Holiday reading: Edinburgh

ELLE's ultimate tartan reads

Edinburgh International Festival is officially full steam ahead, and what better way to connect with the beautifully historic city than to experience it through the eyes of an author. Take in the iconic castle, experience the unmistakable sound of pipes and trews, walk through the cobbled labyrinth of New Town, and (of course) enjoy a whisky or two. We pick 3 top writers to transport you there…

44 Scotland Street, by Alexander McCall Smith (Abacus)

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The first in the Scotland Street series, set in a busy Bohemian corner of Edinburgh's New Town, where the old haute bourgeoisie finds itself having to rub shoulders with students, poets and portraitists. And number 44 has more than its fair share of the street's eccentrics and failures. A delightful read and a wonderful way to gain an entertaining insight into the life of the city.

Knots and Crosses, by Ian Rankin (Orion)

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Meet DI John Rebus in this first of the series. ‘And in Edinburgh of all places. I mean, you never think of that sort of thing happening in Edinburgh, do you…?’ ‘That sort of thing’ is the brutal abduction and murder of two young girls. And now a third is missing, presumably gone to the same sad end. Detective Sergeant John Rebus, smoking and drinking too much - his own young daughter spirited away south by his disenchanted wife - is one of many policemen hunting the killer. And then the messages begin to arrive: knotted string and matchstick crosses – taunting Rebus with pieces of a puzzle only he can solve.

One Good Turn, by Kate Atkinson (Black Swan)

A novel set during the Edinburgh Festival sees people queuing for a lunchtime show witness to a road-rage incident – an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander – until he becomes a suspect.

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