Manda Scott has won the 2019 McIlvanney Prize, making her the second woman in its eight year history to win the £1,000 award.
Scott triumphed with her thriller, A Treachery of Spies (Transworld), which the panel of judges which included Guardian journalist Alison Flood; chair of Publishing Scotland, James Crawford and former head of programmes at Channel 4, Stuart Cosgrove, described as: “A powerful, complex and remarkable espionage thriller: a present-day murder links back to Resistance France. An intricately plotted novel which keeps the reader guessing right to the end.”
Born and raised in Scotland, Scott has been, variously a veterinary surgeon, veterinary anaesthetist, acupuncturist columnist, blogger, economist – and author. She began her writing career with a series of crime novels, the first of which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.
The McIlvanney Prize recognises excellence in Scottish crime writing, includes a prize of £1000 and nationwide promotion in Waterstones.
David Baldacci awarded Scott the prize as Bloody Scotland got underway. This year Bloody Scotland also introduced the inaugural Debut Scottish Crime Book of the Year and special guest, Richard Osman, presenter of "Pointless" on TV and soon to be a debut author himself, presented it to Claire Askew for All the Hidden Truths (Hodder). She is a poet, novelist and the current Writer in Residence at the University of Edinburgh.
Both winners accompanied Baldacci at the head of the torchlit procession from Stirling Castle to his event at the Albert Halls tonight (Friday 20th September).
Festival director Bob McDevitt said: “I am delighted that a woman has won both the McIlvanney Prize and the Debut Prize. Coincidentally we had already planned a panel on Spy Sisters about how women are beginning to enter the male dominated preserve of spy fiction. When Manda was longlisted for the prize we added her to the panel. Now anyone who had booked to see that event at 2.30pm tomorrow will be lucky to hear from the McIlvanney Prize winner.”