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Catriona McPherson - Author

About the Author

Catriona McPherson was born in the village of Queensferry in south-east Scotland in 1965 and educated at Edinburgh University. She left with a PhD in Linguistics and spent a few years as a university lecturer before beginning to write fiction. The first Dandy Gilver novel was short-listed for the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Dagger 2005 and the second was long-listed for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award 2007. Catriona writes full-time and divides her time between southern Scotland and northern California.

Featured books by Catriona McPherson

Dandy Gilver and the Reek of Red Herrings

Dandy Gilver and the Reek of Red Herrings

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Hardback Release Date: 17/07/2014

On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast, tiny fishing villages perch on ledges which would make a seagull think twice and crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while, out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their silver darlings. It's nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire to spend Christmas. But when odd things start to turn up in barrels of fish - with a strong whiff of murder most foul - that's exactly where Dandy Gilver finds herself. Enlisted to investigate, she and her trusty cohort Alec Osborne are soon swept up in the fisherfolk's wedding season as well as the mystery.

ebook of the month
Dandy Gilver and a Deadly Measure of Brimstone

Dandy Gilver and a Deadly Measure of Brimstone

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2014

Perthshire 1929 and the menfolk of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. Dandy the devoted wife and mother decides it is time to decamp; Dandy the intrepid detective, however, decides to decamp to the scene of a murder she would dearly love to solve. The family repairs to the Borders town of Moffat, there to drink the sulphurous waters straight from the well and to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel. But all is not well at the Hydro. The Laidlaw family is at war, the guests are an uneasy mix of old faithfuls and giddy upstarts, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably. But the Hydro was built in the lee of a Gallow Hill, and in this town the dead can be as much trouble as the living...

ebook of the month

Other books by Catriona McPherson

Strangers at the Gate

Strangers at the Gate

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/03/2020

Who do you turn to, when everyone's a stranger and you stop believing what your own eyes see? Finnie Doyle and Paddy Lamb are leaving city life in Edinburgh behind them and moving to the little town of Simmerton. Paddy has landed a partnership in a local solicitors and Finnie's snagged a job as a church deacon. Their rented cottage is quaint; their new colleagues are charming, and they can't believe their luck. But witnessing the bloody aftermath of a brutal murder changes everything. They've each been keeping secrets about their pasts. And they both know their precious new start won't survive a scandal. Together, for the best of reasons, they make the worst decision of their lives. And that's only the beginning. The deep, deep valley where Simmerton sits is unlike anywhere Finn and Paddy have been before. They are not the only ones hiding in its shadow and very soon they've lost control of the game they decided to play... Praise for Catriona McPherson: 'An unnerving and suspenseful novel' Karin Slaughter 'Just the right mixture of spookiness and mystery' James Oswald 'A gripping thriller' Ian Rankin 'A Gothic feast of a novel, this is a country house book with a difference: contemporary, punchy and disturbing, but using the tricks and twists of the best of Christie' Ann Cleeves 'Go To My Grave is both a classic 'country house mystery' and a thriller. Atmospheric, with mind-bending twists, a narrator who may or may not be reliable, and an ending that will take your breath away and leave you astonished' Louise Penny ' . . . drew me in from the very first page, and I stayed up late reading it because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. That's the definition of a good book' Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author 'A tale that shivers with suspense' The New York Times

The Turning Tide

The Turning Tide

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Hardback Release Date: 14/11/2019

'McPherson's wit has been compared to that of PG Wodehouse or Nancy Mitford, and her finely researched and choreographed narratives to the work of Agatha Christie . . . an absolute delight . . . these are the perfect reads for a night by the fire.' Scotsman It's the breezy Scottish summer of 1936 and aristocratic sleuth Dandy Gilver, along with trusted colleague Alec Osborne, has been called to solve the strange case of the Cramond Ferrywoman, on the Firth of Forth. From their cheerless digs in a local stately home, Dandy and Alec track Vesper Kemp, the ferrywoman, to a tiny tidal island. She seems to have lost her mind, roaming the beaches in rags, ranting about snakes and mercury. What is even more troubling, is that Vesper claims she murdered Peter Haslett, a young man who fell into the river, trying to row past one of its four water mills, and drowned. A group of worried Cramond residents - the minister, the innkeeper and the lady of the big house - are determined that Vesper is innocent. But with the four local millers themselves remaining oddly tight-lipped and with all the suspicious strangers who lurk about the village, Dandy and Alec have their work cut out for them. And they closer they get to the answers they seek, the stronger the sense that great danger lies beneath the surface of these murky waters.

Strangers at the Gate

Strangers at the Gate

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 05/09/2019

'I love McPherson's books - the clear and effortless prose, the entirely credible characters, and the wonderfully twisty plots - and Strangers at the Gate is one of her best' Ann Cleeves Who do you turn to, when everyone's a stranger and you stop believing what your own eyes see? Finnie Doyle and Paddy Lamb are leaving city life in Edinburgh behind them and moving to the little town of Simmerton. Paddy has landed a partnership in a local solicitors and Finnie's snagged a job as a church deacon. Their rented cottage is quaint; their new colleagues are charming, and they can't believe their luck. But witnessing the bloody aftermath of a brutal murder changes everything. They've each been keeping secrets about their pasts. And they both know their precious new start won't survive a scandal. Together, for the best of reasons, they make the worst decision of their lives. And that's only the beginning. The deep, deep valley where Simmerton sits is unlike anywhere Finn and Paddy have been before. They are not the only ones hiding in its shadow and very soon they've lost control of the game they decided to play... Praise for Catriona McPherson: 'An unnerving and suspenseful novel' Karin Slaughter 'Just the right mixture of spookiness and mystery' James Oswald 'A gripping thriller' Ian Rankin 'A Gothic feast of a novel, this is a country house book with a difference: contemporary, punchy and disturbing, but using the tricks and twists of the best of Christie' Ann Cleeves 'Go To My Grave is both a classic 'country house mystery' and a thriller. Atmospheric, with mind-bending twists, a narrator who may or may not be reliable, and an ending that will take your breath away and leave you astonished' Louise Penny ' . . . drew me in from the very first page, and I stayed up late reading it because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. That's the definition of a good book' Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author 'A tale that shivers with suspense' The New York Times

A Step So Grave

A Step So Grave

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 30/05/2019

'McPherson's wit has been compared to that of PG Wodehouse or Nancy Mitford, and her finely researched and choreographed narratives to the work of Agatha Christie . . . an absolute delight . . . these are the perfect reads for a night by the fire.' Scotsman Wedding bells are set to ring as Dandy Gilver, family in tow, arrives in windswept Wester Ross on Valentine's Day. They've come to celebrate Lady Lavinia's fiftieth birthday and to meet her daughter Mallory, a less-than-suitable bride-to-be for Dandy's son Donald. But soon love is the last thing on Dandy's mind when the news breaks that Lady Lavinia has been found dead, brutally murdered in the middle of her famous knot garden. Strange superstitions and folklore abound among the Gaelic-speaking locals. But , Dandy suspects that the tangled boughs and branches around Applecross House hide something much more earthly at work . . .

A Step So Grave

A Step So Grave

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Hardback Release Date: 15/11/2018

'McPherson's wit has been compared to that of PG Wodehouse or Nancy Mitford, and her finely researched and choreographed narratives to the work of Agatha Christie . . . an absolute delight . . . these are the perfect reads for a night by the fire.' Scotsman Wedding bells are set to ring as Dandy Gilver, family in tow, arrives in windswept Wester Ross on Valentine's Day. They've come to celebrate Lady Lavinia's fiftieth birthday and to meet her daughter Mallory, a less-than-suitable bride-to-be for Dandy's son Donald. But soon love is the last thing on Dandy's mind when the news breaks that Lady Lavinia has been found dead, brutally murdered in the middle of her famous knot garden. Strange superstitions and folklore abound among the Gaelic-speaking locals. But , Dandy suspects that the tangled boughs and branches around Applecross House hide something much more earthly at work . . .

Go to my Grave

Go to my Grave

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/09/2018

This is the story of three days last September when eight old friends gathered in a beautiful house by the sea. There was food, wine and laughter, and then the friends went their separate ways. That's the truth and nothing but the truth. Or is it? Donna Weaver has put everything into The Breakers. Now it waits - freshly painted, richly furnished, filled with flowers - for the first guests to arrive. But as they roll up, each one discovers they've been here before. Twenty-five years ago. When a party that started with peach schnapps and Postman's Knock ended with a girl walking into the sea and the rest of them making a vow of silence: lock it in a box, stitch my lips and go to my grave. But one of them has broken the pact. And before the weekend is over, someone will have gone to their grave. Praise for Catriona McPherson 'An unnerving and suspenseful novel' Karin Slaughter 'Just the right mixture of spookiness and mystery' James Oswald 'A gripping thriller' Ian Rankin 'A Gothic feast of a novel, this is a country house book with a difference: contemporary, punchy and disturbing, but using the tricks and twists of the best of Christie' Ann Cleeves 'Go To My Grave is both a classic 'country house mystery' and a thriller. Atmospheric, with mind-bending twists, a narrator who may or may not be reliable, and an ending that will take your breath away and leave you astonished' Louise Penny 'Agatha Award-winning McPherson's deliciously gothic country house mystery with a contemporary twist is devious and suspenseful and keeps readers guessing to the shocking end. Highly recommended.' Library Journal

