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Polygon Books

y Societ Saltire ublisher sh P Scotti e Year of th 2017

New Titles | Spring 2018

An imprint of Birlinn Limited

Polygon is a publisher of literary fiction and poetry, both classic and modern. Originally set up by students of Edinburgh University in the late 1960s, Polygon publishes work from writers such as John Buchan, Muriel Spark, George Mackay Brown and the author of the No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, Alexander McCall Smith. It also publishes music and film titles including Stuart Cosgrove’s Young Soul Rebels, international writers such as Jan-Philipp Sendker, author of the global bestseller The Art of Hearing Heartbeats, and poetry and memoir by prize-winning talents Liz Lochhead and Malachy Tallack. Polygon is committed to bringing the best and brightest new writing to the UK and across the world.


Alexander McCall Smith

ISBN: 9781846974212 Price: £14.99 Format: 216 x 138mm Demy hbk Extent: 224pp Rights: WEL exc. North America Publication: 08 November 2018 Hapless food writer Paul Stewart is back in a brand new adventure. He finds himself trapped in another series of hilarious misunderstandings, this time facing off against the second worst restaurant in France. • •

Features the returning protagonist of the bestselling My Italian Bulldozer (14,000 hardbacks sold) Alexander McCall Smith’s books have sold over 25 million copies and are translated into 46 different languages Praise for My Italian Bulldozer: ‘A fascinating, funny and totally enjoyable study of human quirkiness, as it only could be under the sun in Tuscany, penned by a master wordsmith’ – Blue Wolf Reviews ‘a series of laugh-out-loud adventures moving – quite literally – through the Tuscan countryside!’ – Edinburgh Life, Best Christmas books ‘A gentle book, but also a gently radical one’ – Scotsman

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the highly successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty million copies. Since the books took off he has devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world. Also Available 9781846973925 • The Good Pilot, Peter Woodhouse • £14.99 hbk 3


ISBN: 9781846974113 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 224pp Rights: World English Language ePub: 9781788850476 Publication: 08 March 2018 Peacock Johnson’s got an idea that’s guaranteed to make him rich, and a friend who’s willing to invest in the idea. But Peacock’s having some difficulty laying the groundwork for his less-than-legal enterprise. Local homicide detective Duncan McFadgen is convinced that Peacock is responsible for a recent murder, and is constantly on Peacock’s tail, badgering him with questions and trying to break his alibi for the night of the incident. Peacock’s path to riches seems to be vanishing into the ether and then things begin to seriously unravel . . . • • •

A crime comedy that will appeal to fans of Christopher Brookmyre and Neil Forsyth Stuart David is a writer and musician who co-founded Belle and Sebastian and fronts electronic duo Looper. His fans include Graham Linehan, Ian Rankin and Tim Burgess Peacock Johnson appeared as the main villain in Ian Rankin’s Rebus novel A Question of Blood ‘If Stuart David ever gives up the day job, pop music’s loss would be literature’s gain’ – The Times

Stuart David is a musician, songwriter and novelist. He co-founded the band Belle and Sebastian (1996–2000) and went on to form Looper in 1998. His memoir, In the All-Night Café: A Memoir of Belle and Sebastian’s Formative Year, was published by Abacus/Little, Brown in 2015 to much critical acclaim.



ISBN: 9781846974182 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 256pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9781788850230 Publication: 05 June 2018 Bone Deep is a contemporary novel of sibling rivalry, love, betrayal and the inevitable family fall-out. It is a dual narrative, told in alternative chapters by Mac, a woman bent on keeping the secrets of the past from her only child, and Lucie, whose past has produced the greatest secret of all: a concealed pregnancy. Their story is underpinned by the creaking presence of an abandoned water mill, and haunted by the local legend of two long-dead sisters, themselves rivals in love, and ready to point an accusing finger from the pages of history. • • •

Sandra Ireland’s new psychological thriller is another spellbinding, tension packed examination of how past actions can have devastating consequences on the present Her debut Beneath the Skin was critically acclaimed on publication and was shortlisted for the First Book of the Year prize by the Saltire Society; Scotland’s most prestigious book award For fans of Louise Welsh, Helen Fitzgerald, and Evie Wyld ‘Ireland writes about powerful and troubling subjects’ – Daily Mail

Sandra Ireland was born in Yorkshire, lived for many years in Limerick, and is now based in Carnoustie. In 2013 Sandra was awarded a Carnegie-Cameron scholarship to study for an MLitt in Writing Practice and Study at the University of Dundee, graduating with distinction in 2014. Her work has appeared in various publications and women’s magazines.

