MJ Carter was born and brought up in London. She worked as a publisher and journalist before writing two big non-fiction books, Anthony Blunt, His Lives, which won the Orwell Prize and was chosen by the New York Times as one of the seven best books of 2002; and The Three Emperors (George, Nicholas and Wilhelm in the US), which was shortlisted for the 2010 LA Times Biography prize and the Hesse Tiltmann history prize.
In 2014 she published The Strangler Vine, the first of a series of historical mystery-thrillers set in the early years of Queen Victoria’s reign, featuring the taciturn Mr Jeremiah Blake. It was shortlisted for the CWA First Blood Dagger, and longlisted for the Baileys Prize (formerly the Orange Prize). The Infidel Stain, its sequel, will be published in May 2015. MJ Carter is married, has two sons, and lives in London.