Crime writer Val McDermid grew up in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, and studied English at Oxford University. She trained as a journalist and worked on various national newspapers for 14 years before becoming a writer. Her first published book was Report for Murder (1987), and since then, she has written a large number of crime novels. These include three different series of books: The Lindsay Gordon Mystery series which comprises Report for Murder (1987), Common Murder (1989), Final Edition (1991), Union Jack (1993), Booked for Murder (1996) and Hostage to Murder (2003); The Kate Branningan Mystery series which comprises Dead Beat (1992), Kick Back (1993), Crack Down (1994), Clean Break (1995), Blue Genes (1996) and Star Struck (1998); and the Dr. Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Mystery series which includes The Mermaids Singing (1995), The Wire in the Blood (1997), The Last Temptation (2002), The Torment of Others (2004), which won the 2006 Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, Beneath the Bleeding (2007) and Fever of the Bone (2009).
Her latest crime novel is A TRICK OF THE DARK (2010).
The Wire in the Blood has been made into a successful television series. Her book Stranded (2005), is her second collection of short stories. The first collection, The Writing on the Wall and other stories was published in 1997. She is also the author of a book of non-fiction, A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of Women Private Eyes (1995).
Val McDermid was a crime reviewer for the Manchester Evening News for four years, still writes occasional journalism, and broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 4 and Radio Scotland. Her work has been translated into over 30 languages.
In 2010 she won the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding achievement in the field of crime writing.