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Anthea Fraser Books In Order

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Publication Order of David Webb Books

A Shroud For Delilah (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Necessary End (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pretty Maids All In A Row (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death Speaks Softly (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nine Bright Shiners (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Six Proud Walkers (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The April Rainers (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Symbols at Your Door (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
I'll Sing You Two-O/The Lily-white Boys (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Three, Three, the Rivals (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gospel Makers (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seven Stars (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Is One and All Alone (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ten Commandments (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eleven That Went Up to Heaven (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Twelve Apostles (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gospel Makers (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Seven Stars (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Rona Parish Books

Brought to Book (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Jigsaw (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Person or Persons Unknown (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Family Concern (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rogue in Porcelain (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Next Door to Murder (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unfinished Portrait (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Question of Identity (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Justice Postponed (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Retribution (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Designs of Annabelle (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
In The Balance (As: Vanessa Graham) (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Whistler's Lane (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Laura Possessed (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Home Through the Dark (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon
Breath of Brimstone (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
Presence Of Mind (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Island in Waiting (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Time on Trial (As: Vanessa Graham) (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stone (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Second Time Around (As: Vanessa Graham) (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Stand In (As: Vanessa Graham) (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Such Men Are Dangerous (As: Vanessa Graham) (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Macbeth Prophecy (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Motive for Murder (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous Deception (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Past Shadows (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fathers and Daughters (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thicker Than Water (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shifting Sands (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sowing Seeds for Inner Peace (As: Vanessa Graham) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Unburied Past (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Summer In France (As: Vanessa Graham) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Tangled Thread (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sins of the Fathers (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ties That Bind (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tendrils of the Past (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Malice Domestic 6(1997)Description / Buy at Amazon

Anthea Fraser is British novelist best known for a series of mystery thrillers that include, The Rona Parish and the DCI Webb Mystery series. She has also published five novels under the pseudonym, Vanessa Graham. Fraser comes from a literary family with her mother also a published novelist. She was interested in story telling from a very early age and began composing short stories and poems even before she could write. She would go on to declare her wish to pursue a professional career in authorship aged only five. During her school years, she would fill up her exercise books with her poems and short stories, which set the groundwork for her later writing endeavors. Even as she was one of the most prolific of writers in her class, she never made it into professional writing until she was married with two daughters. In the early years of her professional career, she published short stories that were not very successful. It was not until 1970 that she turned to novel writing and published her first ever commercially successful novel. Four years later, she published her first ever-significant success, Laura Possessed. While her preceding short stories had more to do with thriller themes, she shifted to a paranormal theme with Laura Possessed. Six other novels were to follow on the same themes that were just as successful. Now more confident in her abilities, she wrote some titles in romantic suspense before becoming a huge success with her crime fiction thriller series of novels.

Anthea Fraser is best known for her two mystery novel series; The DCI David Webb series and the Rona Parish series. The DCI David Webb series features Detective Chief Inspector David Webb of the Shillingham Police as the chief protagonist. The series has 16 novels, with the last twelve subtitled as Green Grow the Rushes, O, given their titles are based on the lyrics of the old English folk song. Her second series is about Rona Parish, a freelance journalist and biographer and amateur sleuth. While she is generally known as a crime fiction writer, she was very much interested in romantic suspense and crime novels that did not involve any legal enforcement officers as characters, particularly after concluding the David Webb series. The novel Fathers, and Past Shadows are the most popular of the novels from this period in her life, though they are deemed as more of one off standalones. Soon after publishing the novels, the series novel bug hit and she got back to work on the Rona Parish series. For Fraser, the series novel is always enjoyable given that she never has to start out on a new book project from scratch. She knows all about the characters and settings she is writing about. As such, writing is simply a chance to reacquainting herself with old friends she met in earlier books. Her choice of her chief protagonists: one a detective inspector and the other a journalist reporter is because these are people who are certain to stumble across a lot of crime in the normal course of performing their professional duties. From 1986 to 1996, Anthea Fraser was the Crime Writers’ Association secretary.

Fraser’s narratives are for the most part set in small English towns, where her protagonists work to try to unravel weird and sometimes deadly mysteries. While the novels are technically police procedurals, they still mix in family dynamics of the lead characters, which are woven into the meticulous and slow investigative, journalistic, and police work. Even as Fraser follows the tried and tested format of a mysterious crime that seemingly cannot be solved being cracked by our chief protagonist, she manages to keep the reader intrigued. She plants subtle clues and enough red herrings that ensure the conclusion to the narrative is unexpected and explosive. Family problems and their solution are a very important part of the series of novels, as Anthea uses them to humanize the protagonists. Webb’s personal life is particularly in focus throughout the DCI Webb series of novels. Nonetheless, even with all the familial themes that may not strictly move the plot, if you could use two words to describe Fraser Anthea’s writing it would be succinct and punchy. She never veers on meaningless tangents with her prose and develops her plots relatively quickly keeping the reader’s interest even when she offer background story to settings and characters. Even so, while her plots develop relatively fast, there is still a sense that her narratives and characters have more depth than would be expected.

The second novel of the David Webb series, A Necessary End opens with the discovery of Nancy Pendrick in the Chedbury Woods, Shillingham apparently strangled. Nancy had been married the second time to Oliver Pendrick a widower and proprietor of successful country hotel. The marriage had been on the rocks for some time, a fact that was not lost on their New Year’s Eve guests. Roger Beresford, a man that was Queens Counsel and brother to Pendrick’s first wife was in attendance, with his ambitious though cold wife, Faith. Also in attendance was Henry Oliver’s son and a compulsive gambler, Rose his narcissistic and gorgeous daughter, and Frayne Heather a woman who had rejected Oliver’s advances a few years past. Nancy, the dead woman was supposed to have already arrived in London a day after the party, yet she mysteriously turns up dead in Shillingham the following day. Chief Inspector Webb’s investigations soon discover that Nancy has had a heated altercation with Danny Dean, her ex-husband at his rented apartment in Shillingham. It is quite easy to pin the murder on Dean, but given that others that may have the motive to commit the crime were also in town, things become quite complicated.

Death Speaks Softly is the fourth novel of the David Webb series of novels, and is one of Fraser’s most popular works. Arlette Picard had always attracted the attention of too many men ranging from postgraduates, undergraduates, and even tutors. However, when the French girl goes missing from her Broadshire University campus, Chief Inspector Webb is called in to help unravel one of the most complex of cases he has ever handled. She had always been a carefree and vivacious woman that no one had a grudge with or so it seemed. Could there have been someone that had been driven to do her harm because of jealousy. The whole affair seems even more bizarre especially after he interviews Professor Warwick, a scientist whose brilliance bordered on the insane. The arrival of Arlette’s parents from France and the tragedy that befalls them, adds even more fire to an already volatile and complicated situation.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Anthea Fraser

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