Books Set in Scotland

Sunday, 9 April 2017
When I think about the sort of books that I want to read more of it makes me realise that I'd actually like to read more fiction novels set in my home country: Scotland. I've read and loved a lot of books set here but I'd like to read a wider variety of Scottish literature. When I collate all the books that I've read that are set in Scotland there's a running theme: murder/mystery. Not entirely sure what it says about us (I'm fairly sure the murder rate is pretty low) but I do love a good murder mystery novel.

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh
This classic heroin tale is back in the spotlight after the release of the second film. I'm a fan of Irvine Welsh's work. If you're not familiar with the Scottish accent then you may struggle with this book as it's written phonetically. I even have to read it aloud to myself at points and this is how people speak where I'm from! That being said this book is packed with action and is really hard hitting. I'd really recommend it as a great intro to Scottish literature. 

The Blackhouse by Peter May

Peter May is my favourite Scottish crime novelist! I even got to meet him at the Edinburgh Book Festival and he was so kind. This book follows a police detective from Edinburgh as he investigates a murder on the Isle of Lewis. The writing in this book perfectly captures the atmosphere of the islands - it's almost like being in a different country. The Blackhouse is the first book in the Lewis Trilogy which I'd fully recommend. 

The Legacy of Elizabeth Pringle
This book doesn't contain murder but it's certainly a mystery. When an old lady dies on the Isle of Arran people are shocked by her will. She has left her house to a woman who visited the island years ago. That woman is now elderly herself and suffers from dementia so her daughter is left in charge of the estate. The mystery of who Elizabeth Pringle actually was and why she left the house to a stranger unravels in this wonderful book. 

The Cutting Room by Louise Welsh
This award-winning novel was Louise Welsh's first novel and it's possibly one of the most gripping novels I've ever read (it's been a few years so stick with me). An auctioneer is clearing an elderly man's house after his death and uncoveres some fairly distressing pornography (essentially snuff) which sparks an investigation to look for the women in the photos and find out the story of her death. Pretty grime but extremely well written and beautiful.

Red Bones by Ann Cleeves
You're probably familiar with the Shetland series as it's been turned into a BBC drama series (which is also available on Netflix UK at the moment). This is the third book in the series but it's actually the only one I've read as my grandad has a habit of giving me the middle book of a series without telling me there are earlier books. Some archeologists discover some human remains on the Shetland Isles at the same time an elderly woman is shot. The investigations take place side by side in this gripping mystery/thriller. Easy read and a great book. 

Ways To Die In Glasgow by Jay Stringer
This book is written by Lis's husband and is probably the most modern book on the list. This novel follows a detective around Glasgow as she tries to solve a murder and two other characters who are involved. It's really gripping and I love the split narrative of the book. What I like about this is that it referenced places in Glasgow. I think reading books set somewhere you're familiar with adds a special touch. This was one of my favourite books from 2016 so I'd really recommend it! 

If you've read any great books set in Scotland then please leave your recommendations in the comments. 

Twitter @honestlyrussell // Instagram  @honestlyrussell // Pinterest @honestlyrussell

1 comment

  1. Never tried reading those books but I might add some to my booklist! thanks for this!


Thank you for leaving a comment, I try my best to reply to all comments but if you need a fast response please email or tweet me instead.