Christianna Brand's picture

Christianna Brand

(Mary Christianna Lewis)
UK flag (1907 - 1988)

aka Mary Ann Ashe, Mary Roland, China Thompson

Christianna Brand was born in 1907 in Malaya and spent her early years in India. She had a number of different occupations, including model, dancer, shop assistant and governess.

Her first novel, Death in High Heels, was published in 1941. A year later her best-loved series character, Inspector Cockrill of the Kent County Police, made his debut in Heads You Lose. He would feature in a total of seven of her detective novels. Green for Danger is Brand's most famous novel and considered by many to be her masterpiece. H.R.F. Keating described the novel as 'the last golden crown of the Golden Age detective story'. The novel was adapted for the big screen in 1946 starring Alastair Sim as the Inspector.

Christianna Brand's most appealing characteristic as a writer was her ability to blend complex and intriguing plots with a lively sense of humour conveyed both through character and dialogue. Brand herself admitted: 'I write for no reason more pretentious than simply to entertain.'

Christianna Brand was married to her husband Roland for nearly fifty years. She died in 1988.

Genres: Mystery, Children's Fiction
Inspector Cockrill
   1. Heads You Lose (1941)
   2. Green for Danger (1944)
   3. The Crooked Wreath (1946)

     aka Suddenly at His Residence

   4. Death of Jezebel (1948)
   5. London Particular (1952)
     aka Fog of Doubt
   6. Tour De Force (1955)
   The Three Cornered Halo (1957)
   The Spotted Cat and Other Mysteries from Inspector Cockrill's Casebook (2002)
Inspector Chucky
   Cat and Mouse (1950)
   A Ring of Roses (1977) (as by Mary Ann Ashe)
Nurse Matilda
   1. Nurse Matilda (1964)
   2. Nurse Matilda Goes to Town (1967)
   3. Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital (1975)
continued in the series by Emma Thompson
   The Single Pilgrim (1946) (as by Mary Roland)
   Danger Unlimited (1949)
     aka Welcome to Danger
   Starrbelow (1958) (as by China Thompson)
   Dear Mr. MacDonald (1959)
   Heaven Knows Who (1960)
   Blood Brothers (1965)
   My Ladies' Tears (1965)
   Twist for Twist (1967)
   Court of Foxes (1969)
   Alas, for Her That Met Me! (1976) (as by Mary Ann Ashe)
   The Honey Harlot (1978)
   The Brides of Aberdar (1982)
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   What Dread Hand? (1968)
   Brand X (1974)
   Buffet for Unwelcome Guests (1983)
Anthologies edited
   Naughty Children (1962)
Anthologies containing stories by Christianna Brand
Bodies from the Library 6 (2023)
(Bodies from the Library, book 6)
edited by
Tony Medawar
Crimes of Cymru (2023)
Stories of Cambrian Crime
(British Library Crime Classics)
edited by
Martin Edwards
Ghosts from the Library (2022)
(Bodies from the Library)
edited by
Tony Medawar

More anthologies 

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