Free Book

To celebrate the latest Rhona Macleod novel, PATHS OF THE DEAD being shortlisted for the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Book of the Year, the first novel in the series DRIFTNET Is FREE on Amazon Kindle until Friday this week.


A driftnet catches everything.

A teenage boy is found mutilated in a Glasgow flat. Forensic scientist Rhona MacLeod is called to the scene, but her grim task is even more unsettling than normal by the boy’s remarkable resemblance to her – Could he be the son she gave up for adoption seventeen years before?
Amidst the turmoil of her own love life and consumed by guilt from the past, Rhona sets out to find both the boy’s killer and her own son. The powerful members of an Internet paedophile ring have nothing to lose and everything to gain by Rhona MacLeod’s death.

To buy the book for yourself, you can go to the link below

Up and Coming Crime Events in St. Andrews Waterstones



6.30 pm


The legendary crime writer and creator of Bob Skinner and Oz and Primavera Blackstone will be there to discuss Matthew’s Tale, a gripping historical crime novel set in 19th century Scotland.

this, his landmark fortieth novel, Quintin Jardine tells the remarkable story of a man’s quest for justice – at any cost.

1818, Carluke, Lanarkshire.

Mathew Fleming returns home to Scotland following heroic service at the Battle of Waterloo. After seven years away, he is a ghostly presence to those he left behind.

But Mathew is ambitious and soon becomes a man of influence in his county and beyond. Yet through all his success, he still hides the loss of his one true love.

When a terrible act of murder occurs, Mathew must choose between the rule of blood and the rule of law. And as a man of honour with a warrior’s instincts, he embarks on a journey of vengeance that will test every sinew of his faith in mankind…





The award winning Scottish Crime Author will be there to discuss Blood Salt Water, the fifth book in the Glasgow based Alex Morrow Series.

Salt water lifts blood. Only salt water.

Loch Lomond is a mile deep but the woman’s body surfaced anyway. Found bludgeoned and dumped in the water, she now haunts Iain Fraser, the man who put her there. She trusted him and now that misplaced trust is gnawing through Iain’s chest. He thinks it will kill him.

Nearby Helensburgh is an idyllic Victorian town. One-time home to a quarter of all the millionaires in Britain, it is quaint, sleepy and chocolate-box pretty. But the real town is shot through with deception, lies and vested interests.

As tensions rise and the police seek a killer, the conflicts that lurk beneath Helensburgh’s calm waters threaten to explode. All Iain Fraser has to do is keep on lying.

All events are free, unticketed and will take place in the Waterstones Branch in St. Andrews in their shop on Market Street. You can call the shop on 01334 477893 for more information.

July 2015 Tea Toast and Thriller Interview with Mark Leggatt


Mark Leggatt was born in Lochee, Dundee. A former specialist in Disaster Recovery for oil companies and global banks, his career has taken him around Europe, especially Paris, where he lived for a number of years. History and modern global conspiracy lie at the heart of his work, and are the backdrop for the adventures of CIA technician Connor Montrose. Leggatt is a member of the Crime Writers Association in the UK, and the International Thriller Writers in the USA.

1. How did you get started writing?

I’ve always written, in some form or another, since my teens. Mostly in journals, notebooks or scraps of paper. My earliest memory of writing was in Primary Six, St. Ninians in Dundee. The teacher, Mr Cain, wanted a skive, so handed us each a random photo and told us to write a story. My photo was of a red phone box. Thirty minutes later, I’d worked out an entire saga and hadn’t even started the story. I was fuming when he told me to stop. I still am.

2. What drew you to write a thriller novel?

Quite simply, I followed the advice of ‘Write what you like to read’. I’ve always been a big fan of the international thriller, so it was a no-brainer. I had scribbled down plots for years, and when I sat down to write, I trawled through my notebooks for ideas. Around eight years ago, on a sunny Tuesday morning, in a wee village outside Toulouse in southern France, I was lying in the bath, thinking what I was going to do for the day. I had a few months off between contracts with BP and Shell, so I was enjoying the time off, mooching around the house, chopping firewood, and taking long walks in the forest with our Cairn terrier. But I was getting bored, and rather than a Eureka moment, I had a JFDI moment, and decided to finally stop talking about writing a book, and actually do it.

