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Burke and Hare Roam Edinburgh's Streets Once More

In the 1820s, the University of Edinburgh was critically short of cadavers for its anatomy classes, so William Burke and William Hare began a murderous enterprise to fill the void, eventually selling 17 victims to the school. Earlier this year, the notorious pair were again walking through Edinburgh's Old Town as filming began for Burke and Hare, a black comedy directed by John Landis. As smoke machines simulated smog, British actors Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and Andy Serkis (Lord of the Rings) patrolled the dark streets of Old Fishmarket Close, looking just as it would have nearly two centuries ago. Landis, who directed The Blues Brothers and Michael Jackson's Thriller video, expects to release the film on Halloween in Britain, but no U.S. release date has been set.

No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Novel Released In Scots Language

Alexander McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency novels have been captivating audiences around the world since 1999, selling some 20 million copies in 42 languages. But when the Edinburgh author unveiled his newest book last February, it showcased yet another language: Scots. Precious and the Puggies (Precious and the Monkeys), which tells the story of the first case his world famous detective, Precious Ramotswe, was involved in as an eight-year-old growing up in Botswana, will only be available in Scots for the first year. The book, written for children, begins: "Hae ye ever said intae yersel -- no oot lood, mind, but quiet-like, jist in yer heid: 'Wid it no be braw tae be a detective?'" Although not a native Scots speaker, McCall Smith wrote the novel in English and then had it translated into Scots. "The fact that so many of my books have been translated into so many languages is a source of great delight," said the author at the new book's launch. "But the fact that this new story is appearing in Scots is the icing on the cake." A preview of the book can be seen at

The full text of this section is available in the Summer 2010 issue of Scottish Life.

Click here to preview our feature article on Perth's 800th Birthday Party by Keith Aitken.

Click here to preview our feature article on Dumfries House by Richenda Miers.

Click here to preview our book review column by Hamish Coghill.

Click here to preview our Notes From The Isles column by Kate Francis..