Also Available 9781846973611 • Beneath the Skin • £9.99 pbk 5


ISBN: 9781846974502 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk w/flaps Extent: 304pp Rights: World English Language ePub: 9781788850421 Publication: 07 June 2018 Ben Martin is charming and successful: an academic who has raised money for children’s charities and worked with women’s agencies in sub- Saharan Africa; a devoted husband. But when his brother Francois, an artist based in Lisbon, finds out about Ben’s affair with a student, Rita Kalungal, he finds himself feeling responsible both for his brother’s actions as well as Rita; and Rita begins to realise that her involvement with Ben has far-reaching consequences on herself and her family, and others. • •

An elegantly written and emotional novel about a young woman’s search for identity Her first novel, The Bureau of Second Chances, has sold over 4,000 copies and won the Writers’ Guild Best First Novel Award for 2017 ‘Kalayil writes beautifully, painting colourful portraits of her characters and managing her story’s unexpected twists with aplomb’ – Scotland on Sunday

Sheena Kalayil was born in Zambia in 1970 where her parents were teachers seconded from Kerala, India. She arrived in the UK aged eighteen and, after graduating, worked all over the world. She now teaches at the University of Manchester and is currently completing a doctorate in Linguistics. She lives near Manchester with her husband and two daughters. Also Available 9781846973925 • The Bureau of Second Chances • £8.99 pbk 6




Rising Dragon 3 Jan-Philipp Sendker ISBN: 9781846974175 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 320pp Rights: UK & Commonwealth exc. NA ePub: 9781788850216 Publication: 05 July 2018

During a trip to China, Paul and Christine experience the nightmare of every parent: their four year old son is kidnapped. They are reunited after a few hours but the kidnappers, very powerful people in today’s China with close contacts to the police, dearly want the child back. The only safe place for the family is the US embassy in Beijing, but they are two thousand miles away, with the police searching franticly for them, and all airports, train stations and major roads under surveillance. They’ll have no chance without help from strangers, but who will be willing to risk their lives for them? • • •

The Rising Dragon series is being developed as a 13 part TV mini-series Smash bestseller in Germany with sales of 30,000 copies The Rising Dragon series has been translated into 13 languages ‘His books are mesmerizing and listening to him speak adds to the wonderment’ – Rona Brinlee, The Bookmark, Neptune Beach

Jan-Philipp Sendker, born in Hamburg in 1960, was the American correspondent for Stern from 1990 to 1995, and its Asian correspondent from 1995 to 1999. He has travelled extensively in China and Burma and has an in-depth knowledge of the people and culture. In 2000 he published Cracks in the Great Wall, a non-fiction book about China. Global bestseller The Art of Hearing Heartbeats was his first novel. Also Available 9781846973307 • Whispering Shadows • £8.99 pbk 9781846973543 • Dragon Games • £8.99 pbk 9781846972409 • The Art of Hearting Heartbeats • £8.99 pbk 9781846972850 • A Well-Tempered Heart • £8.99 pbk 7

FICTION – NEW THE RELENTLESS TIDE A D.C.I. Daley Thriller Denzil Meyrick ISBN: 9781846974120 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 304pp Rights: UK & Commonwealth exc. NA ePub: 9781788850032 Publication: 07 September 2018 When the remains of three women are discovered on a remote Kintyre hillside – a site rumoured to have been the base of Viking warlord Somerled – it soon becomes clear that these are the three missing victims of the ‘Midweek Murderer’, a serial killer who was at work in Glasgow in the early 1990s. DCI Jim Daley now has the chance to put things right – to confront a nightmare from his past and solve a crime he failed to as a young detective. However, when Police Scotland’s Cold Case Unit arrive, they bring yet more ghosts to Kinloch. A tale of death, betrayal,Viking treasure and revenge set in the thin line where past, present and future collide. • • • •

The DCI Daley series has sold 60,000 print copies and over 195,000 ebook downloads For everyone who enjoys the crime writing of Ian Rankin, Peter May and James Oswald Sixth in a compelling series of crime novels, packed with authentic police procedure, plot twists and gritty humour Each novel works as a stand-alone thriller as well as part of a series ‘Universal truths ... an unbuttoned sense of humour ... Engaging and eventful’ – The Wall Street Journal

Denzil Meyrick worked as a police officer, distillery manager, freelance journalist, and company director. He is originally from Campbeltown in Argyll, but now lives with his wife Fiona on Loch Lomondside. Also Available 9781846973215 • Whisky From Small Glasses • £8.99 pbk 8

FICTION – NEW THE SHADOW OF THE BLACK EARL A Leo Moran Murder Mystery Charles E. McGarry ISBN: 9781846974236 Price: £7.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 308pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9781788850193 Publication: 05 July 2018 Devastated by a sudden bereavement, Leo Moran is invited to spend the summer at Biggnarbriggs Hall in southern Scotland, the stately residence of his friend Fordyce Greatorix. He is overjoyed when romance blossoms unexpectedly, but he finds himself haunted by visions after a local girl goes missing, an incident which has chilling echoes of a similar disappearance thirty years previously. As he investigates a host of curious and dubious characters, Leo finds that the very bedrock which surrounds Biggnarbriggs Hall is poisoned by an ancient malevolence that will have its terrible reckoning. • • •

The second in Charles E. McGarry’s series of murder mysteries Touches of the supernatural combined with contemporary procedural Will appeal to fans of classic Golden Age detective fiction, especially Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes, and cosy crime ‘A fascinating, original and beguiling detective is born’ – Hugh MacDonald, The Herald

Charles E. McGarry has played in bands, is widely travelled and graduated from Glasgow University in 1994 with an honours degree in History and Politics. He currently works as a newspaper page designer and sub-editor, having formerly been a business analyst for British Telecom. He is the author of The Ghost of Helen Addison (Polygon, 2017).

