Edinburgh Crime Series

Celebrating Hunter’s Christmas and Other Stories

Fans of Val Penny’s Edinburgh Crime Series are in for a holiday treat with the release of her latest — Hunter’s Christmas and Other Stories.

This book contains a dozen short stories including the eye-catching title Hunter’s Christmas.

As I’ve written before, DI Hunter Wilson is one of my favorite characters that Val Penny has created. He’s such a believably likable person. Unfortunately, that gets him into trouble when he offers money to people on the street he suspects might need it, and in turn, they rob him and cause him to have serious enough injuries that he is hospitalized. Alas, he must forgo a holiday in India with his girlfriend Dr. Meera Sharma.

Oh, did I mention, as he did, that his attacker was Santa Claus? Well, Hunter did and people thought he had a head injury. (The whole exchange does inject some fun humor into the plot.)

Well, if being attacked by Santa — actually three men were dressed like him — isn’t enough, a man posing as an elf is found dead in a car park and a car is stolen by Mrs. Claus.

Of course, Hunter’s team of investigators get cracking on this one. Even Hunter can’t stay hospitalized long as he should to help solve these crimes.

As Hunter says of the crimes, “There’s too much Christmas in them for my liking.”

Hunter’s Christmas and Other Stories includes bonus tales about DS Jane Renwick, another character in Val’s books, along with those about new and different characters.

Author Val Penny

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland who writes writing, short stories, nonfiction books, and novels. Her novels are published by SpellBound Books Ltd.

VAL PENNY ON SOCIAL MEDIA

www.valpenny.com

https://www.facebook.com/Authorvalpenny

www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

https://www.facebook.com/groups/167248300537409

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17300087.Val_Penny

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/val-penny

BUY LINKS

Hunter’s Revenge – https://geni.us/a13c

Hunter’s Force – https://geni.us/f5eJb

The First Cut – https://linktr.ee/spellboundbks

Hunter’s Blood – https://tinyurl.com/8rrpp59x

Hunter’s Secret – https://tinyurl.com/ezer746e 

Hunter’s Christmas – https://rb.gy/9d79us

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book review, Hunter's Blood

Review: Hunter’s Blood by Val Penny

D.I. Hunter Wilson is at it again in Hunter’s Blood. This is the fourth in Val Penny’s thriller crime series featuring that smart detective, and fans, like myself, hope she keeps it going as he is such a likable and multi-faceted character.

I enjoyed being immersed in the darker culture of Scotland, which Val handles so well. (By the way, she is an American who moved to that country.) Because this is a crime series, that includes an active drug scene, with a dangerous influx of cocaine into Edinburgh. 

As the title implies, an investigation involving the death of three women is personal for Hunter Wilson. One victim is a beloved aunt, the second a critical witness in a recent case, and the third, a woman who helped Hunter when he was at a vulnerable time in his life. As he tells a colleague, “Do you see what I mean, sir? I feel guilty by association.”

Hunter is a little distracted given the death of his aunt, but I had confidence that his strong Scottish work ethic and integrity would help him get the job done. (No spoilers here.) My only complaint about Hunter’s Blood is that I would have welcomed reading more about him in this book.

Another critical element to the book’s plot is Edinburgh’s crime scene, focusing on the people who are bringing addictive drugs into the city. Readers of the series will recognize the players. 

One of the subplots I found intriguing was the crash of a van that occurs early in the book. A woman, who was the driver, is trapped inside the van with a dead body without rescue for a long time, and gives a first-person account. Yes, there is a link to the book’s plot, and the poor woman’s distress is portrayed so well.

By the way, this review is part of the Reading Between the Lines Blog Tour. No compensation is involved.

Hunter’s Blood Blurb

Mutilation and murder outrage DI Hunter Wilson, especially when he knows the victims.

He learns three elderly women have died in mysterious circumstances and is horrified to realise that he is the only person who has met each of them.

Hunter scrutinizes the evidence but must accept help from the Major Investigation Team when he investigates the triple murder.

He is amazed that the breakthrough comes from an unexpected witness.

What did she hear? 

Hunter confronts the perpetrators and fights for the victims’ rights – even when the crime has been committed with the best of intentions.

Here are the links to Val Penny’s books

Hunter’s Chase – https://geni.us/ic7r

Hunter’s Revenge – https://geni.us/a13c

Hunter’s Force – https://geni.us/f5eJb

The First Cut – https://linktr.ee/spellboundbks

Hunter’s Blood – https://tinyurl.com/8rrpp59x

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Character Traits

Meet Hunter Wilson of The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries

D.I. Hunter Wilson is my favorite character in Val Penny’s Edinburgh Crime Mysteries, which includes the most recent, Hunter’s Blood. So, I made a special request that she feature Hunter in my Character Traits Series. Now, it’s Val’s turn to take over this post.

The first novel I wrote was Hunter’s Chase. The main character is a police detective inspector, Hunter Wilson. Let me tell you about how I developed this character.