I have always carried a notebook on my travels. I had years of scribbled notes, half written chapters, sketchy sketches of characters, and plots with more holes than a colander. I counted my notebooks. There were around 150 of them, in various sizes. I scanned through them for hidden gems, but I got the feeling that I wasn’t going to find anything of much use (in the long term, I was wrong, they were stacked with nuggets, but I just couldn’t see it.) So, I decided to start from scratch. I drove up to the next village and found a newsagent, where I stocked up on pens, pencils and an artists A3 sketchpad. I arrived home, cleared the dining room table, and started scribbling. I had no where I was going, but that was fine. All I wanted to do was write, keep writing, and trust that I’d find my way. Well, I did, but it took me a lot longer than I expected. It was four years of work before I was ready to submit to agents, and another three years before I found an agent. In total, it took eight years before I was accepted for publication. But in all that time, after that first day, there was no way in hell that I was giving up. I had a objective, and I was determined to see it through.

The first few months before I went back to work were spent scribbling any story that came into my head and walking around the garden, followed by our dog, who was wondering what the hell I was doing. Plots came, plots went. Travel allowed me to read widely, and I’ve spent about ten years dotting from job to job in various airport lounges three times a week. I’ve lived in every sort of hotel from a five star palace in Den Haag to a seedy dive in Montmartre, where the lights of the Moulin Rouge flickered outside my window, the carpets were as sticky as treacle, and you could hear the whorehouse banging away next door. I noted everything down as I moved from city to city. Amsterdam, Berlin, the history of Paris and it’s inhabitants, and any news that I found interesting, plus the people involved. The research gave me tools for my toolbox, and a platform to research the softer skills of dialogue and emotion, to draw the reader into the mind of the characters. These softer skills I had to develop, and through imagination and observation, I wrote down why people acted in the manner that they did. What were their fears and motivations, what drove them on, and what fear (or strength) stopped them? I used my notebooks to record these thoughts, and educate myself in what exactly was driving my characters. I wanted my characters to do what they wanted to do, not what I wanted them to do. It took time, and a lot of notebooks, but my characters emerged, along with their passions, strengths and fears.

Four years later, I was at a point where I could justify and explain why my story would work. That was the beginning of Names of The Dead. I took the decision to lay aside all the previous work, and call that my “Prentice Piece”. Then I picked up the pencils once more, read my notebooks, and began the plot for Names of the Dead.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?

None that I can think of, but I made a conscious effort not to copy the style of others, but to find my own way. if it worked, I would know.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest?

I spent around four years trying to get an agent, and doing various re-writes to improve my work. Eventually, I signed with an agent in New York, Eric Nelson, who as an ex-editor, was extremely helpful in advising on my work. We tried the big publishers in New York, but with no joy. It’s very difficult for a debut author to crack the market, and even more difficult if you live in a different country. What I didn’t have was a track record. C’est la vie, but it’s a business decision, they have to be careful where they invest their money, so I’ve no complaints.

Then we contacted Clare Cain at Fledgling Press in Edinburgh, and the ball started rolling. I’d submitted to Clare before I had an agent, but she wasn’t publishing crime at that time, but she remembered my submission.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one?

I particularly like my main female lead, Charlotte Marceau. She’s more level headed than my other characters. My publisher, Clare Cain, liked her so much, she asked me to write a book with Charlotte as the main character. I’m already scribbling down ideas for that one, and I’m really looking forward to her story.

6. What kind of research have you have to undertake for your Novel?

Mostly old and modern European history, some of which i already knew. I enjoy reading history, and it’s a fabulous place to find plots

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?

No, not at all!

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Thriller Fiction Novels out there.

My main character is not a super-hero. He gets the shit kicked out of him, and makes a whole lot of mistakes, even if it is for the right reason.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa?

Tenacity and bloody-mindedness!

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.

Next up is THE LONDON CAGE, which I’m editing at the moment. It’s based around a true story, of a house in Kensington called the London Cage. it was used by MI9 during the war as an illegal prison for torturing high ranking Nazis. the building is now the Russian Embassy. Let the conspiracies begin….

11. In your novel which scene was your favourite to write and why?

Without giving the plot away, the Paris Metro chase with Montrose, ending on the Pont Neuf with Charlotte. When I sat down with my pencils and a fresh sheet of paper, it all came in a rush and I loved writing it.

12. As a up and coming thriller writer, do you have words of advice you can share?

If there is a reason why your work is not attracting an agent or publisher, then find that reason and fix it. It’s down to you to write the best book you possibly can. Leave your ego at home. For research, take your favourite five books, and deconstruct them. Pick them apart and write down why they work. Sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph, chapter by chapter. There is a reason why these books are successful, and why readers love them. Find it and use it.


