S. G. MacLean books in order
Shona G. MacLean, otherwise known as S. G. MacLean, is a British author of historical mystery and historical crime fiction novels.
Born in Inverness, Scotland, and raised in the Highlands where her parents were hoteliers, Shona holds an M.A. degree and a Ph. D in History from the University of Aberdeen.
Married with four children, Shona currently lives in Banffshire, on the Moray Firth, with her family.
Shona has taught historical fiction courses at Moniack Mhor, and also organized writing workshops for festival patrons, senior citizen groups, and school groups.
She has also taken part in a number of panel events of numerous literary festivals all over the nation.
Genres: Historical Mystery, Historical Thriller
Pseudonym: S. G. MacLean
- The Bookseller of Inverness (2022)
- The Redemption of Alexander Seaton (2008)
- A Game of Sorrows (2010)
- Crucible of Secrets (2011)
- The Devil's Recruit (2013)
- The Seeker (2015)
- The Black Friar (2016)
- Destroying Angel (2018)
- The Bear Pit (2019)
- The House of Lamentations (2020)
Detailed book overview
After Culloden, Iain MacGillivray was left for dead on Drumossie Moor. Wounded, his face brutally slashed, he survived only by pretending to be dead as the Redcoats patrolled the corpses of his Jacobite comrades.
Six years later, with the clan chiefs routed and the Highlands subsumed into the British state, Iain lives a quiet life, working as a bookseller in Inverness. One day, after helping several of his regular customers, he notices a stranger lurking in the upper gallery of his shop, poring over his collection. But the man refuses to say what he's searching for and only leaves when Iain closes for the night.
The next morning Iain opens up shop and finds the stranger dead, his throat cut, and the murder weapon laid out in front of him - a sword with a white cockade on its hilt, the emblem of the Jacobites.
With no sign of the killer, Iain wonders whether the stranger discovered what he was looking for - and whether he paid for it with his life. He soon finds himself embroiled in a web of deceit and a series of old scores to be settled in the ashes of war.
Banff, Scotland, the 1620s. A young man walks unsteadily through the streets. Is he just drunk or is there something more sinister happening? When he collapses in front of two sisters on that dark, wet night, the women guess that he's been poisoned.
His body is discovered in the house of Alexander Seaton - a fallen minister, the discovery of whose clandestine love affair has left him disgraced.
Why was the body in Seaton's house? And why would anyone want to murder this likeable young man? Seaton sets out to find answers, embarking on a journey not only through the darkest part of other men's souls, but also his own.
Alexander Seaton's happily settled life as a university teacher is shattered by the arrival in town of a stranger who looks like his twin and who carries a plea for help from Alexander's dead mother's family in Ireland. The family has been placed under a poet's curse, threatening death to various members. Elements of the curse have already begun to play out.
Reluctantly answering the call, Seaton travels to Ulster, to find himself among a family torn apart by secrets and deep resentments.
As he seeks out the author of the curse, he becomes deeply entangled in a conflict that involves fugitive priests, displaced poets, rebellious plotters and agents of the king. Confronted by murder within his family, he finds the lines between superstition and faith, duty and loyalty are becoming increasingly blurred, while his Scottish homeland grows ever more remote.
Aberdeen, 1631. University librarian Robert Sim takes receipt of a gift of books recently arrived from overseas, mysterious works on alchemy and hermetics - the pursuit of ancient knowledge. By nightfall he has been brutally murdered.
His colleague and good friend Alexander Seaton is left with the task of hunting for clues as to his killer's motive, as well as locating the missing books. What did Sim discover in the package, and what makes these books so dangerous?
1635, Aberdeen. A girl lies dead in a frozen garden. A young man goes missing after a drunken brawl. A sinister cloaked figure watches from the shadows.
The missing student, son of a Highland chief, is in Alexander Seaton's class. When the young man's companion turns up bruised and bloodied, suspicion mounts that he has murdered his friend. But Alexander is convinced that there's another explanation.
Drawn ever deeper into the mystery, Alexander realizes that the man in the shadows is known to him and that the strange events in the town are linked to his own past.
London, 1654. Oliver Cromwell is at the height of his power and has declared himself Lord Protector. Yet he has many enemies, at home and abroad.
