Archive for May, 2016


Some of them may be dinosaurs who may be living in the wrong century, but the members of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers own the Muirfield course and have the right to determine how it is used and by whom. 

As it happened 64% of those proprietors  voted in favour of admitting women to membership of their club. Most people would see that as a significant step forward, but they tend not to be the people who take to the social airwaves, for fear of being pilloried by the politically correct.

The tail wagging the dog isn’t a sustainable situation in the long term. I suspect that it won’t be long before the matter is revisited, maybe with a little gentle persuasion by the R&A, which really doesn’t want to lose the course as an Open venue.

Categories: General, Politics, Sport


I’ve just seen a TV ad for coins commemorating the Queen’s 90th, by an operation calling itself Windsor Mint. 

Sounded official, but I looked it up to be sure. It’s German.

Not inappropriate, I suppose.

Categories: General

Music while I laze

Corinne Bailey Rae – The heart speaks in whispers. If you can only buy one album this month …….

Categories: General


May 17, 2016 1 comment

Well, did Dany stick it to those sleazy Khals or did she not?

Categories: General

Public investigations

Private Investigations has been released. It is out there, officially, and selling like churros, as they say in Spain.

I’ve just completed a short series of events, curtailed so I can start on the next Skinner. As always, when I do these things, I find myself being moved, in the most surprising and unexpected ways. By George Rattray, who went to great lengths to get to the West End yesterday and arrived bearing gift: by the lady in WHS who made me feel famous: by Dr Johann Dvorak, from Vienna, who just happened to be passing: by the guy with the motor cycle helmet, who bought a book for his mum, then tore straight off to the Royal Infirmary to delivere it; and by the impeccably mannered little girl in the pink dress who approached me at the signing table and asked, very politely, if I had any books by Michael Morpurgo. (I didn’t but I knew a man who had.)

To all of them and to all of you, thanks, yet again.

Categories: General

Music while I work

Run — George Strait. Thank you, Wallace, for making me a serious country listener.

Categories: General

Still going strong

Excellent event in the Eric Liddell Centre last night, courtesy of Marie and the rejuvenated Edinburgh Bookshop. Thanks to her and Cat for spreading the word about Private Investigations and for giving the Capital’s readers a choice.

Independent book shops are really important; they know their own customers and they cater for their tastes, rather than being tied to pushing what head office, hundreds of miles away, dictates.

Categories: General

Listen out

By the way, Private Investigations is also published today in downloadable audio format, on

Categories: General

Deck of cards

So it’s Trump 10, Republican Party 0.

I wonder what my friend the Senator thinks of that.

Categories: General, Politics


May 5, 2016: official publication date of Private Investigations, the 26 Skinner novel. A huge thanks to everyone at Headline for their skill and commitment in getting it out there, and to everyone in the book trade for making it available to you.

We’ll be celebrating at 7pm this evening at an event hosted by the Edinburgh Bookshop in the Eric Liddell Centre, 15 Morningside Road. 

Look for me also on Saturday at WHS in the Gyle, midday, and AtkinsonPryce in Biggar, then on Sunday at Waterstones West End at 1pm and at Costco Loanhead at 3pm.

Categories: General


‘The greatest story ever told,’ that’s what Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler declared, as the final whistle went last night at Stamford Bridge, and Leicester City became Premier League Champions.

Stand aside, Jesus.

Categories: Sport