Connor Montrose is running for his life. All that he held dear has been ripped away. Every Western intelligence agency and all the police forces of Europe are looking for him, with orders to shoot on sight. The only man who can prove his innocence, is the man that most wants him dead. Only one woman, a Mossad sleeper in Paris, will stand by his side.With her help, he must now turn and fight. His journey of evasion and revenge take him from hidden Holocaust bank vaults in Zurich, to the stinking sewers of Paris and dust-choked souks of Morocco. Finally, in the back streets of Tehran, under the gaze of the Ayatollahs, he has the chance to end it, as it began. In blood.

Twitter : @mark_leggatt
Facebook : mark.leggatt.79

Amazon Author Page

July 2015 Tea Toast and Thriller Interview with Tom McCulloch


Tom McCulloch was born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland. He has published prose and poetry in numerous magazines and journals. He was long-listed for the Herald/Imagining Scotland short-story competition in 2011. The Stillman is his first novel.

1. How did you get started writing?

I grew up surrounded by books and both my father and grandfather were writers. So writing seemed like something I should be doing. I started out as a shameless 13 year-old plagiarist, writing sequels (never finished, of course…) to other people’s books; Eric Morecambe’s Reluctant Vampire and Alistair MacLean’s Force 10 from Navarone (which is better than the Guns of Navarone- don’t let Gregory Peck in the film version sway you…).

2. What drew you to write a thriller novel?

Some fiction is so dry you can feel your saliva evaporate as you read. I wanted to say something and to write a story that that was entertaining at the same time. The thriller format, driving a narrative through suspense, seemed the obvious choice for The Stillman.

3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?

The ones I go back to time and again are Iain Banks, Jack Kerouac, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, James Kelman and António Lobo Antunes. Should their style leach into mine, I apologise (I’ve already said I’m a shameless plagiarist…).

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest? 

I wrote an awful lot of awfulness before The Stillman was published. Writing’s a craft like any other. My first couple of novels drew some interest but came up short.  I’m in good company though, Iain Banks once said he wrote a million words before he got published.

5. There are many interesting characters in your novel, do you have a particular favourite one?

I like Jim Drever’s son- The Boy. He’s weird, potentially violent and inadvertently wise, a mass murderer or a Nobel Prize winner waiting to happen. He seems to have struck a chord with lots of others too.  

6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your novel?

Having worked in a distillery, that setting was very well known to me. I took lots of notes in my journal when my wife and I visited Cuba for a month. Such a beautiful, ramshackle place, tailor-made for stories. I wanted to make sure I took back as much as I could to recreate later.

7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life? 

Some yes, some no. Mostly they’re composites drawn from a dozen notebooks and a dozen years. But if anyone thinks they recognise someone it’s their own projection… nowt to do with me.

8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other Scottish Thriller Fiction Novels out there? 

In The Stillman, I wanted to take on the Highland whisky myth. The romanticised, sepia-tinted portrayal of the industry frustrates me. Distilleries are anything but sentimental. They’re industrial workplaces, complicated and class-conscious as any other. I wanted to challenge the romance of the ‘wee dram’, give the lead role to working people who just happen to live among that myth. In a way I wanted to bury the teuchter, the bumpkin.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa? 

I think there’s more or less of an author’s personality in every character they create. But I don’t think any character in The Stillman is particularly like myself. Apart from JC, or maybe I just wish I had his poise.

10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned? 

Well I’m very pleased to say that Sandstone Press has agreed to take on my second novel, A Private Haunting. It’s due out in 2016 and is about secrets, and what happens when two of them collide.

11. What was your favourite scene to write in The Stillman and why? 

The back story of Jim’s mother was a treat, immersing myself in a time and place that would have been so exciting to be part of; that whole Rose Street writer scene and the Beat-hippy rollercoaster that came afterwards. 

12. As an up and coming thriller writer do you have words of advice you can share?

I’ll defer to the genius that is Samuel Beckett: ‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’


Jim Drever is a man apart.  Twenty years a Stillman at a Highland distillery, his closest relationship is with the machinery he monitors, the movies he’s obsessed with. It’s the worst winter in years and the world is closing in.  A strike is looming and his daughter is about to get married.  His son’s ever-weirder behaviour is becoming a worry and his marriage has disintegrated into savage skirmishes with a wife he barely knows. Then the emails start to arrive from Cuba, sending him letters from his dead mother, and Jim can’t stay on the sidelines any longer.

Amazon Author Page

Book to check out

 If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only 99p on Amazon Kindle at the moment.


