Marina Oliver

Marina Oliver was born in 1934. She graduated from Keele University in Politics and Economics. Married to Chris, they had four grown-up children: Jackie, Debbie, Cindy and Simon, and seven grandchildren. She now splits her time between an old manor house built in 1720, which at one time belonged to Princess Diana's Spencer family in the rural Shropshire, and her beloved Madeira.

Published since 1974, Marina Oliver has written more than fifty novels under her name and her pseudonyms; Sally James, Donna Hunt, Bridget Thorn, Vesta Hathaway, Livvy West and Laura Hart, plus half a dozen non-fiction books. She was elected the sixteenth Chairman (1992-1993) of the Romantic Novelists' Association, edited its Newsletter for 3 years, and now has been elected a Vice-President and ran the R.N.A. New Writer's Scheme. She reads for and judges short story competitions, reviews historical novels, and has done appraisals for (among others) a prestigious Regional Arts board.

Book List in Order: 77 titles


  • Murder in real time disrupts a writing course for aspiring crime writers. Felicity’s writing friend has to drop out of this week’s course at an idyllic Welsh hotel, where two contrasting writers are going to provide help and inspiration t...



  • Ladies don't propose marriage. So when Peter Stannard unexpectedly inherits an Earldom and a Yorkshire estate from his uncle, he is startled to receive such a proposal from a neighbouring landowner, the widowed Lady MacDonald. To avoid giving offence...



  • When Dodie Fanshaw escapes from cold, wet, snowy London in January, to stay with old Hollywood friends in Barbados, she soon becomes involved with the local English and American ex-pat community. They are a close group, meeting frequently at the bar ...



  • Who will be the next Earl? When Patrick, Earl of Aylesford is killed in a riding accident, they have to wait for his child to be born. If it's a boy he will inherit. If not the title goes to Lord Patrick's brother Martin, but he is in America, sent t...



  • Their carriage is attacked while on the way to Vienna, and Belle, the only survivor, is taken to the Count's castle. He employs her as companion to his niece, then, by a mixture of threats and promises, asks her to go with him to Vienna where the Con...



  • Eve longs to escape from her rigidly disciplinarian father, and experience life away from her small Herefordshire village. Her brother James longs to join the army fighting Napoleon in the peninsula. Eve is fascinated by cider-making, and despite ...



  • Luke Peters, French aristocrat, has escaped from the guillotine to England, and needs to protect his sister from vicious revolutionaries while searching for the family jewels. Hoping the Earl of Redditch can help, he becomes the Earl's valet, then di...



  • Saved from a Parisian mob, Eugenie is puzzled by her rescuer. Her parents died in Switzerland, and in order to return to England she is forced in 1812 to work in taverns and walk through France, at war with England. When threatened by a Parisian mob ...



  • Did Sir Hugo shoot his neighbour? Farmer Harris has established cow sheds and pig pens near the entrance to Comfree Abbey, and Sir Hugo and his new wife Deborah fear the smell will put off their prospective guests when they open the Abbey as a sup...







  • Molly Morgan, a Shropshire lass, was transported to the new penal colony at Botany Bay in 1790. She survived with the help of her lovers, and stowed away to come back to England, one of the few convicts to manage this. She was transported a second ti...



  • Persuaded by her grandfather to supervise the coming out of Matilda, his great-niece, Louise reluctantly goes to London to take part in the season for the first time since her soldier husband was killed three years before. Matilda is difficult, but L...



  • Why do the owners of such fabulous jewels refuse to have the police called in when they are stolen? How could a thief open a bedroom safe? Dodie has an aversion to exercise -- and even more to massage. But she is persuaded to go to the Yorkshire h...



  • Three Regency Lords – one cannot court Elizabeth while his ward is infatuated with her young brother; one, missing after Waterloo, leaves a devastated fiancée and a cousin with his importunate family; the third, exiled for years, dead in India and...



