A trip doon the watter that may float your boat

The west of Scotland sense of humour is a creature in its own right. And if you’re a fan of the likes of Tony Roper and Dorothy Paul, the Kerryoans up the Clyde! is definitely the book for you. This book, illustrated by Bob Dewar, recounts the adventures of a vessel full of character with…

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A magical collection of 36 short stories

The garden is an oasis, a pocket of nature in our busy modern lives, full of plants, animals, insects – and a fair bit of magic. And it’s somewhere that, just behind that rock, or underneath a flower, there could be something magical or mystical: a fairy, an elf or a talking bee. Folk Tales…

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A show as full of the heart and charm as the film

The Edinburgh University Footlights production of The Wedding Singer took to the stage on the February 16 – 19 at Rose Theatre and was full of just as much heart and charm as the original Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore film. After wedding singer Robbie Hart (Chris Kane) is left at the alter by his…

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A gripping read will chill you to the bones

Just five pages in, writer Helen Grant’s prose sets the heart racing. She depicts a claustrophobic’s worst nightmare, fromwhich point the reader is constantly on edge. Protagonist Fen Munro has moved to erthshire with her fiancé to escape London’s rat-race, only to find they are being watched by a figure dressed in lavender. Barr Dubh,…

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The deserted streets of pandemic Edinburgh

The hour of exercise granted to us at the height of the pandemic was food for the soul. It inspired many things – not least this beautiful book, dedicated to Montgomery’s father, George. Taking to the capital’s deserted city streets, this is an amalgamation of eerie photographs, capturing everything from the iconic Dean Bridge to…

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An exposive thriller that’s close to the bone

You just know when a book has been penned by a knowledgeable hand. Simon Conway’s own experiences as a former British Army officer (clearing landmines and successfully campaigning to achieve an international ban on cluster bombs) ooze from these pages. The conviction with which he writes of terrorism is bonechilling. MI6 are on a mission…

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A book that’s a pure and simple joy to read

Wordsmiths rejoice, Fifty Words For Snow is as simple and as brilliant as you might hope. Nancy Campbell, a poet, writer and Arctic traveller from the Borders, teaches us of snow in its many forms across the globe. Many of these words and phrases shall now be used at every given opportunity: ‘hagelslag’, meaning ‘hail…

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Fictional work based on two real Scotswomen

What You Call Free is a piece of historical fiction. This novel is loosely based on the lives of two women, Helen Alexander and Jonet Gothskirk (who was forced to wear a ‘sackcloth’ or ‘gown of repentance’ as punishment for adultery during the period of the Covenanters). After falling pregnant, 18-year-old Jonet seeks refuge among…

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A thrilling mystery in a fictional Scots village

The Purified is the second of C F Peterson’s high-octane thrillers set in the fictional village of Duncul. Eamon Ansgar (the hero of the first novel, ‘Errant Blood’) has found happiness in marriage, but community life is shaken by a brutal murder and he finds himself helping the local police force to investigate (an entirely…

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Evil is just one floor away in a pacey read

Setting aside associations of Edinburgh’s cobbled streets with one ‘Boy Wizard’, Anthony O’Neill has crafted a rather more sinister reality. ‘In Edinburgh, evil is just one floor away,’ he writes. Protagonist Cat Thomas relocates to the capital’s Dean Village to flee death threats related to her job as a fraud investigator, only to find that…

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