Scotland has many renowned female writers that have produced some incredible crime, historical fiction, political, romantic and drama novels.

There is no better way to spend International Women's Day in Scotland this year than to read some of the wonderful novels created by Scottish female authors. 

Gail Honeyman


Gail Honeyman was raised in Stirling and studied French language and literature at Glasgow University before continuing her studies at the University of Oxford.

She rose to fame after her debut novel “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” won the 2017 Costa First Novel Award.

HeraldScotland: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

The book follows Eleanor Oliphant, a 29-year-old social misfit with a traumatic past who becomes completely infatuated with a singer that she believes she’s destined to be with.

Eleanor is hilarious throughout the book, with moments such as her describing her favourite mug which she purchased from a charity shop. Eleanor says that on the mug is a photograph of a “moon-faced man” and along the top in yellow writing it says “top Gear”. She is completely unaware of the man on her mug but it holds the perfect amount of vodka, so therefore she likes it. 

Val McDermid


Val McDermid is one of the biggest names in crime writing, her novels have been translated into 40 languages.

She grew up in Fife and studied English at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

Her novels include four main series: Kate Brannigan, Lindsay Gordon, DCI Karen Pirie and beginning in 1995, the Tony Hill and Carol Jordan series.

One of Ms McDermid’s most recent novels is “Still Life”.

The book follows DCI Karen Pirie and begins on a cold winter morning when fishermen pull a body from the sea. It is discovered that the dead man was the main suspect in a decade-old investigation. DCI Karen Pirie was the last detective to review the file.

Kirstin Innes


Kirstin Innis was born in Edinburgh and studied at the University of Aberdeen. Her writing is said to be influenced by her mother and grandmother’s left-wing politics.

Her debut novel “Fishnet” was praised by The New York Times.

Ms Innes released her newest novel “Scabby Queen” last April, it is a novel exploring themes such as feminism, the challenges women face and the celebrity machine.

Sara Sheridan


Sara Sheridan is a Scottish activist and writer who works in a variety of genres, though most notably in historical fiction.

Her novel “Highland Fling” based in the Scottish Highlands in 1958 was released in 2020 and is part of the Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries.

During a relaxing break in the Highlands Mirabelle Bevan can’t help herself but investigate a case involving the brutal murder of an American fashion buyer.