  • When Edmund,Viscount Tremaine, is reported dead at Waterloo, Jane, his fiancée, is devastated. Her father's death has left her and her sister Elinor almost destitute. William, the new Viscount, arrives. At Waterloo a farmer, Gervaas, helping bury th...



  • You needn't be a golfer or yachtsman to enjoy stories where they play a part.Rivalry in the golfing world leads to desperate measures, and romance. When Dominic Thorn's business selling golf equipment is threatened by former golfer Keith Livermore, h...



  • How can a disgraced Earl make the most of his return from exile, especially when he is impersonating his half-brother, John, the real Earl? Silas,expects to find a flourishing estate at The Priory and marry an heiress when he returns from a twenty-ye...



  • A stolen pistol plopping into the pool beside Dodie, former starlet, announces murder. Instead of relaxing in the Californian sunshine, she and Joe Broughton, her ex-husband with whom she is staying in his house overlooking the Pacific, set out to ...



  • The Fifth Dodie Fanshaw Mystery A suspicious death, a newcomer who becomes involved in village affairs, and Dodie Fanshaw on the trail of the truth, create a delicious cosy crime novel. Catherine, widowed, returns to her home in the Lancashire hills....



  • Brigid is happy working as a companion to Sophia, but knows she will soon have to look for a new position as governess or companion. What she will not accept is marriage to Matthew, Sophia's brother, for she is penniless. Another possibility is sugge...







  • An apparently harmless loss of a contraceptive chemical turns out to be a disaster affecting not only the coalition government and the civil service, who have to cope, but most of the population. It also gives the press unprecedented opportunities fo...



  • Can one find love again? Julie's husband was killed in a car smash three years ago.She is bullied into taking a cruise by her sister Susan, who works in the gift shop on the ship. Robert, who lost his fiancée just before their wedding, has other thi...



  • London 1906.Livvy faces several battles. Patients will not accept her as a 'proper' doctor. Politicians will not grant votes to women. And she can never marry Sir James while their beliefs are so different: he thinks letting women vote is wrong, and ...



  • When Joanna finds herself destitute after her gambler father's suicide, unable to find work, and is offered instead a marriage of convenience, she sees no other option. Sir Kenelm needs a wife as a chaperone, since governesses are reluctant to live i...



  • Lucy, widow of a young pop star, moves to an idyllic country cottage to start a new life. Drowning her sorrows when she is let down by the staid Edward, the latest man in her life, she is unprepared for having Rosa, a llama, invade her kitchen. Is th...



  • When Mr Greenslade, owner of Green Valley Garden Centre, falls from his wheelchair one night and is rushed into hospital, his daughter Tansy, talented interior designer, gives up the chance of a prestigious commission to go home to the Cotswolds and ...



  • Lord Clifford meets Elizabeth when his ward Annamarie announces she means to marry her brother Sir Henry. Not only is Henry under age, Elizabeth controls his fortune. And sixteen-year-old Annamarie has been falling in love with unsuitable men for sev...



  • Luke, Earl of Frayne, is determined to recover Frayne Caste, even if it means marrying the present owner, Damaris Hallem, a girl he has never met. Luke's father, an inveterate gambler, lost the Castle fifty years earlier to Damaris's grandfather, an ...



  • Bella is forced, by her illegitimate half brother Henry, to marry the abusive Edward who is emigrating to the new settlement in Virginia. After a brutal wedding night she escapes, but Henry finds her and forces her to sail on the next ship. While car...



  • In two previous Dodie Fanshaw mysteries, the deaths could have been accidents, but she was sure they were murders and determined to unmask the villains. This death is clearly murder, and the police investigate the many people who had grudges against ...







  • Kate wins a scholarship to a prestigious Edgbaston school, and meets wealthy people. Robert offers her a ride in his motor car, and to take her flying. Kate's heroine is Amy Johnson, and she is ecstatic. Her parents object, and Alf attacks Robert. Sh...



