Ian Rankin

Madeira is wonderfully lacking in Scrooges

My wife and I arrived in Madeira for a week’s peace and quiet, but the driver from the airport had other ideas and was soon telling us how difficult it was to own a taxi these days. Cars are much more expensive to buy than in Spain, for example, and there is a lot of

I’ve written the perfect book

I met a Canadian couple for lunch in Edinburgh. They were from Vancouver – he a judge, she an opera singer – and had won me at a charity auction. I do this several times a year. It’s a painless way of helping good causes. Of course it’s a very one-sided blind date: they know

I Live Here Now: a short story by Ian Rankin

Ever since his daughter’s death, John Bates had all but given up. Eunice had been 17, bubbly and surrounded by friends, keen to leave school behind to study history at university. She’d been a passionate cook and hockey player, not yet ready for a steady boyfriend, and loved absolutely by both her parents. But then

We don’t want pandemic novels – we want gentle escapism

I’m often asked when I’ll write a pandemic novel. I’m not sure I’d ever be tempted, though the backdrop of Edinburgh’s deserted streets at the height of the (first) lockdown certainly provided food for the imagination. I dare say novels will arrive — some may even be good. But I find that fiction concerning momentous

Diary – 31 January 2019

For legal reasons I shouldn’t say much about the Alex Salmond case, but it does bolster the argument that the world right now operates beyond most fiction writers’ (and readers’?) imaginations. Fiction needs to be credible; I should persuade the reader that the events in my stories could happen, if they haven’t already. Reality, however,

Up there with Thin Lizzy

‘Better than Josh Pearson!’ That was what it said on the hand-printed sticker. The sticker was attached to an odd-looking CD in the new releases section of the Edinburgh record shop, Avalanche. The shop’s proprietor, Kevin Buckle, was the man behind the claim. I asked him about the album. It was by an Aberfeldy-based group

50 Years of The Rolling Stones

This year marks 50 years since the formation of The Rolling Stones and, to begin a short series of posts in their honour, we are pleased to welcome renowned novelist – and almost equally renowned Stones fan – Ian Rankin  back to The Spectator Arts Blog. When I first heard the Rolling Stones, I hated

Folkie supergroup

The Fence Collective is a loose association of singers, musicians and songwriters, at least a few of whom live in and around Anstruther in Fife. The Fence Collective is a loose association of singers, musicians and songwriters, at least a few of whom live in and around Anstruther in Fife. Anstruther is a fishing village

MUSIC: Spotify Sunday – North of the Border

Ian Rankin is quite rightly renowned as one of Britain’s leading novelists – but, as anyone who follows his Twitter feed will know, he deserves equal fame as one of our leading music obsessives. We are thrilled and honoured to publish his Spotify Sunday selection of the best Scottish albums of 2010. – Scott Jordan