Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Midnight in Havana shortlisted ... and it's not even published!

Polygon is delighted to announce that Midnight in Havana by Peggy Blair, scheduled to be published on 4th July in the UK, has been shortlisted for the Arthur Ellis Awards Best First Novel, one of Canada’s top crime writing awards.

“We’re absolutely thrilled that Midnight in Havana has been shortlisted and feel so lucky to be publishing such a magical detective story,” said Neville Moir, Publishing Director of Polygon. “Our warmest congratulations go to Peggy.”

Midnight in Havana – published as The Beggar’s Opera in Canada – has already shown it’s worth being shortlisted for the Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger Award and won the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Bookies Award for Best Mystery/Thriller.

The first Inspector Ramirez Mystery, Midnight in Havana offers fans of smart, literary crime fiction a warmer alternative to Scandinavian Noir and a dark twist on the flawed investigator with Inspector Ramirez, literally, being haunted by unsolved mysteries.
Peggy Blair


Peggy has been a lawyer for more than thirty years. A recognized expert in Aboriginal law, she also worked as both a criminal defence lawyer and Crown prosecutor. She spent a Christmas in Old Havana where she watched the bored young policemen along the Malec√≥n, visited Hemingway’s favourite bars, and learned to make a perfect mojito.

Here’s hoping to be raising one or two of those on the 30th!


Monday, 15 April 2013

Birlinn Ltd Unveils New Sport Imprint


Birlinn Ltd is delighted to announce the launch of a new imprint, Arena Sport!

Debuting later this Spring, it aims to publish five or six titles per year beginning with the paperback edition of the hugely successful Bradley Wiggins: Tour de Force by John Deering formerly published on the Polygon imprint.

Other titles planned include Va Va Froome: The Remarkable Rise of Chris Froome by David Sharp; Jewel in the Glen: Gleneagles, Golf and the Ryder Cup by Ed Hodge; the paperback edition of Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions by Stephen Jones, Tom English, Nick Cain and David Barnes; and Season of Wonder: Manchester United’s Treble Season by Daniel Harris.


Stephen Jones, rugby correspondent for The Times and The Sunday Times and one of the authors of Behind the Lions: Playing Rugby for the British & Irish Lions said, ‘The advent of Arena Sport is great news. At a time when the publishing industry has its challenges, a genuinely positive development  and the arrival  of a potentially outstanding sports list will be warmly welcomed by authors, and readers alike.’

Peter Burns, sports editor, commented 'We are delighted to be launching Arena Sport at this time and we have some very strong titles coming out over the next twenty-four months. We are developing a list which not only features globally renowned sports personalities, teams and brands, but also, crucially, contains some of the finest writers working in the industry today. Our aim is to commission the best writers available, bringing their touch of magic to a range of fascinating stories, and publish their work to the highest spec.'

Stay tuned for more from this exciting new imprint!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Katharine Stewart



Birlinn is very sad to announce the death last week of Katharine Stewart, author of A Croft in the Hills and A Garden in the Hills, at the age of ninety-eight.

A Croft in the Hills (1960) was one of the first books of the period to deal with issues of self-sufficiency, concern for the environment and living in harmony with the natural world, but without any pretentiousness or sentimentality.
Katharine was a wonderful person - full of life, enthusiasm and humour, and a pleasure to deal with as a publisher. Her writing was adored across the world and our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time.