Denise Mina Books

Denise Mina is a Scottish playwright and crime author. Denise Mina was born in Glasgow in 1966, but has lived all over Europe from Bergen, London, Hague, to Paris. It was while she was researching and teaching criminal law and criminology at Strathclyde University in the 90s, that she decided to write a novel about the effect of mental illness on female offenders. Garnethill published in 1998 was the result of her endevors.

Order of Garnethill Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Garnethill 1998 Description / Buy
2 Exile 2000 Description / Buy
3 Resolution 2001 Description / Buy

Order of Paddy Meehan Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Field Of Blood 2005 Description / Buy
2 The Dead Hour 2006 Description / Buy
3 Slip of the Knife/The Last Breath 2007 Description / Buy

Order of John Constantine, Hellblazer Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Empathy is the Enemy 2006 Description / Buy
2 The Red Right Hand (Short Story) 2007 Description / Buy

Order of Alex Morrow Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Still Midnight 2009 Description / Buy
2 The End of the Wasp Season 2011 Description / Buy
3 Gods and Beasts 2012 Description / Buy
4 The Red Road 2013 Description / Buy
5 Blood Salt Water 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Millennium: The Graphic Novels Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Book 1 2012 Description / Buy
2 The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Book 2 2013 Description / Buy
3 The Girl Who Played with Fire 2014 Description / Buy
4 The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Denise Mina Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 Sanctum/Deception 2002 Description / Buy
2 The Long Drop 2017 Description / Buy
3 Conviction 2019 Description / Buy
4 The Less Dead 2020 Description / Buy

Order of Denise Mina Short Stories/Novellas

# Read Title Published Details
1 Every Seven Years (Short Story) 2015 Description / Buy

Order of Denise Mina Graphic Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 IDP 2014 Description / Buy

Denise Mina Anthologies

# Read Title Published Details
1 Crimespotting 2009 Description / Buy
2 Bloody Scotland 2019 Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

Denise Mina is best known for the Garnethill Trilogy, the Paddy Mehan series, and the Alex Morrow novels. Most of the novels can be classified as mystery thrillers. Her debut novel “Garnethill” was the first of the Garnet Trilogy series of novels. The success of the Garnethill Trilogy led Denise to write the Paddy Meehan series that also found much success. She would also write the Alex Morrow series of novels, her longest series to date. Most of the novels are set in Glasgow, where the author spent a significant time of her childhood. Several of the novels have also been made into movies.

Born in Glasgow in 1966, Denise Mina is the daughter of an engineer, and due to this, she moved around a lot in her formative years throughout Europe. After leaving school, Mina had a variety of jobs, usually manual labour, including working in a meat processing factory, and also working as an auxillary nurse. However, Mina decided that these career paths were not for her, and she returned to education, having left school at 16, and went on to study law at Glasgow University, where she earned her degree, and continued on to study for her PhD, as well as teaching Strathclyde University

While teaching criminology and criminal law at Strathclyde University, Minu pursued her love of writing, and she wrote the first novel in the Garnethill trilogy of novels, Garnethill, which was published in 1998. Mina won the Crime Writers Association’s John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novels in 1998 for Garnethill. Mina would continue the Garnethill trilogy with Exile, which was published in 2000, and she would conclude the trilogy with novel Resolution, which was published in 2001. The Garnethill trilogy of novels focuses on Maureen O’Donnell, an amateur detective who has a traumatic personal life, which tends to lead to her doing her own sleuthing when loved ones of people she knows turn up dead. The Garnethill is a gritty, dark series of books which brought Mina into the spotlight as one of Scotland’s leading authors of crime fiction.

Following the conclusion of the Garnethill trilogy, Denise Mina wrote the standalone novel Sanctum. It follows the story of Dr Susie Harriot, a forensic psychiatrist who is convicted of murdering a serial killer who was placed in her care. It is up to her husband, Lachlan, to try and prove his wife’s innocence, although what he uncovers might not be what he wants to find out about his wife.

Denise Mina then returned to writing a series of novels, this time creating the character of Paddy Meehan, a journalist at the fictional Scottish Daily News. The series is set in Glasgow, Scotland, in the 1980s, and Meehan, while only a copygirl at the Daily News, aspires to be an investigative reporter. With this ambition in mind, she uses her investigative skills to dig deeper into places others might not look. The first book in the Paddy Meehan series of books, The Field of Blood, was published in 2005, and was adapted into a television series for the BBC in 2011, starring Peter Capaldi and David Morrissey among others. Mina followed up The Field of Blood with The Dead Hour, which was published in 2006. Again, the BBC picked up the adaptation of it, and it was shown in 2013 under the title of The Field of Blood, Series 2. The third and final book in the Paddy Meehan series, The Last Breath, was published in 2007.

It was during this time that Mina turned her hand to writing plays, she wrote Ida Tamson in 2006, and then A Drunk Woman Looks at the Thistle in 2007. She also wrote The Meek, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in 2009. Mina also wrote 13 editions of Hellblazer comics during this time, and later went on to work on the Millennium series of graphic novels set around The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

It was in 2009 that Denise Mina then started her next series of novels, the Alex Morrow series. Alex Morrow is a police detective working in the Scottish city of Glasgow, and she has to deal with a lot of violence and deceit not only on the streets but in her own family. The first book in the Alex Morrow series, Still Midnight, was released in 2009. The second book, The End of the Wasp Season, was Mina’s most successful novel to date, winning the Martin Beck Award, and also the Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award. She then followed this up with Gods and Beasts in 2012, The Red Road in 2013 and then Blood, Salt, Water in 2014.


Denise Mina has been an active writer since 1998 and in that time has won several awards. Her first novel “Garnethill” won the Best First Crime Novel at the John Creasy Dagger Awards. It also won the 1998 CWA New Blood Dagger Award. In 2006, “Field of Blood”, the first novel of the Paddy Meehan series won the Best British Crime Novel at the Barry Awards. The first novel of the Alex Morrow series, “The End of the Wasp Season” won the Martin Beck Award in 2011. It was also awarded the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2012.


The BBC made Denise Mina’s novel “The Field of Blood” into a TV series of the same name in 2011. In 2013, the BBC made “The Dead Hour” the second novel of the Paddy Meehan series of novels into a two-part TV series. Both TV series starred David Morrisey, Peter Capaldi, and Jayd Johnson in the lead roles.


Three of the most highly regarded novels by Denise Mina include:

Garnethill: The first novel in the Garnethill Trilogy series and Denise Mina’s debut title, Garnethill is a classic thriller mystery. Written in an intriguing and interesting perspective, the novel is edge of your seat horrifying just as it is funny. It follows the story of Maureen O’Donnell, who wakes up one morning to discover that her married therapist boyfriend had been killed right in the middle of her living room. Being a survivor of childhood incest, O’Donnell finds herself the prime suspect in the murder. Determined to get to the root of the issue and get out of the tricky situation, she decides to investigate the murder. She soon learns that there had been a similar murder at a city psychiatric hospital. What follows is a heartbreaking narrative of repressed scandal and a trail of deception which if exposed, could either clear her name or make her the killer’s next target.

The End of the Wasp Season: The second novel of the Alex Morrow series of novels is a multi-layered and compelling novel about the power of family in fostering either redemption or damage. Set in Glasgow, it contrasts the public perception of the death of two disparate persons. When a very wealthy banker commits suicide by hanging himself, the public seemingly does not care. But given his long career in banking, his family has to bear the brunt of his legacy of vicious selfishness without their father to protect them. Meanwhile a vicious random attack on a young woman in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow attracts the ire of the community. Detective Alex Morrow is called in to investigate the murder, and soon finds out that behind the apparently random murder is a tangled web of lies. It is a trail that leads not only to the local community, but also to Alex’s own home and finally back to the millionaire whose suicide no one cared about.

The Dead Hour: The second novel of the Paddy Meehan series that was so good it was made into a movie. The lead character Paddy has a moral dilemma. After attending a police call in progress and learning of a domestic situation, she seeks a comment from the married couple after the police decline to make any arrests. Standing at the door of the house, she sees a young woman with blood streaming down her temple. The man asks her to take fifty pounds to keep the story out of the paper. Paddy wakes up to news that the woman in the house was beaten to death. With her family down on their luck should she just keep the bribe or should she turn it in and risk being fired. But when the police pull out another body from the river, the experienced journalist thinks that the police are not telling the whole story. Is she about to lose her credibility by accepting a bribe or will she get to write the story that will make her career.

Denise Mina FAQs

Q: What nationality is the author Denise Mina?

A: The author Denise Mina is Scottish. She was born in Glasgow, although spent a lot of her childhood moving throughout Europe with her family.

Q: What is the first novel Denise Mina had published?

A: Denise Mina’s first published novel was Garnethill, which was published in 1998, the first book in her Garnethill trilogy. Mina won the Crime Writers Association’s John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novels for Garnethill.

When Does The Next Denise Mina book come out?

Denise Mina doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Less Dead and was released on June, 2nd 2020.