Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Would Be on My Modern Scottish Crime Fiction 101 Syllabus

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. Today’s theme was:

Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101 (examples: YA fantasy 101, feminist literature 101, magic in YA 101, classic YA lit 101, world-building 101)


In the last 30 years or so, Scottish crime fiction has become such a HUGE part of the Scottish literature scene. Crime fiction allows authors to explore their cities and countries through the eyes of people who are constantly involved in everything going on – the police. Crime fictions authors can talk politics, economy, people, and so much more. When living in Scotland, I was lucky enough to volunteer for the first ever Scottish crime writing festival, Bloody Scotland, in its first year and work as the volunteer coordinator in its second year, and through this experience I met and spoke to SO many amazing crime fiction authors. I’m not even a teacher, and I’m getting excited about what I could teach in this class. Let’s start with the syllabus.

Laidlaw by William McIlvanney     The Falls     44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith     The Crow Road by Iain Banks

The books around which most of the course would be centered:

Laidlaw by William McIlvanney – The novel that MANY crime fiction authors credit as the reason they began writing crime fiction. (GR)

The Falls by Ian Rankin – the book that got me into reading Scottish crime fiction. I could seriously do a whole class on Ian Rankin and his novels, but I’ve limited myself to one. (GR)

44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith – More of a mystery series than crime, but it offers a different take and the whole feel of the novel is different. (GR)

The Crow Road by Iain Banks (GR)

The books we’d also discuss:

Still Midnight by Denise Mina (GR)

The Skeleton Road by Val McDermid (GR)

Glasgow Kiss by Alex Gray (GR)

Raven Black by Ann Cleeves (GR)

The Blackhouse by Peter May (GR)

Shatter the Bones by Stuart MacBride (GR)

Quite Ugly One Morning by Christopher Brookmyre (GR)


I could seriously keep going. There are so many amazing Scottish crime fiction authors. I don’t have Lin Anderson on here or Craig Robertson, Quintin Jardine, Caro Ramsay, Gordon Brown. Okay, I’m forcing myself to stop. If you like crime fiction, you’ve got to check out these amazing Scottish authors.