Alumni Services

March 2016

This month’s bookshelf spans murder, medicine, golf, poetry and the insights of a research guru.



E. S. Thomson

Degree History MA, Scoiology MSc, Social History of Medicine PhD

Beloved Poison

Set in a crumbling hospital in the 1850s, Beloved Poison is a richly atmospheric debut, perfect for fans of Andrew Miller's PURE.

Ramshackle and crumbling, trapped in the past and resisting the future, St Saviour's Infirmary awaits demolition. Within its stinking wards and cramped corridors the doctors bicker and fight. Ambition, jealousy and hatred seethe beneath the veneer of professional courtesy. Always an outsider, and with a secret of her own to hide, apothecary Jem Flockhart observes everything, but says nothing.

And then six tiny coffins are uncovered, inside each a handful of dried flowers and a bundle of mouldering rags. When Jem comes across these strange relics hidden inside the infirmary's old chapel, her quest to understand their meaning prises open a long-forgotten past - with fatal consequences.

In a trail that leads from the bloody world of the operating theatre and the dissecting table to the notorious squalor of Newgate and the gallows, Jem's adversary proves to be both powerful and ruthless. As St Saviour's destruction draws near, the dead are unearthed from their graves whilst the living are forced to make impossible choices. And murder is the price to be paid for the secrets to be kept.

Beloved Poison



Author Ian Simpson
Degree LLB

The Andrean Project

St Andrews, May 1930: Bobby Jones is in town for the British Amateur Championship, the first of that year’s Majors. Sheriff Hector Drummond has entered the championship but when he finds a body on the course he becomes personally involved in a murder hunt. As Jones struggles to keep his Grand Slam hopes alive, Hector encounters a second body, a hostile police inspector, a corrupt politician and an American megalomaniac. Carefully researched and full of well-drawn characters, this book weaves a baffling murder mystery into a true account of an important championship.

The Andrean Project


Author Katherine Leyton
Book All the Gold Hurts My Mouth

Katherine Leyton’s fresh and vibrant début collection takes on the sexual politics of the twenty-first century, boldly holding up a mirror to the male gaze and interrogating the nature of images and illusions.

Confronting the forces of mass communication — whether television, movies, or the Internet — Leyton explores the subtle effects of the media on our perceptions and interactions, including the pain of alienation and the threat of violence simmering just below the surface.  

And yet, for all its unflinching and raw lyricism, the poetry of All the Gold Hurts My Mouth is warm and searching, full of humour and hope. Engaging her readers with lush vocabulary and spare, tightly controlled forms, Leyton’s poems become a rich quest for identity, authenticity, and nature uncorrupted. Reaching gloriously from isolation and pain to connection and love, Leyton channels the wit of feminists past to create a manifesto for our time, an affirmation of what might be possible.

All the Gold Hurts My Mouth


Author Julia (J. J.) Robertson
Degree M.A. Hons Sociology
Book Are You Buying This? What Americans Think about Money and Life from an Advertising Propagandist

In Are You Buying This? research guru J. J. Robertson takes us on a romp through the gray matter of American minds, as folks from all walks of life reveal their cherished dreams, secret pleasures, and daily frustrations. This entertaining, frank, and enlightening book contains answers to questions on:

  • What Americans covet (from kinky boots to cozy condos)
  • How Americans feel about their careers
  • What makes a “perfect day”
  • How Americans feel about themselves when they look in the mirror
  • The wisdom Americans live by

Are You Buying This? What Americans Think about Money and Life from an Advertising Propagandist

Please note

All of the further information links listed are the external websites of the book publisher, the author, or the bookseller. The University of Edinburgh is not responsible for the content and functionality of these sites.