Growing up in Hammersmith,
I lived near London Underground's  District Line. No doubt this cemented my love of the clattering trains, the warm dusty smell and the rythmic thuds of the wheels on the rails.
It certainly inspired The Detective Daughter series.

I've always wanted to write and was thrilled when my first novel, Seven Miles From Sydney came out in 1987 and made
the City Limits top ten best books for that year.


After that life and 'proper jobs' took over so it wasn't until 2007 that I published A Kind of Vanishing. This won the People's Book prize for fiction in 2010.


The Detective's Daughter featuring Stella Darnell (Clean Slate Cleaning Services) and Jack Harmon, driver on London Underground was a long running #1. I've gone on to write seven more in the series and am now on #9. I've also written two standalones.


I run a crime writing certificate with Elly Griffths at West Dean College in Sussex. 


I live happily in Lewes with my partner and Alfred the Poodle who is the model for Stella's dog, Stanley.

My Characters

Stella Darnell

runs a successful cleaning company in London. Herj dad was a detective in the Metropolitan police. Like Terry, Stella
roots into dark corners, enters chaos and restores order. Never interested in joining the police, yet Stella ends up solving cases. She brings her cleaning methods to bear on
each investigation, strippingaway layers of untruths and fabrications to uncover the killer...stain by stain.

Jack Harmon

is a night-time London Underground train driver. Where Stella is
rational and practical, Jack is capricious and quirky. He sees ghosts,
is governed by intuition, discerns patterns everywhere and takes
action accordingly. Unafraid to enter the mind of a murderer, he
walks into the nocturnal darkness to understand the killer’s
motives and anticipate their next move.

Jack and Stella’s different skills and view of the world make
them a successful detective partnership. Together they solve
murder cases.


Stella has a small apricot poodle called Stanley. He first appears in Ghost Girl where he was stuck up a tree overhanging the River Thames. Gradually Stella, who isn’t keen on the mess and chaos that she associates with pets, grows to love Stanley and he becomes a vital member of the Clean Slate detective team. Readers love him too. It made my day (many days, weeks…) when Keith and Gail sent me this photograph of their new poodle puppy along with this message. 

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