Christianna Brand

Christianna Brand

Christianna Brand (1907-1988) was one of the most popular authors of the Golden Age of British mystery writing. Born in Malaya and raised in India, Brand used her experience as a salesgirl as inspiration for her first novel, Death in High Heels (1941), which she based on a fantasy of murdering an irritating coworker. The same year, she debuted her most famous character, Inspector Cockrill, whose adventures she followed until 1957. The film version of the second Cockrill mystery, Green For Danger, is considered one of the best ever screen adaptations of a classic English mystery.

Besides mysteries, Brand had success writing children’s fiction. Her Nurse Matilda series, about a grotesque nanny who tames ill-behaved children, was adapted for the screen in 2005, as Nanny McPhee. Brand received two Edgar nominations for the short stories “Twist For Twist” (1967) and “Poison in the Cup” (1969), as well as one for the non-fiction work Heaven Knows Who (1960). The author of more than two dozen novels, she died in 1988.

"You have to reach for the greatest of the Great Names (Agatha Christie, John Dickson Carr, Ellery Queen) to find Christianna Brand's rivals in the subtleties of the trade." - Anthony Boucher, New York Times 

“One of the great masters of English detective fiction.” — Francis M. Nevins, author of Cornell Woolrich

“[Brand] was ready to jig endlessly with her pieces, to reject and replace until there was not a single gap that her reader would detect.”  — H.R.F. Keating, author of Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books

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