Also Available 9781846973796 • The Ghost of Helen Addison • £7.99 pbk 9


ISBN: 9781846974540 Price: £9.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 352pp Rights: World All Languages Publication: 05 July 2018 Charlie Gavin was abducted as a baby. He didn’t know who he was or where he came from. His mission was to find himself. And when he did, he decided to spend his life finding other lost souls by opening the Be Kindly Missing Persons Bureau. Martha Walters, his assistant, has had her fifteen minutes of almost fame and failed. Now, dealing with her guilt and pain, she lives with her mum and dotes on her young daughter. Charlie appears to be a man who is a loser and dreamer, but, hey, his office is near her house, she can lie in of a morning, take her kid to school and the work isn’t too heartbreaking. Or is it . . . ? • •

A mystery for fans of Jenny Colgan Isla Dewar is an established novelist whose work has been adapted for film ‘An accessible storyteller with a wry sense of the comic’ – Kirkus Reviews ‘Dewar writes with enjoyable sharp humour’ – The Times

Isla Dewar’s first book, Keeping Up with Magda, was published in 1995. Dewar found success with her second novel, Women Talking Dirty; the film of which starred Helena Bonham Carter. She contributed to the collection Scottish Girls about Town and has also written for children. Her most recent novel is A Winter Bride, set in Edinburgh in the 1950s. Born in Edinburgh, Isla lives in the East Neuk of Fife with her husband, political cartoonist Bob Dewar.


FICTION – NEW CASTLE MACNAB The Richard Hannay Adventures Robert J. Harris ISBN: 9781846974571 Price: £12.99 Format: 216 x 138mm Demy hbk Extent: 224pp Rights: World All Languages Publication: 04 October 2018 At the end of John Buchan’s classic adventure John Macnab, three friends in search of excitement have just completed an epic feat of poaching. In this book their celebrations are unexpectedly interrupted by the appearance of their old comrade Richard Hannay. His arrival marks the beginning of a new and even more hazardous challenge. A foreign dignitary has been abducted while on a secret visit to Scotland and his life hangs in the balance. It is up to Hannay and the Macnabs to rescue him before Europe is plunged into a new and ruinous war. For the man they must rescue was once their greatest foe – the Kaiser. This time the stakes are higher, the risks are greater, and the fate of a nation will be decided. • •

Richard Hannay returns in a brand new adventure, which is also a sequel to one of John Buchan’s best loved novels, John Macnab Builds on the continued success of bestselling The Thirty-One Kings

Robert J. Harris was born in Dundee is the designer of the bestselling fantasy board game Talisman and has written numerous books, including Leonardo and the Death Machine, Will Shakespeare and the Pirate’s Fire, the popular World Goes Loki children’s series and most recently The Gravedigger’s Club (2017), first in a new series of mysteries starring a young Arthur Conan Doyle. He lives in St. Andrews with his wife, Debbie.

Also Available 9781846974151 • The Thirty-One Kings • £7.99 pbk 11


ISBN: 9781846974601 Price: £9.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 352pp Rights: World All Languages Publication: 04 October 2018

Two months after the D-day landings, newly married SS officer Max Hartmann is taken prisoner by the Americans and shipped over to England to be questioned and interned for the rest of the war. Classified as ‘black’ (i.e. most dangerous or likely to escape, as all SS members were considered), Max and his childhood friend Erich Koenig are eventually sent to a POW camp in Scotland where the cauldron of frustration, fanaticism and suspicion boils over into brutal murder. • • •

Debut novel from award-winning biographer Bill Jones Recommended for fans of Child 44 and Fatherland This World War II thriller is based on true events at Cultybraggan POW camp in Perthshire

Bill Jones was born in Bridlington and currently lives in Ampleforth, North Yorkshire. He was a journalist before joining Granada Television in Manchester in the 1980s where he worked on hundreds of documentaries for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and many others. After thirty years in broadcasting, he turned to a career in writing. His first biography, The Ghost Runner, was shortlisted for the William Hill Award and won him The Times Best New Writer in the 2012 British Sports Book Awards.







Throughout 2018 all 22 of Muriel Spark’s novels will be republished by Polygon in glorious hardback Centenary Editions.

• • • • •

All 22 novels written by Muriel Spark, republished in her centenary year, in handsome, collectable editions. Each book will be beautifully produced - the perfect gift for existing fans and an enticement to new readers to discover the genius and wit of Spark’s writing for the first time. Every volume includes a specially commissioned introduction from one of today’s leading writers. Authorised by the Spark estate, this series is the only complete collection of her novels. The anniversary year will be marked by celebrations of Spark’s work UK-Wide across television, radio, theatre, events, print and social media, and will include BBC Radio 4 dramatisations and adaptations, a BBC TV documentary, a SKY TV documentary presented by Ian Rankin, a major exhibition of her archive at the National Library of Scotland, and high profile events at all leading UK festivals.


