The Crime Readers' Association

Marsali TaylorMarsali Taylor

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Marsali Taylor grew up near Edinburgh, and read English at Dundee University. She then did teacher training in Craiglockhart’s final year, and moved to Shetland in 1981 as a very green probationer teacher. Her writing career began with the inevitable highbrow novel and plays for her school pupils to perform in the local Festival. Two of these were published by FairPlay Press as Two Shetland Plays, and others have been published by DramaWorks.

She wrote articles for the monthly magazine Shetland Life for a number of years, and is a regular columnist and reviewer for the e-zine Mystery People.

She learned to sail in a Graduate dinghy at Cramond, and has capsized all over the Forth. She’s now a qualified dinghy instructor, and enjoys sailing Shetland waters in her 8m keelboat, Karima S.

Her first Shetland-set crime novel starring quick-witted, practical sailor Cass Lynch and Inverness DI Gavin Macrae was published in 2013, and there are now seven in the series. Reviewers have praised their clever plotting, lively characters and vividly-evoked setting.

Marsali’s interest in history is shown in her self-published Women’s Suffrage in Shetland, and Norse-set crime novella, Footsteps in the Dew.

She helped organise the 2015 Shetland Noir festival, and is a ‘regular’ at Bloody Scotland and Iceland Noir.

Marsali lives on the west side of Shetland with her musician husband, Philip, three cats and two Shetland ponies. She has one daughter, a London-living actor, who was involved in the TV Shetland series, as the love interest of the younger policeman.

Books by Marsali Taylor

  • Death on a Longship Death on a Longship

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  • The Trowie Mound Murders The Trowie Mound Murders

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  • A Handful of Ash A Handful of Ash

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  • A Case Full of Crime A Case Full of Crime


  • Wishing on a Star Wishing on a Star


  • Women's Suffrage in Shetland Women's Suffrage in Shetland


  • The Story of Busta House The Story of Busta House


  • The Body in the Bracken The Body in the Bracken

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  • Ghosts of the Vikings Ghosts of the Vikings

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  • Footsteps in the Dew Footsteps in the Dew


  • Death in Shetland Waters Death in Shetland Waters

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  • Forgotten Heroines: the Diaries of Ysabel Birkbeck Forgotten Heroines: the Diaries of Ysabel Birkbeck

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  • Death on a Shetland Isle Death on a Shetland Isle

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