• Carnbeg Piccalilli's cover

    Carnbeg Piccalilli

    Ronald Frame
    ISBN B0062HHRG0
    Buy this book on Amazon

    Ronald Frame returns to his fictional Highlands spa resort, Carnbeg - with forays to twin towns in India and Australia - and comes up with another highly compelling collection of short stories. 

    Travel 'true north' to be entertained by these humane narratives of very diverse lives, some everyday and others far from ordinary.

    A TV chef who watches helplessly as his career goes into freefall - warring Santa Clauses in rival department stores - a personal make-over with unexpected consequences - the couple who decide to live as 1940s people - the back-story of a gent's panama hat found in a charity shop.  A world-famous violinist makes a discovery in a TA drill hall - a dreaded royal visitor walks into Mr ffinch's antiques shop - an eminent archaeologist is haunted beyond reason by his own past - a piano teacher finds she has a wunderkind on her hands - a vintage Chanel suit remains frustratingly out of reach for its keenest admirer. 

    The results range from sinister to romantic to tragic to downright farcical.  For seasoned devotees, one reading is unlikely to be enough ...

  • A Carnbeg Affair's cover

    A Carnbeg Affair

    Ronald Frame
    Buy this book on Amazon

    Ceud Mile Failte. A Hundred Thousand Welcomes.

    A Carnbeg Affair is a collection of short stories celebrating the diversity of life in a spa resort in the wooded hills of Perthshire.

    A mysterious Red Indian in feathered headdress appears on High Street one morning - some teenagers on holiday devise a love-story for a lonely cycle repairman - the municipal dump yields its secrets after-hours to its canny keeper - a Viennese waltz king and BBC Home Service star finds himself dancing with his own worst demons - a Christmas present, a bright green pashmina wrap, turns one woman's life upside-down. An elderly rabbi is too wily to be tricked into believing Carnbeg is Paradise - a Communist-run children's camp in the 1950s makes a sceptic out of one 10 year old boy - Carnbeg acquires a taste for India from Shuggy the rickshaw driver and, earlier, the tireless tiffin-seller at the railway station in her loose trousers and bare feet.

    Two dozen stories - ranging from the suspenseful to the poignant, from the emotionally wrought to the outrageously comic - add up to a highly entertaining portrait of this fictional Highlands town, a place which is already familiar to newspaper and magazine readers and to radio listeners.

    Enjoy! - and Haste Ye Back.

  • Unwritten Secrets's cover

    Unwritten Secrets

    Telegram Books 2010
    ISBN 1846590841
    Buy this book on Amazon

    'Excellent.' The Guardian


    'The lives of the two women are gradually revealed in a dramatic tale that comes with all the twists, tension and sexual charge of an operatic masterpiece.' Daily Record  


    Mariel Baxter, a famous American soprano, has suddenly cancelled all her recitals and flown to Vienna. In the 1980s she came to the city to study the art of lieder singing with the reclusive Ursule Kroll, one of the brightest stars of the Nazi era and a favourite of the Fuhrer himself. The two haven't communicated since Mariel's unexpected departure over twenty-five years ago. So why has Mariel come back? As they play a vicious cat-and mouse game, terrible revelations and recriminations about the past slowly begin to unfold and Mariel and Ursule soon discover that some secrets are better left buried.



  • Time in Carnbeg's cover

    Time in Carnbeg

    Polygon 2004
    ISBN 0954407555
    Buy this book on Amazon

    'To visit this place is to savour a treat from Scotland's finest contemporary author.'  Alexander McCall Smith

    'Frame's mastery of words has a haunting quality that lingers in the mind.'  Clare Colvin, The Daily Mail

    Deceptively gentle writing spins a taut web of desire, betrayal and loss as the characters in these stories play out their roles in the intimate and claustrophobic amphitheatre of Carnbeg.  A weekending get-away-from-it-all professional couple who can't wait to head back to the city - a sinister figure who can occasionally be seen steering a punt up and down the river - the Revolution that almost came to Carnbeg, courtesy of the healthfood shop - the ramifications of a thoughtless Valentine's Day prank - a doctor's double-life in Glasgow - a matchmaker outwitted - the grisly secret of a beautiful rose garden - Nell and Vera, day visitors on a coach trip, on the loose - the history of a fabulous silk kimono found in a charity shop.  A sometimes raw, sometimes amusing but invariably complex emotional world is exposed, lying behind Carnbeg's seemingly calm and staid façade. 