For further information see or follow Facebook: /murielspark100 and Twitter: @MurielSpark100

THE COLLECTED MURIEL THE COMFORTERS Introduced by Allan Massie Caroline Rose has a problem. She hears voices and the incessant tapping of typewriter keys, and she seems to be a character in a novel. A comedy of errors, a crime novel, a book about books, Spark’s debut remains as otherworldly and mischievous as it was when first published sixty years ago. 9781846974250 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | November 2017

ROBINSON Introduced by Candia McWilliam Bound for the Azores, a plane crashes onto an isolated island. January Marlow is one of the three survivors – and the only woman. She wakes to find herself being cared for by Miles Mary Robinson, the island’s reclusive owner and bibliophile. Muriel Spark’s second novel is a vivid tale of manipulation, sexual tension and – possibly – murder. 9781846974267 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | November 2017

MEMENTO MORI Introduced by Zoë Strachan Memento Mori opens with a telephone call and the words ‘Remember you must die’. Over several months, a circle of elderly men and women receive similar calls and everyone becomes a suspect. While immersed in the indignities of old age, dementia and death, this novel is both profoundly compassionate and entertaining. 9781846974274 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | November 2017

THE BALLAD OF PECKHAM RYE Introduced by Ronald Frame A bewitching comic masterpiece, The Ballad of Peckham Rye relates the tale of the devilishly charismatic Dougal Douglas, who is taken on by a small textile firm. A man who likes nothing better than to stir things up, he takes great delight in wreaking havoc with the locals. Nervous breakdowns, sexual misdemeanours, a heart attack and murder ensue. 9781846974281 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | November 2017

SPARK CENTENARY EDITIONS THE BACHELORS Introduced by James Campbell Spiritualist and extortionist Patrick Seton is coming up for trial. He’s been accused of forgery, and suddenly West London’s bachelors are all in a tizzy. Described by Evelyn Waugh as the ‘cleverest and most elegant of all Mrs Spark’s clever and elegant books’, The Bachelors is a biting comedy of English manners. 9781846974298 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | February 2018

THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE Introduced by Alan Taylor Edinburgh, 1930, and the world is on the brink of change. Leading the charge is the glamorous, free-spirited Miss Jean Brodie, schoolteacher at the Marcia Blaine Academy. While Miss Brodie manipulates and charms ‘her girls’ – known as the Brodie Set – with notions of romance and heroism, tragedy and a cruel betrayal beckon. 9781846974304 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | February 2018

THE GIRLS OF SLENDER MEANS Introduced by Rosemary Goring London, 1945. The girls of slender means are the residents of the May of Teck Club, a genteel yet rather shabby boarding house established for the ‘social protection of ladies of slender means below the age of thirty years’. The novel concerns their everyday affairs over a period of a few weeks before a shocking event transforms their lives. 9781846974311 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | February 2018

THE MANDELBAUM GATE Introduced by Gabriel Josipovici 1961. While on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, English teacher Barbara Vaughan becomes intent on joining her archaeologist fiancé Harry, who is working on the site of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Ignoring warnings not to cross the Mandelbaum Gate – the boundary between Israel and Jordan – she enlists the assistance of British diplomat Freddy Hamilton and Arab contacts in a tale of abduction, espionage and pilgrimage. 9781846974328 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | February 2018

THE COLLECTED MURIEL THE PUBLIC IMAGE Introduced by Lucy Ellmann Actress Annabel Christopher’s glamorous public image must be maintained at all costs for the paparazzi and her adoring fans. But all is not well beneath the carefully constructed facade of her marriage and husband Frederick is sick of it. He decides to take his revenge . . . 9781846974335 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | April 2018

THE DRIVER’S SEAT Introduced by Andrew O’Hagan Lise has had enough. She’s been working in the same accountancy firm for years and so she decides to take off abroad on the holiday of a lifetime. Her quest for new experiences, sex and adventure quickly becomes a dark journey of self-destruction. Described by Muriel Spark as a ‘whodunnit’, The Driver’s Seat is a tour de force. 9781846974342 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | April 2018

NOT TO DISTURB Introduced by Dan Gunn Geneva. As a ferocious thunderstorm rages outside, behind the locked doors of the library the aristocratic Klopstocks are ‘not to be disturbed’. In the attic, Baron Klopstock’s lunatic brother rants and raves. But in the staff quarters the butler and servants are making their own preparations for the long night that follows . . . 9781846974359 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | May 2018

THE HOTHOUSE BY THE EAST RIVER Introduced by Ian Rankin During World War II, Elsa and Paul were involved in secret propaganda work in England. It is now 1973 and they are living in New York. Elsa is convinced that a German ex-POW – and former lover – who has appeared in New York, may be planning to kill them. And what’s more, her shadow is pointing in the wrong direction: to the East. 9781846974366 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | May 2018

