Last week, I listed some of my favorite Scottish-set historical novels. This week we’re going modern. (Well, modern as in post World War II.)


If you like novels set in modern Scotland, you’ll probably like….


– Elizabeth Peter’s Legend in Green Velvet, in which a Scotland-obsessed American gets drawn into a rather bizarre intrigue involving a Prince Charles look-alike and the Stone of Scone.


– Along those lines, there’s also Lillian Stewart Carl’s paired mystery novels, Ashes to Ashesand Dust to Dust. Like the Peters novel, they feature an American heroine working on her PhD in Scottish history. The first is set in an American repro of a Scottish castle, stuffed with Scottish artifacts (and a handsome Scottish historian!), while the second moves the action to Scotland.


– Mary Stewart’s two Scotland set mysteries, Wildfire at Midnight, set on the isle of Skye, and The Stormy Petrel, set on the isle of Moila.


– Antonia Fraser (who also wrote a truly excellent biography of Mary Queen of Scots) set one of her 1970s Jemima Shore mysteries, The Wild Island, on a remote Scottish island, complete with slightly bizarre Royalist underground and an attractive– if treacherous– laird.


– While we’re talking romantic suspense, one of my absolute favorite Elsie Lee novels, Mansion of Golden Windows, is also Highland-set, circa the 1960s.


– Moving from mystery to women’s fiction, no one strums the (Scottish) heart strings like Alexandra Raife. These are my rainy day, I-want-to-move-to-1990s-Scotland books, always featuring some sort of house in need of restoration or renovation, a cast of dotty local characters, deep personal angst, and eventual growth and renewal through interaction with the landscape and those dotty local characters. My favorites are Wild Highland Home, in which a burned out London hotelier moves to a remote cottage and, after many struggles, learns to love the land (and the taciturn farmer next door), and Belonging, where the heroine has to move back to the family manor house to help turn it into a successful inn after her cousin runs off and abandons it. (Monarch of the Glen fans, this one’s for you!)


What are your favorite modern Scotland-set novels?

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Published on June 25, 2012 05:13 • 131 views

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