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Hazel Holt Books In Order

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Publication Order of Sheila Malory Books

Gone Away / Mrs Malory Investigates (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cruellest Month (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Shortest Journey / Mrs. Malory's Shortest Journey (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Uncertain Death / Mrs. Malory And The Festival Murder (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder on Campus / Mrs. Malory: Detective in Residence (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Superfluous Death / Mrs. Malory Wonders Why (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death of a Dean / Mrs Malory: Death of a Dean (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Only Good Lawyer / Mrs Malory and the Only Good Lawyer (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead And Buried / Mrs Malory: Death Among Friends (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Fatal Legacy / Mrs Malory & the Fatal Legacy (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lilies That Fester / Mrs Malory and the Lilies That Fester (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Leonora / Mrs Malory and Death by Water (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Delay of Execution / Mrs. Malory and the Delay of Execution (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in Practice / Mrs Malory and Death in Practice (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Silent Killer / Mrs Malory and the Silent Killer (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Cure for Death (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in the Family (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Time to Die (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Malory and Any Man's Death (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mrs. Malory and a Necessary End (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death is a Word (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

My Dear Charlotte (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

...And the Dying is Easy(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

Hazel Holt was a British Novelist who was best known for the Mrs. Malory series of novels.

Hazel Holt died in 2015. But her legacy endured not only because of her literary efforts but also her relationship with other novelists. Chief amongst them is her son Tom Holt.

Born Thomas Charles Louis Holt, you won’t hear too many mentions of Tom Holt in relation to Hazel Holt. Tom began his literary career as a young man at Oxford when he set out to produce his distinct brand of comic fantasy.

He also participated in the writing of a Margaret Thatcher biography, not to mention publishing books like the Walled Orchard series. There are those who know of Tom’s connection to Hazel and have read his works primarily because of their devotion to her.

Though, Hazel had no relationship with an author that was more impactful than her friendship with Barbara Pym. Pym was an English novelist who wrote social comedies like ‘Excellent Women’.

Her career waxed for a moment, and then waned; it was revived when a prominent critic threw the spotlight on her by calling her the most underrated writer of the century.

Hazel and Pym met at work. Born in 1928, Hazel Holt had her roots in Birmingham, England. She attended King Edward VI High School for Girls. She also spent some time at Newnham College in Cambridge.

She was fortunate to land a job at the International African Institute in London. The organization eventually garnered a special place in her heart because it was where she and Barbara Pym met. Pym was already a novelist at the time and the two of them found that they had so much in common.

It wasn’t so surprising when Hazel eventually wrote her biography. Her relationship with Pym allowed the author to produce a deeply insightful volume. It was even less surprising when Hazel took upon her shoulders the responsibility of finishing one of Pym’s novels after she died.

Looking at her bibliography, one wouldn’t know that Hazel Holt entered the publishing field in the latter portion of her life. ‘Gone Away’ was her first novel, not counting the work she did on one of Pym’s unfinished books.

It was published in 1989. At the time, the author was already in her sixties. And yet she proceeded to produce more than a dozen novels. The author was best known for the Mrs. Malory Mystery series.

The books take place in a cozy British village. Sheila Malory, the woman at the center of the series, is a middle-aged widow and literary critic with a son that she rarely sees but who loves her very much.

Strong-willed and independent, Malory has a keen mind and a kind heart which serve her well as an amateur detective working to keep her community free of crime. Her investigative efforts succeed because Malory has a way with people.

They are always ready and willing to trust her, to confide in her and to depend on her to get to the bottom of the murders in their social circles. Malory has been compared to Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.

Hazel might have started writing and publishing the Mrs. Malory series in the late 1980s and 1990s, but the novels feel like they were produced decades earlier. Audiences flocked to her work because her stories were so easy to read, the result of her simplistic writing style.

They also appreciated Hazel Holt’s vivid settings and interesting characters.

While the author’s stories were largely fictional, she admitted to doing some research beforehand to not only add authenticity to her murder scenes but to also make her settings feel real.

While audiences have been known to compare Hazel to Agatha Christie because of the Mrs. Malory series, and even though Hazel was a fan of Agatha, having encountered her work during her lifetime, she fervently denied suggestions that Agatha inspired her books or even her writing style.

Though, Hazel admitted that like Agatha, she enjoyed working with poison as a tool for murder. Hazel preferred carbon monoxide poisoning. It was her favorite method of murder.

Hazel Holt wrote primarily with a British audience in mind but she garnered a strong following in the United State, especially among fans of the cozy mystery genre.

+Mrs. Malory Investigates
It isn’t just Lee Montgomery’s impertinence that makes her so irritating to some people. There is also the fact that she is only marrying Charles Richardson for his money. His friends know this for a fact but Charles has chosen to turn a blind eye to the obvious.

So when Lee vanishes, everyone just wants to breathe a sigh of relief. But not Charles; Charles actually loved his pretty fiancé, and he was determined to get her back, which is why he has turned to Shelia Malory.

Malory has a lot of interesting hobbies. She loves reading novels from the 19th Century. She also enjoys putting the screws on people, pushing and prodding them until she gets to the truth.

And that quality makes her a great amateur detective, though she is sometimes hesitant to take upon herself the responsibilities that the role sometimes entails.

When Malory looks into Lee’s situation, it doesn’t take her long to conclude that her disappearance was the result of foul play. Someone in the sleepy village of Taviscombe in England either intentionally or unwillingly brought harm to Lee and now Malory is determined to find them.

Malory expects that the perpetrator will work hard to evade her. But as the people of Taviscombe are about to learn, it is very difficult to keep secrets from Sheila Malory.

+The Cruelest Month
Ms. Richmond was found crushed under collapsed bookshelves. Tony, Malory’s godson who works at the library, found her. If Gwen was a blackmailer, then Malory knows that she made a lot of enemies, this including a girl that has Tony’s heart and a female don with a seedy past.

Now Malory is on the case, determined to get to the bottom of the situation. As she prods the victim’s life, her suspect pool grows, eventually coming to include Edward Fitzgerald, a man that had a significant impact on Malory’s life when she was a student at Oxford.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Hazel Holt

One Response to “Hazel Holt”

  1. Marie Long: 2 years ago

    love Hazel Holt’s books. I go to Mrs. Mallory when I need comforting and laughter in a setting of warmth and wit. love her animals and her relationship with them. such decency seems more and more rare these days…


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