Valarie McDermid is a Scottish crime writer, best known for a series of novels featuring clinical psychologist Dr. Tony Hill, in a grim sub-genre known as Tartan Noir.
McDermid comes from a working-class family in Fife. She studied English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, where she was the first student to be admitted from a Scottish state school.
After graduation she became a journalist and began her literary career as a dramatist. Her first success as a novelist, Report for Murder: The First Lindsay Gordon Mystery occurred in 1987.
McDermid was inducted into the prestigious Detection Club in 2000, and won the CWA Diamond Dagger for her lifetime contribution to crime writing in the English language in 2010. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Sunderland in 2011. She is co-founder of the Harrogate Crime Writing Festival and the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award, part of the Harrogate International Festivals. In 2016 she captained a team of St Hilda's alumnæ to win the Christmas University Challenge. In 2017, McDermid was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.