Author details

Malcolm Archibald


I was born in Edinburgh although currently live deep in the Moray countryside. Married to Cathy since 1980, I have three grown children. I am a researcher and a writer as well as working as a lecturer in Inverness College.

About writer's work

I write both historical fiction and nonfiction.  At present my nonfiction is concentrating on 19th century Scottish crime and the Scottish whaling industry. My fiction also has a criminal slant, with The Darkest Walk, a novel about a Victorian detective, being shortlisted for the Roma FilmFest in 2011 and an autumn winner of the People’s Book Prize. An earlier novel, Whales for the Wizard, won the 2005 Dundee Book Prize.

Current events and projects

The Dundee Whaling Industry is due out in June 2013; The Dundee Murders, a sequel to The Darkest Walk, is due to be published in August and Whisky Wars, Riots and Murder: Crime in the 19th century Highlands and Islands is to be published on 12 September 2013. I am available to give talks on Scottish Whaling, 19th century crime, nautical folklore, Queen Victoria’s Wars, the Boer War and the First World War.


Local authority where they are based


Local authorities where they can work

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, Argyll and Bute, Clackmannanshire, Comhairle nan Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Dumfries and Galloway, Dundee, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, East Lothian, East Renfrewshire, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Glasgow, Highland, Inverclyde, Midlothian, Moray, North Ayrshire, North Lanarkshire, Orkney, Perth and Kinross, Renfrewshire, Scottish Borders, Shetland, South Ayrshire, South Lanarkshire, Stirling, West Dunbartonshire, West Lothian

Age groups


LL funded


BRAW network


Author type




Books written

Shadow of the Wolf

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
Scotland 1388: Fergus Scott of Eildon is sent northward to investigate reports of a new power rising in the Highlands.
A Wild Rough Lot

A Wild Rough Lot

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
The Moray Firth of Scotland has a fine maritime history. This book introduces the nearly forgotten sealing and whaling industry of the Nineteenth century.
Glasgow: The Real Mean City, Book Cover

Glasgow: The Real Mean City

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
There cannot be many cities where crime could mean anything from stealing a ship to singing a seditious song, but nineteenth century Glasgow was a unique place with an amazing dynamism.

A Sink of Atrocity: Crime of 19th Century Dundee

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
Dundee in the nineteenth century was a very dangerous place.

The Darkest Walk

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
Set in 1848, Darkest Walk of Crime sees recently promoted Detective Mendick sent on his first case.

Powerstone: Stealing the Scottish Crown Jewels

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
The runner-up on a TV elimination show is given a second chance, and sets out to steal the Scottish crown jewels.

Pryde and the Infernal Device

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
This is a thrilling new adventure for Matthew Pryde...It is 1805, and England is in the midst of her war with France under Napoleon.

Sixpence for the Wind

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
An introduction to the field of sealore and the collected wisdom and superstition of seafarers.

Across the Pond

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
An introduction to the nautical history of the North Atlantic. For centuries the Atlantic hemmed Europe behind its storms and mysterious breadth.


Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
Few trades were so demanding and dangerous as whaling.