Books by Marianne Macdonald

MARIANNE MACDONALD was born in the lumber town of Kenora, Northern Ontario, and grew up in Winnipeg and Montreal. Her first children’s book was published when she was 16. She took her BA at McGill University, then went to Oxford for graduate studies in En


FAKING IT by Marianne Macdonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Jan. 1, 2007

"The simmering menace never quite comes to a boil, but Macdonald persuasively captures the obsessive avidity of the true collector."
Antiquarian bookseller Dido Hoare (Three Monkeys, 2005, etc.) takes custody of a mysterious manuscript as dangerous as it is indecipherable. Read full book review >
THREE MONKEYS by Marianne Macdonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 1, 2005

"Throughout it all, Macdonald struggles admirably but not always successfully to bridge the gap between the cozy circle of Dido's extended family, notable for the warmth between her and her father, and the sordid crimes she's stumbled onto this time."
The Christmas rush must wait while antiquarian bookseller Dido Hoare (Die Once, 2003, etc.) is caught between a dismembered corpse and the London police. Read full book review >
DIE ONCE by Marianne Macdonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 2, 2002

"Crisp dialogue and just enough London mise-en-scène give Macdonald a leg up on her competitors in the single-heroine-with-too-many-boyfriends genre—although the main twist in this plot is obvious all the way from Russell Square."
The sixth in a series (Road Kill, 2000, etc.) by Britisher Macdonald. Read full book review >
ROAD KILL by Marianne Macdonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

When antiquarian bookseller Dido Hoare gets called out in the middle of the night to release her ex-nanny Phyllis Digby from the bedroom where burglars have locked her up, more than Phyllis tumbles out of the closet. Why didn't Phyllis's absent husband Frank want the break-in reported to the police? Why do a pair of bobbies show up the next morning anyway? And what is Dido (Smoke Screen, 1999, etc.) to make of Frank's return—as dead as he'd hoped his past to be? Read full book review >
SMOKE SCREEN by Marianne Macdonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 1, 1999

A friend warns Dido Hoare, antiquarian bookseller and sometime sleuth (Ghost Walk, 1998, etc.) that the woman he refers to as Her Majesty means trouble. Dido can see the point. There's something, well, prohibitive about the large, sixtyish female who looks like "a battleship under sail." Her name is Clare Templeton, and though she might indeed mean trouble, she also might mean major business for Dido. Tumbling from the shelves in her shambles of a house is an avalanche of books rare (and valuable) enough to set Dido's entrepreneurial spirits soaring. That, however, is just part of the temptation. Soon she learns that Clare—a much trimmer craft in her time—was once the lover of the late Orrin Forbes, famous American poet, and that his personal papers have been left in Clare's keeping. But who's their rightful owner? Is it Clare, or her daughter, with whom she seems in a permanent state of internecine warfare? When Prof. Jay Roslin, the studly Forbes expert, offers to share his knowledge and his bed, Dido suddenly faces an even headier form of temptation. But then homicide claims Clare; a certain manuscript turns up in Dido's possession; and she finds herself ruefully recalling her friend's warning—while trying to stare down a gimlet-eyed Scotland Yard Detective Inspector. Dido's third puzzle isn't really all that much, but what there is she solves charmingly. Read full book review >
GHOST WALK by Marianne Macdonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Dec. 11, 1998

A second adventure for London's Dido Hoare, divorced mother of three-year-old Ben; daughter of testy, ailing Barnabas; and owner of an antiquarian bookstore, with living quarters above (Death's Autograph, 1997). All seems peaceful, with the book business edging into prosperity, when elderly Tom Ashe, an occasional customer, collapses on Dido's doorstep. She gets him to hospital, which he quickly leaves against doctor's orders. Soon after, he calls at the bookstore on a day when Barnabas is helping out. Ashe remembers Barnabas from the war 50 years ago, when they both served in Signal Intelligence. He has brought Dido an odd-looking object from the Middle East to thank her, but the next morning he's found dead, with a card in his pocket asking that Dido be informed —in case of trouble.— The autopsy reveals murder, and Scotland Yard is taking an interest. Dido follows suit, especially after finding she has been named executor for Ashe's surprisingly large estate. Her search of his pathetic living space is fruitless, but a visit to his widow brings up the names of Ashe's army buddies Samuel Butler and Peter Mellor. All had returned to Intelligence work after the war, but it begins to look as though time spent in Egypt is at the core of Ashe's killing and a second murder in its wake—with a different kind of treasure at stake. Carefully plotted, with plenty of tense moments; a warmly likable heroine; a fresh, unfancy narrative style, and, for lovers of antiquities, some extra cachet. Read full book review >
DEATH'S AUTOGRAPH by Marianne Macdonald
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 17, 1997

Dido Hoare is an antiquarian book dealer in London, following the footsteps of her ailing, semi-retiring father Barnabas. Her apartment is over her store, while Barnabas lives nearby. Driving home from Banbury one night, Dido is followed, threateningly, almost all the way. Soon after, she's approached by ex-husband Davey Winner, a promiscuous painter/wheeler-dealer who'd left her for vapid Ilona and who now, amid signs of temporary prosperity, wants back into Dido's life. It becomes apparent that something strange is afoot when Dido's shop is trashed—and then Davey is killed by a bomb placed in the new car he never could have afforded. Detective Inspector Paul Grant enters the picture, making security arrangements for Dido and her father and becoming a romantic distraction for Dido. The murder of visiting Professor Warren, buyer for a New England library and Barnabas's friend and best customer, brings into focus the motive for all the violence: possession of an ancient volume containing a poem written in Shakespeare's own hand and signed by him. Past this point the skillfully built tension begins to evaporate in a tangle of secret meetings, shady characters, talk of drug-dealing, the mafia, Russian ex-agents, and the pros and cons of the volume's authenticity. Newcomer Macdonald's lucid, irony-edged, unfussy narration makes antique-book lore interesting even to the uninitiated, and her charmingly off-beat heroine is a character most readers will want to hear from again. Next time, if we're lucky, she'll be engaged in shenanigans less confusing than these. Read full book review >