Shortlist for The Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of The Year 2021 sponsored by The Glencairn Glass

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival 17-19 September 2021

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Winner to be presented on Friday 17 September 2021

Bloody Scotland International Crime Writing Festival can today reveal that three of the books on this year’s McIlvanney Prize longlist have made the shortlist for this year’s Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year. The 2021 shortlist is:

The Silent Daughter by Emma Christie (Wellbeck) – from Aberdeen / Portobello
No Harm Done by Alistair Liddle (Self Published) – from Stirling
Edge of the Grave by Robbie Morrison (Macmillan) – from Helensburgh / Glasgow
Waking the Tiger by Mark Wightman (Hobeck Books) – from Edinburgh / Linlithgow

Emma Christie appeared on Crime in the Spotlight 2020 – the element of the Festival where up- and-coming stars appear ahead of big names - and the Bloody Scotland Pitch Perfect winner 2017, Mark Wightman, is also in the mix for this year’s Debut Prize.

The shortlist is based on points received by a team of readers – largely made up of bloggers and booksellers – but the overall winner will be judged by Janice Forysth from BBC Radio Scotland, Simon Lloyd from Waterstones and Kenny Tweeddale from sponsors, the Glencairn Glass.  It is the second year that both awards have been sponsored by the Glencairn Glass – the world’s favourite whisky glass.

Kirsty Nicholson, Glencairn’s design and marketing manager commented:

‘We are immensely proud of our continued sponsorship of the Bloody Scotland Debut Crime Novel of the Year with the Glencairn Glass.  As a Glasgow-based family business, we cherish our Scottish heritage, so to be associated with such talented authors emerging in the Scottish crime fiction scene is an honour.  We look forward to immersing ourselves again in gripping crime novels – dram in hand – and we wish all the writers the best of luck’

Bob McDevitt, Director of the Festival said:

‘Once again, I’ve been blown away by the quality of the debut novels submitted this year. The fact that three of them also feature on the McIlvanney Prize longlist gives you some idea of just how high the standard was this year’

As ever, author and co-founder of Bloody Scotland, Alex Gray has selected four debuts that have made a big impact on her this year from those not eligible for the Bloody Scotland Debut Scottish Crime Book of the Year:

One Night, New York by Lara Thompson (Virago) – from London

How To Kidnap The Rich by Rahul Raina (Little,Brown) – from Oxford / Delhi

The Long, Long Afternoon by Inga Vesper (Bonnier) - from London

The Final Round by Bernard O’Keefe ( Muswell Press) – from Barnes, London

Alex Gray – who is on the longlist of the McIlvanney Prize for the first time – said:

‘This year’s debuts were incredibly strong and all looks well for the future of crime fiction’

After a year in which all authors, but particularly debut authors, suffered from bookshops being closed and festivals being cancelled Bloody Scotland are delighted to continue to celebrate the very best in debut crime fiction.


 Bloody Scotland is Scotland’s International Crime Writing Festival, providing a showcase for the best crime writing from Scotland and the world, unique in that it was set up by a group of Scottish crime writers. Full information at 

Sponsor, the Glencairn Glass, the World’s Favourite Whisky Glass and the Official Glass for Whisky is sponsoring both The McIlvanney Prize and The Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year. 

This is the third year the prize has been awarded. The first winner was Claire Askew with All the Hidden Truths (2019), followed by Deborah Masson with Hold Your Tongue (2020). The winner of the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year will be revealed on Friday 17 September in the historic town of Stirling. 

For further information or to interview those on the shortlist of the Bloody Scotland Scottish Crime Debut of the Year please contact 07767 431846
@brownlee_donald @bloodyscotland