I was born and brought up in London and educated, unsuccessfully, at a particularly horrible all-girls' boarding school. I was dyslexic before dyslexia was known and recognised so I looked pretty stupid on paper.
Things looked up after I went to the City and Guilds of London Art School and later to the Royal Academy Schools of Art. I swore I would never try to write or do maths ever again.
Since then I've worked as a graphic designer, furniture designer, shop assistant, cleaner, hair inserter and colouring artiste at Madame Tussaud's Waxwork museum. Anything to feed the family. Clearly, I never managed to sell many paintings. Also, briefly, I was a roadie for one of the worst bands in London. It was not a steady, well-paid job, but it did provide me with some great material for later on.
Things looked up again when I broke my promise and whiled away a freezing cold winter and spring by writing a detective story which grew into a novel.(Dupe.) I still can't spell, but fortunately other people can; and now I have a computer that can too. Spelling turned out to be pretty unimportant - who'da thunk it?
These days I live in Bath about ten minutes walk away from my daughter and two grandchildren. Things are still looking up.
NOVELS First publication
DUPE London, Collins, 1980
BAD COMPANY London, Collins, 1982
STALKER London, Collins, 1984
HEADCASE London, Collins, 1985
UNDER CONTRACT London, Collins, 1986
RIFT London, Collins, 1988
BACKHAND London, Chatto & Windus, 1991
BUCKET NUT London, Chatto & Windus, 1992
MONKEY WRENCH London, Chatto & Windus, 1994
MUSCLEBOUND London, Bloomsbury, 1997
GIMME MORE London, Bloomsbury, 2000
BALLAD OF A DEAD NOBODY, iUniverse 2010
MISS TERRY, iUniverse 2012
Anthologies as co-editor
1st CULPRIT (with Michael Z. Lewin)
London, Chatto & Windus, 1992
2nd CULPRIT (with Michael Z. Lewin)
London, Chatto & Windus, 1993
3rd CULPRIT (with Michael Z. Lewin and Peter Lovesey) London, Chatto & Windus, 1994
SHORT STORIES First Published in
"Spasmo" A CLASSIC ENGLISH CRIME (90)
"Uniform" NEW CRIMES (89)
"K.K." MURDER & COMPANY (88) BBC Radio, (08)
"Lucky Dip" A WOMAN’S EYE (91)
"In Those Days" 1ST CULPRIT (92)
"Where’s Stacy?" 2ND CULPRIT (93)
"Reconstruction" LONDON NOIR (94)
"Doing It Under the Table" BBC RADIO (92) LUCKY DIP and Other Stories (03)
"Chalk Mother" BBC RADIO (93) BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON (94)
"Solar Zits" WOMEN ON THE CASE (96)
"A Card or a Kitten" A CLASSIC XMAS CRIME (95)
"Love In Vain" NO ALIBI (95)
"Walking Blues" BLUE LIGHTNING (98)
"Queen of Mean" TART NOIR (02)
"Indian Throw" HER MAJESTY (02)
"Woke Up This Morning" LUCKY DIP and Other Stories (03)
"Listen" LUCKY DIP and Other Stories (03)
"Art, Marriage and Death" Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (05)
"Kali in Kensington Gardens" THE VERDICT OF US ALL (06)
"The Old Story" THE IDEAS EXPERIMENT (06) Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (07)
"Whole Life" Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (10)
"Mr Bo"Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine (11)
"I Am Not Fluffy" to be published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine.
SHORT STORY COLLECTION:
LUCKY DIP and Other Stories Crippen & Landru 2003
John Creasey Memorial Prize, for DUPE, 1982
(CWA award for best first novel of the year)
CWA Dagger nomination, UNDER CONTRACT, 1987
(for best novel)
MWA Edgar nomination, for DUPE, 1983
(for best novel)
CWA Silver Dagger, for BUCKET NUT, 1993
MWA Edgar nomination, for BACKHAND, 1993
(for best novel)
Anthony Award (for short story), “Lucky Dip”, 1993
The Marlowe (Germany) for MUSCLEBOUND, 1998
Two years in late '80s as coach to Frome Fliers Women's basketball team. Won 17 Lost 3.
Co-creative director of The Sardine Circus.
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The Anna Lee series
The Eva Wylie series
The other stand-alone novel...
The story collections I co-edited for Britain's Crime Writers' Association.