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Hello and welcome to my website. I’m the author of the Sal Kilkenny private eye stories and creator and scriptwriter of Blue Murder, ITV’s hit detective drama starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. I write the Scott & Bailey books, based on the much loved ITV police series. My standalone titles, psychological fiction, explore the lives of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events, giving a voice to victims, the bereaved, survivors and witnesses. Thank you to everyone who has borrowed, bought or downloaded one of my books. Happy reading.

Hit and Run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hit and Run (Detective Janine Lewis Mysteries Book 2) is out now from Joffe Books. And on offer for only 99p/99c. I was delighted to see Blue Murder climbing the charts on its recent release, reaching the top 30 in Kindle Store and a #1 Bestseller in English Crime. Massive thanks to Joffe books and especially to all the people who bought that and all who so kindly left a review. I do hope readers will enjoy this next instalment which sees Janine just back at work from maternity leave and dealing with two very tough cases.

Blue Murder – a gripping crime thriller filled with twists

Blue Murder is out from Joffe Books now with a great new cover! And Hit and Run will kick off August. I’m really looking forward to the stories reaching a whole new audience. The books are based on my scripts from Blue Murder, the TV series I created almost twenty years ago. It all began with an unpublished novel and a tip from my Murder Squad pal Ann Cleeves, who knew Granada TV were looking for crime-drama ideas with women detectives at the centre. I was incredibly lucky to get Blue Murder commissioned by ITV and the show went on to be broadcast around the world in places from Iceland to Afghanistan, Fiji to Brazil. Now I hope that readers here and abroad will enjoy getting to know Janine Lewis, who juggles a demanding family life and a challenging job, and her Manchester team.  And for those of you who like audiobooks, Blue Murder is also available on Audible.

‘Uncluttered and finely detailed prose.’ Birmingham Post

‘Complex and satisfying in its handling of Lewis’s agonised attempts to be both a good cop and a good mother’ The Sunday Times

‘Beautifully realised little snapshots of the different characters’ lives … Compelling stuff.’ Sherlock Magazine

 ‘A swift, satisfying read.’ City Life

 ‘Precise and detailed delineation of contemporary family relationships.’ Tangled Web

‘Lewis seems set to become another very popular string to Staincliffe’s bow as one of the leading English murder writers.’ Manchester Metro

 ‘Pace and plenty of human interest.’ Publishing News

‘Blending the warmth of family life with the demands of a police investigation.’ Manchester Evening News

‘Juggling work and family is a challenge of modern life and encountering realistically portrayed women with family responsibilities is a pleasure. Staincliffe is a veteran crime fiction writer and so her plots are well-thought-out and puzzling.’ Deadly Pleasures

Dagger in the Library!

I am delighted to be short-listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library. This is an award for a writer whose body of work is popular with library users, and who supports libraries. It means a lot to me as I’ve been a lifelong library user, grateful that I’ve been able to satisfy my love of reading via my library card. I enjoy very much visiting libraries to talk about my work and share a pleasure in books with other keen readers. And I know the great majority of people who read my books borrow them from libraries. So thanks to them and the wonderful librarians who staff our libraries and our brilliant Public Lending Right system, which pays authors a few pence for every library loan. The Dagger Awards will be announced on June 29th.

Here are two of my favourite quotes about libraries, they sum up perfectly how I feel:

‘Congratulations on the new library, because it isn’t just a library. It is a space ship that will take you to the farthest reaches of the Universe, a time machine that will take you to the far past and the far future, a teacher that knows more than any human being, a friend that will amuse you and console you – and most of all, a gateway, to a better and happier and more useful life.’ Isaac Asimov

‘Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.’ Lady Bird Johnson

Happy Reading!

#CrimeFestAwards

I am astonished and delighted and honoured that Running Out of Road is on the shortlist for the eDunnit Award for best novel of 2021 at Crime Fest. It’s a wonderful surprise and awesome to be in such wonderful company. The winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner on May 14th.

Running Out of Road is a race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District. At its heart is eleven-year-old Scarlett, who has survived a great loss, is full of dreams for the future and passionate about protecting the planet. Scarlett is abducted and driven up into the hills with the police in hot pursuit. Scarlett’s path collides with others. Ron has made a living as a house and pet sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. The solitude suits him. Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. One step ahead of the law. So far…The action unfolds over a few hours on a wretched February evening, as Storm Dennis barrels in from the north bringing floods and ensuing chaos.

Running Out of Road was written during 2020 when we were all struggling with the dreadful impact of the pandemic. The continuing ban on travel (which came into effect here in the North West swiftly after the first lockdown was lifted) meant I couldn’t visit the Peak District where I love to walk. But writing the book allowed me to escape there in my imagination. To get away from the grim news of the pandemic, Brexit and the climate emergency, and lose myself in Scarlett’s adventure. I relished exploring the terrain through the eyes of the various characters in the novel, and being able to capture some of the beauty and grandeur of the peaks.

I’ve been thrilled at the reception the book has received, especially this nomination. Happy reading!

