The First Cut.jpg

A brand-new Scottish detective crime thriller


It’s hard to escape a brutal past…

A vicious serial killer is on the loose. Victims include an academic and notable members of Edinburgh’s high society. 

When Detective Sergeant Jane Renwick learns through DNA that a member of her family could be the killer, she is banished to the sidelines of the case and forced to look on impotently as the hunt for the killer ramps up. 

Frustrated, she decides to conduct her own investigations. Has someone from her estranged birth family returned to haunt her? And where will the killer strike next? 

It’s a race against time…


The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries


Hunter's Chase cover.jpg
Hunter's Revenge cover.jpg
Hunter's Force cover.jpg
Hunter's Blood cover.jpg
Hunter's Secret cover.jpg

Audiobook version now available


Hunter's Chase audio cover.jpg

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course.

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman's life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough.

Hunter's perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.

Storm Clouds.png

Scotland – a mysterious place full of dark happenings…


Dark Scotland.jpg

Discover Dark Scotland in a new collection of 16 short stories written by award-winning and international bestselling authors - including myself!

Let tales of ghosts, ghouls, mysteries, and madness get under your skin, as you travel the length and breadth of Scotland – and across the sea to Nova Scotia. Encounter old battles, dramatic landscapes, hidden worlds, and intriguing characters.

All proceeds received for Dark Scotland go to two worthy charities: The Halliday Foundation in Glasgow and ME Research in Perth.

New for 2020


Let's Get Published.jpg

At last, a book that is easy to read and tells it how it is! A book written to assist authors maximise their success when submitting work to agents or publishers, to help authors consider their priorities and preferences for getting work into print. To advise authors how to identify the agents and/or publishers they want to approach. It should also assist with editing their manuscript fully prior to submission. The book offers advice about how to prepare a submission package to give an author the best chance of success.


The road to becoming a successful author is not easy, but it is rewarding. Let this book take you on the journey.


Val Penny


val in mask.jpg

Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University, her MSc from Napier University and a Creative Writing Diploma.


She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballerina or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories and novels.


The poetry and short stories are included in various anthologies. Her crime novels, which form The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series, are Hunter's Chase Hunter's Revenge, Hunter's Force, Hunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret. The novels are set in Edinburgh, Scotland and published by darkstroke.


The sixth book in the series, Hunter's Rules, will follow shortly. Her first non-fiction book, Let’s Get Published is also available from Amazon.


Subscribe for all my latest updates 

Thanks for submitting!




  • TBD
    FREE WEEKEND 19-20 September 2020
    Hunter's Secret is FREE 19-20 September
    Time is TBD
    Hunter's Secret is FREE 19-20 September



If you’d like to contact me with comments, suggestions or just to say hello, fill out the form below:

Thanks for your message!