  • The first of a series of mystery novels by Marina Oliver, in which flamboyant Dodie Fanshaw becomes a detective. Wealthy, middle aged and four-times married Dodie Fanshaw is in Madeira to help make a film about her early life as a chorus girl and Hol...



  • Dodie and her daughter Elena go to stay with Christine, a friend who once danced in the chorus with Dodie, who now runs a riding school at her nephew's manor house. The owner, Robert, whose parents were killed in a car accident, is on holiday with fr...



  • Evicted from their Highland croft, Jamie and Flora Lennox, with their baby daughter and other families of the township, go to Nova Scotia to start a new life. The leaving of the glen is heart-rending, and soon more disasters strike, on the voyage and...



  • Catriona's father is lost at sea, and her mother loses the will to live, leaving her with her Uncle, who wants to marry her to a much older, stern newcomer. Cat is determined to escape, and does so with the help of her cousin. But she needs to hide f...



  • Janie Tempest's idyllic cottage, left to her by her godmother, is being demolished to make way for a new industrial park, and at the last minute the removal company can't do the job of moving her large items.Luckily the men dealing with her neighbour...



  • Melanie is determined to win the Garden Prize for her dead father's garden, which was his great joy. She resigns her London job as a florist to run The Old Grange guest house for a year, so that the garden can be judged on the three weeks the village...



  • Judy goes to dog-sit for sister Fay while she and Paul are away. She unexpectedly finds Justin, Paul's cousin, also there. Then her ex-fiance Mark arrives, angry she has rejected him. And the luscious Sadie moves in next door. Busy trying to establis...



  • Linda's new boyfriend Pete enjoyed looking at stately homes. She was horrified, when they went to The Old Grange, where a big re-enactment weekend was taking place, to find he was planning to steal some of the antiques and expected her to help him.Fu...



  • In 1926 the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Stratford-on-Avon burnt down, barely five weeks before the start of the annual Festival. Rosa Greenwood and her sister Celia were devastated. They had small roles in the Festival, hoping it would lead to ac...







  • Abigail Barton has been brought up in Bath by Lady Jordan, her own parents having died when she was a baby. She does not wish to go to London for the Season, nor to marry, but her trustee, the enigmatic Mr. Wood, insists. Abigail is sponsored by Lady...



  • When Catarina's elderly husband dies she moves to the Dower House where things are about to change dramatically with the arrival of Catarina's young sister Joanna. Tricked by her cousin Matthew into a sham marriage, Joanna is now pregnant and alone. ...



  • Phoebe is delighted at the opportunity to go to Brussels as companion to Sally, rather than be an unpaid governess to her sister Jane's unruly brood. Her hopes are dashed when Zachary, Earl of Wrekin, taking up a diplomatic post, says she is too youn...



  • Sylvie Delamare is incredulous when Sir George -- her crusty, reclusive, great-uncle -- sends her £20, saying it is half of what is left of the inheritance due to her when she is 21. Her parents were wealthy, and Sylvie determines to go to Norfolk a...



  • Julia has no portion, so can look forward to marriage only with an impecunious curate. Life as a governess or companion beckons. When her sister Fanny, with her husband Sir Frederick and their daughters, go to Vienna to visit his grandmother, she sei...



  • Bella Traherne is wealthy thanks to her Nabob uncle, and in Harrogate she is so pursued for her money that she decides to visit Bath incognito. There she might find a man who loves her for herself. Meanwhile Lord Dorney is wary of heiresses, as his b...



  • When her dying grandfather, the Earl of Malvern, orders Kate Byford and her aunt to London after ignoring her all her life, she is highly indignant, but obeys. Angry though she is, Kate is sorry for him when they meet. However, Kate is less willing t...



  • Janet Mackay dislikes all Englishmen, especially the Marquess of Sutherland who intends to evict them from their croft to make way for sheep. So when handsome Alastair Fenton arrives, she is far from friendly.Then, after they are made to leave their ...



