James started writing comic scripts while at Aberdeen University and continued after graduation because nobody would give him a real job. His first attempt at crime fiction, Natural Causes introduced the world to Detective Inspector Tony McLean, and was short-listed for the CWA Debut Dagger in 2007. Its follow up, The Book of Souls, was short-listed the following year. When neither of them set the publishing world on fire he decided to go it alone and publish them as e-books. Combined downloads of the two titles topped 300,000 in their first six months.
After signing with Juliet Mushens, his first three Inspector McLean books were sold at auction to Penguin, and in 19 other countries around the world. He has now been a Sunday Times bestseller for 4 of his books. James was short-listed for the National Book Awards New Writer of the Year award in 2013. There are now eight books in the series, the most recent of which, The Gathering Dark, was published by Penguin in January 2018.
James will be talking about the first book in his new series, No Time To Cry which features Detective Constable Constance Fairchild.
In his spare time, James runs a 350 acre livestock farm in North-East Fife, where he raises pedigree Highland Cattle and New Zealand Romney sheep.