Are you looking for a list of all the Val McDermid books in order? If so, you have come to the right place.
Val McDermid was born in Fife, Scotland, on June 4, 1955. At 17 she attended St. Hilda’s College Oxford to study English as one of the youngest undergraduates they had ever taken on, and the first from a Scottish state school.
McDermid then went on to work as a journalist for many years before she was able to quit her day job and pursue writing fiction full-time. She still occasionally contributes to newspapers, but by-and-large her writing is spent predominately in the mystery, thriller, and crime genres.
Collectively, her books have sold more than 17 million copies and been translated into more than 40 languages.
Most of her novels are focused on four series following four different protagonists. Her best known series is likely the Wire in the Blood series following clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan. It was adapted for television starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris.
McDermid has also written several standalone novels, non-fiction books, short story collections, and a children’s picture book. As well, she has written for stage, radio, and screen.
She was inducted into the Hall of Fame of ITV3 Crime Thriller authors in 2009. McDermid was also awarded the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger by CWA Cartier and the Pioneer Award from the Lambda Literary Foundation.
McDermid spends her time at home in Cheshire and Edinburgh.
Val McDermid Books in Order of Publication
Val McDermid is a bestselling Scottish writer who has written more than 30 books. Some of her most popular titles include The Mermaids Singing, Wire in the Blood, and Killing the Shadows.
These are just three of McDermid’s many novels that have made her one of Scotland’s favorite authors. Read on for a comprehensive list of the Val McDermid books in order.
Lindsay Gordon Books in Order
- Report For Murder (1987)
- Common Murder (1989)
- Final Edition (1991)
- Union Jack (1993)
- Booked For Murder (1996)
- Hostage To Murder (2003)
Kate Brannigan Books in Order
- Dead Beat (1992)
- Kick Back (1993)
- Crack Down (1994)
- Clean Break (1995)
- Blue Genes (1996)
- Star Struck (1998)
Tony Hill/Carol Jordan Books in Order
- The Mermaids Singing (1995)
- The Wire In The Blood (1997)
- The Last Temptation (2002)
- The Torment of Others (2004)
- Beneath the Bleeding (2007)
- Fever of the Bone (2009)
- The Retribution (2011)
- Cross and Burn (2013)
- Splinter the Silence (2015)
- Insidious Intent (2017)
- Footloose (2019) (Short Story Match-up with Peter James)
- How the Dead Speak (2019)
Inspector Karen Pirie Books in Order
- The Distant Echo (2003)
- A Darker Domain (2008)
- The Skeleton Road (2014)
- Out of Bounds (2016)
- Broken Ground (2018)
- Still Life (2020)
- Past Lying (2023)
Allie Burns Books in Order
Val McDermid Books in Order – Standalone Novels
- A Place of Execution (1999)
- Killing The Shadows (2000)
- The Grave Tattoo (2006)
- Trick of the Dark (2010)
- The Vanishing Point (2012)
Val McDermid Books in Order – Short Stories/Novellas
Val McDermid Books in Order – Anthologies
- Naked Came the Phoenix (2001)
- The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 3 (2002)
- The World’s Finest Mystery and Crime Stories 4 (2003)
- Tart Noir (2003)
- Like a Charm (2004)
- Criminal Tendencies (2009)
- Inherit the Dead (2013)
- Murder Under the Christmas Tree (2016)
- Murder on Christmas Eve (2017)
- MatchUp (2017)
- A Very Murderous Christmas (2018)
- Bloody Scotland (2019)
- Imagine A Country (2020)
- Marple: Twelve New Mysteries (2022)
Summary of Val McDermid Books in Order
Val McDermid books are page-turners that keep you guessing until the very end. If you’re looking to get into this author’s work, here is a summary of the Val McDermid books in order from three of her series.
Lindsay Gordon Series
1. Report for Murder
Lindsay Gordon, a self-proclaimed cynical, socialist, lesbian, feminist journalist, is less than overjoyed at the prospect of spending a weekend at a posh girls’ boarding school.
Tensions are running high over the school’s financial problems. The fact that school alumna and reknowned musician Lorna Smith-Couper, will return to the school to perform at a benefit concert only exacerbates anxieties.
When Smith-Couper is found strangled with her own cello string right before the concert, Lindsay and Cordelia find their new relationship tested in unique ways as they seek to find the murderer among a long list of suspects
2. Common Murder
This is the second novel in the series featuring reporter Lindsay Gordon.
A protest group hits the headlines when unrest at a women’s peace camp explodes into murder. Already on the scene, journalist Lindsay Gordon desperately tries to strike a balance between personal and professional responsibilities.
As she peels back the layers of deception surrounding the protest and its opponents, she finds that no one – ratepayer or reporter, policeman or peace woman – seems wholly above suspicion. Then Lindsay uncovers a truth that even she can scarcely believe.
3. Final Edition
Final Edition has also been published as Open and Shut, and Deadline for Murder.
When she returns from a self-imposed exile in Italy, journalist Lindsay Gordon finds her world turned upside down. The lover she thought would wait for her has found a new partner; an ex-lover has been murdered; and a former colleague has been jailed for the crime.
But some disagree with the jury’s verdict and soon Lindsay is embroiled in an investigation involving blackmail, stolen government documents, and the vested interests of a group of people determined to keep her from finding the truth. And when she does finally face the answer to the question, “Who killed Alison Maxwell?” Lindsay is confronted with the hardest choice of her life.
4. Union Jack
Union Jack is published as Conferences Are Murder in the US.
