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Val to receive honorary degree from Dundee University

Val to receive honorary degree from Dundee University

Val McDermid

Bestselling crime writer Val McDermid will be awarded an honorary degree from Dundee University.

Mary Schwartz, director of a skin disease charity, and Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum in London, will also be honoured at the university’s summer graduations.

They will all receive an honorary doctor of laws at a ceremony in the Caird Hall later this month.

Professor Pete Downes, principal and vice-chancellor of the university, said: “In choosing our honorary graduates we are looking for the best possible role models for our students and staff, and we are mindful of excellence, inspirational quality and integrity.

“These are all qualities displayed in abundance by our distinguished guests.”

McDermid published her first crime novel in 1987 and has penned more than 30 books.




Photograph: DC Thomson


Twitter Fiction

Twitter fiction: Val McDermid

Val Mcdermid Twitter FictionVal McDermid takes the Guardian’s Twitter challenge…


He couldn’t work out why she’d grown interested in TV DIY shows. Then he leaned on the fatally weakened balcony wall of their highrise flat.




Photograph: Murdo Macleod


My hero: Emily Wilding Davison

My Hero: Emily Wilding Davison

A hundred years ago, suffragette Emily Wilding Davis died after colliding with a horse at Epsom. Now modern technology has revealed that she had no intention of killing herself

On 4 June 1913, a woman ran across the racecourse at Epsom while the horses were thundering round the track at 35 miles an hour. She collided with the King’s horse, Anmer, and died four days later.

Emily Wilding Davison was a militant suffragette, and history has rendered her a protean character, taken by different factions and moulded to fit their needs. Martyr, madwoman, maniac or simply mixed-up. But in Northumberland, where I live, there’s no doubt. She’s our local hero. When her body arrived by train to be buried in the family plot in Morpeth, thousands of people lined the streets to pay homage.

Now, 100 years later, events honouring her memory are attracting locals and visitors alike. Emily’s work for the suffrage cause has made her a legend and finally, thanks to modern technology, her actions and motivations are becoming clearer. She wasn’t the only suffragette to die for the cause, but we remember her protest was captured on film. For years it was used to back up the description of Emily as the woman who threw herself under the King’s horse. Now we know she did nothing of the sort. Frame-by-frame examination reveals that she was reaching up towards the horse’s bridle, not hurling herself beneath its hooves. Ill-judged and reckless, yes. But suicidal? I don’t think so. 



Val’s Work in Progress…

Val’s Next Book – Cross and Burn – to be published later in 2013

Val Says: ‘I’m working on the new Tony & Carol book, Cross and Burn — the title comes from the saying, ‘the problem with bridges is knowing which ones to cross and which ones to burn.’ A killer is on the loose, a killer who threatens both Tony and Carol but in very different ways.’ 


‘…I’m also doing some preliminary work on my contemporary reworking of Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey.’ more info


Getting Away With Murder

Chipping Norton Literary Festival

Date: Sunday 21 April 2013
Time: 17.30pm

The Theatre,

2 Spring St,

Chipping Norton,





Getting away with murder

How better to finish the 2013 festival than with a murder? Or several murders? Join ChipLitFest Patron Mark Billingham and his panel of best-selling crime-writers, Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, and Martyn Waites, for a thrilling evening of criminally great entertainment. 

More information: 


Val on the Culture Show

Val on The Culture Show 

Date: Wednesday 13 February 2013
Time: 10.00pm

BBC 2 



Val McDermid inspects British Library’s crime-fiction

Alastair Sooke explores the work of American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein as Tate Modern prepares for a major retrospective, and Cerys Matthews visits Cardiff’s National Theatre Wales ahead of its premiere of De Gabay, a performance based on the lives of the Somali community in the Welsh capital. Writer Val McDermid inspects the British Library’s crime-fiction exhibition to learn about the history of the whodunit, and there is music by German electronic music legends Kraftwerk, who are in London to perform for the first time since 2004.

Andrew Graham-Dixon presents.

More information: