Welcome to the Shadow in the Gallery Official Website

Good day
, my dear visitor.  Please, allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Alexander Croall, and I am the first Curator of the Smith Institute in Stirling, Scotland.

Well, that is to say... I was the Institute's custodian, some years ago.  Rather unfortunately, I died back in 1885 - but thanks to the technological marvels of the Internet, that fact doesn't hold me back these days.  Not at all, in fact, as I still live on through my work and research even in this exciting twenty-first century of ours.

Today, the Smith Institute has become the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.  It's a wonderful place, the largest exhibition space in all of Central Scotland, full to bursting point with all sorts of beautiful artwork and historical items of interest.  Every now and again I pop my head around the door, just to check that
everything is in order, and each time I discover that there are new exhibitions and events being organised there for their many visitors.  If you should ever be in the Stirling area, I really would heartily recommend that you come and visit us - there is always something exciting to see and do at the Smith.

I would like, if I may, to take this opportunity to tell you about the most extraordinary chain of events that I encountered back in the harsh winter of 1879.  It was an early point in the Smith's history at the time, and we were hosting a special event to mark a significant anniversary in the life of the Institute.  But then, at the height of the celebrations, suddenly all hell broke loose.  A daring crime was committed in the building, and everyone present became a potential suspect.  Who was responsible for this felonious act, and could they be apprehended before time ran out?  Was there any way to unravel this seemingly impossible puzzle?

The incident has become known in local legend as the mystery of The Shadow in the Gallery, and I have been recounting my memories of the event to a writer friend of mine, Thomas Christie, who has been kind enough to transcribe my account of what happened during that fateful night.  Now, for the first time, the full story can at last be told in a new book, the details of which you can learn more about on this very website.

But the story of The Shadow of the Gallery doesn't end with the novel.  On this site, you can also find out more about me, the Smith Institute as it was when I was responsible for running it back in the days of Her Majesty Queen Victoria, and of course a little bit about what you can find there when you visit now.  So please feel free to have a browse around - but if there's one thing that you must remember about the Smith, it's that you should always be prepared for the unexpected...

'A real “lad o’ pairts”, best known for his painstakingly researched but eminently readable scholarly works on 20th Century Scottish Literature and Bond films in particular, Dr Christie brings these same talents to his first novel, The Shadow in the Gallery. Featuring real-life characters, Agatha Christie meets John Dickson Carr in this intriguing mystery whose denouement I defy you to predict. A true tour de force.'
David M. Addison, Award-Winning Author of An Innocent Abroad.
'With The Shadow in the Gallery, Thomas Christie took the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum to a place rarely experienced by Scottish museums today - a place in Scottish literature. The Smith Trustees are grateful for the new perspectives this has given to visitors, and to the engagement with others who might never visit.'
Dr Elspeth King, Director of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, Author of Old Stirling and A History of Stirling in 100 Objects.