'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone

Friday, May 30, 2014

Inspector McLevy Mysteries by David Ashton

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...


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

Peggy Ann


  1. I love this cover and this book sounds soooo good!

  2. If there's no baseball on tonight (due to rain) I'll be looking for this to listen to, Peggy. Thanks for the tip. I've been to Scotland - just once, unfortunately. Traveled to Glasgow and Edinburgh and got to see the Highlands. It was a wonderful trip and I always meant to go back but never got another chance. Still, I'm grateful to have seen Scotland at least once in person.

  3. Sounds like an interesting series. I will give it a try when I have finished some of my other books set in Scotland.

  4. I love historical fiction. THANKS for sharing this book and the series.

    These sound very good.

    Have a great weekend.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog

  5. looks like an author I would defnitely enjoy. Thanks for the recomendation.


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