Malcolm Archibald is a member of the Society of Authors and a lecturer at Inverness College, University of the Highlands and Islands
Welcome to my website. I hope that you find something of interest!
Born and bred in Edinburgh, I have been writing for as long as I can remember, mainly books with a historical background. However, I began to become more serious about the process after I graduated from Dundee University as a mature student in 2001.
My main theatres of interest are in the nineteenth century and in the connection between historical reality and folklore and fantasy. At present I am exploring two themes in the nineteenth century: crime and the Scottish whaling industry. Crime had always been present but the rise of industrialisation in the 19th century raised fears it could spiral out of control. That led to the creation of professional, uniformed police forces, with Glasgow being the first in 1800. I have covered that in Glasgow: The Real Mean City. There were also plain clothes detectives such as my fictional James Mendick in The Darkest Walk and the second in the series: A Burden Shared: the Dundee Murders. My non fiction crime books cover Dundee, Glasgow, the Highlands, Aberdeen, Scotland as a whole and Liverpool.
Whaling was a Scottish industry that employed thousands and brought home blubber for oil and baleen that had a hundred different uses. It was a savage, bloody business that cost hundreds of lives and scores of ships. In Whalehunters I examined the lives of the men who went whaling. My fictional Whales for the Wizard won the 2005 Dundee Book Prize with its portrayal of the Dundee whaling industry in 1860. In July 2013 year Dundee University Press published my The Dundee Whaling Fleet that covered the ships in more detail. I wrote about the Fraserburgh whaling industry in the [Kindle only] A Wild Rough Lot. In November 2013 Black and White publishing, in conjunction with Dundee Museum, bublished Ancestors in the Arctic, a pictorial history of the Dundee whaling industry, with pictures exclusively from Dundee Museum.
Folklore and the fringe area between reality and perception also fascinates me. I have written about nautical and natural folkore, while the fictitious Mother Law combines both history and the supernatural. I have plans for another along the same lines. My Shadow of the Wolf [Creativia] is a historical fantasy based loosely on the exploits of Alexander Stewart, the Wolf of Badenoch.
If anybody has any questions, queries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Many of my books, including all those published by Fledgling Press, are available in eBook formats suitable for all major eReaders and Tablets including . . .
- Kindle eReaders and Kindle Fire tablets (all versions)
- Any Apple device running iBooks software (Iphone, ipod touch, Ipad and Ipad mini)
- Kobo eReaders
- Nook eReaders
- Nexus tablets
They are available from all ebook stores worldwide, including the US, Canada, Australia and Europe.
Very best regards
Meet Melcorka. Melcorka has a large sword. The Norse have invaded her country of Alba. The Norse have not met Melcorka.
The Golden Voyage
Mendick's third case, where is sent to find a stolen yacht and finds himself at sea with a most intriguing captain and a woman who plays the violin. . .
Last Train to Waverley
Set in France during the First World War, Last Train to Waverley tells the story of Douglas Ramsay as he leads a small group of stranded Royal Scots through the German lines to safety.
Bloody Scotland: crime in 19th century Scotland. From the Borders to the Northern Isles, crime was never far away. Edinburgh, with its reputation for polite decorum was also the scene of poisoning and savagery; the streets of Dundee and Glasgow harboured thieves and muggers while the villages of coast and country hid wild men and vicious women. Even the seas were not safe, with pirates burying their treasure on the beaches of the Hebrides.
Liverpool: Gangs, Vice and Packet Rats
The most nautical of all British cities, Liverpool was also one of the most crime ridden. Between the High Rip gang, poisonous widows, evil crimps and Packet Rats, the Liverpool police were hard pressed to keep crime under control.
Glasgow The Real Mean City
Crime and punishment in 19th century Glasgow. Only in Glasgow could crime mean anything from singing a seditious song to stealing an entire ship. Open the pages and see the dark side of the Empire's second city.
The Darkest Walk
1848: Detective Mendick is sent to investigate reports of dark forces gathering in Manchester. He uncovers a plot that was pointed at the very heart of the nation, but his own loyalties were severely tested as well.
A Sink of Iniquity
Stories of crime in 19th century Dundee, from the sordid brothels of Couttie's Wynd to the theft of a whale. Murders, muggings and mayhem: they are all in here.
What happens when the runner up on a TV show sets out to steal the Scottish Crown Jewels? Can the ancient society pledged to defend the Clach-bhuaie stop her?
Soldier of the Queen
The first of a trilogy about the Boer War. Drew Selkirk, a horseman from the Scottish Borders, joins the Royal Borderers and is soon in South Africa fighting the Boers. However his chequered past follows him, as does the lovely Georgina. . .
A Burden Shared: the Dundee Murders
Detective Mendick returns! A quick visit to Dundee to pick up a prisoner extends far longer than Mendick likes when he becomes embroiled in a very nasty murder.
Whisky Wars, Riots and Murder
The 19th century Highlands did not quite live up to the image that is often portrayed on shortbread tins. It was an area of brutal murders, fierce riots and savage warfare between whisky smugglers and excisemen.
Ancestors in the Arctic: A Photographic History of Dundee Whaling
It is 1806 and Jack Tarver, engineer, is sent to Malta to build a road. However it is not long before he discovers that all is not as it seems. After attempts at murder and robbery, Jack and his new wife Bethany are in the middle of a desperate search for a treaure that could alter the whole balance of power in the Mediterranean.
Window on the Forth
Anecdotes and Stories from Scotland's maritime gateway to the world