Mary Paulson-Ellis

One of Val McDermid’s selected writers for the International Literature Showcase


“Firmly rooted both in the secret lives of Edinburgh and what she calls ‘the murderous side of family life – the dark, the quirky and the strange.’”

Val McDermid

Edinburgh novelist of the overlooked. Likes to wander in graveyards.

Mary Paulson-Ellis lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, the setting for her series of dual-timeline detective novels about the world of those who die with no next of kin. Her critically acclaimed debut, The Other Mrs Walker was a Times bestseller and Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year. Her second, The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing was longlisted for the McIlvanney Prize for Best Scottish Crime Novel and a Historical Writers Association Gold Crown. Mary’s non-fiction and short stories have featured in the Guardian and on BBC Radio 4. Emily Noble’s Disgrace is her third novel.

In 2020 Mary was selected as one of four writers to represent the vibrant diversity of literature in Scotland at the British Council Literature Seminar, Hamburg. She regularly appears on BBC Radio Scotland reviewing what’s current in TV, film, theatre, art and books. The fourth novel in her Edinburgh series is forthcoming from Mantle in 2023.

Read a Q&A with Mary in Author Interviews

‘The verve and panache of a true storyteller’ – Liz Jensen

‘Refreshingly inventive crime fiction’ – Irish Times

‘Intriguing and atmospheric’ – Guardian

‘Skilful juggling of the twin timelines in this engaging mystery reveal a darkness at its core’ – Times and Sunday Times Crime Club

‘The interlocking plots are cleverly and carefully constructed… Paulson-Ellis is reaching towards something akin to poetry’ – Independent

‘A fine talent for rendering the seamy side of life’ – The Scotsman

‘A moving, sometimes heart-breaking, story of debt and redemption’ – Historical Writers Association judges, 2020

The best sort of thrill. An amazing opportunity to reach across all sorts of borders. And an honour to be selected by the trailblazing Val McDermid, whose books I have always devoured.




  • 2021 – Emily Noble’s Disgrace (Mantle)
  • 2019 – The Inheritance of Solomon Farthing (Mantle)
  • 2016 – The Other Mrs Walker (Mantle)

Short Fiction

  • 2021 – The Things We Leave Behind (BBC Radio 4), a five-part series
  • 2021 – Not My Type in The Art of Being Dangerous (Leuven Press) & Dangerous Women (Unbound, 2022)
  • 2020 – The Cleaner (BBC Radio 4)


  • 2021 – Introduction, Greyfriars Bobby by Eleanor Atkinson (Macmillan Collector’s Library)
  • 2016 – The Curious Case of Mr Lobban (Guardian Weekend Magazine)

Contact Mary


Website: Twitter: @mspaulsonellis


Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander Associates


Pan Macmillan. Publicist, Rosie Wilson