Gwendoline Williams was born on 19 August 1922 in Blackheath, South London, England, UK, daughter of Alice (Lee) and Alfred Edward Williams, her younger twin brothers are also authors. Educated at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, where she read History, and later lectured there. On 16th October 1949, she married Dr Lionel Harry Butler (1923-1981), a professor of medieval history at University of St. Andrews and historian, Fellow of All Souls and Principal of Royal Holloway College. The marriage had a daughter, Lucilla Butler.

In 1956, she started to published John Coffin novels under her married name, Gwendoline Butler. In 1962, she decided used her grandmother's name, Jennie Melville as pseudonym to sing her Charmian Daniels novels. She was credited for inventing the "woman's police procedural". In addition to her mystery series, she also wrote romantic novels. In 1981, her novel The Red Staircase won the Romantic Novel of the Year Award by the Romantic Novelists' Association.

Book List in Order:38 titles

  • Gilda Reynolds had come to her ancestral beginnings. Raven's Forge was only the ghost of a once proud industrial town. But Reynolds House was still habitable. It would do as a home for her and Maggie, her actress mother. Gilda was happy here---until ...



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  • Up till now Stella's memories have been clouded by grief: for ten years she has mourned the death of her husband. And yet she is so young, so beautiful, so full of curiosity... Which is why she can't resist the enigmatic figure who appears one night,...


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    In the recently abandoned home of her neighbour, Alice Hardy, Mary discovers a horrific scene -- a young boy cowering in a cupboard and the body of a young man, stabbed to death, his face painted red, white and blue and his thymus gland expertly cut ...


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    Peculiar events are happening in Windsor. A rundown brothel stands empty except for erotic wax models which move taking on a life of their own. A London prostitute goes missing. A boy finds a shoe containing a women's severed foot. An apparently dead...


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    Nancy Bailey turns to high-ranking policewoman Charmian Daniels when she discovers that the murder that closed the school she used to run had not been the only crime for which the killer was responsible and that the murderer is still on the loose....


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    Original title: Baby Drop. Policewoman Charmian Daniels drove home from Slough to Windsor on the day the castle burned. Windsor may look picturesque and old-fashioned, but Charmian knows all too well that the charming village is not immune to the ...


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    Policewoman Charmian Daniels drove home from Slough to Windsor on the day the castle burned. Windsor may look picturesque and old-fashioned, but Charmian knows all too well that the charming village is not immune to the realities of modern life and c...






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    As a refuge from her job, police inspector Charmian Daniels buys a restful weekend country cottage in the picturesque village of Bridewell. Charmian retreats for a well-earned rest, but uncovers a host of demons from the village's past when finds a ...


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    AN ENIGMA INSIDE A PUZZLE INSIDE A... Quiet, unassuming Ted Gray stumbles over the body of a strangled young woman, and people are shocked to learn that Ted himself is the prime suspect. This case, with all of its complexities, intrigues policewom...


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    Charmian Daniels, chief metropolitan police superintendent of Central London, interrupts a medical leave when beautiful Vivien Charles, member of a witches' coven, is found fatally stabbed in her home, her corpse surrounded by cult objects. An autops...


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    A recently promoted--and deeply resented--Chief Superintendent Charmain Daniels is again involved in a murder investigation, and she pursues the killer of a young blackmailer. It emerges that others, including Charmain herself, when evidence begins t...


  • Original title: "A Cure for Dying". This crime novel features Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels who finds herself caught up in the investigation of a series of murders. All the victims are female and it looks as though she may be next on the k...


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    Also edited as: "Making Good Blood". This crime novel features Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels who finds herself caught up in the investigation of a series of murders. All the victims are female and it looks as though she may be next on the ...


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    Policewoman Charmain Daniels' innate curiosity of feminist crime takes her on sabbatical from the force to research her thesis in historic Windsor. Her subjects are an odd group of six female ex-cons she's dubbed her Gang of Girls. But a series of...


