Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Catherine Aird

Photo of Catherine Airdhttp://www.fbcuk.co.uk/catherineaird

Biography
Catherine Aird (pseudonym for Kinn Hamilton McIntosh) was born in 1930 in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, England. After graduating from high school, her plan was to study medicine like her father. However, a near-fatal illness gave her a great deal of time to read which spurred an interest in writing. She published her first novel in 1966. She has lived in the same house since 1946, in Sturry, near Canterbury, Kent, where she is active in village life, participating in the Girl Guides, and writing a series of village histories. Aird has published a stand-alone mystery, A Most Contagious Game, story collections, and is a contributing editor to The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing. But she is best known for her Sloan and Crosby mystery series.

What she writes: Begun in 1966 with The Religious Body, Aird has now published twenty-one Sloan and Crosby mysteries. Detective Chief Inspector C.D. Sloan and his not very helpful sidekick, Constable Crosby, are the stars of these cozy police procedurals. They take place in the quiet (fictitious) county of Calleshire, England. Aird has been compared to Martha Grimes, Caroline Graham, M.C. Beaton, Margaret Yorke, and Pauline Bell. Her style is very British, witty and charming, sprinkled with Shakespearean and other literary references, with lively plots. Since there is very little history in the series, it is not essential to read them in order.

 

List of works
 
Sloan and Crosby series
  The Religious Body (1966) - CD A Dead Liberty (1986)
  Henrietta Who? (1968) The Body Politic (1991)
  The Stately Home Murder (1969) A Going Concern (1993)
  A Late Phoenix (1970) After Effects (1996)
  His Burial Too (1973) Stiff News (1998)
  Slight Mourning (1975) Little Knell (2001)
  Parting Breath (1977) Amendment of Life (2002)
  Some Die Eloquent (1979) Hole in One (2005)
  Passing Strange (1980) Losing Ground (2007)
  Last Respects (1982) Past Tense (2010) - CD - large type
  Harm's Way (1984)  
     
Story collections
  Injury Time (1994)
  Chapter and Hearse (2004)
   
Other works
  A Most Contagious Game (1967)
  The Oxford Companion to Crime and Mystery Writing (1999)
   

Awards

Crime Writers' Association "Golden Handcuffs" Award for Lifetime Achievement.

 
What the critics say
"Aird’s delicious concoctions are never less than elegant and mischievously sharp." - London Times
Regarding Amendment of Life - "Trust mystery writer Catherine Aird to add her own special twists and lots of biting wit to murder…the settings are classic, the characters delightfully quirky, and the words of wisdom many." - Boston Herald
"Sloan is the kind of down-to-earth detective who makes you glad you aren't a criminal: gently persistent and full of wry observations, no superman but all the more believable because of that." - Publishers Weekly
"For those who like quiet British procedurals, with the emphasis more on wit and sly turns of phrase than on mean streets, Aird's series is sure to please." - Booklist

 

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