MSc Publishing contributes to Rogues Gallery: Faces of Crime 1870-1917

New book by students sheds light on real-life Sherlock Holmes

Date posted

9 November 2017


Last updated

19 March 2020

A new book by MSc Publishing students - which will shed light on a real-life Scottish Sherlock Holmes - is to be featured as part of a new national crime exhibition.McLevy book cover

Detective McLevy’s Casebook – published by the students under the Merchiston Publishing imprint – is a book of short stories based on true crimes that all feature Detective McLevy as their central character. McLevy is regularly credited with being the real-life inspiration behind Sherlock Holmes and brought a number of Scotland’s most infamous criminals to justice in a career that spanned almost three decades.

The book will be part of a new national exhibition entitled Rogues Gallery: Faces of Crime 1870-1917.

Delivered by National Records of Scotland in partnership with Edinburgh City Archives, the exhibition will bring visitors face-to-face with Scotland’s criminal past – from an infamous murderer to con artists, pickpockets, petty thieves and more. It will pair striking images from mug shot albums with carefully selected extracts from trial records to convey a unique insight into criminal justice in the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

Alongside being presented as part of this exhibition, Detective McLevy’s Casebook has already been featured at Bloody Scotland, Scotland’s international crime writing festival and will soon appear on the forthcoming BBC and STV programme called ‘The Force: The Story of Scotland’s Police’ which is due to air in late November on BBC One Scotland.

It has also been announced as Edinburgh Napier University’s Big Read for 2017/18. As part of the shared reading scheme, every student and member of staff will receive a free copy of the book to encourage readers to share their thoughts on it with each other.

Avril Gray, Programme Leader of MSc Publishing (SACI) and Publishing Manager for Merchiston Publishing said: “It is so incredibly exciting to see our students’ work showcased as part of this national exhibition. Detective McLevy is credited with being the real-life inspiration behind Sherlock Holmes, so it is highly appropriate that our book of short stories, which is based on true crimes, has a central place. It is fantastic to be working with National Records of Scotland and Edinburgh City Archives and I would like to thank them for being so supportive of our staff and our students' work.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Europe, Culture and External Affairs, said: “In the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology, Rogues Gallery throws light on a shadowy side of Scotland’s story, revealing the rarely-told tales of famous and forgotten figures who are part of our nation’s history.”

The exhibition is at General Register House, Princes Street, and is open from now until 1 December, Monday to Friday 9.30–4.30.

More details on the exhibition can be found here.

Study Publishing at Edinburgh Napier