Shadow of the Serpent (book 1). 1880, Edinburgh, Election fever grips the city. But while the rich and educated argue about politics, in the dank wynds of the docks it's a struggle just to stay alive. When a prostitute is brutally murdered, disturbing memories from thirty years ago are stirred in McLevy who is soon lured into a murky world of politics, perversion and deception—and the shadow of the serpent.
I came across this series of historical fiction books by Scottish author, David Ashton, today in an email from BBC Radio. They are airing the radio dramatization of his books right now. You can listen online and you don't have to be in the UK to listen! Hurry and check it out though if your interested and want to start with episode one as it is only available for 5 more days.
BBC Radio McLevy episode guide
The main character in these books is Inspector James McLevy. He became Edinburgh's first detective in 1833. Sounds like quite a character! He even wrote the first detective novels using his cases for stories. He is said to be the inspiration for Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. There is a wonderful website for McLevy with all his pertinent information... James McLevy
There are 5 books in this series by Ashton now...
Shadow of the Serpent: An Inspector McLevy Mystery
Fall From Grace An Inspector Mc Levy Mystery
Trick of the Light
End of the Line
Nor Will He Sleep: An Inspector McLevy Mystery
You can get the full cast dramatization on CD too but it looks expensive in the US.
James McLevy's books are still available too!
McLevy: The Edinburgh Detective
McLevy Returns: Further Disclosures of the Edinburgh Detective
A list of books by James McLevy
An article in The Scotsman about McLevy
David Ashton is from Greenock Scotland. It is situated on the River Clyde near Glasgow. I found this interesting page on Books from Scotland. This page is specific to the Glasgow area but you can also go HERE for all of Scotland. Quite a useful tool for reading Scotland!
So there you go, get Reading Scotland!