SPARK CENTENARY EDITIONS THE ABBESS OF CREWE Introduced by Ali Smith It is time to elect a new abbess at the Convent of Crewe. There are two contenders: nuns Alexandra and Felicity. Alexandra is busy bugging the convent while Felicity calls the police when her love letters (to a young Jesuit priest) are stolen. A brilliant laugh-out-loud satire on the Watergate scandal. 9781846974373 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | June 2018

THE TAKEOVER Introduced by Brian Morton Italy, the setting an enchanted lake southeast of Rome, and American heiress Maggie – famed for her beauty, wealth and steely will – is the target for an assortment of con men, jewel thieves, counterfeiters, adulterers and spongers. A dazzling, pacy thriller. 9781846974380 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | June 2018

TERRITORIAL RIGHTS Introduced by Kapka Kassabova Described by Edmund White as ‘a hilarious account of political and romantic intrigue’, Territorial Rights tells the tale of aspiring art historian Robert who encounters an enigmatic Bulgarian refugee, Lina, in the labyrinthine canals and streets of Venice. 9781846974397 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | July 2018

LOITERING WITH INTENT Introduced by Joseph Kanon When Fleur Talbot becomes the secretary of the Autobiographical Association – a gathering of eccentric, egomaniacal upper-class twits led by the malevolent Sir Quentin – she begins to notice that the plot of her own novel is foreshadowing real life. Mayhem and murder ensue with gloriously entertaining results. 9781846974403 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | July 2018

THE COLLECTED MURIEL THE ONLY PROBLEM Introduced by Richard Holloway Wealthy Canadian scholar Harvey Gotham lives in splendid isolation in France and is working on a book about Job. He loves his wife, Effie, dearly but she has taken to planting bombs in supermarkets and has joined an anarchist group. 9781846974410 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | August 2018

A FAR CRY FROM KENSINGTON Introduced by William Boyd After young publishing assistant and war widow Mrs Hawkins crosses swords with writer Hector Bartlett the repercussions are swift. Set in postwar literary London, A Far Cry from Kensington is a mischievous and stylish tale of the cost of telling the truth. 9781846974427 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | December 2017

SYMPOSIUM Introduced by Alexander McCall Smith Described by Time Magazine as ‘a lethal comedy’, Symposium centres around a dinner party and the lives of the five couples in attendance, including a burglary ring, a convent of Marxist nuns and several unexplained deaths. A devilish tale. 9781846974434 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | August 2018

REALITY AND DREAMS Introduced by Kirsty Gunn Reality and Dreams concerns the delirious, egocentric film director Tom Richards, who is recovering from injuries sustained while falling off a crane on set. His obsessive passion to make a film about a simple young woman sucks his wife, daughters, lovers and friends into a maelstrom of destruction. 9781846974441 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | September 2018

SPARK CENTENARY EDITIONS AIDING AND ABETTING Introduced by Louise Welsh Hildegard Wolf is a German psychiatrist who lives a comfortable life in Paris. When she encounters a client who claims to be Lord Lucan, she can’t help but be intrigued. After all, he’s the second man who has claimed to be the elusive lord. But which one is the imposter? 9781846974458 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | September 2018

THE FINISHING SCHOOL Introduced by Jackie Kay Often described as the perfect partner to The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Spark’s last novel is set in Switzerland where Rowland and his wife Nina run a finishing school. Murderous jealousy soon rears its head when a precocious young student shows promise in her writing career. 9781846974465 | £9.99 B-fmt Hardback | September 2018

Also Available ...

APPOINTMENT IN AREZZO A friendship with Muriel Spark Alan Taylor In this warm, personal and often humorous account, Alan Taylor recalls his friendship with one of the world’s great writers. Spending family holidays in Muriel Spark’s home in Tuscany and accompanying her on her trips abroad, he came to know her well and gained a unique insight into her character. Here he offers a colourful portrait of a vivacious and fiercely intelligent woman. ‘celebrates Spark’s work with real understanding while it celebrates their friendship with candour and warmth. I loved it’ – Ali Smith, Financial Times, Best Books of 2017 A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week, January 2018 9781846973578 | £12.99 Demy Hardback

NEW IN PAPERBACK THE THIRTY-ONE KINGS Richard Hannay Returns Robert J. Harris ISBN: 9781846974151 Price: £7.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 272pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9780857909374 Publication: 07 June 2018 June 1940. As German troops pour across France, the veteran soldier and adventurer Richard Hannay is called back into service. In Paris an individual code named ‘Roland’ has disappeared and is assumed to be in the hands of Nazi agents. Only he knows the secret of the Thirty-One Kings, one upon which the future of Europe depends. Hannay is dispatched to Paris to find Roland before the Germans overrun the city. On a hazardous journey across the battlefields of France Hannay is joined by old friends and new allies as he confronts a ruthless foe who will stop at nothing to destroy him. • • •

A brand new adventure featuring John Buchan’s perennial hero Richard Hannay An exciting, page-turning adventure, packed with sinister spies, breathless escapes, exotic characters and cliff-hangers galore! Sales of over 3,000 copies in hardback ‘This is a loving tribute to Buchan ... and thoroughly good fun’ – Allan Massie, The Scotsman

