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Margaret Yorke Books In Order

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Publication Order of Patrick Grant Books

Dead in the Morning (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
Silent Witness (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
Grave Matters (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mortal Remains (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cast for Death (1976)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Summer Flight (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pray, Love, Remember (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Christopher (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Act of Violence (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The China Doll (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Once a Stranger (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Birthday (1963)Description / Buy at Amazon
Full Circle (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Fury (1967)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Limbo Ladies (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
No Medals for the Major (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Small Hours of the Morning (1975)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Cost of Silence (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Point of Murder aka The Come On (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death on Account (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Scent of Fear (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hand of Death (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Devil's Work (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Find Me a Villain (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Smooth Face of Evil (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon
Intimate Kill (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Apricot Bed (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Safely to the Grave (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Evidence to Destroy (1987)Description / Buy at Amazon
Speak for the Dead (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deceiving Mirror (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crime in Question (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Admit to Murder (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Small Deceit (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Criminal Damage (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dangerous to Know (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Almost the Truth (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Serious Intent (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pieces of Justice (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Question of Belief (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
False Pretences (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Price of Guilt (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Case to Answer (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cause for Concern (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Women of Mystery III(1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Deadly Pleasures(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Margaret Yorke is one of the most popular British authors in the mystery genre. She was born Margaret Beda Larminie, but adopted the pseudonym Margaret Yorke so as not to be confused with a family member that was also an author. Yorke was born in Surrey in the UK though she lived most of her childhood in Dublin Ireland before going back home in 1937. When World War II broke out she joined the Women’s Royal Naval Service where she worked as a driver. After the war she made history by working in the Christ Church library in Oxford, the first woman to ever do so. Margaret Yorke died in 2012 aged 88, having made a name for herself as a successful crime fiction author. She wrote her novels in the claustrophobic English tradition made popular by legends such as Margery Allingham and Agatha Christie.

Margaret Yorke was born Margaret Beda Larminie in Compton Surrey but lived in Dublin where her father worked at Guinness. She came back to England aged thirteen and went to Prior’s Field girls school. After working with the Christ Church Oxford library and as a driver with the Royal Navy during World War II, she married Basil Nicholson in 1945. She never enjoyed marriage and she would soon move to Long Crendon a picturesque village of Buckinghamshire, where she spent much of her life as a Miss Marple figure. But beside her welcoming demeanor was a steely personality that was greatly involved in her community. She was very much involved in the quest for Public Lending Right, even as she made her name as one of the most influential of British crime authors. By the time of her death in 2012, she had more than 40 crime novels to her name and was the head of the English chapter of the Crime Writers Association.

Margaret Yorke was winner of the CWA’s Cartier Diamond Dagger in 1999 for her outstanding contribution to the crime fiction genre. Nonetheless, despite her relative success and fecundity, she was not such a huge name as compared to her contemporaries. This may be because she preferred to write single standing novels with only the Patrick Grant series the only series she ever wrote. The Patrick Grant character in the series featured in five of her novels that were published in the 1970s. Her freestanding novels were more popular for their uncompromising and robust nature and themes of looking out for the underdog. Since she wrote her first novel “Summer Flight” in 1957, she went on to write at least one novel every year. She also supplemented these with several short stories that made it into a variety of anthologies and the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.

Dissolving her marriage and moving to Buckinghamshire proved one of the best moves she ever made for her career. The quiet village life made it easy for her to write every morning and revise the work during the evenings. The village provided much material for the outgoing Yorke, who spent a lot of time interacting with people and news stories that she would then work into interesting stories. A stickler for detail, her research saw her visit the courts, the morgue, doctor’s offices and prisons to collect information. While several film producers were interested in adapting some of her novels into movies, none made it onto the silver screen though they have continued to be popular all across the globe. In 1993, she was awarded the Golden Handcuffs for her successful campaign for Public Lending Right that saw her emerge as one of the most borrowed authors of the British library service. She published her last novel “Cause for Concern” in 2001.

The first novel of the Patrick Grant series by Margaret Yorke was “Dead in the Morning”. The lead in the series is Dr. Patrick Grant an English Literature don in Oxford that doubles up as an amateur sleuth. Yorke sets her lead character in a fictional college located at the end of a cobbled street known as St Mark’s College. Many of the novels are drawn from Margaret’s experiences working as a librarian at Christ Church and St Hilda’s. Her debut novel in 1957 was about a fugitive that arrived to cause havoc in a small country town. Yorke followed that up with ten more titles before starting work on the Patrick Grant series in the seventies. Her seventies and eighties were themed on the undercurrents of village life that involved issues such as domestic violence, isolation, adultery, petty delinquency, and suppressed passion. Yorke’s single standing novels often have an upper middle class woman that has her life destroyed by evil that comes unexpected out of a supposedly genteel society.

“Dead in the Morning” the first novel of the Patrick Grant series of novels is a classic mystery. It opens to a mysterious death, a list of suspects and an amateur sleuth driven to find who is responsible. The lead protagonist is one Dr. Patrick Grant who doubles up as Oxford college dean He is in town to visit his sister who has been lonely since her husband left town to go on a business trip. He believes there is something strange about the Ludlow family who he has had the opportunity to interact with in the past. But just as he is getting friendly with the family, there is a murder. Never one to pass up an opportunity for homicide investigation, he is determined to solve the mystery and serve justice to the perpetrator.

In “Grave Matters” Dr. Patrick Grant inadvertently finds himself the witness to the death of Miss Amelia Brinton who suffers a fatal fall visiting the Acropolis in Greece. He is curious about the case and heads to Meldsmead in the English countryside to visit the 17th century home of Miss Amelia that she had left to her niece. That the mistress of Abbot’s Lodge has been suffering a series of mysterious nasty accidents piques his interest. Things become even more interesting when a woman breaks her neck visiting the British Museum. Dr. Grant thinks the cases may all be related and that it just might be murder. He has to put his excellent sleuthing skills to determine the motives of a killer and how poison got into a pie and its relations to a missing volume of Cicero.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Margaret Yorke

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