The first thing you should know about me is that my name is not Carter Blake. That name no more belongs to me than the hotel room I was occupying when the call came in. When Caleb Wardell, the infamous ‘Chicago Sniper’, escapes from death row two weeks before his execution, the FBI calls on the services of Carter Blake, a man with certain specialised talents whose skills lie in finding those who don’t want to be found. A man to whom Wardell is no stranger. Along with Elaine Banner, an ambitious special agent juggling life as a single mother with her increasingly high-flying career, Blake must track Wardell down as he cuts a swathe across America, apparently killing at random. But Blake and Banner soon find themselves sidelined from the case. And as they try desperately to second guess a man who kills purely for the thrill of it, they uncover a hornets’ nest of lies and corruption. Now Blake must break the rules and go head to head with the FBI if he is to stop Wardell and expose a deadly conspiracy that will rock the country. 

To buy this book for yourself, you can go to the Amazon link below

Book to check out 

If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only 59p on Amazon Kindle at the moment.  


A twenty-nine-year-old man lives alone in his Glasgow flat. The telephone rings; a casual conversation, but behind this a job offer. The clues are there if you know to look for them.

He is an expert. A loner. Freelance. Another job is another job, but what if this organisation wants more?

A meeting at a club. An offer. A brief. A target:

Lewis Winter.

It’s hard to kill a man well. People who do it well know this. People who do it badly find out the hard way. The hard way has consequences.

To buy this book for yourself you can go to the link below

Q and a with Matt Bendoris

Matt Bendoris is the Chief Feature Writer at The Scottish Sun newspaper, His debut novel, Killing With Confidence was written completely on a BlackBerry on train trips. Here we catch up with him since we last spoke to each other in 2013 and find out what he has been up to.

1. What have you been up to with your writing since we last spoke?

A: Working, being a dad – but almost as importantly, writing my new crime novel DM For Murder.
 2. So far what was your favourite book to write in terms of characters and plot?

A: My new one. The premise for the plot is based all around Twitter. I don’t know anyone else who has a social-media murder in their books. It was actually a thrill to write.

 3. You were recently a part of an event that pitted East Coast Scottish Crime Writers against West Coast Scottish Crime Writers how do you get involved in that?

A: Because I play dirty, but will always buy a pint in the pub afterwards! It was a great night, especially with Ian Rankin watching it from home on Periscope, asking questions during the event, then arranging to meet for a beer in The Oxford pub. It doesn’t get more interactive than that.

 4. Have you any events coming up that you can share with us

A: Yes, my book launch at Waterstones in Glasgow Argyle St on July 30 at 7pm. I’ll hopefully have another event at Waterstones in Inverness, which is to be announced.

 5. Have you had any ideas about what you would like to write about next 

A: Yes, but if I told you, I would literally have to kill you! 

6. What has been your stand out moment so far as a Scottish crime fiction writer?

A: Beating the East Coast crime writers for a second year in a row – looking forward to the hat-trick next year.

Ten million Twitter followers. One killer. Bryce Horrigan, a Brit made good in America, makes a living rubbing people up the wrong way. He revels in antagonising guests on his TV talk show, and the thousands of death threats he’s received on Twitter are a badge of honour. But when the controversial TV host is shot dead, it leaves the authorities with one hell of a dilemma. After all, where do you start investigating millions of suspects? Detective Sorrell has to separate the keyboard warriors from the real killer… who begins tweeting cryptic clues. As the investigation and media storm build, Sorrell discovers a British journalist from Horrigan’s past may hold the key…

The Launch for DM for Murder will be on 

Thursday 30th July 2015

At 7pm

Waterstones, Argyle Street, Glasgow

Join Matt Bendoris for the launch of his latest crime novel DM for Murder! Matt will be in conversation with fellow crime writer extraordinaire Michael J Malone.

Amazon Link to buy the book for yourself

Amazon Author Page

Crime author of the month interview with Linda Tweddie and Kate Mcgregor 


1. How did you get started writing?

They say there’s a book in everyone and as ex- landladies who came across people from every walk of life that was certainly the case. On a daily basis we would be told by some wag we should write a book and our reply was always the same. If we did you wouldn’t believe it. Having been friends for more years than we would care to remember and having worked together for some time, it was a natural progression for us to write together.
 Our first venture was “Life Behind Bars (Confessions of a Pub Landlady)” which came to life after an evening’s reminiscing. And for which we were finalists in the People’s Book Prize 2012. This book was followed by “Life on the Outside (The Lunatics have taken over the Asylum)” and lastly “Life in the Fat Lane (Chocolate after Midnight doesn’t count)”.

2. What drew you to write a thriller novel?

Having exhausted our comedic escapades and enjoying the writing process, it was time to try something new. Being avid fans of “Grit Lit”, the Martina Cole type novel, we came across many shady and wayward characters over the years. Some who continuously walked on the wrong side of the law? This gave us a veritable cauldron of stories to tell.
3. Which writers past or present have influenced your style of writing?
As we have said, the ‘gritlit’ genre is a favourite of both of us and writers such as Martina Cole, Kimberley Chambers and Jesse Keane are without a doubt great story tellers.