‘This is very good fun. The plot whips along, embellished by dogfights, perilous car journeys, personal vendettas and plenty of derring-do – plus a whiff of enjoyable parody to lend an edge. I was beguiled’ – Daily Mail Robert J. Harris was born in Dundee and studied at the University of St. Andrews where he graduated with a first class honours degree in Latin. He is the designer of the bestselling fantasy board game Talisman and has written numerous books the most recent of which is, The Gravedigger’s Club (2017). 22

NEW IN PAPERBACK MEMPHIS 68 The Tragedy of Southern Soul Stuart Cosgrove

ISBN: 9781846974137 Price: £9.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 288pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9780857909381 Publication: 10 May 2018 In the 1950s and 1960s, Memphis, Tennessee, was the launch pad of musical pioneers such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Al Green and Isaac Hayes, and by 1968 was a city synonymous with soul music. It was a deeply segregated city, ill at ease with the modern world and yet to adjust to the era of civil rights and racial integration. The book opens with the death of the city’s most famous recording artist, Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash in the final days of 1967, and then follows the fortunes of Redding’s label, Stax/Volt Records, as its fortunes fall and rise again. But, as the tense year unfolds, the city dominates world headlines for the worst of reasons: the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King. • • • •

The second book in Stuart Cosgrove’s vibrant trilogy of American soul music, told through the prism of social and civil upheaval Cult soul classic Detroit 67, the first in the trilogy, was shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Prize 2016 Stuart Cosgrove is a terrifically popular, well-connected journalist and broadcaster, who will be supporting publication with events across the country Hardback edition was Shindig! magazine’s book of the year in 2017

Stuart Cosgrove is a journalist and broadcaster. In 2005 he was named Broadcaster of the Year in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards and in 2012 he won numerous awards including a BAFTA and Royal Television Society award for Channel 4’s coverage of the London Paralympics 2012. He is the author of Young Soul Rebels (Polygon, 2016).



ISBN: 9781846974519 Price: £7.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 176pp Rights: UK & Commonwealth exc. NA ePub: 9780857908247 Publication: 08 March 2018 The heroically proportioned Cornelius ‘Fatty O’Leary can normally take life as it comes. Right at home in easy-going Fayetteville, Arkansas, he is happily married to his childhood sweetheart Betty, and likes nothing better than the company of good friends Tubby O’Rourke and Porky Flanagan. But when Fatty and Betty head off to Ireland on the trip of a lifetime, they find that they have left their comfort zone far behind. Calamity and mayhem ensue as one mishap after another befalls the beleaguered couple. Can Fatty’s broad shoulders take the strain or will he suffer one indignity too many? • • •

One of Alexander McCall Smith’s most memorable and beloved creations, with sales of over 30,000 copies This is a charming and very funny book, but Alexander McCall Smith also shows his great skill as a writer in depicting the poignancy of the situations and the flaws in the characters that Fatty and Betty encounter on their travels Winner of the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction ‘All-you-can-eat platter of humour . . . once again McCall Smith doles out an appropriately extra-large helping of fun’ – Scotland on Sunday

‘McCall Smith’s generous writing and dry humour, his gentleness and humanity, and his ability to evoke a place and a set of characters without caricature or condescension have endeared his books to readers’ – The New York Times



ISBN: 9781846974229 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 256pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9780857909985 Publication: 05 April 2018 Morris Magellan is thirty-four years old. By day he is an executive, after six and at weekends the husband of an understanding wife and the father of two. At all times he is a music lover and a drunk. He is a man struggling from moment to moment to salvage something of himself before that too slips from his grasp. The Sound of My Voice tells the story of an alcoholic: a frantic attempt by some inner voice to halt an apparent need for selfdestruction and a desperate attempt to recover humanity. • • • •

A blistering look at the Thatcherite values of the 1980s and a man’s struggle to retain his dignity The unique second-person narrative will grip readers’ imaginations from the start In translation, it has twice been awarded ‘Best Foreign Novel’ prizes Will appeal to fans of Janice Galloway’s The Trick Is to Keep Breathing and Iain Banks’s The Wasp Factory

‘One of the classic post-war Scottish novels. It’s simply a roaring success on all levels; it’s a genius piece of fiction’ – Irvine Welsh Ron Butlin is a poet, playwright, novelist, short-story writer and opera librettist whose works have been broadcast in the UK and abroad and have been translated into many languages. His volumes of poetry include the award-winning Ragtime in Unfamiliar Bars and Histories of Desire. He is the author of several children’s books, Here Come the Trolls!, Day of the Trolls! and Steve & FranDan Take on the World. 25


ISBN: 9781846974557 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 320pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 978085790XXXX Publication: 05 July 2018 In this critically-acclaimed fictional memoir of Sir Walter Scott, Allan Massie recreates the life and times of one of Scotland’s greatest writers, convincingly capturing Scott’s humour, stoicism and eccentricity. Combining imaginative plausibility with his own deep knowledge of and love for Scott’s work, Massie reveals the intimate thoughts of a man at odds with his popular image: good and courageous, but also an enigma to those around him. By turns a ghost story and an examination of the Scottish character, The Ragged Lion is utterly enthralling. • •

A fictional memoir of Sir Walter Scott, written by an acclaimed author and journalist Combines fact and fiction into a unique and fascinating portrait of one of Scotland’s greatest writers ‘Profoundly human . . . Massie is a novelist for grown-ups’ – The Spectator ‘Massie captures Scott’s humour, and his tragic qualities and stoicism’ – The Evening Standard

Allan Massie CBE (born 1938) is a novelist, journalist, columnist and sports writer. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he has lived in the Scottish Borders for the last thirty-five years.



