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Celia Imrie Books In Order

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Publication Order of Nice / Bellevue-Sur-Mer Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Sail Away (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Orphans of the Storm (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Happy Hoofer (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon

Celia Diana Savile Imrie was born in 1952 in Guildford, Surrey, the fourth of five children. Her mother was Diana Elizabeth Blois, and her father, David Andrew Imrie, a radiologist, was from Glasgow. Ms. Imrie attended Guildford High School for girls in her hometown of Guildford. She followed up and attended Guildford School of Acting. Ms. Imrie is the ten-times-great-granddaughter of Frances Carr, the infamous Countess of Somerset.

Ms. Imrie is very well known for her work in film, British television, and British stage productions. Starting in 1973 and working through the present, she has been a highly sought after actress, appearing in such films as Nanny McFee, Mama Mia, and Calendar Girls.

An award winning actress, she was recognized in 1992 with the Clarence Derwent Award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in The Sea. In 2006 she was given the Olivier Award for Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical for her work in Acorn Antiques: The Musical!. In 2017 she was given the UK WFTV (Women in Film and Television) Award for the EON Productions Lifetime Achievement.

An interesting event for her was when she appeared in October 2012 on the BBC genealogy television show Who Do You Think You Are? She learned that an ancestor on her mother’s side was William Lord Russell. In 1683 Russell was a Whig party member who was executed for treason after being found guilty for conspiring against Charles II. Ms. Imrie’s great-great uncle, William Imrie, was a founder of the huge British shipping company White Star Line. Another distant relative was Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, who survived the sinking of the Titanic.

While Ms. Imrie is mostly well known for her film and stage work, she has also accumulated much praise and credit for her writing. Her first work, published in 2015, became her “Nice” series of stories. Set in Bellevue-Sur-Mer, just outside Nice, France.

In Not Quite Nice, Theresa is forced into early retirement. She realizes she has no further interest in babysitting her obnoxious daughter’s unruly children. So she sells her Highgate home and moves to the relaxing coast of France.

Bellevue-Sur-Mer is perfect for Theresa. The village glitters on the French coast with lovely villas, busy cafes, and the sparkling sea. Home to expats, she meets the odds and ends of society that has landed there. Rock and Rollers, Hollywood movie stars, and artists and writers; she gets acquainted with an eclectic group of people.

The ex-pats located there are a gregarious bunch. Carol is glamorous and she has her adoring husband David. Sally is a slightly has-been British TV star; Sian has an Australian wandering poet of a husband; and youthful Zoe loves her wine. More important, Theresa’s eye has been caught by the handsome and debonair Brian.

As she settles into a seaside life with its tranquil rhythm and easy life, she’s embracing her serenity and freedom from fuss. Of course, the peaceful life on the coast just can’t be that peaceful. Skeletons from too many closets begin dropping into her life. Theresa starts wondering if the good life is really all that good in this ersatz French paradise.

Julian Fellowes (Creator of Downton Abbey) calls Ms. Imrie a very witty woman who has written a very witty novel. Nice Work (If You Can Get It) (Number two of her “Nice” series) takes us back to Bellevue-Sur-Mer on the French Riviera. The ex-pats are still up to their elbows in wine, gossip, and elusive anonymity.

New residents of this tranquil costal town are entrepreneurs who are planning to open a new restaurant. Propelling themselves at the project, Benjamin, William, Carol, and Theresa are progressing well. However, Theresa starts to wonder if their building is shrouding a secret after she encounters an unaccountable trespasser.

The Cannes Film Festival is running and Sally, who gave up her acting career to live quietly and anonymously, is busy entertaining surprise past acquaintances, including a Russian who is handsome and very intriguing, as they tend to be.

Being adjacent to the Cannes, the energy of Bellevue-Sur-Mer amps up and the residents are thrown into conflicts of interest in business and love. The would be restauranteurs are racing to complete the building and preparations to open on time. Skullduggery is the order and the group can’t tell who’s the nice ones vs. who the nasty ones are.

Ms. Imrie delivers a fine stand-alone novel with Sail Away. Two women on a cruise ship meet and together they have an adventure far beyond their expectations.

Suzy Marshall, an actress over sixty, has discovered work isn’t what it was when she was the star of a top billed 1980s TV show. Her agent offers her a sweet role in Zurich, which looks to be a stroke of luck. Playing Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest is the perfect role for her.

Suzy is devastated when the play becomes immersed in dodgy turns of events and is abruptly cancelled. She is forced to take the cruise ship to get home. There she meets Amanda.

Amanda Herbert is unexpectedly homeless. The sale of her new apartment suddenly fell through. Her children are thoroughly absorbed in their own issues and don’t have time to deal with hers. She is at sixes-and-sevens when she spots an advert for a cruise. She thinks a few weeks sailing the Atlantic would help her save her money while she waits for her horrible housing situation to right itself.

Suzy and Amanda meet and as they get acquainted they are surprised by the dodgy characters and peculiar dealings they come across. Neither ladies are anticipating the unexpected rewards that come their way. Ms. Imrie’s Sail Away returns us to the glamour of cruise ship sailing and the old-world complicated politics of staff and their quarters. It’s an engaging romp and an unexpected adventure of thrills and excitement.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Celia Imrie

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