The Shadow in the Gallery: A Tale of the Smith Institute

By Thomas A. Christie

256 Pages
Stirling Smith Publications
Published December 2013

Price per Book: £4.99 UK / €5.99 Euro / $7.99 USA

ISBN-10: 0-9546511-7-0
ISBN-13: 978-0-9546511-7-6

About the Book:

December 1879: Alexander Croall, distinguished curator of Stirling's recently-opened Smith Institute, has arranged a Christmas exhibition to raise funds for new acquisitions.  The good and the great of Stirlingshire have been invited to view the richly-stocked galleries, from acclaimed nature artist Joseph Denovan Adam to the noted archaeologist and antiquary Christian MacLagan.  Even the town's long-serving Provost, George Christie, will be in attendance.

But the Smith Institute holds more than just the single largest exhibition space in central Scotland.  Hidden amongst its treasures is an artefact of such significance that one guest will stop at nothing to get their hands on it.  The evening's festive atmosphere is soon thrown into chaos as a daring crime is revealed... but is everything really as it seems at the Smith?

Soon the eminent Mr Croall finds his skills of logical reasoning taxed to their limit as mystery piles upon mystery.  Which of the visitors aren't who - or what - they appear to be?  Is this audacious theft really the only enigma in evidence at the Smith on this fateful winter night?  And exactly what is lurking in the darkest bowels of the boiler room?

Aided by his resourceful daughter Annie and his feisty young helper Davie Buchan Morris, Alexander Croall must prove his hard-earned reputation for scientific deduction by tracking down the true culprit.  But as the race against the clock intensifies, can even he succeed in unravelling the mystery behind the shadow in the gallery?

The Shadow in the Gallery features a cover design by legendary artist Bill Botten, creator of many famous book covers including those of the original James Bond novels of Christopher Wood and John Gardner.  Over the years Bill has designed covers for books by authors as diverse as Michael Crichton, Arthur C. Clarke, Margaret Drabble, Peter Haining, Christopher Isherwood, Arthur Miller, Michael Moorcock and William Styron, to name only a few.  To visit a detailed gallery of his artwork, please visit his website at
The book also includes an Afterword by Dr Elspeth King, Director of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.

This novel is a work of fiction.  Although it refers to historical characters and places, the situations it presents are entirely fictitious in nature, and any resemblance to real events or the actions of real people, living or dead, is entirely unintended.

Availability Details:

The Shadow in the Gallery is available now to order from The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum.  The books are priced at £4.99 UK / €5.99 Euro / $7.99 USA each.  To purchase a copy of the novel, please contact the Stirling Smith via e-mail at for details of how to make an order, or by telephone with any of the following numbers:

01786-471917 (from the UK)
01144-1786-471917 (from the USA)
0044-1786-471917 (from other territories)

All proceeds from the sale of every copy of The Shadow in the Gallery will be donated to the Stirling Smith Development Fund.

The Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum is a Registered Scottish Charity, No. SCO16162.

The Story Behind the Story:

The publication of The Shadow of the Gallery was made possible thanks to a crowdfunding strategy, operated by the Stirling Smith and administered by Michelle Cook and Dr Elspeth King.  During a month-long campaign hosted on the website, the project was supported by many members of the public, and ultimately the Smith staff were not only successful in reaching their target for publication but actually saw it exceeded by some margin.  Thanks to the donations made by those dozens of individual backers, the book was published and was launched on Thursday 5th December 2013 at a special event which took place at the Stirling Smith, featuring a presentation by the author, stage magic from psychological illusionist Derek Heron, and an appearance by cover designer Bill Botten.

All proceeds from the sale of The Shadow in the Gallery will be donated to the Stirling Smith Development Fund, in support of an ambitious ongoing project to extend the building, provide brand new services for visitors to the museum, and to help ensure that the Smith Institute will still be around for at least another 140 years to come!  The Stirling Smith is a registered charitable organisation, and its continued operation depends on the support of the public in sustaining its work.  Every copy of the book sold will help the Smith to welcome future generations to engage with Scotland's art and cultural heritage.

About the Author:

Dr Thomas Christie served as Administrator of the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum between the summer of 2006 and the autumn of 2007.  In that time, he made many lasting friendships and forged a relationship with a great institution which has endured ever since.

An elected member of the Royal Society of Literature and the Society of Authors, he is the author of a number of books on the subject of modern film and literature which include Liv Tyler: Star in Ascendance (2007), The Cinema of Richard Linklater (2008), John Hughes and Eighties Cinema (2009), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Pocket Movie Guide (2010), The Christmas Movie Book (2011),
Notional Identities: Ideology, Genre and National Identity in Popular Scottish Fiction Since the Seventies (2013), and The James Bond Movies of the 1980s (2013).

For more details about Tom and his work, visit his website at

The Shadow in the Gallery: Promotional Video