John Dickson Carr Introduction by Robert J. Harris

ISBN: 9781846974595 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 256pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9781788850520 Publication: 07 June 2018 Having lost all his money in hare-brained get-rich-quick schemes, old Angus Campbell has nothing to leave his heirs but the proceeds of his life insurance policies. After he falls to his death from a locked bedchamber in the tower of Shira Castle in the Scottish Highlands, his family gather. They are joined by amateur sleuth Dr Gideon Fell, who tries to solve the mystery. Is it suicide, or is it murder? The Case of the Constant Suicides is a masterfully plotted locked-room mystery from the master of the art. • • • •

First published in 1941, this is a seamless blend of detection, inventive plotting and screwball comedy A classic Dr Gideon Fell mystery set in the Scottish Highlands Dr Gideon Fell was modelled on G.K. Chesterton, the creator of Father Brown John Dickson Carr was regarded as one of the greatest writers of the Golden Age of detective fiction

John Dickson Carr was born in 1906 in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, the son of a lawyer. While at school and college, he wrote ghost, detective and adventure stories. After studying law, he headed to Paris in 1928. Once there, he lost any desire to study law and soon turned to writing crime fiction full-time. His first novel, It Walks by Night, was published in 1930. Two years later, he moved to England with his English wife; thereafter he became a prolific author and became a master of the locked-room mystery. He died in 1977 in South Carolina. 27

FICTION – REISSUE WITCH WOOD John Buchan Authorised Edition

ISBN: 9781846974564 Price: £8.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 352pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9780857901668 Publication: 08 March 2018 Buchan’s favourite of all his novels, Witch Wood deals with the hypocrisy that can lie beneath god-fearing respectability. The book is set in the terrifying times of the first half of the seventeenth century when the Church of Scotland unleashed a wave of cruelty and intolerance. Minister Sempill witnesses devil worship in the ’Witch Wood’ and is persecuted. • • •

One of John Buchan’s classic historical novels, confronting the 17th century cruelties and excesses of the Church of Scotland Features a forward by Allan Massie, a journalist and author of seventeen highly praised novels Polygon’s editions of the John Buchan classics have sold over 60,000 copies

’John Buchan was the first to realise the enormous dramatic value of adventure in familiar surroundings happening to unadventurous men’ – Graham Greene John Buchan was a Scottish diplomat, barrister, journalist, historian, poet and novelist, born in Perth in 1875. He published nearly 30 novels and seven collections of short stories. After spells as a war correspondent, Lloyd George’s Director of Information and Conservative MP, Buchan moved to Canada in 1935. He served as Governor General there until his death in 1940. 28

FICTION – REISSUE JOHN MACNAB John Buchan Authorised Edition

ISBN: 9781846970283 Price: £7.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 240pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9780857901132 Publication: 08 March 2018 In 1925, John Buchan published his second most famous novel, John Macnab; three highflying men – a barrister, a cabinet minister and a banker – are suffering from boredom. They concoct a plan to cure it. They inform three Scottish estates that they will poach from each two stags and a salmon in a given time. They sign collectively as ‘John Macnab’ and await the responses. • • •

A classic, and one of John Buchan’s most popular novels, John Macnab is a story of adventure, subterfuge and gamesmanship Features an introduction by Andrew Greig, author of the acclaimed Return of John Macnab (2002) Previous edition sold over 10,000 copies

‘Buchan knew that you can’t buck the consequences of your actions, and that your life is what you make of it. Perhaps his peculiarly Scottish combination of daring living and high thinking is due to return to fashion’ – The Independent Magazine

Also Available 9781846971983 • The Thirty-Nine Steps • £6.99 pbk 9781846971556 • Mr Standfast • £8.99 pbk 9781846970306 • Sick Heart River • £7.99 pbk 29


ISBN: 9781846974472 Price: £9.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 304pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9781788850223 Publication: 08 September 2018 How do you start a new life when the person you love is about to die? At the age of thirty-six, Gordon Darroch’s wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was a devastating blow just as he, and their two children with autism, were preparing to move to her native Holland. Eighteen months later, as their plans seemed to be back on course, came the second blow: Magteld was terminally ill and possibly had only a few months to live. As her health rapidly deteriorated, they became caught up in a race against time to get a dying mother home and give their children a future in a country they hardly knew. All the Time We Thought We Had is a story of love and loss and a meditation on grief and memory. It’s about how events shape our lives and how we cope with them. And it raises important questions about what we value in life and the legacies we leave behind. • • •

