Listed below are more than a dozen mysteries and thrillers set in Scotland. They include two historical courtroom dramas, one of them by Denise Mina and set in Glasgow; Peter May’s atmospheric Lewis Trilogy set in the Outer Hebrides Islands; and seven of the volumes in Ian Rankin’s outstanding series of bestselling detective novels featuring Inspector John Rebus in Edinburgh.
I was sorely tempted to include the charming novels of the #1 Ladies Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith, who is most assuredly a Scot. Alas, the books are all set in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. (Go to the head of the class if you know where that is.) I’ve read several of the other novels written by McCall Smith, some of them mysteries, but not recently enough to have reviewed and included them here.
Mysteries and thrillers set in Scotland
His Bloody Project: Documents Relating to the Case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet—An unreliable narrator explains three brutal murders in 19th century Scotland
Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy
- The Blackhouse (Lewis Trilogy #1)—A moody Scottish detective novel set in the Outer Hebrides
- The Lewis Man (Lewis Trilogy #2)—Off-beat detective novels set in a lonely corner of the world
- The Chessmen (Lewis Trilogy #3)—A moody murder mystery set in a far corner of Scotland
Still Midnight (Alex Morrow #1) by Denise Mina—Would-be robbers and cops in Glasgow
The Long Drop by Denise Mina—A courtroom drama set in Glasgow in the 50s
Ian Rankin’s Inspector Rebus novels
- Knots and Crosses (Inspector Rebus #1)—The first in a series of great detective novels
- Hide and Seek (Inspector Rebus #2)—Devil worship and murder in this early Inspector Rebus novel
- Tooth and Nail (Inspector Rebus #3)—Inspector Rebus goes to London to catch a serial murderer
- Strip Jack (Inspector Rebus #4)—An Edinburgh brothel, an honest MP, and two murders
- Mortal Causes (Inspector Rebus #6)—Inspector Rebus confronts Right-Wing Irish paramilitaries
- Standing in Another Man’s Grave (Inspector Rebus #18)—A journey into the dark side in present-day Scotland
- Saints of the Shadow Bible (Inspector Rebus #19)—A thoroughly enjoyable novel of suspense
- Even Dogs in the Wild (Inspector Rebus #20)—John Rebus, Malcolm Fox, and the city of Edinburgh
For additional reading
You might also enjoy my posts:
- Top 10 mystery and thriller series;
- 20 excellent standalone mysteries and thrillers; and
- Two dozen outstanding detective series from around the world.
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