  • Permanent Violet's cover

    Permanent Violet

    Polygon 2002
    ISBN 0748663215
    Buy this book on Amazon

    ' The book requires to be read the way you might read poetry told with a touch of true magic.'  The Scotsman

    Eilidh Brogan lives in famous seclusion in the South of France.  Forty years ago her young artist husband died just as his career was taking off, and it is only now, in the new millennium, that Colin Brogan is being hailed as a great Scottish artist.  With the rediscovery of his work comes an inquiry into his life.  His widow, from the dark shuttered rooms of her run-down villa, is forced to reflect on their life together and the pain, love and deception they shared.

  • The Lantern Bearers's cover

    The Lantern Bearers

    Duckworth 1999, 2001
    ISBN 0715631330
    Buy this book on Amazon

    Winner of the 2000 Saltire Award The Scottish Book of the Year.

    'A master of suspense to rank alongside the greats.' The Times

    'A story of obsessive and forbidden love, evoked with delicacy and charm This confessional novel represents Frame at his best'  Douglas Gifford

    Sent away from home for the first time, fourteen-year-old Neil Pritchard spends the long summer of 1962 in Auchendrennan on Scotland's Solway Firth, acting as muse to rising young composer Euan Bone.

    Thirty-five years later Neil has become the foremost authority on Bone.  Asked to write a biography of the composer, he is tempted to reveal the whereabouts of Bone's last work, The Lantern Bearers.  But admitting to this will involve exposing the truth of his part in the events played out so long ago. 

  • The Sun on the Wall's cover

    The Sun on the Wall

    Hodder & Stoughton 1994, Sceptre 1995
    ISBN 0340628588
    Buy this book on Amazon

    'He knows things about women that men are not supposed to know (we don't tell them)'  Linda Grant  Literary Review

    I've Been Here Before
    is told from the perspective of young Merlin.  He is the son of Decca Blane, a minor English film actress whose brief career has ended after the untimely death of a charismatic director.  Taken up by a curious group of the man's former associates, mother and son become caught in a web of intrigue and, as the theatrical and the real blur, are propelled with smooth inevitability towards a tragic denouement.

    In The Sun on the Wall the unmarried daughter of a classics don discovers a disturbing correspondence between her late father's research and her own harrowing history.

    The Broch teases out the relationships between a widowed mother and her grown-up children, gathered at a grand but faded house on Scotland's west coast for the anniversary of an event none has yet fully come to terms with.  

  • Walking my Mistress in Deuville's cover

    Walking my Mistress in Deuville

    Hodder & Stoughton 1992, Sceptre 1993
    ISBN 0340579714
    Buy this book on Amazon

    'A strikingly original writer whose many-layered stories linger in the mind.'  The Times

    In the novella Mask and Shadow familiar themes of deception and obsession recur as a young man gradually uncovers his wife's secret life, a clandestine existence that threatens not only their marriage but the very fabric of his own identity.  Other stories trace the delicate betrayals and deceptions of marriage, or the ritual dances of courtship and collusion between the sexes.  The humorous title story recounts the casual liaisons of a woman of fashion from an unusual viewpoint, while 'Crossing the Alps' ironically interweaves extracts from Livy's 'The War with Hannibal' and dramatic episodes from a schoolboy's adolescence.

  • Underwood and After's cover

    Underwood and After

    Hodder & Stoughton 1991, Sceptre 1992
    ISBN 0340565403

    'As strange and inventive as anything Frame has written'  Evan Cameron in The Daily Telegraph's 'Books of the Year'

    When Ralph Witton first saw Underwood in 1956, he little suspected what lay behind the tantalising façade of the magnificent Edwardian house set on the South Cornish coast.  Unexpectedly engaged as chauffeur to the enigmatic owner, Chetwynd, Ralph is introduced to a charmed world.  Seduced by its wealth, glamour and apparent freedom, too late he discerns a murky seam of corruption.

  • Bluette's cover


    Hodder & Stoughton 1990, Sceptre 1991
    ISBN 0340551097
    Buy this book on Amazon

    Catherine Hammond, raised in an English spa town in the 1930s, is first taken on exotic flights of fancy by her actress mother on the nursery's Turkish carpet.  But her life is not to be the fairy-tale she desires.  For during the quest for her long-lost first love, Catherine assumes myriad disguises - Soho hostess, archdeacon's housekeeper, agency model, political wife and Hollywood actress - and unveils gradually and painfully the extraordinary history that has shaped her.

  • Penelope's Hat's cover

    Penelope's Hat

    Hodder & Stoughton 1989, Sceptre 1990
    ISBN 0340524553
    Buy this book on Amazon

    'This is by far Ronald Frame's best novel. It lifts him into the top flight of novelists of his generation'  Allan Massie in The Scotsman

    In 1979 a car belonging to English novelist Penelope Milne is abandoned on a coastal road in France.  Her straw hat is found on a narrow ledge half-way down the cliff-face.  The worst is presumed; but in 1986 it is discovered that Penelope Milne, possibly, has been living in Sydney, Australia, for the past few years.

