the gentlewoman

Val McDermid

The undisputed queen of crime (fiction, that is) was born in 1955 and grew up in Kirkaldy, a coastal town renowned for its production of salt and linoleum. As a teenager, Val swapped views of the Firth of Forth for the considerably flatter, inland pastures of Oxford university, where she read English at St. Hilda’s Collage as the very first student to be accepted from a Scottish state school, no less. Post-graduation, Val cut her editorial teeth working on the crime desk of Glaswegian tabloid the Daily Record, developing a keen journalistic eye for detail (and a strong stomach for the macabre.) Her debut novel, Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery, was published in 1987, the first of over 30 “Tartan Noir” thrillers to date. Val currently divides her time between Stockport in Manchester and Edinburgh, where she lives with her partner Jo and an impressive collection of novelty T-shirts.