Val McDermid & 1979

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Barbara Peters’, owner of The Poisoned Pen, decided it was time to reminisce about times spent with Val McDermid, so the two of them told stories before they talked about the first in McDermid’s new series. 1979 launches the first book in the Allie Burns series. You can still order copies through the Web Store. https://bit.ly/3BcaOSc

Here’s the summary of 1979.

Hailed as Britain’s Queen of Crime, Val McDermid’s award-winning, internationally bestselling novels have captivated readers for more than thirty years. Now, in1979, she returns to the past with the story of Allie Burns, an investigative journalist whose stories lead her into world of corruption, terror, and murder.

It’s only January, and the year 1979 has already brought blizzards, strikes, power cuts, and political unrest. For journalist Allie Burns, however, someone else’s bad news is the unmistakable sound of opportunity knocking, an opportunity to get away from the “women’s stories” her editors at the Scottish dailyThe Clarion keep assigning her. Striking up an alliance with budding investigative journalist Danny Sullivan, Allie begins covering international tax fraud, then a group of Scottish ultranationalists aiming to cause mayhem ahead of a referendum on breaking away from the United Kingdom. Their stories quickly get attention and create enemies for the two young up-and-comers. As they get closer to the bleeding edge of breaking news, Allie and Danny may find their lives on the line.

The first novel in a brand-new series for McDermid,1979 is redolent of the thundering presses, hammering typewriters, and wreaths of smoke of theClarion newsroom. An atmospheric journey into the past with much to say about the present, it is the latest suspenseful, pitch-perfect addition to Val McDermid’s crime pantheon.


VAL MCDERMID‘s best-selling novels have won the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year Award, and the Crime Writers’ Association’s Gold Dagger and Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for outstanding achievement. She is also a multiple finalist for the Edgar Award, including for the Fact Crime nominee Forensics.


Enjoy the conversation between Val McDermid and Barbara Peters.