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.

Waiting on Wednesday – Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

Author: Lori Rader-Day

Release date: July 7, 2015 (my birthday!)

Synopsis from Goodreads:


Juliet Townsend works a dead-end job cleaning rooms at the Midnight Inn, a one-star hotel that attracts only the cheap or the desperate. Embittered by her bleak life, she takes to stealing small possessions from customers’ rooms. At home she hoards a secret collection of these “little pretty things.”

When a former friend and old high school rival, Madeleine Bell, checks into the hotel, Juliet adds envy to her bitterness. Well-dressed, flashing a diamond ring on her finger, and as beautiful as ever, Maddy is the very embodiment of Juliet’s every dashed hope. But why would she choose to stay in the seedy Midnight Inn?

Before an answer to that question turns up, the next morning Juliet learns that Maddy has been found dead in her room. And the police have targeted Juliet as the chief suspect.

To protect herself, Juliet is forced to investigate the circumstances of Maddy’s life and death. What she uncovers is that her onetime rival certainly never had it all. And Juliet may lose what little she has.

Why I’m excited: I read and LOVED Lori’s debut novel The Black Hour last year. I first heard about Little Pretty Things when I interviewed Lori in July. I couldn’t wait for a new book by her then and I still can’t wait to read more by her now. Lori’s characters are so human and real, and I’m looking forward to meeting Juliet and Maddy. Murder, mystery, and a lot of little pretty things. Yes, please. Add on to that the fact that Lori is super nice, and you’ve got me wishing Little Pretty Things was in hand right now.