Trilogies to Treasure – Part 1 – Denise Mina’s Garnethill

Many readers cannot commit to a lengthy series.  They find it too daunting, too time intensive.  They will often choose stand-alone novels for these reasons.  I am here to introduce you to some prime examples that bridge the gap between stand-alone and series fiction: TRILOGIES to Treasure.

My first installment in this series of blog posts showcases the work of Denise Mina.

Garnethill trilogy by Denise Mina

Garnethill trilogy by Denise Mina

Her Garnethill trilogy is ‘tartan noir‘ at its finest.  Gritty and real, these novels are dark in tone and subject with brilliant characterization and writing. Highly recommended!


The trilogy is set in Glasgow, Scotland and features Maureen O’Donnell. “Garnethill” won the CWA John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel.

In the first novel, “Garnethill“, Maureen O’Donnell wakes up one morning to find her therapist boyfriend murdered in the middle of her living room and herself a prime suspect in a murder case. Determined to clear her name, Maureen undertakes her own investigation and learns of a similar murder at a local psychiatric hospital.  She soon uncovers a trail of deception and repressed scandal that could clear her name – or make her the next victim.

The second novel, “Exile” finds Maureen working with abused women at Glasgow Women’s Aid.  A victim of family sexual abuse herself, she has great empathy for these women who seek assistance at the shelter.  When one of these women is found murdered in London, Maureen travels there to try to find out what happened.

Finally, in the third and final novel in the trilogy, “Resolution“, Maureen’s abusive father returns to Glasgow.  When a stallholder in the flea market where she’s working dies after a brutal beating, Maureen questions why anyone might want to kill the old woman.


Besides the Garnethill trilogy, Denise Mina has written many other outstanding novels which include: The Alex Morrow series (featuring a police detective in Glasgow); The Paddy Meehan series (featuring an investigative reporter for the Scottish Daily News); and, a stand-alone novel “Sanctum” which was published in the United States under the title “Deception”.

written-with-scottish-flagsfrom Denise Mina’s website:

denise-minaAfter a peripatetic childhood in Glasgow, Paris, London, Invergordon, Bergen and Perth, Denise Mina left school early. Working in a number of dead end jobs, all of them badly, before studying at night school to get into Glasgow University Law School.

Denise went on to study for a PhD at Strathclyde, misusing her student grant to write her first novel. This was Garnethill, published in 1998, which won the Crime Writers Association John Creasy Dagger for Best First Crime Novel.

She has now published 12 novels and also writes short stories, plays and graphic novels.

In 2014 she was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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19 Responses to Trilogies to Treasure – Part 1 – Denise Mina’s Garnethill

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  6. Susie | Novel Visits says:

    I’m definitely one of those readers who can’t commit to a series. I avoid them like the plague. I have done a few trilogies and enjoyed them: The Hunger Games, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I look forward to seeing the other trilogies you’ll be recommending.


  7. I love Denise Mina’s books, not least because I used to live in Glasgow. I’m delighted to have an ARC of her latest title due early next year called The Drop.


  8. What a inspiring author story. Thanks for sharing.


  9. I’ve read the first two of the Paddy Meehan series and then I’ll start on this one. As you say trilogies are less daunting than starting a long series – great post 😊


  10. tpolen says:

    Beautiful covers!


  11. skyecaitlin says:

    Saved to TBR and WL at B and N; they sound intriguing, too.


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