New Book Deal

I’m delighted to have signed a deal with Joffe Books to publish my four DCI Janine Lewis novels. And I’m really looking forward to the stories reaching a whole new audience. Blue Murder, Hit and Run, Make Believe and Desperate Measures are due out in May. The books are based on my scripts from Blue Murder, the TV series I created almost twenty years ago. It all began with an unpublished novel and a tip from my Murder Squad pal Ann Cleeves, who knew Granada TV were looking for crime-drama ideas with women detectives at the centre. I was incredibly lucky to get Blue Murder commissioned by ITV and the show went on to be broadcast around the world in places from Iceland to Afghanistan, Fiji to Brazil. Now I hope that readers here and abroad will enjoy getting to know Janine Lewis, who juggles a demanding family life and a challenging job, and her Manchester team.

‘Complex and satisfying in its handling of Lewis’s agonised attempts to be both a good cop and a good mother’ The Sunday Times

New Year, New Books

With settings ranging from rural Ireland to Cape Cod, South Africa to Hollywood and with stories that include a reimagining of Sophocles’ play Antigone, the terrors of the Pendle Witch Trials, Bohemian life on a Greek Island in the 60s and London in the Blitz, these books all come highly recommended. Happy reading!

Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

A Theatre for Dreamers by Polly Samson

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Waiting Rooms by Eve Smith

Brixton Hill by Lottie Moggach

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

The Last Thing To Burn by Will Dean

The Searcher by Tana French

Twelve Books For Christmas … And After

Something for everyone here – and every one a belting story with memorable characters. Happy reading and wishing you a happy and peaceful 2022.

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

Tall Bones by Anna Bailey

Summer by Ali Smith

The Snow Song by Sally Gardner

Truth Be Told by Kia Abdullah

Back When We Were Grown Ups by Anne Tyler

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby

The Survivors by Jane Harper

The City We Became by NK Jemisin

Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans

The Appeal by Janice Hallett

Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton

More Good Books

Another clutch of wonderful stories, all of which have stayed in my mind after I’ve finished them. Happy reading!

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Olive Again by Elizabeth Strout

Blood and Sugar by Laura Shepherd-Robinson

Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan

The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex

No Honour by Awais Khan

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Girl A by Abigail Dean

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

 

Books for Black History Month

It’s Black History Month and my union The Writers Guild is asking members to share their favourite Black writer or piece of writing to celebrate and amplify under-represented voices. I don’t want to pick just one so here are books I’ve enjoyed and recommended via #FridayReads on Twitter, and in lists on this blog. All highly recommended.

A River Called Time by Courttia Newland

The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

Lullaby by Leila Slimani

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Three-Fifths by John Vercher

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Ordinary People by Diana Evans

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

The Confessions of Frannie Langton by Sara Collins

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams

Running Out Of Road

I’m absolutely delighted with the reception that Running Out of Road has received. The story describes  a race against time, played out in the brooding wilderness, the limestone gorges and gritstone edges of the Peak District. At the heart of it is eleven-year-old Scarlett, who is abducted and driven up into the hills, with the police in hot pursuit. Scarlett’s path collides with that of others. Ron has made a living as a house and pet sitter since quitting his career on the front line in the fire service. Dylan’s a ‘cuckoo’, dealing drugs on the county line, moving from nest to nest, picking out people who daren’t say no. One step ahead of the law. So far.

The action unfolds over a few hours on a wretched February evening, as Storm Dennis barrels in from the north bringing floods and ensuing chaos.

And here’s what reviewers are saying about it:

‘Staincliffe excels herself here with the story of a teenage girl abducted by her real father, who is on the police’s wanted list … the anguish behind life’s tragedies reveals itself in this harrowing but human drama’ Daily Mail

‘Moodily gripping’ Peterborough Telegraph

‘I was hooked from start to finish … a fab fast paced crime thriller… She’s made the Peak District character in itself’ A Knights Reads

‘Dark, visceral and compelling … complex, multi-layered and intelligent crime fiction … a superbly written crime novel and a high stakes emotional drama from a writer who always pushes the envelope and never fails to deliver’ Bookish Jottings

‘Cath Staincliffe’s writing is wonderful, bringing the brooding wilderness of the Peak District vividly to life. With fascinating characters and a gripping storyline’ Cal Turner Reviews

‘Another superb story from Cath Staincliffe’ Compulsive Readers

‘A complex, tense and absolutely gripping read’ Crime Book Junkie

‘She excels at showing what the impact of a crime has on everyone involved’ Crime Pieces

‘Kudos to the author for bringing out an Asian cop’s insecurities so well’ Debjani’s Thoughts

‘The beautiful Peak District is the backdrop for the latest novel by Cath Staincliffe, a gripping cat and mouse chase that brings together some brilliantly crafted characters’ My Chestnut Reading Tree

‘It starts with a bang as it means to go on and from the beginning the pace is relentless’ Portable Magic

‘Staincliffe is an incredible talent. Her writing moves with such a pace, unexpected twists to catch the reader out, and wonderfully created characters who leap from the pages. The reader lives and breathes alongside them. Powerful, gripping and ultimately satisfying. This is going to be up there in my top books of the year, without a doubt’ Random Things Through My Letterbox

‘A tightly plotted crime story with fascinating characters’ Short Book and Scribes

‘Each and every character on the page keeps you guessing, and you root for them all in totally different ways – not a single word or emotion is wasted on the page’ The Glass House