Martine Bailey’s debut ‘An Appetite for Violets’ is a crime novel set in 18th century Europe (Hodder & Stoughton and St Martin’s Press, US). Written as a book of recipes, it takes sharp-witted cook Biddy Leigh on a murderous trip from England to Italy. Its mix of crime, gastronomy and social history was described by Fay Weldon as a new genre, ‘culinary gothic’. ‘An Appetite for Violets’ was picked by the American Library Association’s ‘Booklist’ as one of the top ten crime fiction debuts of 2015.
‘The Penny Heart’ is a Sunday Times Best Summer Read that draws on age-old themes of cooking, trickery and revenge (Hodder & Stoughton). Titled ‘A Taste for Nightshade’ in the US, (St Martin’s Press, January) it draws on Martine’s 20-month stay in Australia and New Zealand to depict a world of deceit, double-crossing and revenge.
Her short story, ‘A Mouthful of Restaurant’, appears in the 2017 CWA Anthology, ‘The Mystery Tour’.
Martine lives in Cheshire, England and is married with one son.