Bloody Scotland 2019 – Crime in the Spotlight Authors Announced.

Bloody Scotland is a truly inclusive festival, turning the reader’s attention to authors both new and established alike. One of the highlights of the festival is the Crime in the Spotlight sessions before the headline acts appear, and I look forward to hearing from the different authors every year. I’ve lost count of the number of books I’ve bought off the back of them. Today, the team at Bloody Scotland have announced the line up for the 2019 festival and I’m delighted to be able to share the official press release with you all now.


Bloody Scotland will again be supporting new writers by pairing established authors with ‘support’ acts just starting out on their crime writing career.

Graeme Macrae Burnet, author of His Bloody Project was famously ‘In the Spotlight’ as a support act for Ian Rankin, before the book was shortlisted for the Man Booker, and the initiative has been praised on Open Book, BBC Radio 4 for being innovative and breaking the boundaries of traditional book festivals.

Authors ‘In the Spotlight’ this year include Judith O’Reilly, a former producer for Newsnight and Channel 4 News who is paired with David Baldacci straight from leading the torchlight procession; Jackie McLean, who volunteered at Bloody Scotland now makes her way on to the main stage herself with Chris Brookmyre and Michael Robotham; Gordon Kerr, who as Head of Marketing at Waterstones selected Alexander McCall Smith as Book of the Month and will now share the stage with the much loved international star and Noelle Holten, better known to everyone in the crime fiction world as the power blogger Crime Book Junkie, who will be on stage with the even more powerful Ian Rankin and First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

The full list includes authors published by Scottish and English independents, large London conglomerates and some self-published authors with a mix of male and female crime writers. One of last years authors ‘in the spotlight’, Claire Askew who last year took to the stage with Ann Cleeves and Louise Penny has this year been shortlisted for both the debut and the main McIlvanney Prize. The finalists will be revealed on 6 September.

The full list of spotlighted authors is listed below. Some of the headline events are already sold out, but for you can still grab tickets for a number of the key panels here so that you don’t miss out on the fun:

Judith O’Reilly (Northumberland) with David Baldacci, Friday 20th, 8.30pm (Killing State, Head of Zeus)

Geraldine Hogan (Ireland) with Dr David Wilson, Saturday 21st, 10am (Silent Night, Bookouture)

Jackie McLean (Glasgow) Chris Brookmyre & Michael Robotham, Sat 21st, 11.45am (Shadows, Thunderpoint)

Gordon Kerr (East Kilbride & Dorset) with Alexander McCall Smith, Sat 21st1.30pm (The Partisan Heart, Muswell Press)

Fiona Erskine (Edinburgh & Teeside) with Denise Mina & Louise Welsh, Sat 21st 3.15pm (The Chemical Detective, Oneworld)

Daniel James (Newcastle) with Richard Osman, Sat 21st 5pm (The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas, Dead Ink Books)

Noelle Holten (Birmingham) with Ian Rankin & Nicola Sturgeon, Sat 21st, 8pm (Dead Inside, Harper Collins)

Anne Pettigrew (Greenock) with Professor Angela Gallop, Sun 22nd, 11am (Not the Life Imagined, Ringwood)

Neil Lancaster (Highlands) with Lin Anderson & Alex Gray, Sun 22nd, 12.45pm (Going Dark, Self Pub)

Douglas Watt (Edinburgh) with Ambrose Parry and Nicci French, Sun 22nd, 2.30pm (The Unnatural Death of a Jacobite, Luath)

Anna Sayburn Lane (London) with Yrsa Sigurdardottir & Sally Magnusson, Sun 22nd, 4pm (Unlawful Things, Self)

Christine Laurenson (Shetland) with Stuart MacBride & Mark Billingham, Sun 22nd 5.30pm (Dark Business, Self)

I’m looking forward to seeing all the authors take part. Hope to see you there!

About the Festival

Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers in 2012. The festival uses a number of atmospheric, historic venues in Stirling’s Old Town setting it apart from other literary festivals. Full information & sponsor information at

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