The stats are in – are you ready to find out which Ringwood books made it to the top of our 2023 bestsellers list across all formats, paperback and ebooks, and for all areas, UK and Worldwide?

The full list of Ringwood’s best sellers in 2023, with Ruxton being our top seller across all formats and areas for last year.

1) Ruxton: The First Modern Murder by Tom Wood For the third consecutive year, Ruxton has been Ringwood’s top selling book, its strong overall lead boosted in 2023 by becoming Ringwood’s first Audiobook. With a series coming in autumn 2024 for the million-listener podcast Small Town Dicks, and discussions underway for a Netflix miniseries it will take a powerful challenger to knock Ruxton off the top spot for the next two years. Buy it now and see what all the fuss is about for this ground-breaking tale of the first murder solved by forensic science in what Val McDermid called, “A revelatory account…grips like a thriller. And a damn good read.” Ruxton is available in paperback and as an audiobook for £9.99 (plus P&P), or as an eBook for £3.99.

2) The First of May by Brendan McLaughlin
This mesmerising autobiography from one of Glasgow’s favourite sons, Brendan McLaughlin, a man of many parts: publican (owner of two of the city’s oldest and most famous bars, the Scotia and the Clutha); singer/songwriter who performed all over the world; a renowned local political activist; and with his book’s posthumous publication on 1st May 2023, a professional writer. His book, a riveting reflection on Glasgow’s political, social, and cultural issues, is an entertaining read and a first Scottish contribution to the growing European genre of, “Angry polemical autobiography as a political weapon”, pioneered by Édouard Louis and Annie Ernaux. Grab your paperback copy of The First of May for £12.99 (plus P&P), including Brendan’s 15 track CD, here.

3) Bodysnatcher by Carol Margaret Davison
Majestically bestriding several genres, including gothic literature, true crime, historical fiction, women’s issues, and domestic violence, this unique examination of the Burke and Hare murders from a feminist perspective is a powerful and riveting read, with a long overdue and extremely moving telling of the victims’ stories and the link to the seventeen miniature coffins found on Arthur’s Seat. Get your copy of this chilling book in paperback for £12.99 (plus P&P), or as an eBook for £5.99.

4) The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles by George Barnsley
A fascinating collection of true crime stories, committed in and around Lanarkshire over the last 150 years of the Lanarkshire police service to the community – from the thrilling to the mundane, from the murderous to the minor, always absorbing. The book argues effectively for greater recognition of the ultimate sacrifices made by Lanarkshire policemen in their service to the community. This book’s main sales straddled the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023, so a different starting point for the annual sales calculation would have seen this book in second place. The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles is available in paperback for £12.99 (plus P&P) here.

5) The Bone on the Beach by Fiona Gillan Kerr
This book is a brilliant reworking of the ancient Celtic legend, “Deirdre of the Sorrows”. Set in the mystical otherworldly landscape of the Scottish Highlands, it explores the murder of a hauntingly beautiful young woman Deirdre in a tight-knit local community. It takes the arrival of another young woman into the community fifteen years later to uncover and resolve the dark and twisted mysteries of Deirdre’s death. Denied a major launch, sales have subsequently flourished as word of mouth has spread about the wondrous modern reworking of this mythical legend. Grab your paperback copy of The Bone on the Beach for £9.99 (plus P&P) here.

6) Those Tyrannising Landlords by Seán Damer
This gripping saga has been certified by Glasgow’s leading bibliographer as the first Scottish novel to seriously explore the range of experiences faced by first generation Irish immigrants in early 20th century Scotland, including sectarianism, violence, and a range of other discriminations. The O’Donnell family’s struggle to integrate raises much exploration of issues like socialism, feminism, and trade unionism in a time of tumultuous change in Glasgow. Damer’s novel is a major examination of the struggle immigrants face when integrating into a hostile environment. The plot and its themes will be of great interest to all Scots with Irish roots of whatever generation who have eventually achieved full integration and acceptance, and it raises many political and social issues about immigrant integration that still have contemporary relevance. Those Tyrannising Landlords is available in paperback for £9.99 (plus P&P), or as an eBook for £3.99.

