Welcome to Val McDermid's website. Val McDermid has sold over 19 million books to date across the globe and has been translated into more than 40 languages.

She is perhaps best known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris. Her most recent TV series Traces aired in a BBC1 primetime slot in January of 2021, and a second series is currently in production, as is ITV’s adaptation of Karen Pirie, based on Val’s cold case detective of the same name.

1979, the beginning of a new series for Val, featuring journalist Allie Burns, is published on 19th August 2021. She has also published Resistance, a graphic novelisation of her critically acclaimed radio drama, illustrated by Kathryn Briggs, this May.

Val was chair of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017 and has served as a judge for both the Women’s Prize for Fiction and the 2018 Man Booker Prize. She is the recipient of six honorary doctorates and is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She is Visiting Professor in the Centre of Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She is an experienced broadcaster and much sought-after columnist and commentator across print media.

Val is also lead vocalist with The Fun Lovin' Crime Writers, possibly the only band made up of crime writers ever to play at Glastonbury!

'Resistance' included in '9 Best Graphic Novels of All Time'

Val McDermid teamed up with illustrator Kathryn Briggs to produce a stunning graphic novel 'Resistance'. It has been included in a list of the 9 Best Graphic Novels of All Time. Read more...

Resistance Image credit: Evening Standard

Imagine A Country

Imagine a Country

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New Book 'Past Lying' Out Now in UK!

Past Lying


Past Lying: The brand-new thriller from Val McDermid.
A heart-pounding new novel in the Karen Pirie series, now a major ITV series starring Lauren Lyle

The queen of crime is still at the top of her game- The Independent

Edinburgh, haunted by the ghosts of its many writers, is also the cold case beat of DCI Karen Pirie. So she shouldn’t be surprised when an author’s manuscript appears to be a blueprint for an actual crime.

Karen can’t ignore the plot’s chilling similarities to the unsolved case of an Edinburgh University student who vanished from her own doorstep. The manuscript seems to be the key to unlocking what happened to Lara Hardie, but there’s a problem: the author died before he finished it.

As Karen digs deeper, she uncovers a spiraling game of betrayal and revenge, where lies are indistinguishable from the truth and with more than one unexpected twist . . .

More about this book >>

14 March 2024

Harrogate International Festivals launches McDermid Debut Award

Harrogate International Festivals has launched a new prize, the McDermid Debut Award for new writers, dedicated to crime author Val McDermid.

Organisers said: “Named in recognition of world-famous crime writer Val McDermid, who co-founded the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival in 2003 and whose dedication to fostering new voices in crime fiction through the New Blood panel is legendary, this new award seeks to continue her legacy, celebrating and platforming the best debut crime writers in the UK.”

McDermid said: “Curating the New Blood panel over 20 years exposed me to an extraordinary range of crime fiction I might otherwise have missed. I’m hoping that this new award will do the same for the army of avid readers out there looking for new talent.”

The prize is open to full-length debut crime novels by UK and Irish authors published for the first time in hardback or paperback original between 1st May 2023 and 30th April 2024, with submissions closing on 21st March.

A shortlist of six titles, selected by an academy of established crime authors, will be announced on 13th June at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival, with the winner determined by a panel of industry experts. All shortlisted authors will receive a full weekend pass to the festival. The award will be presented at the festival’s awards event on 18th July with the winner receiving a £500 cash prize.

Chief executive of Harrogate International Festivals Sharon Canavar said: “We are delighted to announce this new award honouring Val McDermid, one of the icons of the genre, and we can’t wait to discover the stars of the future, be they writers of psychological thrillers or murder mysteries.”

Submissions are also now open for the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year.

Val McDermid's Newsletters

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(July 2023)

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Books by Val Mcdermid

Books celebrated & new…

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Val Mcdermid Biography

A literary life…

“I decided to turn my hand to writing a crime novel, because I’d always enjoyed reading the genre…”

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TV Series based on characters created by Val McDermid

High drama…

More about the highly successful television adaptations based on the stories and characters created by Val McDermid…

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Val comes from Kirkcaldy, Fife, and read English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford (where she is now an Honorary Fellow). She was the first ever student from a state school in Scotland. Following graduation she became a journalist, and worked briefly as a dramatist.
Her first success as a novelist came with Report for Murder The first Lindsay Gordon Mystery, first published in 1987.

Among her many awards are the Portico Prize for Fiction, the LA Times Book Prize, the Lambda Literary Pioneer Award and the Cartier Diamond Dagger. She has published 36 novels, short stories, non-fiction and a prize-winning children’s book. She is a regular broadcaster for BBC radio and lives in Edinburgh.

Val says: “I never imagined when I started on this journey that I would have the success that has come my way. All those novels, radio plays, short stories, non-fiction and even a children’s book make a significant pile that I have every intention of adding to. I divide my year between writing and promoting my work at home and abroad, and when I’m not travelling, I divide my time between Fife and Edinburgh where I live with my partner. Most days, I feel like one of the very lucky ones.”

My Scotland

My Scotland Book Jacket

Val McDermid