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Cath Staincliffe Books In Order

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Publication Order of Detectives Donovan & Young Books

Publication Order of Sal Kilkenny Books

Looking for Trouble (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Go Not Gently (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Wrong (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stone Cold Red Hot (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Towers of Silence (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bitter Blue (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Missing (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crying Out Loud (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Janine Lewis Books

Publication Order of Scott & Bailey Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Trio (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Kindest Thing (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Witness (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Split Second (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Blink of an Eye (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Letters To My Daughter's Killer (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Half the World Away (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Silence Between Breaths (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl in the Green Dress (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fear of Falling (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Quiet Acts of Violence (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Girls of St. Ann's (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Publication Order of Anthologies

Best Eaten Cold and Other Stories: A Murder Squad Anthology(2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deadly Pleasures(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
CWA Anthology of Short Stories: Mystery Tour(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Many Deadly Returns(2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Cath Staincliffe is a British author that writes crime novels. She has also experimented with short stories and poems, though some people might know her best for ‘Blue Murder’, a television crime drama that premiered on ITV to rave reviews.


Cath Staincliffe was born in 1956. She learnt later on that she had been adopted as a baby in England. It would take several years before she finally reunited with her Irish birth family.

The author grew up in Bradford, and publishing wasn’t necessarily in the cards for her during those early years, mostly because Cath was so thoroughly entranced by insects that she was certain she would become an entomologist in the future.

Of course, as with most children, the author’s fixation with insects did not last. She thought about becoming a trapeze artist, but then she decided that acting would be her profession.

At the age of eight, Cath’s friends and family more than likely doubted her resolve. And she proved them wrong by pursuing a Drama and Theatre Arts Degree from Birmingham University, eventually moving to Manchester with her family to work as a community artist.

Cath Staincliffe enthusiasts will realize that Manchester tends to feature heavily in the author’s crime fiction. Cath doesn’t deny her bias for the location. She believes that Manchester offers a blend of grit, grime and glamor that suits crime fiction.

It isn’t just the rich landscape that lends a certain depth to Cath’s stories but also the diverse mix of people that live in the city. Having lived in Manchester for so long, Cath has a special appreciation for the warmth, humor and banter that pervades the setting.

And she enjoys bringing those sorts of interactions to readers, especially when they are contrasted against the ever present sense of injustice and inequality. The author’s pride for Manchester shines through every page of her novels.

Writing has been a part of Cath’s life for as long as she can remember. The author did not initially set out to produce fiction professionally. But she had a knack for writing. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that Cath Staincliffe finally decided to attack the activity seriously.

She kicked things off by locating and attending suitable weekly Writers Workshops. She began started to write with the intention of refining her abilities. And once she was finally confident in her craft, Cath tried her hand at poems and short stories.

The response to her works was largely mixed but Cath saw enough of her poems and short stories get published to gain the confidence to tackle a full-length novel.

‘Looking for Trouble’, the first book in the Sal Kilkenny series, was published in 1994. The author submitted it for a competition and it won this leading to its publication and firmly placing Cath on the path to success.

‘Looking for Trouble’ was hardly the first crime fiction novel to hit the book shelves. And Sal Kilkenny was definitely not the first private eye audiences had ever seen. However, Cath succeeded in setting herself apart by creating a protagonist who was a single parent struggling to balance her investigative work with her responsibilities at home.

Not only was the book shortlisted for a Crime Writers Association New Blood Dagger Award but it was also serialized on BBC Radio 4. Cath took the accolades and the recognition as evidence that she was doing something right.

She proceeded to add to her bibliography protagonists such as Janine Lewis and Scott & Bailey.

Cath Staincliffe imputes her success to the grounded nature of her stories. The author doesn’t believe in over-romanticizing crime and criminals. The author believes that most crimes, even the heinous ones, are committed by very ordinary people.

In many cases, they act in the heat of a moment and then struggle to contend with the consequences for the rest of their lives. And because there are no truly sinister super-villains in places like Manchester, Cath tries to avoid those tropes.

Rather, she attempts to get across the point that anybody can commit a crime, and anyone can be the victim of a crime. She endeavors to shine a light on the manner in which crime affects both the victims and the perpetrators.

The author has no particular source of inspiration that drives her to tell the stories in her books. She has admitted to reading a lot of crime fictionand she presumes that some of her favorite novels have probably sparked a few ideas in her.

Cath’s talents are not only restricted to literature. She is also a scriptwriter. She is best known for creating the ITV police Drama ‘Blue Murder’ which stars Caroline Quentin.

Since it hit the small screen in the 2000s, the show has garnered a sizable following from all over the world. The popularity of the show was such that Cath proceeded to write novels based on ‘Murder Blue’.

She is also responsible for the novelization of ‘Scott and Bailey’, another popular ITV detective show.

Cath Staincliffe is a founding member of ‘Murder Squad’, a collective of Northern Crime Writers that support one another in their efforts to promote crime fiction.

+Looking for Trouble

Sak Kilkenny is just another private eye in Manchester, except that she’s also a single parent. But Sal loves her life. And she believes she has what it takes to investigate cases and care for her family.

That determination is put to the test when Mrs. Hobbs turns up and asks Sal for help. Hobbs’ son is missing and if Sal wants to find him she must dive into Manchester’s underbelly, getting acquainted with the world of organized crime and murder.

The first book in the Sal Kilkenny series introduces to readers a private eye, her child Maddie and their housemate as they attempt to maneuver the complexities that Sal’s work injects into their lives.

Sal is written to be an ordinary woman dealing with extraordinary circumstances.

+Go Not Gently

Sal Kilkenny is a single parent with a four-year-old daughter. She is also a private eye. A woman in her 80s comes to Sal asking her to find out if a friend of hers is being treated well in an aged care home.

Sal begins to poke and prod and that puts her in more danger than she could have imagined.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Cath Staincliffe

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