Adrian Mathews was born and brought up in London and read English at Cambridge University. For many years he was a lecturer at London Universitys British Institute in Paris before becoming a full-time writer. He continues to live in France with his daughter Lizzie, between homes in Paris and rural Touraine. He is the author of a critical study of nineteenth-century English literature, Romantics and Victorians (1992), and two previous novels: The Hat of Victor Noir (1996) and Vienna Blood (1999). Vienna Blood won the prestigious CWA Silver Dagger Award in 1999.