London is a complex web of spies and merchants, priests and soldiers, exiles and assassins. One of the web's most fearsome spiders is Damian Seeker, agent of the Lord Protector. No one knows where Seeker comes from, who his family is, or even his real name. All that is known of him for certain is that he is utterly loyal to Cromwell, and that nothing can be long hidden from him.
In the city, coffee houses are springing up, fashionable places where men may meet to plot and gossip. Suddenly they are ringing with news of a murder. John Winter, hero of Cromwell's all-powerful army, is dead, and the lawyer, Elias Ellingworth, found standing over the bleeding body, clutching a knife.
Yet despite the damning evidence, Seeker is not convinced of Ellingworth's guilt. He will stop at nothing to bring the killer to justice: and Seeker knows better than any man where to search.
London, 1655, and Cromwell's regime is under threat from all sides. Damian Seeker, Captain of Cromwell's Guard, is all too aware of the danger facing Cromwell. Parliament resents his control of the Army while the Army resents his absolute power.
In the east end of London, a group of religious fanatics plots rebellion. In the midst of all this, a stonemason uncovers a perfectly preserved body dressed in the robes of a Dominican friar, bricked up in a wall in the crumbling Black Friars.
Ill-informed rumors and speculation abound, but Seeker instantly recognizes the dead man. What he must discover is why he met such a hideous end, and what his connection was to the children who have started to disappear from around the city.
Unravelling these mysteries is challenging enough, and made still harder by the activities of dissenters at home, Royalist plotters abroad and individuals who are not what they seem...
Captain Damian Seeker has gone north. Charged with preparing the way for the rule of the major-generals, he is now under the command of Colonel Robert Lilburne at York. But when Lilburne orders him to a small village on the North York moors with details of the stringent new anti-Royalist laws, Seeker finds that what should be a routine visit will reveal a plot to rival anything in scheming London
An invitation to dinner at the house of local businessman Matthew Pullan lifts the lid on the bubbling cauldron of grudges and resentment that is Faithly village. The local constable, drunk on the tiny bit of power he holds, using it to avenge old resentments. The hated lord of the manor, the last of a staunchly Royalist family who has managed to avoid suspicion of treachery - for now. The vicar on trial for his job and his home, accused of ungodly acts. And the Pullans themselves, proudly Puritan but disillusioned with Cromwell's government, respected and despised in Faithly in equal measure. The man for whom this unlikely gathering was organized - The Trier, the enforcer of Puritan morality for the local villages - hasn't shown up. And by the end of the night, on of those gathered around Matthew Pullan's table will be fatally poisoned.
Seeker must find out the motive behind the death - mushroom misidentification, petty revenge, or part of a larger plot against Cromwell's government in the north? But who in Faithly, if anyone, can he trust? And when the most painful part of his past reappears after eleven years, will the Seeker meet his match?
London, 1656: Captain Seeker is back in the city, on the trail of an assassin preparing to strike at the heart of Oliver Cromwell's Republic.
The Commonwealth is balanced on a knife edge. Royalists and disillusioned former Parliamentarians have united against Oliver Cromwell, now a king in all but name. Three conspirators, representing these factions, plan to assassinate the Lord Protector, paving the way back to the throne for Charles Stuart once and for all.
Captain Damian Seeker, meanwhile, is preoccupied by the horrifying discovery in an illegal gambling den of the body of a man ravaged by what is unmistakably a bear. Yet the bears used for baiting were all shot when the sport was banned by Cromwell. So where did this fearsome creature come from, and why would someone use it for murder?
With Royalist-turned-Commonwealth-spy Thomas Faithly tracking the bear, Seeker investigates its victim. The trail leads from Kent's coffee house on Cornhill, to a German clockmaker in Clerkenwell, to the stews of Southwark, to the desolate Lambeth Marshes where no one should venture at night.
When the two threads of the investigation begin to join, Seeker realizes just what - and who - he is up against. The Royalists in exile have sent to London their finest mind and greatest fighter, a man who will stop at nothing to ensure the Restoration. Has Seeker finally met his match?
Summer, 1658, and the Republic may finally be safe: the combined Stuart and Spanish forces have been heavily defeated by the English and French armies on the coast of Flanders, and the King's cause appears finished.
Yet one final, desperate throw of the dice is planned. And who can stop them if not Captain Damian Seeker?