    Hats have always mattered to Penelope: to project an image, to mark a change of direction or capture a mood, to disguise.  In all shapes and materials they punctuate the intriguing story of her lives and loves, a tale rich in incident, strange coincidences and sudden deaths.

    Penelope finds a perspective in her writing, but at a price, as she draws nearer the frail edge of sanity. 

  • Paris's cover


    Faber and Faber 1987
    ISBN 0571147763
    Buy this book on Amazon

    Awarded the Samuel Beckett Prize.

    Two elderly ladies meet by chance in a Glasgow patisserie.  They take to each other immediately, one a former prep-school teacher and the other a retired fashion buyer in a big department store.  The two companions share an illicit enjoyment of fantasy, and on excursions to local art galleries they establish their lives of make-believe lovers and Parisian adventures.

  • A Woman of Judah's cover

    A Woman of Judah

    Bodley Head 1987, Sceptre 1989
    ISBN 0340500719
    Buy this book on Amazon

    An elderly and distinguished man of law remembers an earlier time in his life, the mid-1930s, when he was living in backwater Wessex.  During a heatwave that lasts all summer long, the small country town where he's articled falls under the spell of the new doctor's alluring wife.  The young lawyer, Pendlebury, is drawn to the couple, and in the process finds himself baffled by them.  He becomes gradually embroiled with the pair, more deeply than he intended.  In his eyes the town and countryside appear more and more sinister - beauty competes with the Godlessness - and the doctor and his wife come with their unorthodox marriage to seem almost theatrical, larger-than-life.  All too soon Pendlebury becomes a secondary but indispensable figure in their story, which is one of madness and wanting, lost time and forfeited choices.

  • Sandmouth People's cover

    Sandmouth People

    Bodley Head 1987, Sceptre 1988
    ISBN 034042320X
    Buy this book on Amazon

    'A strange, haunting, evocative novel. A very unusual talent'  Margaret Drabble

    April 23rd, St George's Day, sometime in the mid-1950s.  The local boarding school is celebrating with a lawn party, and most of the town is involved.  In a series of brief passages, we enter and re-enter the lives of the people of Sandmouth, circling deeper and deeper into their past lives just as the archaeologists at the local dig are uncovering layers of the historic past - English, Roman, Celtic - beneath the resort's wet clay

    A comedy of provincial English life - a sort of reverse murder  whodunit, with the suspects assembled and the victim waiting to be announced - and a portrayal of a traditional society as it emerges into new ways of being after the devastating war years.

  • A Long Weekend with Marcel Proust's cover

    A Long Weekend with Marcel Proust

    Bodley Head 1986, Sceptre 1988
    ISBN 0340428910
    Buy this book on Amazon

    Scottish Arts Council Book Award Winner 1987
    'One of our most gifted younger writers'  The Times

    At one level the short novel included, Prelude and Fugue, is a tale of sinister, ghostly goings-on in London during the Blitz; on another it is an excursion into a young woman's subconscious and treats of nothing less than repression, guilt, incest, jealousy, betrayal, love, sex, life and death.  Yet there is room left over for chrysanthemum tea, Noel Coward's songs, hurdy-gurdies, 'Washington Square', backwater Dorset, a prince riding a white horse, and - as the buzz-bombs drop - owls hooting in Chelsea and fixes running wild in Mayfair.

  • Watching Mrs Gordon's cover

    Watching Mrs Gordon

    Bodley Head 1985, Triad Grafton 1987
    ISBN 0586069984
    Buy this book on Amazon

    'Beautifully observed ... confirms Ronald Frame's exceptional talent'  Glasgow Herald

    When his best friends are killed by a terrorist bomb, a middle-aged man marries their beautiful daughter and endures her icy green eyes watching him - as he watches her

    The wife of a retired diplomat shocks her Surrey neighbours and weaves fantasy lives for the acquaintances she makes in Soho.  But her husband daren't object.

  • Winter Journey's cover

    Winter Journey

    Bodley Head 1984, Triad Grafton 1985, Sceptre 1993
    ISBN 0340579730
    Buy this book on Amazon

    Joint winner of the first Betty Trask prize.
    'Extremely vivid and convincing'  The Daily Telegraph

    'His ability to evoke mood and time and place is matched by penetrating observation of human nature.'  The Irish Times

    It is midwinter 1963.  Driving fast through the frozen bleakness of the middle European landscape - Prague, Salzburg, the Tyrol, Bavaria - are a husband and wife.  In the back of the Jaguar, silent watchful, their ten-year-old daughter Annoele tries to make sense of what is going on as her parents' seemingly charmed lives yield up their secrets.

    This winter and this journey are to haunt Annoele for decades  to come …