If You Like….

Last week, I listed some of my favorite Scottish-set historical novels. This week we’re going modern. (Well, modern as in post World War II.)

If you like novels set in modern Scotland, you’ll probably like….

— Elizabeth Peter’s Legend in Green Velvet, in which a Scotland-obsessed American gets drawn into a rather bizarre intrigue involving a Prince Charles look-alike and the Stone of Scone.

— Along those lines, there’s also Lillian Stewart Carl’s paired mystery novels, Ashes to Ashes and Dust to Dust. Like the Peters novel, they feature an American heroine working on her PhD in Scottish history. The first is set in an American repro of a Scottish castle, stuffed with Scottish artifacts (and a handsome Scottish historian!), while the second moves the action to Scotland.

— Mary Stewart’s two Scotland set mysteries, Wildfire at Midnight, set on the isle of Skye, and The Stormy Petrel, set on the isle of Moila.

— Antonia Fraser (who also wrote a truly excellent biography of Mary Queen of Scots) set one of her 1970s Jemima Shore mysteries, The Wild Island, on a remote Scottish island, complete with slightly bizarre Royalist underground and an attractive– if treacherous– laird.

— While we’re talking romantic suspense, one of my absolute favorite Elsie Lee novels, Mansion of Golden Windows, is also Highland-set, circa the 1960s.

— Moving from mystery to women’s fiction, no one strums the (Scottish) heart strings like Alexandra Raife. These are my rainy day, I-want-to-move-to-1990s-Scotland books, always featuring some sort of house in need of restoration or renovation, a cast of dotty local characters, deep personal angst, and eventual growth and renewal through interaction with the landscape and those dotty local characters. My favorites are Wild Highland Home, in which a burned out London hotelier moves to a remote cottage and, after many struggles, learns to love the land (and the taciturn farmer next door), and Belonging, where the heroine has to move back to the family manor house to help turn it into a successful inn after her cousin runs off and abandons it. (Monarch of the Glen fans, this one’s for you!)

What are your favorite modern Scotland-set novels?


  1. Jessica @ Quirky Bookworm on June 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Ah, I see I was ahead of the game with the Elizabeth Peters. 🙂

    My favorite modern stuff are Ian Rankin’s mysteries. I adore all of the John Rebus series, and I’m quite liking the Malcom Fox ones too — although there are only 2 of them so far.

  2. Katie on June 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    I wasn’t absolutely sure on the distinction between modern and non-modern books, so I failed to mention Rhys Bowen’s Royal Spyness books last week. Several are set in Scotland and they are all great!
    As for modern books, I just finished reading Jennifer Lee Carrell’s second fictional book, Haunt Me Still. It takes place mostly in Scotland and deals with the superstition surrounding Macbeth. I think it is definitely my favorite modern Scottish-set book!

  3. Sheila on June 25, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Well….I am totally off-topic here, but I thought you might like to know, cause Lauren may be just a bit pre-occupied, that the cover of The Ashford Affair is showing on Amazon, and it is just as lovely as she said !

  4. Elizabeth (aka Miss Eliza) on June 25, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    Jennifer Lee Carrell, Haunt Me Still! Also, second the awesomeness of the cover!

  5. Julie H on June 25, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Thanks for breaking topic, Sheila! The cover is definitely very lovely!

  6. Leslie on June 25, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Rosamunde Pilcher wrote two books that take place in Scotland. Winter Solstice and Snow in April; both old favorites of mine.
    Susanna Kearsley’s Winter Sea was so freaking good. Loved it!
    Deborah Crombie has a Kincaid/James mystery in the Highlands that is wicked good, but I don’t remember the title.

  7. Andrea on June 26, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Susanna Kearseley’s The Shadowy Horses is also set in Scotland — and another great book by this author.

  8. Elizabeth Kerri Mahon on June 26, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    There’s a really good Pamela Wallace novel that was published by Silhouette Special Edition where the heroine moves to a cottage in Scotland after a bad break up and meets a hot Scottish lord. Also Liza Campbell’s non fiction memoir about growing up as the daughter of the Thane of Cawdor.

  9. Kam on June 26, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    The Hamish Macbeth series by M.C.Beaton, set in the Scottish Highlands are always an entertaining read (although I do think her Agatha Raisin books are funnier!). Has anyone read any of her historical romances? I think she also writes as Marion Chesney.

  10. Sheila on June 27, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    To Kam–I have read Hamish and Agatha, and really enjoy them, altho getting just a bit stale. Her regencies are among my favorites.

  11. Kam on June 27, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Thanks Sheila, I know what you mean, the stories do tend to all merge together after a while! I’ll definitely give the regency books a go!

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