make at least two lengthy car journeys a week of five hours each and, after becoming rather tired of listening to music, I tried something I never thought I would do – I downloaded an Audiobook.
I always felt this was sacrilegious! One Audiobook later and I was hooked! My previously boring car journeys are now something I actually look forward to, and the subject of this site, British Detective Books, are the perfect kind of stories to listen to and keep you tuned in.
I chose Audible because it had by far the best selection, was easy to sign up for and due to it being part of Amazon, is reliable, professional and downloads are easy. It also has a rather incredible return policy (yes, you can return an Audible book for a refund). I personally returned two books – one because it was so terrible that I gave up listening after about an hour, and the second because I realized that I had read the book previously. I’m sure that Audible, quite rightly, makes sure that this return policy is not abused, but my two refunds were hassle-free.
Whether driving, working out at the gym, walking or jogging, I always use these opportunities to listen to a great book.