4. When you first started writing did you find it hard to get publisher interest? 

We were exceptionally lucky in that we caught the eye of our publisher, Claire Cain from Fledgling Press, early on in the Submission Process. Our first project was a Cook Book with the racy title of “Porn for Calorie Counters”, which she found extremely amusing. Unfortunately this was before the time of E.L. James and none of the search engines would allow ‘Porn’ in the title.

5. There are many interesting characters in your Novel, do you have a particular favourite one? 

As the stories unfold and the characters grow, we hope each has their moment in the sun.

 6. What kind of research have you had to undertake for your Novel?

Apart from ensuring that facts and locations are correct, we are story tellers and that gives us a certain amount of licence. However, we read, read and read even more; court reports, true life gangster biographies and the like.

 7. Are the characters in your books based on any real life?

Yes and no and for fear of being shot can’t be more specific. Ironically we have found the more despicable the character; the more people will claim it to have been based on them.

 8. What do you think makes your novels stand out from all the other thriller Fiction Novels out there?

We would say that really that’s for our readers to answer. However, we have been given very positive feedback and it would seem that we are being likened to many of the established writers, which is a massive compliment.

9. Do you see any of your characters personality in yourself and vice versa? 

So far neither of us has displayed a certifiable desire to commit murder…YET! However, we both have a very droll sense of humour which we hope comes through from time to time.

 10. If you can, would you give us a sneaky peak into any future novels you have planned.

The Betrayal, which is the second in this trilogy, will be available from the 1st September. We are currently working on Danube Street, based on the tale of Edinburgh’s most famous Madam. The final in the Trilogy will be published later this year and is still to be named.

11. What was your favourite scene to write in The Silencer and why?

The drama and humour in the chapter where Paddy carries out his first job for Mikey Kelly is a real baptism of fire and even still we laugh out loud at the plot.

12. As up and coming thriller writers do you have words of advice you can share?

Writing must be enjoyable, not a chore. Our ethos is, if it ain’t fun, we ain’t doing it.

The Silence is a gritty novel set in Glasgow at the time of the Ice Cream Wars in the 1980s. A bloody raid on a family celebration leaves Paddy Coyle’s only daughter so traumatised she loses the power of speech. Blaming his sworn enemies, the McClellands, Coyle seeks to destroy the family in revenge for his daughter. The McLellands have no alternative but to flee the country and adopt new identities. Almost penniless desperate to support his family, Pete Mack, together with the help of his old friend and mentor, Canon O’Farrell, soon establishes a lucrative but vile trade in human trafficking. A holiday romance between Erin Coyle and Bobby, the son of her father’s enemy, sets off a chain of events which no one could have predicted. Kidnapping, drug smuggling and murder ensue in this fast-paced novel.

The next in the series The Betrayal will be out next month.


Life Behind Bars – Confessions of a pub landlady
Life on the Outside – The Lunatics have taken over the Asylum

Life in the Fat Lane – Chocolate after midnight doesn’t count

Linda Tweddie and Kate McGregor Author Facebook Page

Amazon Author Page

Book to check out

If you are looking for a good e book to buy and you don’t want to spend to much money and you love crime fiction, then this is the book for you and it’s only £1 on Amazon Kindle at the moment.


Vicky Dodds—single mother, commitment-phobe, Detective Sergeant—is adding Dundee, Scotland to the Tartan Noir map.
When a dog breeder in and around Dundee disappears, DS Dodds and her team are tasked with finding out who is behind the attacks.
But as the crimes escalate, and the attacker’s message becomes clearer, Vicky begins to question where her own sympathies lie.

To buy this book for yourself you can go to the link below

Free book

 If you are looking for a good read for your kindle that won’t break the bank and you like Scottish crime fiction then this is the novel for you 

The bus is stranded, stuck fast in a snowdrift. The driver is missing along with a young girl. A half naked woman is left behind, handcuffed and freezing on board. Who she is and where the girl has gone unravels into a web of sexual abuse, mental torture and deeply laid family rivalries, spanning from Istanbul to Glasgow. 

Newly appointed to the Major Crime and Terrorism Squad at Strathclyde Police, DI John J. Arbogast is tasked with tracking down a suspected paedophile as part of a national manhunt. Haunted by a failed case in the past he’s determined to find the girl before it’s too late. But as the case unravels to unveil an international sex trafficking ring it becomes clear that all is not what it seems. 
Secrets will surface. 

To buy this book for yourself, you can go to the Amazon Kindle link below