Winners of the Bloody Scotland Debut of the Year and McIlvanney Prize announced

Kate Foster has won the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year for The Maiden (Mantle).

Callum McSorley, who is also a debut author, was awarded the McIlvanney Prize Scottish Crime Book of the Year for Squeaky Clean (Pushkin Press).

The finalists for both prizes led the torchlit procession from Stirling Castle through the historic old town on 15 September.

The judges for The McIlvanney Prize were unanimous in their praise for Squeaky Clean which beat off competition from previous McIlvanney Prize winners Craig Russell and Denise Mina and previous Bloody Scotland Debut winner, Robbie Morrison, to be named Scottish Crime Book of the Year.

Squeaky Clean features DI Ally McCoist the least popular detective in the Glasgow police who has been demoted. It’s a contemporary thriller packed with black humour and hints of Breaking Bad.

Like Tim in the book, Callum McSorley worked at a carwash to make money while he was a student which has informed some of the colourful characters.  Bryan Burnett from BBC Radio Scotland said: ‘A wonderfully rich and funny new voice in Scottish crime. McSorley has created characters you invest in and a plot that keeps you hooked right from the start.

‘Although it’s dark and gruesome it’s full of laugh out loud lines that still bring you pleasure long after you’ve finished the book.

‘A novel I couldn’t wait to recommend to friends. ‘Glasgow’s least popular detective’ is about to hit the big time.’


Kate Foster has come full circle at Bloody Scotland.

Kate Foster

Kate Foster

She first appeared on the virtual stage at Pitch Perfect during lockdown in 2020.

She won the pitching panel with an outline of The Maiden and went on to get an agent and publisher. The Maiden (Mantle) is set in the 17th Century and is a reimagining of true historical events in which Lady Christian Nimmo is charged with the murder of her lover – and uncle – James Forrester.

Kate Foster is a journalist and lives in Edinburgh.

Journalist and Editor Arusa Qureshi said: ‘The Maiden is a fascinating and immersive debut, that places you in an imagined yet historically familiar time and space.

‘Stories about women in history are so often lost or forgotten so it’s refreshing to read something based on a true case that is skilfully constructed and utterly gripping, with a woman’s voice front and centre.’

Read more news and reviews on Scottish Field’s book pages.

Plus, don’t miss the October’s issue of Scottish Field magazine.