I'm a novelist, journalist, broadcaster and author of non-fiction - and I've also had another life at the same time, which was nothing to do with writing. I have been a Planning Inspector, chaired public committees, been involved with the NHS and been responsible for protecting water customers.
But I always wanted to be a writer, ever since I learnt to read. I was born and went to school in London, and then took degrees in Archaeology at Cambridge and in Law at Leicester University. After living in Edinburgh for ten years and for three in Leicester I moved with my husband, the archaeologist Professor Charles Thomas, to Cornwall, where we still live. We have two sons, two daughters and 11 grandchildren.
I belong to PEN,
The Crime Writers Association,
The Detection Club,
The Society of Authors, Forum UK,
Trust, Mystery Women etc
My latest book is The Fifties Mystique, published by Quartet. Previous non-fiction includes
Out Of Harm's Way, the story of the overseas evacuation of children from Britain during the Second World War,
and a study of women crime writers, Deadlier Than the Male.
As a novelist Ė Iíve written 20 so far Ė I concentrate on crime fiction. The novels arenít
autobiographical though to some extent they reflect my experiences.
Some are set in the places I have lived in: Cornwall, Edinburgh, Leicester (which I called Ferriby) and London.
Others were inspired by travelling to, for example, Egypt or the Isles of Scilly. Some have domestic settings, some archaeological,
and I have sometimes combined mystery plots with with political themes or historical sections.
The books aren't in a series with a single detective, except for six featuring the archaeologist Tamara Hoyland
(first encountered in
Funeral Sites ).
Other characters, major and minor, have reappeared over the years, especially Professor Thea Crawford,
and more recently the psychiatrist Dr Fidelis Berlin, whose first appearance is in
A Private Inquiry.
You can catch up with her in
The Voice From The Grave.
As a journalist, I have written features and think-pieces mostly for the Daily and the Sunday Telegraph, and contributed a weekly column to The Western Morning News. My book reviews have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, and at present I am contributing a monthly crime fiction roundup to The Literary Review.
It's always thrilling to hear from readers. So please
get in touch if you want to discuss or comment on my work.