Wishart was born in Arbroath, Scotland. He studied Greek and Latin classics at Edinburgh University and after graduation taught for four years in a secondary school. He then retrained as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language and worked abroad for eleven years, in Kuwait, Greece and Saudi Arabia. He returned to Scotland in 1990 and now lives with his family in Carnoustie, mixing writing with teaching EFL and study skills at the University of Dundee. He is married to Rona Wishart, librarian at St Leonards School in St. Andrews, and has two children. He does not play golf but spends a great deal of his non-writing time walking the dog. (Source: Publishers biog.)
Most of his novels share the same protagonist, Marcus Corvinus. Spurning the conventional career path of a military posting via a civil service post to an elected post and the Senate, Wishart's hero develops a taste for investigating crimes of a particularly sensitive nature, thereby allowing the author to introduce numerous historical figures and to continue to mine a rich seam of Imperial Roman intrigue. Plots are typically complex, and give us a fair taste of the treacherous nature of Roman politics in the immediate post-Republican era. Wishart's signature is his mix of accurate historical detail and racy modern dialogue; Corvinus talks, very entertainingly, like a Raymond Chandler hero. He is also developing an interesting personality and a social conscience somewhat at odds with his high birth.