USA Today best-selling author Marty Wingate shares her love of Britain through her mysteries and historical fiction. The Orphans of Mersea House tells the story of a ragtag group of lodgers in a boardinghouse run by Olive Kersey in 1957 in a small town on the Suffolk coast, where the shadow of the past seems always present. Glamour Girls, set during the Second World War, follows Rosalie Wright from farm girl to Spitfire pilot, navigating not only the skies above England, but also the heartache and exultation of wartime life.
Marty’s mystery series include the Potting Shed books, featuring Pru Parke, a middle-aged American gardener transplanted from Texas to England. The Birds of a Feather mysteries follow Julia Lanchester, bird lover, who runs a tourist office in a Suffolk village. In the First Edition Library series, set in the lovely Georgian spa town of Bath, we find Hayley Burke, curator of an impressive collection of books by Golden Age of Mystery authors—Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Ngaio Marsh, Margery Allingham, and the like. Hayley has never read a detective story in her life, but she’s a quick learner—if only these murders wouldn’t get in her way.
Combining three of her favorite things—mystery, history, and England—Marty is currently working on a new series: The London Ladies Murder Club. Set in 1921, Mabel Canning joins the Useful Women agency, working to fulfill the needs of the gentlewomen who no longer have maids. But Mabel discovers she has skills beyond repairing lace and washing Irish wolfhounds: she can read upside down, imitate (she would never say “forge”) another person’s handwriting. She can find lost things, lost people, and she can solve murders. Look for The Body on the Doorstep in January 2024.
Marty lives with her husband near Seattle, her local library stands in for a more colorful writing venue—say, Vita Sackville-West’s tower at Sissinghurst or Roald Dahl’s summerhouse. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the British Crime Writers Association, as well as the Royal Horticultural Society.
Marty takes research seriously—she is a former how-to garden writer of three books and a countless number (at least, she stopped counting ages ago) of magazine and newspaper articles on everything from apple maggot to the prettiest daffodils and the best-smelling roses. Research took on an entirely new light when she began writing mysteries and historical fiction set in Britain, and now she and her husband travel regularly to England and Scotland, where she plunges deeply into study concerning her characters’ next adventures—sparing not a few minutes a day to head to the pub.
USA Today best-selling author Marty Wingate writes mysteries and histories—all fiction and all set in Britain. Her mystery series include the Potting Shed, Birds of a Feather, and the First Edition Library series.
The London Ladies Murder Club is Marty’s latest mystery series, set in 1921 London. Inspired by the real-life Useful Women agency, which carried out all manner of domestic jobs for those gentlewomen fallen on hard times, Mabel Canning runs the London Ladies Murder Club, a division of Useful Women that specializes in private investigations. A Body on the Doorstep, book one, will be out January 2024. Marty also writes historical fiction, including Glamour Girls, about a Second World War female Spitfire pilot, and The Orphans of Mersea House, set in 1957 in a town on the Suffolk coast.
Marty prefers on-the-ground research whenever possible, and so she and her husband regularly travel to England and Scotland, where she can be found tracing the steps of her characters, stopping for tea and a slice of Victoria sponge in a café, or enjoying a swift half in a pub.