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Stef Penney Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Tenderness of Wolves (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Invisible Ones (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Under a Pole Star (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beasts of Paris (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Stef Penney is a Scottish filmmaker, screenwriter, and author from London England.

In her teenage years, she went to Bristol University where she got her bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy.

She would then pursue a career in film making and over the years she has directed and written several short films for the British Film Council and the BBC.
Penney penned her debut novel “The Tenderness of Wolves” in 2006. It was the work that would make her name as it went on to win the Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year and the Costa Book of the Year.

The work made her come out of her shell and was something of an ordeal and triumph. At one time she was a very private persona but now she has become quite a public persona.

What people do not know is that during the writing and research of the novel, she suffered from severe agoraphobia, and as such, she never traveled to the winter griped and harsh landscapes she set her novel in.

Much of the research was thus done from the confines of the British library which makes the fruit of her labors even more remarkable.

Penney’s inspiration for her debut novel makes for a very complicated story. The work itself was inspired by the very first screenplay she penned more than a dozen years ago.

Stef Penney has said that she loved the characters from her first work and always knew that she would one day revisit them. As such, it follows the stories of the lead characters in Angus and Mrs. Ross moving to Canada under the Highland Clearances program.

She initially started writing the work intending to make it about Mrs. Ross looking for someone during the winter. It was the start of an idea even though she had no idea what her character was looking for or why she needed to do it.

Additionally, Stef has always been obsessed with cold climes and had devoured all manner of books including obscure texts on the history of polar exploration.
Since she was agoraphobic and couldn’t travel out of London let alone to Canada, she read all manner of books about Canada from the period in which her works are set.

As for her inspiration, Stef Penney has said that she is a huge lover of crime fiction especially anything that pushes the boundaries of genres.
For instance, she loves the works of Kirsten Ekman, the Swedish author who writes brilliantly about character and landscape.

She is also hugely inspired by the natural history writer Barry Lopez and cites Arctic Dreams as one of her favorite novels of all time.
She loves the author for how he manages to combine poetry, philosophy, and history with the migrating habits of musk oxen.

In a different field, he likes the works of Patrick O’Brien for the mature wisdom, great wit, and humanity of the characters, particularly in the Aubrey-Maturin novels.

Stef Penney’s novel “The Tenderness of Wolves” is set in the inter of 1867. It could not have been a colder time as the residents of the tiny isolated community of Dove River in the Northern Territory have to deal with terrible conditions.

An employee of the Hudson company who was working as a voyageur turns up brutally murdered. Before he left the company, he had been involved in an accident at work that had left him lame.

The Hudson company had given him a little piece of land that the locals believed was cursed after its owner died a mysterious death the previous year.
Mrs. Ross is a local woman who discovered the crime scene, which had tracks leading from it and into the tundra and forest beyond.

She reports the crime but soon after regrets it as Francis her seventeen-year-old goes missing and the authorities believe he is the main suspect.
In the wake of the brutal crime, people are drawn to the township and the crime scene.

The author writes a story full of humor, adventure, revelation, and suspense to make for an exhilarating thriller.

“The Invisible One” by Stef Penney tells the story of Rose Janko a woman that has not been seen for seven years.

At the opening of the story, her father has visited Ray a private investigator looking for his help in finding his daughter or what happened to her.
Ray is half gypsy with a gorjio mother and a Roman father and hence it is not surprising that he is Rose’s father go to investigator, since Rose had been married to a gypsy man.

The investigator needs to win the trust of the dangerous, deceptive, and secretive Janko family to which Rose was married.

Could Rose have left behind Christo her little son since he happens to have a mysterious family disease that had been responsible for the death of several of the Janko family?

While they are not a model family, it is clear that little Christo is one of the most beloved of the Janko family. They protect the little boy and have always blamed Rose for abandoning him.

Ray finds himself in the middle of a dark mystery he cannot resolve, which draws him back into the gypsy community and culture he believed he had left behind.
While she may have abandoned her son, Ray does not understand why the Jankos do not want Rose found.

Stef Penney’s novel “Under a Pole Star” is the story of Flora Mackie. Aged only twelve she had crossed the Arctic Circle aboard the whaling ship owned by her father. At the opening of the story, she is heading back to the Arctic now leading her own expedition.

On the other hand, is the Manhattan-born and raised Jakob de Beyn whose yearning for new adventure sees him join a rival venture.

When the two meet all thoughts of exploration and science are cast aside in the face of an all-consuming and sudden love. Against all odds, their affair survives the growing tensions between the rival expeditions.

However, Jakob links up with his team leader one summer and heads out into the interior of Greenland on a trip that has devastating results.
Against the backdrop of a beautiful arctic ocean, snow muffled wasteland, and the empty tundra, Penney writes a compelling and irresistible story of exploration.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stef Penney

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