  • When Dodie Fanshaw went to stay with her daughter, Elena, in Markenlea, she had been expecting a peaceful, sedate village on the banks of the River Thames. But then a mermaid clambers out of the river and into Elena's garden. Well, not a mermaid exac...



  • Ros Farleigh needs to find her half-brother. Tim Preston, nineteen and on his own for the first time as he works his way round the Mediterranean, playing the drums in hotel bands, vanished three months earlier leaving his precious drums behind. Alway...







  • Determined not to allow a band of roaming Cavaliers to enter her home, Caro threatens their leader with a pistol. When he ignores her challenge she shuts her eyes and fires. Compelled to nurse him when her shot grazes his head, she gradually reali...



  • A short novella by Marina Oliver, author of 60+ novels.Coming out of the shower in her borrowed apartment, Rezia is confronted by a very angry - but very blond and attractive - young man. She expected her photographic commission in New York to be exc...



  • The twisting lanes of the Chiltern Hills are lonely at night. When Sophie Stein realises the car behind is deliberately following her, she is angry, then afraid -- the ordinary drunken yob doesn't carry a machete. Desperately, she uses her local k...



  • When Josie Shaw's stepfather George dies, and she and her mother Dora are left with nothing but debts. Dora wants Josie to make a good marriage. Josie, however, is strong and independent. She wants a career. Though Dora rejected George's son Leo, who...



  • Bella is terrified when the gross Henry VIII begins to pay her attentions. He is looking for a sixth wife who can give him sons. Bella's brother Thomas can see only the advantages as potential Regent for a future boy king, and her Spanish cousin Pedr...



  • Born in the grim poverty of a Midland mining village, fair and sturdy Marigold Smith knows her future lies with supporting her overburdened parents in raising her two younger sisters. Marigold makes an agonizing decision - she gives up her son, the o...



  • Set in the 1920s in the Midlands, three very different young women become friends and allies through their mutual love of dancing. Nell has escaped a violent home in Birmingham slum to dance, Gwyneth defies her bigoted preacher father to be on the ...



  • Fleur enjoys working at Chad's, a big London hospital, and hopes the rumours from her previous hospital will not follow her. Only a few people know how she was kissed by an attractive patient. Then she discovers he is surgeon Russell Delaney, the hea...



  • It is the turbulent thirteenth century and Henry III is facing rebellion by Simon de Montfort. Eva, more concerned with her own fate, is plotting how to make her father agree to her marriage with her cousin Gilbert, when she is told she is to marry t...



  • Elinor is bored with her quiet life in Norfolk with her aunt and uncle, waiting until she can marry Francis, a captain in George I's army. Though she looks forward to the marriage she worries about the probable disapproval of her brother Kit. If, tha...







  • Pippa, an American, wants to prove to her protective family that she can find and keep a job. She is reluctant to return to the States after a few months in England and do as they and her father's partner expect, marry the partner's son Frank. Defyin...



  • Nicola has just graduated in French, and takes a summer job in the New Forest as tutor/companion to the wealthy seventeen-year-old Sarah Frayn, before she starts a bi-lingual secretarial course. Unpredictable and volatile, Sarah rebels against the ha...



  • Clarinda flees to Harrogate with her cousin, Sarah, to escape marriage to an elderly peer. For greater safety Sarah dresses as a man, but this does not prevent a highwayman from accosting them. Although Sarah shoots and wounds him, he manages to capt...



  • Lord Hugo, Earl of Winton was a notorious rake at the Court of Charles II, but falls in love with Sophie du Plessis when he abducts her in mistake for her cousin Phillipa Stannerly. They plan their wedding, but Sophie and her parents must go home ...



  • Drusilla's family are urging her to accept an offer from another merchant's son, but she is reluctant, even more so when she meets the dashing Cavalier, Sir Randal Thornton, and he aids Drusilla during the Parliamentary siege of Reading. She realises...