Low Down Dirty Vote A Crime Fiction Anthology

Low Down Dirty Vote A Crime Fiction Anthology

Author: Catriona McPherson, James W. Ziskin Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/07/2018

Go to my Grave

Go to my Grave

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/05/2018

This is the story of three days last September when eight old friends gathered in a beautiful house by the sea. There was food, wine and laughter, and then the friends went their separate ways. That's the truth and nothing but the truth. Or is it? Donna Weaver has put everything into The Breakers. Now it waits - freshly painted, richly furnished, filled with flowers - for the first guests to arrive. But as they roll up, each one discovers they've been here before. Twenty-five years ago. When a party that started with peach schnapps and Postman's Knock ended with a girl walking into the sea and the rest of them making a vow of silence: lock it in a box, stitch my lips and go to my grave. But one of them has broken the pact. And before the weekend is over, someone will have gone to their grave. Praise for Catriona McPherson 'An unnerving and suspenseful novel' Karin Slaughter 'Just the right mixture of spookiness and mystery' James Oswald 'A gripping thriller' Ian Rankin 'A Gothic feast of a novel, this is a country house book with a difference: contemporary, punchy and disturbing, but using the tricks and twists of the best of Christie' Ann Cleeves 'Go To My Grave is both a classic 'country house mystery' and a thriller. Atmospheric, with mind-bending twists, a narrator who may or may not be reliable, and an ending that will take your breath away and leave you astonished' Louise Penny 'Agatha Award-winning McPherson's deliciously gothic country house mystery with a contemporary twist is devious and suspenseful and keeps readers guessing to the shocking end. Highly recommended.' Library Journal

Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble

Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 08/02/2018

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie. 'A delightfully uplifting mystery with a distinctly P.G. Wodehouse-ian feel. Navigating ancient castles, and family feuds, Dandy Gilver must also contend with a ribald staging of Shakespeare's Macbeth. I loved the sense of fun, the wonderful use of language . . . satisfying on many levels.' Vaseem Khan, author of the Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra Scotland, 1934. Aristocratic private detective Dandy Gilver arrives at Castle Bewer, at midsummer, to solve the tangled mystery of a missing man, a lost ruby and a family curse. The Bewer family's latest wheeze to keep the wolf from the door is turning the castle keep into a theatre. While a motley band of players rehearse Macbeth, the Bewers themselves prepare lectures, their faithful servants set up a tearoom, and the guest wings fill with rich American ladies seeking. Meanwhile, Dandy and her sidekick Alec Osborne begin to unravel the many secrets of the Bewers and find that, despite the witches, murders and ghosts onstage, it's behind the scenes where the darkest deeds are done. 'The perfect read for those who enjoy the bygoneworld charm of Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and Agatha Christie.' - The Lady on Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit 'Catriona McPherson is a writer as talented as she is versatile. Dandy Gilver tackles a Golden Age era puzzle with her usual aplomb when the Scottish play offers a Shakespearean twist to a mystery with plenty of classic ingredients.' Martin Edwards 'Dandy Gilver is a fabulous character. a cross between Nancy Drew and the Australian crime cracker Miss Fisher. She is both relentless and brilliant.' Amazon Reviewer

The Weight of Angels

The Weight of Angels

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/08/2017

What secrets do the dark bones of Dundrennan Abbey hold? A year ago, she was happily married, bringing up her beloved son, running her successful beauty salon and living with her loving husband in her dream house. Now Ali McGovern's dreams are slipping away and all her old ghosts are coming back to haunt her. A job at Howell Hall, the private psychiatric facility near her rented cottage and the ruined abbey, seems too good to be true. But why has the couple who run the place employed her when she is clearly not qualified to do it? How can they afford to pay her so well? And what are they hiding? When a body is discovered in a shallow grave by the abbey on Ali's first day at work, it feels like one last horror. But it's just the beginning of her descent into a nightmare world she never imagined existed so close to home. 'An unnerving and suspenseful novel, THE WEIGHT OF ANGELS is McPherson's best yet' - Karin Slaughter, New York Times and International Bestselling author

Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit

Dandy Gilver and a Most Misleading Habit

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 23/02/2017

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Alexander McCall Smith and Agatha Christie. 'The perfect read for those who enjoy the bygoneworld charm of Nancy Mitford, Evelyn Waugh and Agatha Christie.' The Lady Scotland, 1932. Aristocratic private investigator Dandy Gilver strikes again with her witty sidekick Alec Osbourne to solve sinister goings on at a convent on a bleak Lanarkshire moor. The convent was set alight following a mass breakout at a neighbouring psychiatric hospital on Christmas Eve, resulting in the death of the mother superior. Most patients were returned safely but a few are still at large. . . As Dandy interviews each nun in turn she senses a stranger is still lurking in the corridors at night - could they be the same person who left blood-red footprints in the sacristy? One of Catriona McPherson's creepiest - and funniest - mysteries yet. Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.

Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom

Dandy Gilver and the Unpleasantness in the Ballroom

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 25/02/2016

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie. Glasgow,1932, is a city in the grip of dance-fever. Public ballrooms and backstreet dancehalls are thronged every night and competition for professional titles is fierce. Even after the sudden death of one of last year's hopefuls there are plenty willing to take his place, and few who stop to wonder why he died. In the melting pot of the Locarno Ballroom in Sauchiehall Street, a debutante rubs shoulders with denizens of Glasgow's meanest streets, her respectable fiance oblivious, her parents dismayed. When she starts receiving threats from a rival, they grow frantic enough to call on Dandy Gilver to save their precious daughter from harm. But as Dandy and her sidekick, Alec Osborne, begin to unravel the secrets of the dancehall, they soon discover that the rot goes much deeper than rivalry and there's more at stake than a silver cup. Despite the pretty frocks and dancing shoes, this apparently glittering world is a darker place than they've ever been before . . . Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.

Dandy Gilver and The Reek of Red Herrings

Dandy Gilver and The Reek of Red Herrings

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 29/01/2015

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1930s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Dorothy L Sayers and Agatha Christie. On the rain-drenched, wave-lashed, wind-battered Banffshire coast, tiny fishing villages perch on ledges which would make a seagull think twice and crumbly mansions cling to crumblier cliff tops while, out in the bay, the herring drifters brave the storms to catch their silver darlings. It's nowhere for a child of gentle Northamptonshire to spend Christmas. But when odd things start to turn up in barrels of fish - with a strong whiff of murder most foul - that's exactly where Dandy Gilver finds herself. Enlisted to investigate, she and her trusty cohort Alec Osborne are soon swept up in the fisherfolk's wedding season as well as the mystery. Between age-old traditions and brand-new horrors, Dandy must think the unthinkable to solve her grisliest case yet. Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.

Dandy Gilver and a Deadly Measure of Brimstone

Dandy Gilver and a Deadly Measure of Brimstone

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/02/2014

Perthshire 1929 and the menfolk of the Gilver family have come down, between them, with influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia and pleurisy. Dandy the devoted wife and mother decides it is time to decamp; Dandy the intrepid detective, however, decides to decamp to the scene of a murder she would dearly love to solve. The family repairs to the Borders town of Moffat, there to drink the sulphurous waters straight from the well and to submit to the galvanic wraps and cold salt rubs of the splendid Laidlaw Hydropathic Hotel. But all is not well at the Hydro. The Laidlaw family is at war, the guests are an uneasy mix of old faithfuls and giddy upstarts, and the secret of the lady who arrived but never left cannot be kept for long. And what of those drifting shapes in the Turkish bath? Just steam shifting in the air? Probably. But the Hydro was built in the lee of a Gallow Hill, and in this town the dead can be as much trouble as the living...

ebook of the month
Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses

Dandy Gilver and a Bothersome Number of Corpses

Author: Catriona McPherson Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/02/2013

A cosy Dandy Gilver mystery set in 1920s Scotland. For fans of PG Wodehouse, Alexander McCall Smith and Agatha Christie. '1920s lady detective Dandy Gilver lands a sleuthing gig in a setting straight out of Enid Blyton,. Cosier than a pair of WI-knitted mittens, Corpses serves up murder most foul - and is also good for several giggles.' TIME OUT Before she was a detective, before she was a reluctant wife and distracted mother, before she was even a debutante, Dandy Gilver spent one perfect summer with the Lipscotts of Pereford. The golden memories of it have sustained her through many a cold snap in Perthshire. So when two of the Lipscott sisters beg her to help the third, she can hardly refuse. Sweet, pretty Fleur Lipscott: where is she now? The astonishing answer to this is that Fleur - still Miss Lipscott, indeed more Miss Lipscott than ever - is buried alive in the tiny seaside village of Portpatrick, working as a schoolmistress at St Columba's College for Young Ladies. But she is one of the few remaining, for St Columba's has been shedding mistresses as a snake its skins and the exodus is far from over. With mistresses vanishing and corpses mounting up, can Mrs Gilver, detective, pass herself off as Miss Gilver, English mistress, to solve the one and stop the other? Catriona McPherson's latest novel in the series, Dandy Gilver and a Spot of Toil and Trouble is now available for pre-order.