10 Best Authors Like Quintin Jardine for Crime Fiction Readers

Discover our list of the best authors like Quintin Jardine. If you’re a fan of great detective fiction, these books are a must-read for your collection.

Born in 1945 in Lanarkshire in Scotland, Quintin Jardine is a successful crime fiction author. Jardine was raised in Motherwell in Glasgow and studied at Glasgow University. A born writer, he started his career as a journalist, but he also worked as a government information officer and media relations consultant. This experience allowed him to write knowledgeably about the world of crime fighting.

Jardine is a prolific author with 79 works across three series. The Bob Skinner series is the longest, with 33 novels featuring a police officer from Edinburgh. The first, Skinner’s Rules, came out in 1993. In 1996 he published Blackstone’s Pursuits, the first book in the Oz Blackstone series, and 2009 he published Inhuman Remains, the first in the Primavera Blackstone series. If you are a fan of the works of exciting crime thriller authors, these authors like Quintin Jardine may be an excellent choice to read.

Best Authors Like Quintin Jardine Ranked

1. Ian Rankin, 1960 –

Ian Rankin
Ian Rankin

Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin grew up in Fife, and he chose to study literature at college instead of going into a trade, which upset his parents. However, the gamble paid off, as he became a successful novelist. When he published his first two booksThe Flood and Knots and Crosses, they were classified as traditional fiction. Dissatisfied with this classification, he further developed the Inspector Rebus character from Knots and Crosses and created a successful series.

In 1997, he earned the CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction and an Edgar Award shortlist nomination for Black and Blue. In 2004 he won the Edgar for Resurrection Men. Rankin sometimes publishes under the pen name Jack Harvey. Check out our post about how Rankin’s Rebus novels receive TV adaptions.

“His eyes beheld beauty not in reality but in the printed word. Standing in the waiting-room, he realized that in his life he had accepted secondary experience — the experience of reading someone else’s thoughts — over real life. ”

Ian Rankin, Knots and Crosses
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Knots and Crosses
  • Rankin, Ian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 228 Pages - 06/12/1995 (Publication Date) - St Martins Pr (Publisher)

2. Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson
Lin Anderson

Lin Anderson is a Scottish crime novelist who developed the Rhona MacLeod series. As the daughter of a detective in the CID, Anderson got a taste for crime fighting as a young girl. As a young woman, she spent five years working in the Nigerian bush, later becoming the subject of an African short story.

Anderson published her first MacLeod book, Driftnet, in 2003, and it became pretty popular. The author also has two books in the Patrick de Courvoisier series and one in the Blaze Dog Detective series. With Alex Gray, she co-founded Bloody Scotland, the Scottish crime writer’s festival.

“The boy who had been abused and strangled in that hideous little room looked so like her, he could have been her brother.”

Lin Anderson, Driftnet
Driftnet (Luath Original Crime Fiction)
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Lin Anderson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/2003 (Publication Date) - Luath Press Ltd (Publisher)

3. Peter May, 1951 –

Peter May
Peter May

Peter May is a Scottish writer and screenwriter most famous for his three series: The Lewis Trilogy, The China Thrillers, and The Enzo Files. Born in Glasgow, May was sure he wanted to be a writer from an early age, so he took a job as a journalist as a young man. At 19, he wrote his first novel, which was rejected. Though not published, this novel’s rejection came from the publisher with the encouragement to keep writing.

May spent some time writing for the television world, then started his China Thrillers series, making regular trips to the country to learn more about its culture and crime-fighting techniques. Snakehead and Chinese Whispers, two of the books, were listed for the Prix International in France.

“He had no idea why the truck had drawn his attention. Maybe it was because the driver had made no attempt to slot it anywhere between the faded white lines. Maybe it was just instinct.”

Peter May, Snakehead
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Snakehead
  • Hardcover Book
  • May, Peter (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 405 Pages - Isis Large Print Books (Publisher)

4. Stuart MacBride, 1969 –

Stuart MacBride
Stuart MacBride

Author Stuart MacBride worked many odd jobs and tech jobs before he landed his first publishing deal. This Scottish writer attended Heriot-Watt University, where he studied architecture. In 2005 he started his literary career with the publication of Cold Granite, a book featuring Detective Sergeant Logan McRae. This started the success of his series, and between 2005 and 2019, he published 16 of them, one book every year. He also writes three standalone novels and the five-book Oldcastle series. MacBride’s most recent book, published in early 2023, is The Dead of Winter.

“The body’s high-vis jacket is the twin of the one hanging from the branch, only there’s a lot more blood. Deep scarlet stains the jacket’s fluorescent-yellow back; it’s soaked into the grubby-grey suit underneath too. The jacket’s owner doesn’t look a day over twenty-four, but he does look very, very dead.”

Stuart MacBride, The Dead of Winter
The Dead of Winter
  • Hardcover Book
  • Stuart MacBride (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 343 Pages - 01/01/2023 (Publication Date) - Bantam (Publisher)

5. Janie Bolitho, 1950 – 2002

Janie Bolitho’s works focus less on blood and gore and more on developing beautiful settings and robust characters. The Ian Roper series, which started with Kindness Can Kill in 1993, is one of her most famous, featuring a chief detective inspector as the main character. Bolitho also introduced Rose Trevelyan in 1997 with Snapped in Cornwall. This character was a painter and photographer who solved crimes on the side.