A story of love and loss and a meditation on grief and memory Raises important questions about what we value in life and the legacies we leave behind Gordon Darroch is an experienced writer and journalist

Gordon Darroch studied English Literature and German at the University of Edinburgh, where he also edited the student newspaper. In 2001 he moved to Glasgow, where he worked for the Press Association, the Herald and STV News. In 2014 he emigrated to The Hague with his wife Magteld Darroch-Jansen, who died seven weeks later from breast cancer. The couple met in Italy in 1992, married in 2001 and had two children. 30

MUSIC – NEW HARLEM 69 The Future of Soul Book 3 in the Soul Trilogy Stuart Cosgrove ISBN: 9781846974205 Price: £16.99 Format: 234 x 156mm Royal Hardback Extent: 256pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9781788850254 Publication: 01 October 2018 Harlem 69 brings Stuart Cosgrove’s epic sixties trilogy to a dramatic conclusion and looks forward to brilliant music yet to come – jazz funk to disco and hip hop. In February a raid on tenements across New York leads to the arrest of 21 Black Panther party members and one of the most controversial trials of the era. By the end of the year Harlem is gripped by a heroin pandemic and the death of a 12-year-old ghetto child sends shockwaves through the USA, leaving Harlem stigmatised as an area ravaged by crime, gangsters and a darkly vengeful drug problem. • • •

Stuart Cosgrove is a terrifically popular, well-connected journalist and broadcaster, who will be supporting publication with events across the country The story takes the reader through the dramatic events of that year amid the most vibrant black community in America and the hive of Black Power The first in the trilogy, Detroit 67, was shortlisted for the Penderyn Music Prize 2016

Stuart Cosgrove is a journalist and broadcaster. In 2005 he was named Broadcaster of the Year in the Glenfiddich Spirit of Scotland Awards and in 2012 he won numerous awards including a BAFTA and Royal Television Society award for Channel 4’s coverage of the London Paralympics 2012. He is the author of Young Soul Rebels (Polygon, 2016).

Also Available 9781846973666 • Detroit 67 • £9.99 pbk 9781846974137 • Memphis 68 • £9.99 pbk 9781846973932 • Young Soul Rebels • £9.99 pbk 31

POETRY – NEW NORMAN MACCAIG’S ASSYNT POEMS Norman MacCaig Edited by Roderick Watson

ISBN: 9781846974496 Price: £9.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 112pp Rights: World All Languages ePub: 9781788850292 Publication: 05 July 2018 Two Men at Once is one of Norman MacCaig best know poems and he was indeed two men at once: it was Edinburgh, the city where he was born and lived as a teacher and poet, that was his home, but no other place shaped his poetry more so than Assynt in Sutherland. It is here that he would spend many a summer on family holidays, walking the hills and fishing the lochs. MacCaig’s fresh eye saw remarkable newness even in the everyday and each poem is a tiny revelation, a new look at an old friend. Celebrate, renew, and discover Norman MacCaig’s Assynt. • •

The first and only collection based on the work written in or about Norman MacCaig’s beloved Assynt in Sutherland Chosen by the poet’s son Ewen McCaig

Norman MacCaig was born in Edinburgh in 1910. His formal education was firmly rooted in the Edinburgh soil: he attended the Royal High School, Edinburgh University and then trained to be a teacher at Moray House. Having spent years educating young children he later taught Creative Writing, first at Edinburgh University, then at the University of Stirling. He died in 1996. Roderick Watson was born in Aberdeen and educated at Aberdeen Grammar School, Aberdeen University and Peterhouse, Cambridge. A recently retired professor at Stirling University, he has lectured and published widely on modern Scottish literature and currently co-edits the Journal of Stevenson Studies. His main poetry collections are True History on the Walls (1977) and Into the Blue Wavelengths (2004). 32


ISBN: 9781846974045 Price: £9.99 Format: 198 x 129mm B-pbk Extent: 112pp Rights: World All Languages Publication: 02 August 2018 A poem does not have to be famous to be cherished. The best-known poems of Robert Burns have been loved by countless people over the years, but there are other poems that may be largely unknown that will mean a great deal to the few who are familiar with them. This anthology is a personal curation and not just a simple collection of poems. Each poem, handpicked by Alexander McCall Smith, leads the reader from one poem to the another. Intimate in tone, the editor shares the pleasure he finds in these poems through short epigraphs written for each piece. Grouped together in themes, from: Islands, Friendship, Love and Marriage, through to War and Conflict, Secrets, and Joy, this book would make the prefect gift for any occasion. • • •

This new, beautifully produced anthology will make the perfect gift An accessible anthology, gathering together the Scotland’s best loved poetry Illustrated throughout by Joe McLaren

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of the highly successful No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, which has sold over twenty million copies. Since then he has devoted his time to the writing of fiction and has seen his various series of books translated into over forty-six languages and become bestsellers throughout the world.


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Cover image © Chris Hannah, Images © iStockphoto LP From Peacock’s Alibi by Stuart David

Polygon New Titles 2018  
Polygon New Titles 2018