I knew I needed a character I could trust and rely on and I wanted a name that reflected his job, fighting crime. One day when my husband and I were going to my mother’s house, we passed a lawyer’s office. The name on the facia was Wilson Hunter. Perfect! However, my husband thought that I better not use that name, in case the lawyer objected, and so Hunter Wilson was born.

I always write biographies for my main characters. This allows me to get to know them well. When I wrote Hunter’s biography I realised that he was ‘a son of the manse’ as they say in Scotland. That means that his father was a protestant Church of Scotland minister (at that time all ministers were male). His mother had had a traditional role as the minister’s wife, making scones for church coffee mornings, tending to the church flowers and running the women’s group (known as the Women’s Guild) in the church.

This gave Hunter his strong Scottish work ethic, his innate sense of fairness, the importance he places on loyalty and his strong sense of right and wrong. It also explains his love of good coffee and freshly baked cakes and scones!

When I thought about it a bit more, I realised Hunter must also be a family man. He rarely sees his daughter, Alison, who lives with her husband and two children in the very North of Scotland on the Shetland Islands. Hunter also has a son, Cameron. Cameron, like many children has given his father cause for concern over the years and these struggles have provided colour and narratives in several of my books.

I realised also that life had not always been easy for Hunter. So he is divorced from the mother of his children. The visible cost of that divorce is that he lives in a two-bedroomed flat in Leith, which is a modest area in Edinburgh. He is not house proud, so his home is often messy and in need of being cleaned and tidied before he has visitors. His most frequent visitor is Dr Meera Sharma, the principal pathologist of his region. He loves Meera deeply but they both have heavy work schedules. That is their challenge.

Physically, I see Hunter as just under six feet tall with steely, intelligent grey eyes and brown hair cut in an unfashionably short style. He is slim and wiry and dresses sensibly for the Scottish weather.

Hunter is loyal and sociable. He likes to be part of a team, both at work and at home. He used to play football in his younger days, but now he referees boys’ matches and plays darts for the team in his local pub, The Persevere Bar in Easter Road where the other members of the team have nicknamed him ‘Clouseau’ after the hapless detective ably portrayed on film by Peter Sellers.

I like Hunter and I enjoy feeling him grow and develop in my novels. I hope he like me, because we’re going to spend a lot of time together going forward.

My most recent novel, Hunter’s Blood is published by SpellBound Books Ltd, on 2nd July 2023.

Hunter’s Blood Blurb

Mutilation and murder outrage DI Hunter Wilson, especially when he knows the victims.

He learns three elderly women have died in mysterious circumstances and is horrified to realise that he is the only person who has met each of them.

Hunter scrutinises the evidence but must accept help from the Major Investigation Team when he investigates the triple murder.

He is amazed that the breakthrough comes from an unexpected witness. 

What did she hear? 

Hunter confronts the perpetrators and fights for the victims’ rights – even when the crime has been committed with the best of intentions.

Excerpt from Hunter’s Blood

“Fucking shit! Did you see that? How fast was it going? It could have taken my nose off!” DI Hunter Wilson roared as a red van raced past them in the outside lane.

“Your nose isn’t that big, darling,” Meera Sharma smiled.

“Huh, thanks. I think. Where are the traffic cops when you need them? And really, how fast was that van going?”

“Some are in a real hurry to meet their maker.”

“I just get so angry. They don’t even think about who else they could take with them if they crash and that was a business vehicle. I’ll bet the owner wouldn’t like their employees to be racing around like that.”

“Probably not,” Meera sighed.

Hunter was driving back from a leisurely lunch at The Steading at Hillend on the outskirts of Edinburgh, with the petite pathologist, Meera Sharma. He always enjoyed their time together. She was easy company, and they got on very well indeed. The Steading was a good place to eat after they had been for a long walk in The Pentland Hills. Maybe this time he would be lucky in love.

Meera changed the subject. “That was delicious, thank you. We should spend more time like this. There is no better exercise than walking you know.”

“Oh, I can think of at least one form of exercise I prefer,” Hunter grinned.

She turned and grinned back at him.

“You’re very cheeky, you know that, don’t you?”

“That’s why you love me,” he glanced away from the road to smile at her.

Meera looked into Hunter’s intense grey eyes and smiled at his traditional short haircut. He would look even better if his hair were just a little longer, but he complained that he looked like the cartoon character ‘Oor Wullie’ when it grew even just a little. She sighed inwardly. Hunter was one of the good guys. Maybe this time her parents would accept her partner of choice.

“Of course, we should make more time to go walking together,” Hunter replied with a sheepish grin. “But you well know how likely that is with our schedules, doctor. In fact, I forgot to tell you, I’ve got to go back to the station this evening. There are a couple of things still I need to finish.”

“Of course there are, Detective Inspector. There always are. But a girl can dream, can’t she?” Meera smiled at him.

Hunter felt warm inside. He might have thought it was the sticky toffee pudding, but Meera’s smile always made him feel like this.