Journalist Lindsay Gordon is more accustomed to investigating murder than being suspected of it. But when union boss Tom Jack falls to his death from her bedroom window after a spectacularly public row with Lindsay, it seems the only way to prove her innocence is to find the real culprit. In an investigation that draws her inexorably into her own past, Lindsay is forced to confront hard moral choices before she can clear her name.
5. Booked for Murder
It couldn’t have been the freak accident it first appeared – Penny’s death was an exact replica of the murder method in her forthcoming book. Apart from Penny, only three people knew the plot: Her literary agent, her editor, and her ex-girlfriend Meredith.
In tribute to her friendship with Penny, Lindsay Gordon agrees to investigate. Reluctantly she leaves her Californian haven for the fraught world of London book publishing. And as her investigation reveals an incendiary mixture of soured relationships and seething rivalries, Lindsay must face the frightening truth.
Someone in Penny’s literary or love life must have been driven to murder.
6. Hostage to Murder
Spraining an ankle is rarely a stroke of luck, but for Lindsay Gordon, jobless in Glasgow, the injury is her introduction to young freelance journalist Rory McLaren and the opening of a new chapter in her life. Rory’s invitation to work alongside her in her booth at the Cafe Virginia is irresistible.
From there it is just a short step to political corruption and other juicy stories – all welcome distractions from Lindsay’s problems at home, where her long-term lover Sophie has decided to heed the ticking of her biological clock and get pregnant.
But when a local car dealer’s stepson is kidnapped, Lindsay and Rory are invited to trade journalism for detection. The trail leads them to St. Petersburg and a dangerous snatch-back operation. It’s a journey that brings a whole new dimension of risk into Lindsay’s life.
Back in Glasgow, it becomes clear that Lindsay and Rory have stumbled into a bigger, more violent piece of business than either of them could have guessed – and one which will test Lindsay to her absolute limits.
Kate Brannigan Series
1. Dead Beat
Dead Beat introduces Kate Brannigan, a female private detective set to do for Manchester what V.I. Warshawski has done for Chicago.
As a favour to her rock journalist boyfriend, Kate agrees to track down a missing song-writer Moira Pollock, a search that takes her into some of the seediest parts of Leeds and Bradford. But little does she realise that finding Moira is only a prelude to murder. Juggling her other cases, including a search to uncover the source of counterfeit luxury goods, Brannigan finds herself for the first time on the trail of a killer.
2. Kick Back
Kate Brannigan, feisty Manchester-based PI, is back, investigating the bizarre case of the missing conservatories. Before long she’s up to her neck in crooked land deals, mortgage scams, financial chicanery – and murder. But when a favour for a friend puts Kate’s own life in danger, bizarre is not the first word she thinks of.
3. Crack Down
There was only one reason Manchester-based private eye Kate Brannigan was prepared to let her boyfriend help out with an investigation into a car sales fraud – nothing bad could happen. But by now Kate should know that with Richard you have to expect the unexpected.
With Richard behind bars, Kate seems to be the obvious choice to look after his eight-year-old son – who proves even more troublesome than his father. Kate finds herself dragged into a world of drug traffickers, child pornographers, fraudsters, and violent gangland enforcers bringing her face to face with death in the most terrifying investigation of her career.
4. Clean Break
Manchester-based private eye Kate Brannigan is not amused when thieves have the audacity to steal a Monet from a stately home where she’d arranged the security.
She’s even less thrilled when the hunt for the thieves drags her on a treacherous foray across Europe as she goes head to head with organised crime. And as if that isn’t enough, a routine industrial sabotage case starts leaving a trail of bodies across the northwest, giving Kate more problems than she can deal with.
Cleaning up the mess in Clean Break forces Kate to confront harsh truths in her own life as she battles with a testing array of villains in a case that stretches love and loyalty to the limits.
5. Blue Genes
Kate Brannigan isn’t just having a bad day. She’s having a bad week. The worst week of her life, if you really want to know.
Her boyfriend’s death notice is in the newspaper, her plans to capture a team of heartless fraudsters are in disarray and a Celtic neo-punk band under siege want her to rescue them from the saboteurs who are trashing their posters and their gigs. As if that isn’t enough, Kate’s business partner wants her to buy him out so he can emigrate to Australia. Fine, except that private eyes with principles never have that kind of cash.
Kate can’t even cry on her best friend’s shoulder, for Alexis has worries of her own. Her girlfriend Chris is pregnant, and when the doctor responsible for the pioneering and illegal fertility treatment is murdered, Alexis needs Kate like she’s never needed her before. So what’s a girl to do?
Delving into the alien world of medical experimentation and the underbelly of the rock music business, Kate confronts betrayal and cold-blooded greed as she fights to save not only her livelihood but her life as well.
6. Star Struck
Bodyguarding had never made it to Manchester PI Kate Brannigan’s wish list. But somebody’s got to pay the bills at Brannigan & Co, and if the only earner on offer is playing nursemaid to a paranoid soap star, the fast-talking, computer loving white collar crime expert has to swallow her pride and slip into something more glam than her Thai boxing kit.
Soon, however, offstage dramas overshadow the fictional storylines of Northerners, culminating in the unscripted murder of the self-styled ‘Seer to the Stars’, and Kate finds herself with more questions than answers. What’s more, her tame hacker has found virtual love, her process server keeps getting arrested, and the ever-reliable Dennis has had the temerity to get himself charged with murder. Nobody told her there’d be days like these.
Final Thoughts on Val McDermid Books in Order
With this list of the Val McDermid books in order, you can start reading her work from the beginning of each series. Happy reading!
Looking for more books in order?
Check out this list of Ian Rankin books in order.