London, 1936. Riots are brewing in the East End as a country broken by one war lives in fear of another. With one brother run away to fight for revolution in Spain and the other lured in by the increasingly powerful Fascist movement, Isabella is faced with a conflict of her own. As she battles to keep her family from falling apart, Isabella wonders what kind of a future she can hope for in a time where nothing is certain and trouble lurks on every corner.

'A hugely appealing story and exceptionally timely.' Lydia Syson 

Read some reviews of Trouble on Cable Street here

One day, Will and Lucy's dad just ...vanishes. They have no idea why he's disappeared until a creepy stranger reveals their dad was keeping a BIG secret. Then there's the second clue: an old diary they find hidden in the walls of their Royal Mile house, with a sinister black dagger on it. Will and Lucy must solve a mystery that's over two hundred years old if they want to find their dad and bring him home. But can they find the answers in time to rescue him? Award-winning author Joan Lingard weaves a fast-paced mystery set in and around Edinburgh's Royal Mile. The story alternates between Will and Lucy, searching for their dad in the present day, and their ancestors William and Louisa, struggling to save their own father while following the sign of the black dagger and uncovering a plot to kill a French aristocrat.

Discover some of the real-life Edinburgh locations from this intriguing novel on Pinterest.

(Reissued by Floris Books)

A story about being watchful when it matters. Jamie can’t wait to go canoeing with Grandpa, even if his little sister Claire is tagging along. He loves watching for animals and how the  river looks magical under the stars. But they need to keep their eyes open, because someone else is there. And Jamie’s peaceful river is under threat . . .

Originally published in 2000 and reissued by Catnip in 2013.

A story about protecting those in danger. Everyone in Lecky Grant’s village is furious when precious eggs are stolen from an osprey nest. Lecky and his friend Nora are determined that the culprits won’t strike again, but are they looking for danger in the wrong place?

Originally published in 1999 and reissued by Catnip in 2013.

Winner of the Scottish Arts Council Children's Book Award 

Tom has always liked being adopted, but when he finds out his mum is expecting a baby, he stars to worry his parents will love the new baby more than him. Troubled, Tom decides he needs to find a place that truly belongs to him...

Originally published in 1998 and reissued by Catnip in 2013.

A story about making friends in unexpected places. When Robbie moves from the country to the city, he thinks he’ll never settle into his new school. But when a class project means he gets to talk about his pet tortoise, Herman, Robbie starts to make new friends. But that’s when the trouble really starts...

Originally published in 2002 and reissued by Catnip in 2013.

Holly’s mum isn’t the reliable type - that’s why Holly has come to live with her dad. But even though Holly has plenty to think about as she tries to settle into her new home in Edinburgh, she can't help but worry about her mum, still living with her creepy boyfriend over in Glasgow. What can Holly do to help Mum see that the life she's living is no good for her?

Catnip Publishing

When Elfie's little sister, Rosalind, is stolen from outside her school, her parents will do anything to get her back. But Rosalind's safe return comes at great cost... As Elfie and Joe untangle the threads of the kidnappers' plot, it leads them closer to a devious mastermind who will stop at nothing - not even even murder. It's a reace against time to locate the villain before Elfie's family falls apart under the strain.

Catnip Publishing

(Follow up to the Eleventh Orphan)

It's Joe's first day in a solicitor's office in Chancery Lane, where Elfie's father has taken him in as a clerk. But there's a new partner in the firm who seems to have a hold over Mr Trelawney - and who takes an instant dislike to Joe

Joe and Elfie are sure there's more to this man than meets the eye and they are determined to find out what. Their investigations soon uncover a conspiracy that stetches from one end of the country to the other.

Catnip Publishing

Holly is going to spend two weeks in Edinburgh with her dad. He works on an oil rig in the Far East but is due back on leave.

Her mum takes her to the station in Glasgow to put her on the train to Edinburgh, hoping to find a nice lady that Holly could travel with on the 45 minute journey. Then Holly spies someone she knows and waves to her. The woman is called Nina Nightingale and she writes books for children. She has just that afternoon given a talk to Holly's class. Holly's mum thinks that she would be an ideal person and, to Holly's horror, approaches her. Nina Nightingale does not like to refuse so they travel together, she and Holly, to Edinburgh, where a surprise awaits.

Catnip Publishing

1944, Belfast. World War 11 drags on and Kate, Harriet and Sally are a little bored. They long for something exciting to happen. They read spy stories and imagine themselves performing deeds of great daring.

Their heads are so full of anti-German propaganda that, when Fraulein Berg, a real live German, arrives at their school, it doesn't take them long to decide that their new teacher must be a spy. The girls now have a mission. To watch her. Follow her. Track down her every secret. Prove that she is the enemy.

But there is something that they do not know about this woman and The File on Fraulein Berg reveals a very different story - one that will haunt Kate for the rest of her life.

Catnip Publishing

Ma and Pa Bigsby of the Pig and Whistle, Stoke Newington already look after ten orphans.  But when, on New Year's Day 1900, Constable O'Dowd arrives with another they make room for her.  For Elfie has with her a bag of clues about her past - a gold locket, a ticket for the Happy Land Ballroom, a card decorated with roses and violets, and strangest of all a water colour of the Pig and Whistle.  Armed with these treasures she and Pa set out to track down her father, with surprising results....

The inspiration for the book came from Joan's paternal grandparents who ran a pub in Stoke Newington in the early 1900s.

Catnip Publishing

It is 1917 and the Russian Revolution rages on the streets of St Petersburg. Natasha's father and grandfather have been murdered by the Red Guard, and now she and her mother must flee for their lives.

