William McIlvanney was a Scottish crime author who was known as “the godfather of tartan noir”. He was best known for writing the Laidlaw series of crime novels. However, he also wrote the autobiographical novel, Docherty in 1975 that won him the Whitbread prize.

McIlvanney was born in the Ayrshire town of Kilmarnoc. He grew up in the area with three siblings before going on to study English at Glasgow University. He published his first novel in 1966, but took on a career as a schoolteacher around the same time. He would publish his second novel two years later, but he did not have the commercial success that would come to him later.

Publication Order of Jack Laidlaw Books

Laidlaw (1977)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Papers of Tony Veitch (1983)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Strange Loyalties (1991)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Remedy is None (1966)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
A Gift From Nessus (1968)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Docherty (1975)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Big Man (1985)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
In Through the Head (1988)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
The Kiln (1996)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Weekend (2006)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Shades of Grey (1993)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Dreaming Scotland (2014)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

Publication Order of Poems/Short Story Collections

The Longships In Harbour (1970)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Landscapes & Figures (1973)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
These Words (1984)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Walking Wounded (1989)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price
Surviving the Shipwreck (1991)Best Hardcover PriceBest Paperback PriceBest Kindle Price

If You Like William McIlvanney Books, You’ll Love…

Laidlaw is the first book in the series of books about Detective Jack Laidlow. He is a Scotsman through and through, and the series is set in Glasgow where he works as a Detective Inspector for the Glasgow police. Laidlaw is a unique character in that he’s married with three kids and he loves philosophy. However, he can be contradictory as he’s violent and hates violence, and he believes in fidelity despite being unfaithful. In this book, a young woman is found brutally murdered on the streets of Glasgow and Laidlaw is the only one who can possibly catch her killer.

One of McIlvanney’s most praised novels is Docherty that tells the story of a Scottish miner as he fights for a better life for his son. The story takes place at the dawn of the twentieth century as Conn Docherty is born into the world. The boy comes from a family of no money, but his father decides that day that his son’s life will be different than his own and he’ll do whatever it takes to make it so.

Order of Books » Authors » Order of William McIlvanney Books