She is already a critically acclaimed and best-selling author. Now the Scottish crime writer Val McDermid is to have a mortuary named after her at the University of Dundee.
McDermid was one of a group of leading crime writers who lent their support to the University's 'Million for a Morgue' campaign. The public were asked to not only donate money to the campaign but to vote for which of the writers they would like the morgue to be named after.
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The other authors who lent their support were Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Jeff Lindsay, Stuart MacBride, Tess Gerritsen, Peter James, Kathy Reichs, Mark Billingham, Harlan Coben and Caro Ramsay.
With the campaign now closing, McDermid has emerged as the winner. She said: "This is a very proud moment for me. I've known and admired Sue Black for nearly 20 years and it's a privilege to be associated with her and her department in this pioneering venture.
"The work that's being done in this mortuary and the knowledge it will communicate means better life chances for all of us. For once, we crime writers have had a chance to put life ahead of death and I'm thrilled to have been part of it. Million for a Morgue was a mad idea, but it's borne more fruit than any of us could imagine. A huge thanks to everyone who put their hands in their pockets to support the campaign."
The university has also named a dissecting room in the new morgue after another of the writers, Aberdeen-based tartan noir specialist Stuart MacBride, who has been a passionate supporter of the campaign throughout.
"I'm very proud to have been involved in the campaign and while I didn't win the coveted prize of having it named after me, I couldn't have picked a better person to be pipped at the post by than Val," said MacBride, author of the acclaimed Logan McRae novels.
Professor Sue Black heads the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) at the University of Dundee, where the new morgue has been built. She said: "The Million for a Morgue campaign has been a tremendous adventure for all of us and I am inordinately grateful to all of the authors who graciously gave of their time and their reputations to support Dundee.
The campaign was launched to help build the first morgue in the country to use the Thiel method of embalming, bringing significant boosts to medical research and training in the UK. The Thiel method of embalming gives surgeons, dentists, scientists and researchers a more realistic method of testing techniques, practising procedures and developing new equipment and approaches.