The Crime Writers’ Association

Debut Dagger 2019


A Thin Sharp Blade

Fran Smith

About A Thin Sharp Blade

Cambridge, 1903. A boxing champion dies after an exhibition fight. Injuries sustained in the ring are blamed, but would-be scientist Violet Carew becomes suspicious after her brother suffers a strange injury of his own.

Aided by a sisterhood who slip undercover into male-preserve labs and libraries, Violet sets out to examine the evidence herself.

Can she, without credentials, persuade the professors that the boxer’s death was murder, identify his killer, and save her falsely accused maid?


About Fran Smith

Fran took up crime writing after twenty years teaching English to teenagers in London and Cambridge. Before that she worked for the Probation Service. Both jobs provided enough material to keep her busy for some time.

A Thin Sharp Blade was prompted by a real murder case. The character of Violet Carew is inspired by the pioneering women who fought to study medicine and qualify as doctors in the early 20th century.

Fran lives in Cambridgeshire and still teaches English as a Foreign Language, mostly to Chinese students.

Join the CWA

Become part of a thriving community of successful crime writers with invaluable support, expertise and marketing opportunities for all our members.

Advertise with us