Malcolm's Older Books
The Matthew Pryde books are set in Great Britain at the time of the Napoleonic War. There are two central characters, Matthew Pryde, a young engineer, and Kate Denton, the daughter of a bookseller.
The first book, Pryde's Rock (Severn House, 2007) follows Pryde's youth and very early manhood as he struggles to find his identity and a place in the world. He is helped by the confident, bubbly and very sensible Kate Denton, but his life is complicated when he is sent to Northumberland to find a suitable site for a lighthouse, and meets an old enemy and what might be a new romance...
This book is also available in an audio edition, published by Soundings and narrated by the superb Gordon Griffin.
Pryde and the Infernal Device
The second book in the series, Pryde and the Infernal Device, sees Matthew Pryde as a mining engineer in Kent. It is 1805, Napoleon Bonaparte is camped with a huge army on the shores of France and there are rumours of a French attempt to build a tunnel under the Channel. When Matthew is sent to investigate, he is surprised to find that Kate Denton also comes along.
Together they face a variety of obstacles, including the threat of the guillotine. But what is the Infernal Device that also threatens the security of Britain? And what lonely secret prevents Kate forming a lasting relationship with Matthew?
(Fledgling Press 2006)
When postman David Christie finds a strangely carved box in his garden, he does not realise that his life is about to change. First Professor Jorunn Nechtan forces him out of his iob, and then David is drawn into a web of intrigue that spans the centuries from prehistory to the present day in which his wife, Catriona, plays a prominent role.
Shortlisted for the 1999 Dundee Book Prize, Mother Law is set in a Dundee in which nothing is what it seems.
Across the Pond
This book chronicles the history of the North Atlantic. Taken in thematic and roughly chronological chapters, it includes teh discovery of the Atlantic, early exploration, the slave trade, the tobacco trade, whaling, the First and Second World Wars and luxury liners.
Sixpence for the Wind
Scottish Animal and Bird Folklore
(St Andrew Press, 1996)
The animals and birds of Scotland each have their own stories and histories. Some birds are noted for being lucky, some quite the reverse; add the monsters, ghostly dogs, wyvers and other strange creatures and you have the basis for this book.
My personal favourite remains the oystercatcher, that black and white bird of the shore that helped guide St Bride. This book was selected for the 1996 Scottish Book Fortnight.