Janet Laurence

Cookery expert Laurence, the Crime Writers Association chairman, writes what she knows. Her first crime novel, A Deep Coffyn (1989) surprised the Society of Historical Gastronomes with a body under the pastry. Thereafter independent, inquiring Darina Lisle roams the food world where her special knowledge is her passport.

The Lisle novels pour on information while entertaining the reader, and underline the ironic contrast between food as necessary to sustain life and as an instrument of death. Laurence’s formidable research talents underpin a new historical mystery series (Canaletto and The Case of the Westminster Bridge). Few crime writers have limned the brilliance of Georgian London with its colourful rogues and burgeoning commerce.

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