Denise Mina gets frank about HRT, sex and ageing (from the archive)

This is a replay of an episode first broadcast last autumn. I'm replaying it now to coincide with the publication of Denise's new novella, Rizzio, a gripping contemporary reimagining of the 1566 murder of Mary Queen of Scots' right hand man. (And also because Denise is a total legend (not to mention extremely straight-talking) and I'm pretty sure that the new devotees The Shift has acquired over the last year will love her.)


This week’s episode comes to you from the Glasgow kitchen of straight talking crime writer Denise Mina. She’s written 15 novels, including the award-winning The Long Drop, and her last, Conviction, was scooped up by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Bookclub. But her latest, The Less Dead, based on a real life Glasgow serial killer, focusses on what makes a “good” victim versus a “bad” one, and takes her right back to her political roots.


Over an enormous pot of strong tea (she truly has the biggest tea pot I have ever seen) Denise and I go to all the places. And I mean ALL OF THEM. I could have stayed there all day. From sexism in crime fiction and what it was like growing up in the 1980s to channelling her anger, plus HRT, withering vaginas and creaking joints and so much more... Plus Denise tries (in vain) to teach me the art of confrontation; all while taking a delivery from John Lewis and baking a mean pecan pie - but don’t tell her I told you so!


The Shift (on life after 40) with Sam Baker is created and hosted by Sam Baker, and edited by Emily Sandford. I’d love to hear what you think - please let me know on twitter @sambaker or instagram @theothersambaker.


• The Shift - How I (lost and) found myself after 40 - and you can too is out now in hardback and available to buy here.

• Rizzio by Denise Mina is out now in hardback and available to buy here.


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