  • Lord Hugo, Earl of Winton, needs a wife and an heir if his weak cousin William and his unpleasant French wife Hortense, with the son who might not be her husband's, is not to succeed him. He decides Phillipa Stannerly will be suitable. She is pret...



  • Honour Atwell is the despair of her father, a wealthy City merchant. She is too beautiful, too lively, too rebellious. She must be married as soon as possible to a suitably sober husband, but Honour prefers the romantic Robert Reade, who sails in his...



  • After the Battle of Naseby Sir John Emrey brings a dying Highland chieftain's heir to his home, and promises to restore his sword to his clan. When his mother and sister Blanche are driven from their home in the north of England, they plan to go to r...



  • Sanchia is stranded in Limoges when her father is killed and their money stolen. She is working at an inn to earn money to travel to her uncle in Orleans when she encounters Royalist Sir John Morriss and the arrogant Comte de St Savin (need to check)...



  • While Isabella and her family were with King Charles II in exile, she was jilted, and has set her mind against any marriage. Instead, she wants the lovely Clare, her younger sister, to restore the family fortunes with a wealthy husband. When th...







  • Cornwall is remote, but not therefore isolated from the war in the rest of England. Kate, living in Saltash, is looking forward to marriage with Jonathan, and disappointed it has to be delayed when he joins the King's army. Then the arrogant Petroc T...



  • Lucy has been brought up with her cousins, and never knew her parents, or even who her father was. When she hears that her grandmother, living in a small village, is ill, she insists on going to care for her. At first all is well, but after the grand...



  • There were many arranged marriages in the seventeenth century. Barbara's took place when she was still a child. Her husband Ludovick was a supporter of the King, fighting in his armies, and comes to claim her only to find Barbara has fallen in love w...



  • Miles Talbot, one of the exiled King's best agents, comes to England to discover what the Parliament of the Saints knows of Royalist plots. To infiltrate Parliamentary circles, he obtains an introduction to beautiful Cherry Weston, the celebrated hos...



  • 1659, England. Sibylla is in love, but Randolph demands secrecy. Then she discovers he is plotting against her brother Gerard, a Royalist hoping to restore King Charles II of England to the throne. Once she learns his secret motive, Randolph means...



  • In the turbulent 1640s, English families and friends were divided by war, their loyalties fragmented. Lysbeth was one who came to hate both factions. Her first encounter with the realities of war came when she clashed with Sir James Howard, a Royalis...



  • At the Restoration Court many amorous gallants, including the King, pursue Callias. But a flame of passion has united her with Sir Richard Weston. Callias is married to John Cobden, but he wants only her money, and neglects her for other women. This ...



  • She supports the Royalist cause, and don't expect to receive the attentions of a gentleman. As a child, Caroline helped a fugitive Cavalier escaping from the Battle of Worcester in 1651. When her aunt dies years later and her Puritan uncle remarri...


Complete Series List in Order

Dodie Fanshaw Mysteries

1) A Cut Above The Rest (Nov-2004)
2) Presentation to a Dying (Oct-2011)
3) Fatal Slip (Sep-2011)
4) Riding for a Fall (Sep-2011)
5) Stage for Murder (Mar-2013)
6) Murder in California (Jun-2013)
7) Strangled in the Sauna (Mar-2015)
8) Murder at Comfree Abbey (May-2016)
9) Murder on the Beach (Jun-2017)
10) A Novel Murder (Jan-2020)

Lord Hugo

1) Lord Hugo's Bride (Sep-1980)
2) Lord Hugo's Wedding (Jul-1981)

Luke Peters Mysteries

1) A Murdered Earl (Jul-2016)
2) A Marriage for the Earl (Oct-2017)

Midlands Saga

1) The Cobweb Cage (Jan-1988)
2) The Glowing Hours (Jan-1988)
3) The Golden Road (Feb-1996)
4) A Stratford Jewel (Jul-2011)
5) Can Dreams Come True? (Sep-2011)