Lesley Grant-Adamson


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The Life
LESLEY GRANT-ADAMSON was born in Islington, north London in 1942, and spent most of her childhood in Trealaw in the Rhondda.

She now lives in Debenham, Suffolk, but during the 1980s and 1990s lived in Islington, the scene of several of her novels. Since 1968 she has been married to Andrew Grant-Adamson, a communications consultant and lecturer in journalism at City University and Westminster University. Together they wrote A Season in Spain (Pavilion), a portrait of the Alpujarra region of Andalusia where they lived from 1991-3.

She was educated at Dame Alice Owen School and then worked as a journalist in London and the provinces until the early Seventies when she joined the London staff of The Guardian. In 1981 she left The Guardian to write fiction.

She is a member of the Society of Authors, the Royal Society of Literature, the Welsh Academy, East Anglia Writers and the Crime Writers’ Association.

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The work
LESLEY GRANT-ADAMSON’s first novel, Patterns in the Dust, established her reputation worldwide as a writer of detective fiction. Her second, The Face of Death, made her name as a writer of suspense. She has now written 15 highly acclaimed novels which reviewers compare with the best of Patricia Highsmith, Simenon, Elmore Leonard, Ruth Rendell and Daphne du Maurier. Her short stories have appeared in literary magazines, women’s magazines and anthologies.

The range of her work has led critics to call her ‘one of the classiest thriller writers around’ (Sunday Times) and ‘the British writer who has set new standards in crime writing’ (London Evening Standard). Cosmopolitan congratulated her on ‘turning the genre into an art form’, and P.D. James praised her for ‘knowing how to create an atmosphere of unease and incipient horror’. The Times Literary Supplement commented that ‘her pace never flags. Her novels are constantly diverting’; while the Daily Telegraph has found in her work ‘shades of John Buchan, even a touch of Dornford Yates. Her stories rattle along’.

Unusually, two of her novels draw on personal experiences. In Evil Acts she uses childhood memories of her grandparents haunted house in Wales. Her heroine, Grace Denton, unwittingly buys the house of a serial killer and comes to believe he haunts her. As a friend tells Grace: ‘Evil makes us all feel a little colder. It forces us to accept how flimsy our lives and our sanity are. A crazed killer sends out shock waves. You don’t have to be dead or at the graveside to suffer.’

The horrors of 25 Cromwell Street cast a shadow over Wish You Were Here whose heroine deliberately disappears from Gloucester, only to be picked up on the Welsh borders by a serial killer. ‘Ever since I was a reporter in Gloucester in the Sixties, when girls began to go missing, I have been fascinated by missing people and it has crept into several of my novels. But in Wish You were Here I decided to write a story from a missing woman’s viewpoint, and to use a modern Gloucester background. After I had been writing it for a month, I opened the paper one morning and discovered the police were digging in Cromwell Street.’

Lesley teaches creative writing courses and gives popular talks on the genre. She was the first writer of crime fiction to be appointed writer in residence at a British university. Her book for the Teach Yourself series, Writing Crime and Suspense Fiction, was an immediate success.

Her short stories have been broadcast on Radio 4, as well as appearing in various magazines and anthologies.

1985: Patterns in the Dust
The Face of Death
1986: Guilty Knowledge
1987: Wild Justice
1988: Threatening Eye
1990: Curse the Darkness
1991: Flynn
1992: A Life of Adventure
1993 The Dangerous Edge

Hodder and Stoughton
1994 Dangerous Games
1995 Wish You Were Here
1996 Evil Acts
1997 The Girl in the Case
1998 Lipstick and Lies
1999 Undertow

International Masters Publishing
2001 Music to be Murdered By

Non fiction books:

1995 A Season in Spain (co-author Andrew Grant-Adamson)

Hodder and Stoughton, Teach Yourself imprint:
1996 Writing Crime and Suspense Fiction

Short stories include:
Members of the Jury
A Reasonable Woman
Ex Voto
Two Birds, One Stone
Black Tulip
Death in the Sun
Cuckoo in the Wood
This Way Nobody gets the Blame
Scene of the Crime
Lilac Time

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