Dorothy Dunnett Books

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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 Lymond Chronicles Series

1The Game of Kings 1961Description / Buy
2Queens' Play 1964Description / Buy
3The Disorderly Knights 1966Description / Buy
4Pawn in Frankincense 1969Description / Buy
5The Ringed Castle 1971Description / Buy
6Checkmate 1975Description / Buy

Order of Johnson Johnson Series

1Dolly and the Singing Bird 1968Description / Buy
2Dolly and the Cookie Bird 1970Description / Buy
3Dolly and the Doctor Bird 1971Description / Buy
4Dolly and the Starry Bird 1973Description / Buy
5Dolly and the Nanny Bird 1976Description / Buy
6Dolly and the Bird of Paradise 1983Description / Buy
7Moroccan Traffic 1991Description / Buy

Chronological Order of Johnson Johnson Series

1Dolly and the Nanny Bird1976Description / Buy
2Moroccan Traffic1991Description / Buy
3Dolly and the Singing Bird1968Description / Buy
4Dolly and the Cookie Bird1970Description / Buy
5Dolly and the Doctor Bird1971Description / Buy
6Dolly and the Starry Bird1973Description / Buy
7Dolly and the Bird of Paradise1983Description / Buy

Order of Johnson Johnson Mystery Series

1Rum Affair 1991Description / Buy
2Roman Nights 2012Description / Buy
3Ibiza Surprise 2012Description / Buy
4Operation Nassau 2012Description / Buy

Order of The House of Niccolò Series

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

Order of Dorothy Dunnett Standalone Novels

1King Hereafter 1982Description / Buy

Order of Dorothy Dunnett Non-Fiction Books

1The Scottish Highlands 1988Description / Buy
2The Miraculous Mirror (Short Story) 2012Description / 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.

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