Cath was brought up in Bradford and hoped to become an entomologist (insects) then a trapeze artist before settling on acting at the age of eight. She graduated from Birmingham University with a Drama and Theatre Arts degree and moved to work as a community artist in Manchester where she now lives with her family.
Looking for Trouble, published in 1994, launched private eye Sal, a single parent struggling to juggle work and home, onto Manchester’s mean streets. It was short listed for the Crime Writers Association’s John Creasey best first novel award, serialised on BBC Radio 4, Woman’s Hour and awarded Le Masque de l’Année in France. Cath has published a further seven Sal Kilkenny mysteries.
In 2006 Cath was short-listed for the CWA Dagger in the Library. In 2012 Cath won the CWA Short Story Dagger for Laptop, sharing the prize with Margaret Murphy with her story The Message. Both stories featured in Best Eaten Cold, a Murder Squad anthology. And in 2014 Cath was short-listed for the CWA Short Story Dagger again for Night Nurse from the anthology Deadly Pleasures.
Cath is also a scriptwriter, creator of ITV’s hit police series, Blue Murder, which ran for five series from 2003 – 2009 starring Caroline Quentin as DCI Janine Lewis. Blue Murder has been sold around the globe in places as diverse as Fiji, Iceland and Yemen.
Cath writes for radio and created the Legacy drama series which features a chalk-and-cheese, brother and sister duo of heir hunters whose searches take them into the past lives of families torn apart by events.
Trio, a stand-alone novel, moved away from crime to explore adoption and growing up in the 1960s. Cath’s own story, of tracing and being re-united with her Irish birth family and her seven brothers and sisters, featured in the television documentary Finding Cath from RTE.
Cath has written three books based on the Scott & Bailey TV series, faithful to the characters and telling stories of original murder investigations.
Letters To My Daughter’s Killer was selected for Specsavers Crime Thriller Book Club in 2014 and featured on ITV3s Crime Thriller Club.
Cath is a founder member of Murder Squad, a virtual collective of northern crime writers. She is an avid reader and likes hill-walking, messing about in the garden and dancing (with far more enthusiasm than grace).