“There’s been a murder” ... and it may have happened anywhere from an ancient Pictish Broch to the tourist-crowded maelstrom of Edinburgh Castle.
The connections - intimate and deadly - between historic places and the people who commit fiction’s most heinous crimes is the theme of a unique night this month, featuring Scotland’s most famous crime writers.
To be staged in the magnificent but undeniably creepy surroundings of Stirling’s Great Hall, the event stars a selection of A-list contributors to recently-published crime anthology Bloody Scotland (also the title of the three-day annual crime fiction festival in Stirling).
David Rizzio in Holyrood Palace (stabbed repeatedly to death), Lord Darnley at Kirk o’ Field (building blown up - escaped but was suffocated in a garden) and James I of Scotland (another stabbing) are just three of the better-known real-life characters to have met their demise in or near historically interesting buildings.
The stellar line-up includes McIlvanney Prize winners Denise Mina and (pictured) Christopher Brookmyre – who took the award for Scottish crime book of the year in 2017 and 2016 respectively - as well as esteemed crime novelists Doug Johnstone and Lin Anderson.
The evening, on November 23, aims to give audiences the opportunity to find out more about the writers’ motivations, and discover what inspires them to pen their dark tales of murder in the first place.
Staged by Historic Environment Scotland (many of whose buildings have seen countless murders in centuries past), it’s also a chance to hear about the writers’ personal experiences of linking crime stories with some of Scotland’s most iconic historic buildings.
A Q&A session on the night will be chaired by James Crawford, publishing manager at HES, who said: “The Bloody Scotland book is a tribute to two of our nation’s greatest assets – our crime writing and our built heritage.
“We’re delighted to bring together four of its authors in the atmospheric setting of Stirling Castle’s Great Hall to talk about the key role Scotland’s built environment plays in inspiring their writing.
“What a perfect way to bring in a dark wintry night!”
The event will also include a meet and greet with the authors, and the opportunity to have books autographed by their writers.
Copies of Bloody Scotland, as well as a selection of other work from the authors, will be available to purchase on the night.
The Bloody Scotland Authors in Conversation event takes place from 7pm.
Booking is essential, with tickets available to purchase online or in person at Stirling Castle ticket office.
For more information, and to book tickets, visit www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk/whatson/events/bloody-scotland-in-conversation/