To be won: Toast Alanna’s back page with Champagne afternoon tea at an exclusive Edinburgh location

Author Alanna Knight poses with her MBE in 2014

The writer, whose love for the works of Robert Louis Stevenson saw her adopt the capital as a home for her family in the 1980s, died late last year but left a final novel for the delight to its readers, Mystery at the World’s Edge, due out next month.

One of life’s instantly adorable characters, I first interviewed Alanna over 20 years ago. Her passion for the capital, its history and its writing was contagious and although it was not until the late 1960s that she published her first novel, Alanna remembered that she had started writing at the Age “about eight” my dad bought me a book about Robin Hood and his Merry Men and I sat in the park and read it all and he said, “Did you like that then?” And I said, “Yeah, I’m gonna write a ‘sequel.”

From this core of ambition, the writer has gone on to write an incredible legacy that began in 1969 with the publication of Legend of the Loch, the first of a number of romantic thrillers.

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Winning: Alanna Knight’s Latest Novel

Alanna had reached the great age of 97 when she passed away on December 2 last year. Her passing marked the end of a career that began more than half a century earlier when, in 1964, she received an electric typewriter as a gift as she recovered from a rare nervous disorder that had left her paralyzed from neck to toe.

Despite her condition, which lasted for five years, Legend of the Loch followed four years later, released as Alanna Knight – she was born Gladys Cleet in Jesmond, Newcastle, in 1923.

Psychological thrillers followed, two of which were released only in the United States, as well as numerous historical titles. Later, a young adult crime drama introduced her to a new American audience as she returned home, she also became interested in real crime, writing about the Burke and Hare and Edinburgh murders over the years. 1900, as well as by writing a series of biographies, many of which delve into the life of Robert Louis Stevenson. Writing under the name Margaret Hope, she has also written four historical novels.

Three plays and a novelization based on the TV drama Strathblair also feature on her resume, as do the three series for which she is best known, the books by Rose McQuinn, the novels by Tam Eildor and the Inspector’s Investigations. Faro, inspired by the father of forensic medicine, Inspector James McLevy.

Alanna Knight and Lin Anderson

Faro, a 19th century detective, first appeared in 1988 and over 19 novels made Alanna one of the most borrowed authors in public libraries. She regularly explained that the character was inspired by a stranger in a deer stalker hat who had passed through the window of the family home in Dryden Place.

In total, Alanna leaves a total of 65 pounds, including her latest, the latest installment in her Tam Eildor time travel series. A preview of what to expect when it releases can be found in the advertising blurb.

It reads: “When Tam Eildor unexpectedly arrives on a remote Scottish island in the year 1587 after his time machine has developed a fault, he quickly finds himself involved in the lives of the locals. colorful. Many attempt to escape the tyranny of power-hungry Earl Robert Stewart after imprisoning the beautiful Princess Marie, planning to force her into an unpleasant marriage to bond closer to the throne, pursuing her own ambitions.

‘Aided by a motley crew including a stowaway, a pirate and the earl’s own son, Eildor attempts a daring rescue of the princess. Together, they will travel the oceans in search of Spanish gold, lost loves and new futures. This is the classic Alanna Knight.

Alanna Knight and Alex Gray

Once settled in Edinburgh, Alanna was well respected by becoming Honorary President of the Edinburgh Writers ‘Club and the Scottish Writers’ Association, of which she was a founding member. She was also a facilitator for the Scottish section of the Crime Writers’ Association.

Another author, Lin Anderson, said: “Alanna has been an inspiration to many Scottish writers. She was also instrumental in setting up the annual Bloody Scotland crime writing festival in Stirling, and her annual play Who Done it was invariably sold out. . “

Mystery writer Alex Gray adds, “Alanna was a firm believer in helping other writers by pouring wine into the ground, as she put it. to “walk on the paths and touch the stones, a habit that I inherited from her”.

To celebrate the publication of Mystery at the World’s Edge, its editors, Allison and Busby, are offering Evening News readers the chance to win a sumptuous Champagne Afternoon Tea for two at Prestonfield House, one of Alanna’s favorite places. The indulgent spread can be enjoyed in the historic reception rooms, on the terrace filled with topiaries, or in the Gothic Prestonfield tea pavilion.

Alanna Knight celebrates 50 years as a published author with Alex Gray, Ian Rankin and Alex Gray

In addition, 5 finalists will win a copy of Mystery at the World’s Edge to curl up with at home.

Susie Dunlop, Publishing Director at Allison & Busby, said: “Allison and Busby have been deeply honored to publish a writer of Alanna’s reputation, and her legacy as one of Edinburgh’s foremost columnists. will continue for many years. It is a pleasure for us to be able to launch his latest book, and honor his memory with this competition. “

To enter, answer this question: In what year did Alanna Knight publish her first novel?

Responses should be emailed to [email protected] with Alanna Knight Contest in the subject line.

End of the contest at midnight, Sunday April 25. UK participants only. For full terms and conditions see https://www.allisonandbusby.com/terms

Normal JPIMEDIA competition rules apply, for more information visit: www.jpimedia.co.uk/competition

Mystery at the World’s Edge, by Alanna Knight, is out as a hardcover book on May 20, priced at £ 19.99.

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