A SCOTTISH-based researcher who instigated the dig for the remains of the English king Richard III has written a book about her endeavour that will be published later this year.

Philippa Langley, who lives in Edinburgh, has just completed the 100,000 word manuscript with co-author Michael Jones, a military historian.

Ms Langley's painstaking research led her to a council car park in Leicester where Richard's skeleton was, in a bizarre coincidence, found under a reserved bay marked with the letter R.

A Channel Four documentary about her search showed her in tears as Richard's remains were examined. The programme, watched by almost five million viewers, sparked a debate about Richard's life and reputation.

He was infamously portrayed as an evil hunchback by William Shakespeare and is said to be responsible for one of cruellest deeds in medieval English history, the murder of the Princes in the Tower.

Ms Langley's book, The King's Grave, outlines the full story of the dig and the years of background research that led her to the car park.

Chapters on the search and dig written by Ms Langley alternate with chapters about Richard's life, written by Mr Jones, author of Bosworth 1485, about the battle where the king was killed aged 32 by Henry Tudor's forces.

"There are some surprises in the book. I think readers will be surprised at how often the project nearly failed, how often it was on the point of not happening," said Ms Langley, a screenwriter and secretary of the Scottish branch of the Richard III Society.

"I enjoyed writing the book very much. The dig was such a happy time. Writing the book brought back lots of lovely memories. It was like reliving it again."

The book is being published by John Murray, an imprint of Hodder and Stoughton, in October.

"The King's Grave is destined to be the stand-out popular history title of 2013," said Roland Philipps, managing director of John Murray.

"I had been following the Leicester dig closely as I have always been fascinated by the character and story of Richard, as well as the accession of the Tudors in both history and as portrayed by Shakespeare.

"Mike's Bosworth 1485 is a brilliant work of forensic historical clarity and his knowledge, combined with Philippa's passion and conviction that has led to this remarkable discovery and the new light it sheds, will combine to make a hugely compelling and accessible book: both a reassessment of history and a fascinating contemporary story."

Mr Jones added: "The search for Richard III lays to rest the Machiavellian anti-hero – and puts the man firmly back into the context of his times."

Richard III's skeleton was found in August last year, but it took almost six months before DNA tests confirmed in February the remains were those of the last Plantagenet monarch.

His remains showed he died an appallingly brutal death: a lump had been hacked from the back of his skull and an arrowhead was lodged in his spine.

After Richard died his body was stripped and despoiled before being taken to Leicester, where he was buried in the church of the Franciscan Friary, known as the Grey Friars.

However, over the centuries the exact whereabouts of the Grey Friars became lost as the site became developed.

This meant Ms Langley had to spend years examining maps and records to identify exactly where the church was located.

She and her colleagues in the Richard III Society dispute the popular, negative view of the monarch.

They believe the common perception originated with the Tudors, who felt the need to blacken his name to justify his gruesome death.

Richard III is due to be reinterred in a special ceremony at Leicester Cathedral next year.