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Anthea Fraser Books In Order

Publication Order of David Webb Books

A Shroud for Delilah (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Necessary End (1985) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Pretty Maids All in a Row (1986) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Death Speaks Softly (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Nine Bright Shiners (1987) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Six Proud Walkers (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The April Rainers (1989) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Symbols at Your Door (1990) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I'll Sing You Two-O aka The Lily-White Boys (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Three, Three the Rivals (1992) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gospel Makers (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Seven Stars (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
One is One and All Alone (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Ten Commandments (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Eleven That Went up to Heaven (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Twelve Apostles (1999) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Rona Parish Books

Brought to Book (2003) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Jigsaw (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Person or Persons Unknown (2004) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Family Concern (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rogue in Porcelain (2006) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Next Door to Murder (2008) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Unfinished Portrait (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Question of Identity (2012) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Justice Postponed (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Retribution (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Designs of Annabelle (1971) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
In the Balance (1973) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Whistler's Lane (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Laura Possessed (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Home Through the Dark (1974) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Breath of Brimstone (1977) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Presence of Mind (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Island-in-Waiting (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Time on Trial (1979) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stone (1980) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Second Time Around (1982) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Stand-In (1984) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Such Men Are Dangerous (1988) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Macbeth Prophecy (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Motive for Murder (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dangerous Deception (1998) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Past Shadows (2001) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fathers and Daughters (2002) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Thicker Than Water (2009) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Shifting Sands (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Unburied Past (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Tangled Thread (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

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