“Life always seemed to catch Rose Trevelyan by surprise. She constantly told herself that now she had passed forty she might occasionally try to be a bit more organized: ever since her early twenties, when she wrongly considered herself to be a mature adult, nothing had gone to plan.”

Janie Bolitho, Snapped in Cornwall

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6. Kate Ellis

Kate Ellis has two crime series, with over a million books sold worldwide. In addition, she has written short stories and three historical crime fiction novels. This Liverpudlian author got her start in the writing world by writing plays and winning the North West Playwrights competition.

Ellis developed a love for archaeology and wove that into her crime fiction works through Detective Sergeant Wesley Peterson, an archaeology graduate who solves crimes. The first Wesley Peterson novel was The Merchant’s House, which she published in 1998. In 2014, she was elected a member of The Detection Club, and she is also a member of the Crime Writers Association.

“Steve considered himself to be God’s gift to women; and if this was the case, thought Rachel, the Lord was seriously short-changing the female sex.”

Kate Ellis, The Merchant’s House
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The Merchant's House-A Wesley Peterson Mystery
  • Hardcover Book
  • Ellis, Kate (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 246 Pages - 06/12/1999 (Publication Date) - St Martins Pr (Publisher)

7. William McIlvanney, 1936 – 2015

William McIlvanney
William McIlvanney

William McIlvanney was a Scottish writer of novels, short stories, and poetry. As a graduate of Glasgow University, where he studied English, he worked as a teacher until 1975 before starting a full-time writing career. While teaching, he started writing and publishing Remedy is None in 1966, which earned him the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize the following year.

Several of his novels, including LaidlawThe Papers of Tony Veitch, and Strange Loyalties, all feature Inspector Jack Laidlaw as the main character, and he won two Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger awards for the series. The Dark Remains is his final work, which Ian Rankin finished on his behalf. It was published in 2021 after McIlvanney’s death. You might also be interested in our guide on authors like Robert Crais.

“The law’s not about justice. It’s a system we’ve put in place because we can’t have justice.”

William McIlvanney, The Dark Remains
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The Dark Remains: A Laidlaw Investigation (Jack Laidlaw Novels Prequel) (A Laidlaw Investigation, 4)
  • Hardcover Book
  • McIlvanney, William (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 09/07/2021 (Publication Date) - World Noir (Publisher)

8. Ann Cleeves, 1954 –

Ann Cleeves
Ann Cleeves

British mystery crime writer Ann Cleeves is best known for her Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez, and Matthew Venn series. All of these works have been adapted into TV shows. Cleeves never graduated from college but spent her time working odd jobs before starting her writing career. She discovered her passion and abilities for writing after meeting and marrying her ornithologist husband, then moving to a remote island without electricity for him to study birds.

Her 2006 novel Raven Black won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger, and in 2014 the University of Sunderland awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Letters. In 2017, the Crime Writer’s Association awarded her the Diamond Dagger, their highest honor, for her lifetime work. Cleeves’ books have been translated into 20 languages and have been bestsellers in Scandinavia and Germany.

“She fell suddenly and deeply asleep. A reaction to the shock, she thought later. It was as if a fuse had blown. She needed to escape.”

Ann Cleeves, Raven Black
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Raven Black: Book One of the Shetland Island Mysteries (Shetland Island Mysteries, 1)
  • Cleeves, Ann (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 06/24/2008 (Publication Date) - Minotaur Books (Publisher)

9. Alex Gray, 1950 –

Alex Gray
Alex Gray

Author Alex Gray was born Sandra Gray Lang but took the name Alex Gray when she started publishing books. After graduating from Strathclyde University, Gray started working as a teacher until she started focusing on her writing career in 1990. This Scottish crime writer has 20 novels set in Glasgow, featuring Detective Chief Inspector Lorimer and a psychological profiler sidekick named Solomon Brightman.

Gray started her successful writing career in 2002 when she published Never Somewhere Else. Along with fellow writer Lin Anderson, she co-founded the Bloody Scotland international crime writing festival. Her most recent book, Echo of the Dead, was published in 2022, and she continues adding more to her book list. Check out these authors like Tess Gerritsen.

“If he had woken, he might have seen the flash of a blade, bright against the flickering firelight, but death took him even as he dreamed of summer days that would never come again.”

Alex Gay, Echo of the Dead
Echo Of The Dead (DSI William Lorimer)
  • Gray, Alex (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 07/11/2023 (Publication Date) - Sphere (Publisher)

10. Robin Jenkins, 1912 – 2005

Robin Jenkins
Robin Jenkins

Author Robin Jenkins published 30 novels during his lifetime and two collections of short stories. This Scottish writer won a scholarship to attend a fee-paying school as a young child, and this caused him to get an education when he otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford one. After school, he attended the University of Glasgow, where he studied literature.

During World War II, he registered as a conscientious objector. All of these experiences as a child using education to escape difficult circumstances and his work in forestry, due to his registering as an objector, showed up in his works. The Changeling, published in 1958, is one of his more popular works. Though he didn’t write crime fiction, his writing style is popular with fans of Quintin Jardine’s work.

“Never to whine; to accept what came; to wait for better; to take what you could; to let no one, not even yourself, know how near to giving in you were.”

Robin Jenkins, The Changeling
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The Changeling (Canongate Classic, 22)
  • Jenkins, Robin (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 04/03/2008 (Publication Date) - Canongate UK (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best Erlse Stanley Gardner books!

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