Author details

Claire MacLeary


A feisty Glaswegian with a full life to draw on, I read English as an undergraduate and, as a mature student, gained MLitt with distinction in Creative Writing from the University of Dundee.

My short stories have been published in magazines and anthologies. My debut crime novel, Cross Purpose, was launched in February 2017 by Saraband Books, publisher of the Booker Prize shortlisted His Bloody Project, under its crime imprint, Contraband, and is long listed for the 2017 McIlvanney Prize for Scottish Crime Book of the Year. 

A former training consultant, antiques dealer and entrepreneur, I have lived and worked in Edinburgh, London, Aberdeen and Fife, and travelled widely. I now divide my time between Glasgow and St Andrews.

About writer's work

As befits Tartan Noir, my debut novel has been described as 'dark'. My writing, in general, whether literary or crime, is spare, with a lot left unsaid, and strong on the domestic.

Whilst studying at Dundee under acclaimed New Zealand novelist, Kirsty Gunn, I was honoured to be chosen as one of only three students from the entire Creative Writing complement to write a short story for In Memoriam, a tribute to those individuals who have gifted their bodies to Life Sciences for medical research.

Having worked for some years in Human Resources and later run my own businesses, one of my main interests is womens' roles in the home and workplace. Maggie and Wilma, the unlikely protagonists in Cross Purpose, are prime examples of non-professional women who, despite loneliness and loss of confidence, not only multi-task but demonstrate courage and resourcefulness in extreme circumstances. The appeal of these two 'women of a certain age' was validated when Cross Purpose made the shortlist for the New Blood panel at Harrogate and by the many positive reviews.

I am currently working on the next in the Harcus & Laird series, Burnout, which is due for publication in early 2018 and deals with domestic abuse.

Websites featuring the author

Author's WebsiteTwitterFacebookPublisher's Website

Current events and projects

I am available to do readings, signings, panels, book festivals.

In my role as a training consultant, I ran short courses in management and marketing for mixed-ability groups and am a confident and engaging public speaker. I have appeared at book festivals in Aberdeen and Linlithgow, been interviewed for radio on Woman's Hour and Pulse 98.4 and participated in events such as Dundee University's Write Stuff, which attracted an audience of 170.

I would like to work with adult audiences, and have a particular interest in helping other women - not necessarily older women - who would like to write, or return to writing after a career break. Topics for discussion might include: Do You Have a Book in You; Getting Started; Writing for Profit or Pleasure; Crime Writing in a Crowded Market, The Path to Publication, Marketing Your Book.

Other work

Publications: Short Stories

Oct.  2014 SBT Scotland’s Stories of Home: Pakeha

Oct.  2012 New Writing Dundee: Final Warning

Feb.  2012 In Memoriam: The Ultimate Gift

Feb.  2012 Leopard Magazine: A Walk Up The Glen

Oct.  2011 A Private View: Rain on Princes Street

Oct.  2011 Leopard Magazine:Come Straight Home

Jun.  2011 Dundee Writes: The Collector

Jun.  2011 Leopard Magazine: Shop Talk

Nov. 2010 Leopard Magazine: Finzean Roup

Aug. 2010 Leopard Magazine: KIttybrewster Mart

Dec. 2009 Leopard Magazine: Castlegate Market

Oct.  2009 If Stones Could Speak: Nora’s Garden



Dec.  2014 Celtic Family Magazine (USA): extract from SBT Pakeha

Jan.   2012 The Lady Magazine: The Lady And I


Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow

Age groups


LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written

Cross Purpose cover

Cross Purpose

Author(s): Claire MacLeary
When Maggie Laird's disgraced ex-cop husband suddenly dies, her humdrum suburban life is turned upside down.