Nick Petrie Series

Margaret Mayhew Books In Order

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Publication Order of Village Mysteries Books

Old Soldiers Never Die (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Three Silent Things (2008)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Dry Bones (2012)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Seventh Link (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bitter Poison (2016)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Lifeline (2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Master of Aysgarth (1976)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Three Black Cormorants (1976)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cry of the Owl (1977)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Railway King (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Owlers (1979)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Flame and the Furnace (1982)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Regency Charade (1986)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bluebirds. The Heartbreaking and Triumph Story of Four Women in Wartime (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Bluebirds (1993)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Crew (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Little Ship (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Our Yanks (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Pathfinder (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Those in Peril (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
I'll Be Seeing You (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rosebuds (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Foreign Field (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Quadrille (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Boat Girls (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Other Side Of Paradise (2009)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Last Wolf (2011)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Margaret Mayhew is an English author who was born in London. As a child, Mayhew lived through World War II and personally experienced the London Blitz when Nazi bombers launched numerous destructive bombing raids against London. Even though the British Royal Air Force was able to successfully retaliate against the bombings and stop the Blitz, the memories of what happened would never leave her.

It was these memories, as well as her passion for writing, that led Mayhew to become one of the most successful female writers of novels set in Britain during World War II. Let’s find out more about Mayhew’s life and the numerous books that she has written:


As we have just talked about in our introduction, Mayhew personally lived through the London Blitz and the memories of it would never leave her. She also always held a strong passion for writing and it was this passion that led her to write down stories that were based on her memories or otherwise held similar themes.

Mayhew began to write in her mid-30s and eventually her very first novel would be published in 1976. From then on, Mayhew would become a full time and very successful writer who could not be stopped. Many of her books (all of which are published by Corgi Books) have become international bestsellers and are each set during World War II. Examples include Dry Bones, Bluebirds, the Little Ship, the Crew, Out Yanks, Those in Peril and The Pathfinder. We’ll talk about a small handful of these books in greater detail in a moment.

Mayhew married an American author of aviation named in Philip Kaplan. Many of Mayhew’s World War II stories focus on pilots and aviation, and there’s little to no doubt that she received help on making those books seem and read authentic from her husband. Mayhew lives in Gloucestershire today and continues to write novels every year. Her work has received international recognition and critical acclaim.


One of Mayhew’s most widely used characters is named the Colonel, the protagonist of her mystery stories set in the English countryside. These books have received favorable comparison to works from other famous and widely renowned mystery writers such as Agatha Christie. Mayhew’s mystery series of books are noted for their atmospheric themes and page turning qualities.

One of the best examples of Mayhew’s mystery novels set in England is entitled Dry Bones. This novel features the Colonel living peacefully in the English village of Frog’s End. However, it doesn’t take the perceptive and alert Colonel long to learn that is not is all as it seems in Frog’s End. When he is mailed a letter from his late wife’s friend asking for his help over something horrible that has happened, the Colonel immediately heads over to investigate. Soon, however, he realizes that what he’s gotten himself into goes way beyond what he initially expected and his life could be at stake.

What’s notable about Dry Bones, along with many of Mayhew’s other works, is how it is a tense mystery thriller set in the calm and seemingly innocent environment of an ordinary English village that secretly holds dark secrets. Agatha Christie used this same setup to great effect in her own mystery novels, and it is this trait that has caused Mayhew’s works to be compared favorable to Christie’s. Dry Bones also received critical acclaim for the tense and absorbing writing and the engaging and original characters.

However, mystery is not the only genre that Mayhew is talented at writing. Another great example of one of her most famous works is Bluebirds. Set in 1939 at the dawn of World War II, the book follows the lives of a few young women working in the RAF (Royal Air Force). These women, despite living in terrible living conditions and unwanted by the commander on the base, turn themselves into a highly trained fighting unit to help the RAF while under fire… and while falling in love with some of the RAF pilots.

In terms of genre, Bluebirds is undoubtedly a combination of romance and adventure. But the real standout of the book and the focal point that has brought the book so much attention and acclaim is its original characters who are so authentic that it makes you feel as if you are there with them. Each of the women in the book comes from a different background and are yet united in their determination to win the respect of the RAF pilots and commander. The book contains moments of humor, passion, romance, and tragedy, and it’s the book from Mayhew that earned her one of her biggest audiences.

Finally, the last book of Mayhew’s that we’ll talk about in-depth is entitled the Crew. The book focuses on a Lancaster bomber crew consisting of seven men, including an American pilot, a Scottish Flight Engineer, an aristocratic navigator, an Australian bomb aimer, the seventeen year old rear gunner who deceived the RAF about his age in order to get into the air force, and the older wireless operator (old as in over thirty).

The Crew follows the lives of these men through their time as a bombing squadron. Initially, they are nearly taken down by enemy gunfire and struggle to cooperate with one another in order to survive in the thick of war. But as they all brave danger together, they come to respect and depend on one another. Mayhew also follows the personal lives of the men including their romantic lives and their lives with their families back home.

The Crew is explicit in its attention to historical detail and fully expresses what it was really like to have served in a bomber squadron in World War II. Each of the men in the book are incredibly afraid each time they go out into the air and expect death, and yet try to conceal it from one another. There can be no doubt that this was what it was like for many of the real bombing crews in actual life.


In conclusion, Mayhew has proven herself to be one of the most prevalent and successful authors who writes a variety of genres such as mystery, romance, and adventure set against the backdrop of World War II. Her novels are both authentic in their attention to historical detail and in their treatment of the characters and human nature.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Margaret Mayhew

5 Responses to “Margaret Mayhew”

  1. Julia Bristow: 17 hours ago

    Really enjoy Margaret Mathews books,
    especially Our Yanks, The Crew and Bluebirds.
    Loved all the village mysteries featuring the Colonel- please please can we have some more! At present I’m halfway reading The Boat Girls and really enjoying.

  2. Karen: 3 months ago

    I’m sorry I read the Village mysteries. A beloved pet dies, that’s not. my idea of a cozy,

  3. KARINA NIGIDO: 3 months ago


  4. Leslie: 1 year ago

    Both my husband and I believe Margaret Mayhew is one of the best writers, ever. We read all the Colonel books, the WWll books, and think she is a stand out writer. Other writers I love include Pat Conroy, Lee Child, William Kent Kruger, and Craig Johnson. So, she, as the only gal in this group, is outstanding. Such great stories with history.

  5. Sara Combs: 1 year ago

    I enjoyed the Village Mystery Series so much and hope there are more to come. I will read some stand alone because I like Matthew’s writing.


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