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.

Aspects of the Boer War

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
The inspiration for the Selkirk trilogy, the original diary of Private Robert Brown from Methil, Fife, is printed verbatim.

Whales for the Wizard

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
In 1860 after years in the army, Robert Douglas returns to Dundee and finds George Gilbride(the Wizard), a whaling ship owner, but falls foul of sinister gangster John Wylie.

Soldier of the Queen

Author(s): Malcolm Archibald
Partly based on real events, this book follows the fortunes of Drew Selkirk, a ploughboy from the Scottish Borders who joins the fictional Royal Borders Regiment.