7) What You Call Free by Flora Johnston
Set in Scotland in 1687, an unforgiving place for women who don’t conform to harsh societal expectations; This extraordinary tale of love and loss, struggle and sacrifice, autonomy, and entrapment, follows two very different but very brave women as they struggle to survive in a hostile community. The book makes us consider what it means to be free and who can be free, if freedom can be said to exist at all. Grab this emotive piece of Scottish fiction as a paperback for £9.99 (plus P&P), or as an eBook for £5.99.

8) Murder at The Mela by Leela Soma
First released in 2020 to great press and public interest to become a good seller, this book was relaunched by Ringwood in 2023 with two events celebrating the life of author Leela’s Soma, creator of the Kavya Prize, who so sadly died in 2022. Leela created Tartan Noir’s first Asian senior detective Alok Patel, causing the Sunday Mail to warn “Look out Rebus, DI Patel is coming for you”. As well as being a gripping murder mystery, the book skilfully peels away the layers of Glasgow’s Asian communities while exploring the complicated relationships between Glasgow’s Asian people and their adopted city. You can read this fantastic piece of Tartan Noir in paperback for £9.99 (plus P&P), or in eBook format for £3.99.

9) Cuddies Strip by Rob McInroy
Published in 2020, this fictionalised true crime story of a famous Perth murder in 1935 has become an established steady seller. Cuddies Strip is the first book in the Bob Kelty series, with the second book Barossa Street published by Ringwood in 2021 and the third instalment, Moot, about to be published in Spring 2024 and four more to follow. Cuddies Strip exposes the stresses and strains in the Scottish Criminal Justice system and local police forces, especially in their treatment of women victims, that are still of strong contemporary significance, while being a wonderful, beautifully written novel. Grab Cuddies Strip in paperback for £9.99 (plus P&P), or as an eBook for £3.99, to catch up with your Bob Kelty series before Moot comes out later this year.

10) There’s a Problem with Dad by Carlos Alba
This paced yet thoughtful novel is the first Scottish exploration of how high functioning autism affects people of all ages and it serves as a reminder that neurodiversity always demands empathy and consideration for voices often left on the margins. George Lovelace is a widower in his seventies and stands alone against a world that feels as alien and incomprehensible as ever. The reader is given a privileged view of his thoughts and reasoning, and the devastating impact they have on his loved ones. Grab your copy in paperback for £9.99 (plus P&P), or as an eBook for £3.99.

11) Raise Dragon by Lynda Kristiansen
In the first of a series of eight novels covering the original Scottish Wars of Independence in the 14th Century, four brave Scottish knights are sent by Bishop Wishart on a dangerous mission in search of ancient treasure, as part of his plan to place Robert the Bruce on the Scottish throne. They find themselves in the hectic centre of an international plot that will change both the kingdoms of Europe, and the course of history once and for all. The second book in the series, Revenge of the Tyrants is being published by Ringwood in April 2024, so grab a copy of Raise Dragon now and be ready for the next rollicking instalment. Raise Dragon is available in paperback for £9.99 (plus P&P), or as an eBook for £3.99, so you can be sure to catch up on your reading for this series in your preferred reading format.

12) In the Shadow of the Crane by John Keeman
This captivating autobiography is NOT yet another warm and couthy Glasgow memoir nostalgically recalling a past that was often in reality bleak, desolate and desperate. Rather it is a multi-faceted literary treat that offers a detailed snapshot of old Glasgow, a grounded and realistic memoir, and a discerning and committed stand against injustice and the demolition of the Welfare State. A genuine and articulate story from a genuine and articulate Glaswegian. In that regard, John Keeman stands in no shadow. Read Keeman’s memoir in paperback for £9.99 (plus P&P), or on your preferred digital device as an ebook for £3.99.

Stay tuned to read part two of our 2023 Bestsellers post, featuring some commentary on these figures by Ringwood co-founder and management executive, Sandy Jamieson!