Bloody Scotland: Kate Foster on The Maiden

Each week Scottish Field will be talking to one of the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize shortlist authors about their novels and feature an extract from the book. 

This week we hear from Kate Foster from Edinburgh, about her novel The Maiden (Mantle). Set in the 17th century, it is a reimagining of true historical events in which Lady Christian Nimmo is charged with the murder of her lover James Forrester. 

Click HERE to read an excerpt from the book.

Kate says: 

The Maiden is based on a historic murder that took place in the village where I grew up. Christian Nimmo was sentenced to execution for killing her lover, Lord James Forrester in Corstorphine, near Edinburgh, in 1679 and the story has become part of local folklore. Christian’s ghost is said to haunt the murder scene and as child I was terrified that I might see her. But as an adult I wanted to write something exploring the crime from a modern perspective.

The writing process can be long and difficult and take many edits so it’s really about perseverance. I like to have a good idea of the overall plot and characters before I sit down and put anything on the page. I love writing and it gives me a lot of joy to see a world take shape.

I’m currently writing my second novel, The King’s Witches, which is based on the witch hunts of 16th century Scotland.

Bloody Scotland Debut shortlisters 2023

Bloody Scotland Debut shortlisters 2023


I have an eclectic reading tastes and enjoy crime, historical and modern fiction. I love Sarah Perry, Hannah Kent and Sarah Waters.  I loved City of Vengeance by D.V. Bishop, part of a historical thriller series set in Renaissance Florence.


The winner of the Bloody Scotland Debut Prize will be revealed on 15 September at the opening night of the Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival.