Dorothy Dunnett Books

Dorothy Dunnett (who was born with the name Dorothy Halliday) was born on August 25, 1923 in Dunfermline, Scotland, as the only child of a mining engineer. She was educated in Edinburgh, Scotland at James Gillespie’s High School for Girls. During World War Two, Halliday worked in civil service and met her husband (he was Sir Alastair Dunnett, making her Lady Dunnett), who was her boss. He would go on to be editor of a newspaper called The Scotsman and before that Scottish Daily Record. He worked as editor of the The Scotsman for seventeen years and would later be knighted for his service to journalism as well as Scotland in the year 1995. The couple had two sons named Mungo and Ninian Dunnett. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art and at School of Art in Glasgow. Dunnett was a renaissance woman and worked as a professional painter of portraits. These portraits were put on display at Royal Scottish Academy, and had many commissioned from large public figures in Scotland. Dunnett told her husband that she had run out of reading material one day when she was 38, and he told her that she should write something herself. In response, she wrote “The Game of Kings”; the main character of which, she claimed was based on her husband. The same editor (Lois Dwight Cole) that found “Gone With the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell would find this novel. And from there, her career in writing began and she would go on to write over twenty novels and a book of poetry set in the “Lymond” universe. Before writing fiction, she was a housewife. In her life, she enjoyed and made art, music, and sculpture; she also knew different languages and liked to travel to different countries while researching one of her books. After being sick for a short time, she died on November 9, 2001 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her husband died before her in the year 1998.

Order of The House of Niccolò Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Niccolò Rising 1986 Description / Buy
2 The Spring of the Ram 1987 Description / Buy
3 Race of Scorpions 1990 Description / Buy
4 Scales of Gold 1991 Description / Buy
5 The Unicorn Hunt 1993 Description / Buy
6 To Lie with Lions 1995 Description / Buy
7 Caprice and Rondo 1997 Description / Buy
8 Gemini 2000 Description / Buy

Order of The Lymond Chronicles Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Game of Kings 1961 Description / Buy
2 Queens' Play 1964 Description / Buy
3 The Disorderly Knights 1966 Description / Buy
4 Pawn in Frankincense 1969 Description / Buy
5 The Ringed Castle 1971 Description / Buy
6 Checkmate 1975 Description / Buy
7 The Lymond Poetry 2003 Description / Buy

Order of Dorothy Dunnett Stanadlone Novels

# Read Title Published Details
1 King Hereafter 1982 Description / Buy

Order of Johnson Johnson Series

# Read Title Published Details
1 Rum Affair: Dolly and the Singing Bird 1968 Description / Buy
2 An Ibiza Surprise: Dolly and the Cookie Bird / Murder in the Round 1970 Description / Buy
3 Operation Nassau: Dolly and the Doctor Bird 1971 Description / Buy
4 Roman Nights: Dolly and the Starry Bird / Murder In Focus 1973 Description / Buy
5 Split Code: Dolly and the Nanny Bird 1976 Description / Buy
6 The Tropical Issue: Dolly and the Bird of Paradise 1983 Description / Buy
7 Moroccan Traffic: Send a Fax to the Kasbah 1991 Description / Buy

Order of Dorothy Dunnett Non-Fiction Books

# Read Title Published Details
1 The Scottish Highlands 1988 Description / Buy
2 The Miraculous Mirror (Short Story) 2012 Description / Buy
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Dorothy was a historical novelist who wrote about Francis Crawford of Lymond in her “Lymond Chronicles”. She wrote six books in this series. She would also write eight novels about “The House of Niccolo”, which is a prequel to the “Lymond Chronicles”. This prequel series talks about Lymond’s ancestor a century before. Dunnett viewed these books as a large fourteen part series. She wrote another series, one that took her a long time to finish called the “Johnson Johnson” series. She wrote installments of this series in between her other series. Dunnett even wrote a novel called “King Hereafter” which is about the historical Macbeth; the novel took her four years to research.


She was given an Order of the British Empire for her literature services in the year 1992.


For those readers looking to get into novels by Dorothy Dunnett, this section will help with that. It will go over the novels “The Game of Kings”, “Queens’ Play”, and “The Disorderly Knights”.

The Game of Kings: This is the first novel in the “The Lymond Chronicles” series and was released in the year 1961. This is the novel that introduces readers to Francis Crawford of Lymond. He has flexible morals and is a nobleman full of mischief. The year is 1547 and he goes back to Scotland, his home country, and it is threatened to be invaded by the English. Lymond is accused of treason and heads up a band of outlaws in a race to fix his reputation and keep his land from falling into the wrong hands.

Queens’ Play: This is the second novel in the “The Lymond Chronicles” series and was released in the year 1964. Abruptly, Francis has been called to serve Mary Queen of Scots. She is only a young girl, but she is already the object of harmful intrigue that goes from her home country to that of France’s court. He has to go to France, use his sword and his wit, and go to some length to make sure that his charge’s person stays royally intact.

The Disorderly Knights: This is the third novel in the “The Lymond Chronicles” series and was released in the year 1966. This novel takes place in the year 1551. Francis Crawford is sent to Malta (a place ready for war) to help the Knights of Hospitallers in the defense of the island against the invading Turks. Francis will soon learn that there is a threat to the Knights inside its own ranks. There are various groups wanting their own thing and wanting to lead things.

When Does The Next Dorothy Dunnett book come out?

Dorothy Dunnett doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Miraculous Mirror and was released on November, 30th 2012. It is the newest book in the Dorothy Dunnett Non-Fiction Books.