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Marion Todd Books In Order

Publication Order of Detective Clare Mackay Books

See Them Run (2019)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In Plain Sight (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lies to Tell (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Marion Todd is a mystery author from Dundee best known for the “Detective Clare Mackay” series of novels. She now lives in Fife in the North just across the River Tay and opposite the small town in Dundee, where she was born and brought up. She was happily married for several decades and brought up three children with her husband who was a detective in Police Scotland. While Todd had been writing throughout her thirties and twenties, she had to concentrate on raising her children when her husband died. She was forced to take up a variety of jobs that included a hotel lounge pianist, candle maker and lecturer to make ends meet. While it was a difficult period in her life, she has said that it provided a lot of material that she would later use in her novels. Once her children were all grown up, she decided to go back to her passion. She had not lost her edge as she had several of her short fiction pieces featured in “My Weekly Magazine, “and the “Dundee Courier.” In 1987, she was the winner of the Short Story for Children Competition by Family Circle Magazine. Since then, she has been nominated for several awards such as the Scottish Arts Council Short Story Award and the Sunstory Award. Her debut mystery novel “See Them Run” was published in 2019 after she won a three-book deal with Canelo. When she is not writing, she loves to walk the Scottish countryside and tussle in her jungle-like garden.

Like many mystery authors, Todd cut his teeth as a child on Enid Blyton before moving on to classics by the likes of Agatha Christie. However, one novel she often finds herself returning to is “One Good Turn,” a novel by Kate Atkinson. She has said that her ultimate dream is to write a plot like Atkinson. She has also read a lot of crime fiction from greats such as Douglas Skelton, Ian Rankin, Lin Anderson, Val McDermid, James Oswald, and Stuart Macbride. She discovered that she loves books by Michael J Malone, Anthony O’Neill Abir Mukherjee, and Graeme Macrae Burnet. Apart from crime fiction she also reads comedies by Joanna Trollope and EF Benson. While she was an ardent reader, her journey towards publishing was full of fits and starts. As a lecturer, she had enjoyed writing teaching manuals and case studies and had been the go-to person when anyone needed to have a difficult reference or letter written. Upon her retirement from academia, she joined a newly created Waterstones Crime Book Group in her hometown. In the group, she had the opportunity of meeting with and reading the works of different authors every month, which inspired the aspiring author even further. Marion Todd still attends workshops and writing events and also reads as much as she can. She also networks on Twitter to increase her knowledge of publishing, editing, and writing. Since she retired, she has written several short stories and started writing the “Detective Clare Mackay” series of novels.

“See Them Run” is the debut novel of the “Detective Inspector Clare Mackay” series by Marion Todd. The lead protagonist had been in excellent form in Glasgow but has now been transferred after an operation went wrong. She had been asked to respond to a report of an armed robber and upon reaching the scene, she found a young man coming out of the building with a gun pointing at her. She has a vest but knows that it would be useless if she was shot in the head. She had hesitated and asked the young man to drop his weapon but when he declined, she had no option but to kill him. Investigations found the gun was not real and she was adjudged innocent but her life and relationship with her boyfriend were changed forever. She has been posted to St. Andrews, where she hopes to put what had happened in Glasgow behind her, though she is finding it harder than she had expected it would be. She is called to check out a murder in which one of the wedding guests had been the victim of vehicular murder. The killer had left behind a card with the number five on its face. Further investigations reveal that his marriage was on the rocks since he had been unfaithful to his wife. He usually disappears every Thursday and no one knows where he used to go. Things get even more interesting when the man who owns the local Brewing company turns up dead and DCI Gibson who had been the man’s friend turns up to inspect progress on the case. It gets even better when they learn that the second victim also used to go missing on Thursdays.

Marion Todd’s “In Plain Sight” is the story of the abduction of a child at a time when Clare and her community were preparing to take part in a charity fun run. Further complicating matters, an environmental protest had blocked the starting line as they protested the company that was sponsoring the event. Clare believes that the abduction was easier given the chaos of the protest though she does not think the organizers had been involved with the kidnappers. The story then becomes straight-up police procedural with Clare’s team hunting own clues and following them trying to find the missing child. They are more concerned when they learn that the child is in serious need of medication given that it has a heart defect. The authorities believe they need the experience of a DCI and they invite Anthony McAvetie. What they do not know is that Clare and her sergeant have a bad history with the inspector. The investigation is now filled with tension since all McAvetie wants is to use the case to gain the rank of superintendent while Clare is only interested in resolving the case and getting the child back to its parents.

“Lies to Tell” by Marion Todd opens to Clare dragged by DCI Alistair Gibson to a secret building. She had always had something of a rocky relationship with Gibson but she has no choice in the matter at hand. At the building, she meets a woman who informs her that she is a hacker that has been charged with finding out who was giving out police secrets. Clare has to find a secure space in her office for the hacker and ensure that she is not harassed. As she takes the woman back to her precinct, the detective inspector’s phone rings informing her that one of their most important witnesses that is in protective custody is in danger. Clare had not been aware of the existence of the witness but is still concerned about HIS safety even as she is angry that someone dared interrupt her while on a very critical mission. DCI Gibson tries as best as he can to explain the dagger and cloak approach and Clare now finds herself in the middle of several conspiracy plots. On top of the mysteries she is trying to understand, she also has to deal with the case of a young man that came to report that his friend was missing. He had left the station before making the report and soon after also went missing.

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