Alanna Knight, one of the stalwarts of British crime writing, has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List for services to literature, and her many friends and fans will be delighted that this prolific novelist, very popular both as an author and in person, has been recognised in this way.
Alanna is, as this award illustrates, one of Scottish literature's leading lights. In addition to her many novels, she is a biographer and playwright and expert on the work of that gifted fellow Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson. As a crime writer, she is probably best known for her long series of historical mysteries featuring Inspector Faro,and I was very pleased a couple of years back when she agreed to contribute a Faro short story, "The Case of the Vanishing Vagrant", to the CWA anthology Guilty Consciences.
Alanna has been a prominent member of the CWA for many years, and more than twenty years ago, she and her late husband Alistair organised a terrific CWA conference in Edinburgh. I remember that week-end vividly - it was great fun, and the Knights put a great deal of work into ensuring that everyone enjoyed themselves. My family and I have enjoyed her company many times since, and the Edwardses will certainly be raising a glass to her this Hogmanay.