Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Minette Walters


Minette Walters was born in 1949 in Bishop's Stortford, England. During a
gap year between boarding school and Durham University, she worked in Israel as a volunteer. After graduation she worked as a magazine editor and wrote for women’s magazines until she married and had children. When her youngest son started school full time, Walters began writing novels. In addition to writing, Walters has been a patron of numerous charities, volunteered in libraries, schools and prisons, and enjoyed Do-It-Yourself projects around the house. She and her husband Alexander live in Dorset with their dogs, chickens, sheep and horses.

What she writes: From the beginning of her career, Walters has enjoyed both critical and commercial success. She has chosen not to write in series, preferring the freedom to explore new characters with each book. Her intricately plotted stories expose psychologically disturbed family relations, and some contain intimations of witchcraft. Walters has been compared with two other female giants in the mystery genre: P. D. James and Ruth Rendell.

Walters claims not to know “whodunit” until the writing is well underway. She cites the challenge “to create a puzzle for the readers. My job is to keep them guessing for as long as I can…You embark with nothing, just a tightrope across a chasm. It's a much more enjoyable way to write because I have to work it out along with the reader. If I don't know who did it until half way, the reader is going to be fairly fazed as well. So it is very ‘suspenseful’ for both the author and the reader.”

List of works
  The Ice House (1992) -- CD -- cassette
  The Sculptress (1993) -- large type
  The Scold's Bridle (1994) -- large type
  The Dark Room (1995) -- large type -- cassette
  The Echo (1997) -- large type -- cassette
  The Breaker (1998) -- large type -- cassette
  The Shape of Snakes (2001)
  Acid Row (2001) -- large type -- cassette
  The Devil's Feather (2006)


John Creasey Award for Best First Crime Novel, British Crime Writers' Association, 1992, for The Ice House; Macavity Award, 1993, and Edgar Allen Poe Award, 1994, both for The Sculptress; Gold Dagger Award, British Crime Writers' Association, 1994, for The Scold's Bridle.


What the critics say

"[The Scold's Bridle] is a novel shot through with pessimism about society's inability to do anything about the abuse of the weak." -- New York Times Book Review, October 4, 1992
“The quest for truth is punctuated by touches of humanity that lift [The Dark Room] way above others of its genre." -- New Statesman & Society, October 13, 1995
“With its probing of a decades-old case involving issues of prejudice and abuse, [Disordered Minds] is reminiscent of Walters's The Shape of Snakes; while it uncovers less absolute evil, it is hardly less gripping in revealing and illuminating not only what happened but also why.” -- Library Journal, December 1, 2004


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