Thursday, December 6, 2012

In Memoriam - Margaret Yorke

Crime Writer Margaret Yorke (M) passed away in November at the age of 88. She was born in Surrey and grew up in Dublin before returning to England as a teenager. During the war she worked both as a hospital librarian and as a driver for the Royal Navy. Yorke divorced her husband in 1957 and at that time launched a writing career to support her two children.

Her first novel was Summer Flight (M).  "The chief event of the August Bank Holiday weekend in Bramsbourne is the Annual Fete and Flower Show. Into this peaceful scene comes a man on the run. His efforts to evade the police net tightening around him affect, one after another, everyone in the village. No one escapes the consequences of his presence. But Brigadier Trent and his wife, and the war-disabled Vicar, are more deeply concerned than any..." Back cover.

Yorke wrote consistently producing approximately one book per year. Her only series character was academic Patrick Grant, an Oxford don, who shared Yorke's love of Shakespeare. Fifth in the series was Cast for Death (M) in which " Sam Irwin, actor, is found dead in the River Thames. It appears to be suicide. But why should he have taken his own life shortly before opening in a new play at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon? Dr. Patrick Grant, a friend of Irwin, manages to link the seemingly unconnected occurrences of the death of a dog, a further suicide, and a series of art robberies in coming to an conclusion. That, however, is not what is seems, being only the prelude to a massive deception. Grant himself is threatened, and unless he can escape unscathed from a concert at the Festival Hall, the secret of Irwin's death will die with him." publisher

Yorke's novels have been described as suspenseful and intricately plotted, featuring realistically drawn characters and stories that are quietly chilling. Margaret Yorke's novels won few awards, yet she was a consistently popular author in our library with her final book A Case to Answer (M) published in 2001.

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