Their journey across war-torn Europe is desperate and dangerous and it is only after several years in exile that she finds a new home in Scotland with the McKinnon family. Alex and Sonya, and their parents, care for her in her old age. She had intended to leave her house and all her possessions to them but after her death no will can be found. And then a distant Russian relative of Natasha's turns up to claim her estate ...

A frantic search for the will commences, taking the form of a treasure hunt, each clue being the title of a well-known book.

Here is the first clue: a white bird and a musket. Can you guess it?


The first of the Kevin and Sadie quintet set in Belfast during the time of the Troubles.

Sadie is Protestant, Kevin is Catholic - and on the tense streets of Belfast their lives collide. It starts with a dare - kids fooling around - but soon becomes something dangerous, Getting to know Sadie Jackson will change Kevin's life forever. But will the world around them change too? And how will their families react?


The second of the Kevin and Sadie quintet.

Kevin and Sadie just want to be together, but it's not that simple. It is at the height of the Troubles which are tearing Northern Ireland apart. Things are bad in Belfast. Soldiers walk the streets. There are shootings, bombs exploding in unexpected places. No Catholic boy and Protestant girl in their part of the city can go out together - not without dangerous consequences...


The final three gripping instalments of the Kevin and Sadie series in one book.

Star-crossed lovers: a catholic and a Protestant. An escape to London, then on to Liverpool.

All Kevin and Sadie want is to be together, away from the horrors of the Troubles in Belfast and their families who are sworn enemies.

But it's a fight every step of the way ...

When Tilly and her mother are threatened with eviction, Tilly and William set out to look for somewhere else for them to live. While they are in the village shop putting up a notice they hear that the wild goats that have lived in the glen for hundreds of years are going to be evicted too, to make way for a golf course. The villagers are up-in-arms at the thought so Tilly and William start a petition to try and save them.

While taking it round the village they find out that there are odd goings on in Sheridan House, where old Mr Sheridan lives. But he has not been seen in the village for years. Is he alive or dead? Tilly and William realise that Mr Sheridan's factor and housekeeper are up to something. Something menacing ...

Tilly brings an article to school about badger-baiting, a horrible sport where men set dogs onto badgers and make them fight to the death. Then a dead badger is found by the roadside nearby. The police are suspicious. It is feared that some people in the area might be involved in badger-baiting. But who can they be? Tilly and William resolve to keep their eyes and ears open when they are going about in case they can pick up any clues.

A new boy called Cecil, who has just come to their school, is living with his parents in a secluded house up a back road. They seem to want to keep themselves private, especially Cecil's dad, who is very secretive and does his best to avoid people. Tilly and William wonder why. They decide to investigate ...

Orchard Books

Spain, 1939. The Spanish Civil War has just ended. Nick has come from Scotland to search for his missing father who went in 1936 to join the fight against General Franco's army.

Spain is a dangerous place for a boy without identity papers. Nick has been told to trust no one. But then, ill and desperate, he meets Isabel, the daughter of a sergeant in the dreaded Civil Guard. She offers him help, But can she trust him

This novel shows the deep divisions caused by one of the bloodiest of civil wars, in which former friends and neighbours, even brothers, fought on opposing sides.


The narrative alternates between Edinburgh of the present day and 1796.

Twins Lucy and Will, who live in a close off the Royal Mile, find hidden in the thick wall of their house, a diary written by two of their ancestors in 1796. Their own father has mysteriously disappeared. As they read on through the diary they are taken back to the past and gradually begin to find clues that open up family secrets, secrets that they hope will help them to trace their father.


Other Children's Books

The Sign of the Black Dagger (Puffin 2005)

Tell the Moon to Come Out (Puffin 2003)

Tortoise Trouble (Hodder 2002)

Me and My Shadow (Puffin 2001)

River Eyes (Hodder 2000)

The Egg Thieves (Hodder 1999)

Tom and the Tree House (Hodder 1998) Scottish Arts Council Children's Book Award

A Secret Place (Hodder 1998)

Dark Shadows (H.H. 1998)

Lizzie's Leaving (H.H. 1995)

Sulky Suzy and Jittery Jack (MacMillan 1995)

Slow Flo and Boomerang Bill (MacMillan 1994)

Clever Clive and Loopy Lucy (MacMillan 1993)

Night Fires (H.H. 1993)

Hands Off Our School (H.H. 1992)

Secrets and Surprises (MacMillan 1991)

Glad Rags (H.H. 1990)

Tug of War (H.H. 1989)

Rags and Riches (H.H. 1988)

The Guilty Party (H.H. 1987)

The Freedom Machine (H.H. 1986)

The Winter Visitor (H.H. 1983)

Strangers in the House (H.H. 1981)

The Gooseberry (H.H. 1978) - re-issued as Odd Girl Out (Hodder 2000)

Snake Among the Sunflowers (H.H. 1977)

The Reunion (H.H. 1977)

The Pilgrimage (H.H. 1976)

Hostages to Fortune (H.H. 1976)

The Resettling (H.H. 1975)

A Proper Place (H.H. 1975)

The Clearance (H.H. 1973)

Into Exile (H.H. 1973)

Frying As Usual (H.H. 1971)

Picture Books

The Same Only Different (Glowworm 2000) Illust. Olwyn Whelan

Morag and the Lamb (Walker 1991) Illust. Patricia Casey

Can You Find Sammy the Hamster? (Walker Books 1990), Illustrated by Jan Lewis