Short stories

Denise has also written many short stories, not all of which are crime. This is just a selection.

In These Transgressive Spaces


This story was commissioned by the Glasgow Women’s Library for a project called Mixing the Colours which produced an anthology of stories by woman – most of whom were not professional writers - about experiences of sectarianism.

You can read about the project and download the publication from the Library website.

The Blood-Spotted Tissue


This story about a student found to have 'flesh in her drains' was the first episode in a new series called Blood, Sweat and Tears, commissioned by BBC Radio 4. The stories were recorded in front of an audience in the MCT theatre, Alleyn's School, Dulwich, introduced by Mark Billingham and broadcast in April 2015.



Denise contributed a story to this anthology of crime stories for the charity Oxfam.

OxCrimes was curated by Peter Florence, director of the Hay Festival, and published by Profile Books. It is introduced by Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin and the other contributors included Mark Billingham, Alexander McCall Smith, Anthony Horowitz, Val McDermid, Peter James, Adrian McKinty and Louise Welsh.

Ernest Hemingway’s Third Wife


This story appeared in a collection called 21 Revolutions produced to mark the 21st anniversary of the Glasgow Women’s Library’s in 2012.

Denise reads the story and talks about the inspiration behind it in this podcast on the Library's website.

Which No Man Shall Put Asunder


This contemporary ghost story is the tale of sisters Martha and Lila at an ill-fated wedding on a stormy Scottish island. This was the first of a series of five brand-new ghost stories written by Scottish authors and featured on BBC Radio Scotland at Christmas. The series was presented by Denise.

I am Carnage


Commissioned for a small collection of short stories called Open Up which was published to mark Breathing Space Day and raise awareness of mental health issues.

The collection was edited by Rosemary Goring and published by The Herald newspaper and the charity Breathing Space.

We Are All Waiting


This story on the theme of Elsewhere was commissioned by the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

You can listen to Denise reading the story in this 15-minute podcast on the Book Festival website. Or you can read the story on the website.

Helena and the Babies


This story won the Crime Writers Association Best Story Award.

First published in Fresh Blood III edited by Maxim Jakubowski and Mike Ripley (1999) and then in The World's Finest Mystery and Crime Stories: 2: Second Annual Collection edited by Ed Gorman (2001).