Martine lives in Chester and
writes crime and mystery novels with a local flavour. She was inspired to write
her debut, An Appetite for Violets,
by a collection of 18th century recipes at Erddig Hall and then set
out to follow in the steps of Georgian travellers to Italy. Featuring
irrepressible young cook Biddy Leigh, the novel was credited by Fay Weldon as
creating the ‘culinary gothic’ genre and picked as one of the year’s Ten Best
Crime Fiction Debuts by the American Library Association's Booklist.
recent book, The Almanack, is set in
18th century Cheshire and features a sinister almanack that seems to
predict a series of murders around the country year. When Tabitha Hart returns
to Chester from London she vows to solve a series of riddles to unmask her
mother’s killer. ‘I was enthralled by the riddles
and puzzles, twists and surprises.’ (Paula
Brackston, author of The Witch's Daughter).
The Penny Heart, is the story of two very different women, a sensitive young wife and
her scheming cook. Set in a dilapidated Hall inspired by Plas Teg, Flintshire, it
also transports the reader to Australia and New Zealand, where Martine
travelled and researched for 20 months. It was selected as one of The Sunday
Times Top Summer Reads.
A keen amateur cook and recipe
writer, Martine won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK
Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. She has studied with TV food
historian Ivan Day and experienced Georgian food and fashion at first-hand with
an historic re-enactment society..
Thriller, Historical, Crime, Gothic, Food
Publications & Performance History
An Appetite for Violets: UK &
Commonwealth (Hodder & Stoughton) May 2014
The Penny Heart UK &
Commonwealth (Hodder & Stoughton) May 2015
The Almanack: UK and US (Severn
House) January 2019
Workshop & Reading Experience
I have spoken at festivals and libraries
(including Storyhouse), including giving popular illustrated talks on the
inspirations for my books.
My interest areas are historic
food and cookery, crime fiction, and Chester in the Georgian age. I enjoy
speaking to book clubs and many groups enjoy baking historic cakes to get a
taste of the era – and I’m happy to judge them if they wish!
Group size preference
Group age preference
Area prepared to travel
to stay within 1 hour of Chester. I do travel further afield but I might need
to charge a fee. Please contact me to discuss.