Claire MacLeary

Claire MacLeary lived for many years in Aberdeen and St Andrews, but describes herself as “a feisty Glaswegian with a full life to draw on”. Following a career in business, she gained an MLitt with Distinction from the University of Dundee and her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies. She has appeared at Granite Noir, Noir at the Bar and other literary events.

Claire’s crime series, Harcus & Laird, has been recieved with wide acclaim. Her debut novel and the first in the series, Cross Purpose, was longlisted for the prestigious McIlvanney Prize, Scottish Crime Book of the Year Award 2017. Burnout was longlisted for the Hearst Big Book Award 2018. Runaway, her third novel, was published in 2019. Payback is Claire’s fourth novel and continues the Harcus & Laird series.

In Death Drop, the fifth Harcus & Laird novel, PIs Maggie and Wilma find themselves chasing leads on several fronts, including a missing Aberdeen schoolchild and the fallout from a disturbing hanging with a backstory of secrets and lies. Death Drop is out in July 2022.


Harcus & Laird Book 3

by Claire MacLeary

  • RRP: £8.99 (print) / £4.99 (ebook)
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781912235438
  • Ebook ISBN: 9781912235445



Buy Runaway

When Aberdeen housewife Debbie Milne abruptly vanishes, her husband is frantic with worry and turns to local PIs Maggie Laird and ‘Big Wilma’ Harcus.

Maggie is reluctant to take on a ‘misper’ case, but Wilma cajoles her into a covert operation – trawling women’s refuges and homeless squats in search of a lead. But when a woman’s body is discovered in a skip, the unlikely investigators are dragged into a deeper mystery involving people-trafficking, gambling and prostitution – and they’re in deadly danger.

With the police struggling to make headway and the clock ticking, the race is on for Harcus & Laird to find answers, further straining their already fraying relationship.

With Runaway, Claire MacLeary delivers the goods again – creating a surprising, gritty, fast-paced tale with the warmth and wit of ‘women of a certain age’.


“A vitality and verve which is rare … A great crime novel [featuring] two of Scottish fiction’s most engaging characters.” Alistair Braidwood, Scots Whay Hae

“Original and entertaining … With her quirky mix of grit and humour, Claire MacLeary is carving a niche for herself.” Crime Fiction Lover

“A gripping, dark and gritty read.” The Quiet Knitterer

“Surprising, compelling and brought to life by two of the most wonderful main characters.” Chocolate n Waffles

“Dynamite … The author loves to smash gender and age stereotypes … As an avid fan of this series, I have to say Runaway is my favourite.” Chapter In My Life

“Absolutely brilliant … A fast-paced and sometimes humorous story with lots of tense and downright scary moments.” Beauty and Balm

“Funny, full of tension and drama, and with some real stop-you-in-your-tracks moments.” Jen Med’s Book Reviews

“As true a portrait of the relationship between two quite different women as you are likely to get … The descriptions of people and places are extremely well done … Aberdeen springs to life in MacLeary’s vivid setting, adding yet another layer of authenticity.” Live and Deadly

“Whilst Runaway is an enjoyable and well written crime novel, it is also so much more than that. Claire MacLeary lays bare… the way [working] women view themselves and one another, and explores the complex relationships they must juggle just to get through each and every day. Wholeheartedly recommended.” Undiscovered Scotland

“This is a thoroughly entertaining series that could run and run.” Sunday Herald