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    The Garden is a London enclave, home to best friends and busy career women Edwina, Cassie and Alice. The trio attends the wedding of Edwina's father to his second wife, where Edwina is preoccupied with thoughts of her pregnancy by a lover recently ki...


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    Original title: "Death in the Garden". The Garden is a London enclave, home to best friends and busy career women Edwina, Cassie and Alice. The trio attends the wedding of Edwina's father to his second wife, where Edwina is preoccupied with though...


  • They are ordinary people to whom something extraordinary is happening. This is the theme of a complex and most sinister mystery. It is a story full of fascination and foreboding in which the solution to the mystery is approached.......





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    THE CORPSE WAS MALE. No one claimed him. Nobody wanted him--least of all, Police Inspector Charmian Daniels. But why did he have her name and telephone number on a card in his pocket? Several large-scale robberies of furs and jewels and a myste...



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    Sergeant Charmian Daniels of the Deerham Hills police force was at Midport University on a three-fold mission-to lecture to local police cadets, to keep an eye on student trouble-makers and to start a diploma in criminology. The subject of her thesis...


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    Sergeant Charmian Daniels of the Deerham Hills police force was at Midport University on a three-fold mission-to lecture to local police cadets, to keep an eye on student trouble-makers and to start a diploma in criminology. The subject of her thesis...


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    The coffin arrived by train. It was labelled urgent and addressed to the 'Deerham Hills Hospital: Pathology Department', although nobody at the hospital seemed to be expecting it. So it waited. But the contents of this coffin were eventually to pr...


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    It was a big old violent city where Nell lived, alone since her sister had married and moved away. This city was full of secrets and strange crimes. An unidentified body was discovered not far away from where Nell worked. People said it was dangerous...


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    In Deerham Hills a girl is missing and another suspected of harming her. An older woman is found dead: murder or suicide? Then there are the terrifying letters sent to Tom Gilroy, another suicide case, and a Peeping Tom. Charmian Daniels, Jennie Melv...






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    Two people come drifting into the prosperous and growing town of Deerham Hills, forty miles from London. One, already dead and in the river, is an unidentified woman: the other, also faceless, is a hater of women and a murderer. 'It's a classic,' say...


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    A new addition to the mystery novel: the young policewoman Charmian Daniels, shy and determined at once. Faces on this occasion with a conundrum of domestic aspect, which seems to hide, however, more intricate and horrible. Kathy is retracted and ...


    • / Gothic
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    I WAS TWELVE YEARS OLD WHEN I FIRST SAW MARKABY. I NEVER FORGOT. I WANTED IT DESPERATELY. NOW TEN YEARS LATER IT WAS MINE. When Kate Melrose first fell in love with the strange old mansion on Dragon's Eye, an island off the North Sea coast, she fe...


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    Pawn in a Game of Terror Her name was Stella. She was a widow, still young, still lovely, but with her memory clouded by grief. She did not know that a dark conspiracy was stripping her of friends, relatives, protectors. She did not know the stran...


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    I stood there, frozen quite unable to say a word. A window on a new world had opened to me. All the time I had been going about my life, cooking, choosing clothes, getting my hair washed, this wall of suspicion had been building up all around me. Wit...


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    “I DON’T WANT YOU TO GO BACK TO NUN’S CASTLE, “ TED SAID, “ I DON’T THINK IT’S SAFE FOR YOU THERE.” But Selina had to go back. The mysteries that began to surround her childhood home drew her there again. Selina could not belie...


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    Christabel Warwick has taken over her family's ancient observatory in the English countryside, ostensibly to watch a comet, actually to keep a long-standing (six years!) rendezvous with her childhood sweetheart Piers. Alas, Piers turns out to have be...


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    Joan Dingham is coming out of prison, and only one person is missing from her old gang, Diana King, who died years ago. But before Joan is out, there is another spate of murders, each corpse bearing the same markings as Joan's victims. Could Joan be ...


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    Chief Superintendent Charmian Daniels is expecting a pleasant evening at the opening of her friend's new bookshop, until a gruesome discovery is made. A stone coffin is found in the garden containing the body of a woman....