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 writers of the genre 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.
Professor Sue Black heads the Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification (CAHID) at the University of Dundee, where the new morgue has been built. The other crime writers who lent their support included top selling Lee Child, Jeffery Deaver, Kathy Reichs and Mark Billingham.
But McDermid, 59, who lives in Northumberland, emerged triumphant. 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 had a chance to put life ahead of death. 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."