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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

The Chemical Cocktail - Fiona Erskine

Our alumna Fiona Erskine, a professional chemical engineer turned author of thriller novels made her debut as a novelist in 2019 with the novel ‘The Chemical Detective’. Then she published ‘The Chemical Reaction,’ and book 3 in the Jaq Silver series, 'The Chemical Cocktail,’ comes out May 2022 in e-book and June 2023 in paperback. She worked for ICI for several years before turning to writing, often travelling Brazil, Russia, India, and China. She is now based in Teeside, UK.

Jaq Silver, the heroine in her books, is quite often the lone female at board meetings, on cargo ships, in factories, and on offshore oil rigs. Her works give the reader a look at a female character working in a male-dominated profession.

In her last book, Jaq inherits a travelling safe full of old documents when her mother dies. Amid conspiracies and corruption, she travels from Portugal to Brazil to get to the bottom of a family mystery. But she is not the only one with an interest in her unusual inheritance. Racing against the clock as threats to her life increase on all sides, Jaq must use her scientific ‘know-how’ to save what matters most. 

In addition to her thriller novels, Fiona has also contributed to a Chemical Engineering Process Safety textbook Trevor Kletz Compendium and, over the last 10 years, she has also been recalling memories of her early days at the SAI works in Leith docks for her latest novel and the most successful (and most chemical engineering technical) book ‘Phosphate Rocks: A Death in Ten Objects’, which is a semi-autobiographical portrait of a fertiliser factory published by Sandstone Press in 2021.  

Check out her blog for more information

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