About Val Penny

Val Penny has an Llb degree from the University of Edinburgh and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer but has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. 

Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories, nonfiction books, and novels. Her novels are published by SpellBound Books Ltd. 

Val is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and their cat. 

Social Media Links

www.valpenny.com

https://www.facebook.com/Authorvalpenny

www.facebook.com/valerie.penny.739

www.facebook.com/groups/296295777444303

https://www.facebook.com/groups/167248300537409

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17300087.Val_Penny

https://www.bookbub.com/profile/val-penny

Buy Links

Hunter’s Chase – https://geni.us/ic7r

Hunter’s Revenge – https://geni.us/a13c

Hunter’s Force – https://geni.us/f5eJb

The First Cut – https://linktr.ee/spellboundbks

Hunter’s Blood – https://tinyurl.com/8rrpp59x

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author, New release

Val Penny’s Latest: Hunter’s Force

Val Penny and I haven’t met in real life, but I feel I know her well from her crime novels, plus our exchanges on social media and Zoom. My hope is to some day meet with her in person in Scotland where she lives. We’d have a wonderful time talking about writing. In the meantime, I have her DI Hunter Wilson Thrillers that are set in Edinburgh — including no. 3 Hunter’s Force, which was released Jan. 25 by Spellbound Books. I am quite fond of the characters she has created, especially DI Hunter Wilson.

​First a little more about Val: She is an American author living in Scotland with her husband and their cat. She has two adult daughters.

Val has an Llb degree from the University of Edinburgh and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, banker, azalea farmer, and lecturer. She writes poetry, short stories, nonfiction, and of course, novels. Read more about Hunter’s Force below.

BLURB FOR HUNTER’S FORCE

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature. Can DI Hunter Wilson keep Edinburgh safe when he is the hunted?

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson is woken in the early hours of the morning by a call from his son. Cameron’s flatmate was murdered. Why would anybody want to kill a young woman recently arrived in the city?

Hunter must call in the new Major Incident Team (MIT) to lead the investigation due to the reorganisation of police services. Hunter’s ability to be involved, however, is put in severe doubt when someone from his past decides to take revenge on him. He goes missing, and his team have no idea where to look for him. Who would want to stop Hunter in his tracks?

Meanwhile, Hunter’s team must work closely with the MIT and with or without him, solve the murder in this taut crime thriller.

Edinburgh, Scotland

HUNTER’S FORCE EXCERPT

DI Hunter Wilson looked at the time on his phone before he answered the call. 4.03am. If this was some comedian from the sub-continent calling to tell him about putting in a claim for the accident he hadn’t had… Then he noticed it was Cameron calling him.

“What’s the matter, son? This is a hell of a time to phone.” Hunter whispered.

“I didn’t know who else to call.”

“What’s the matter? And it had better be good.”

“It’s far from good.” Cameron told his father of the scene that had met him and his new friends when they got back to his flat.

“She’s had what cut off? Bloody hell!”

“I know, Dad, I know. And her head has been bashed in too. What do I do?”

“Well, now we have Police Scotland in place there is a Major Incidents Team, imaginatively know as MIT, that deals with cases like this.”

“Oh, Dad no! The other girls’ll go mental. You come. Please? At least at first. I need your help.”

Hunter thought back to the days when Cameron used to ask for his help regularly: tying his shoelaces, drying him after swimming, learning to ride a bike. Those had been the golden years. It had been a long, long time since his son had sounded so desperate and pleaded for his help. It made Hunter feel good. He could help Cameron again. Brilliant! 

“You’re not back on the cocaine are you, Cameron? You’re not hallucinating?” Hunter said suddenly.

“No, I’m bloody not! But thanks for the vote of confidence. Believe me, I will be if you don’t get your arse over here pronto!”

“And that’s how you ask for help from your dad? A favour? Stuff you!” Hunter shouted back.

“What is it?” a bleary voice beside Hunter said.

“Please, Dad. Just come. I need you.” Cameron sounded like a little boy about to burst into tears. “Another person’s in my flat too. I’ve never seen her before. Just come, quickly, please Dad! I can’t tell you how awful it all is here.”

Hunter got out of bed and patted Meera’ s arm. “Go back to sleep, pet. I’ve got to go and see Cameron. It’s an emergency.”

“At four o’clock in the morning? What’s wrong? Is he using again?”

“No. But he was out for the evening and got back to his home to find his flat mate dead on the floor”

“Why does he need you? Shouldn’t he call an ambulance?” Meera asked.

“It’s a bit late for that. She’s been mutilated; her head has been bashed in and the tops of her fingers cut off.”

“I’d guess she’s probably dead, right enough. But doesn’t Cameron need me more than he needs you? I’m coming with you,” Meera said in a determined voice that brooked no contradiction.

LINK: Kindle readers, here’s the link to buy Val Penny’s Hunter’s Force : DI Hunter Wilson Series: Book 3 : https://geni.us/f5eJb 

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