Janet had her first three books published in the same year 1989. One of them was a guide to good food in Somerset, another a cookery book, THE LITTLE BOOK OF FRENCH COOKERY, which she has seen all over the world, and the third was the first in her culinary crime series featuring Darina Lisle, cordon bleu cook. ‘I wanted to write a series of crime books; a cook can go anywhere and meet anyone, including corpses,’ she says. ‘And food was something I knew about.’ At the time she was the cookery correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and ran courses from her Somerset home. Since then she has published sixteen crime novels: ten in the Darina Lisle Series, each featuring a different aspect of the food world; three in the mid-eighteenth century Canaletto series, and two in her new historical series, set in the first years of the twentieth century and featuring an the American Ursula Grandison working together with an ex-Metropolitan detective, Thomas Jackman: A DEADLY INHERITANCE, and A FATAL FREEDOM. She is currently working on the third. There is also a stand-alone suspense novel, TO KILL THE PAST. She is one of the contributors to THE SINKING ADMIRAL, a collaborative crime novel by fourteen members of The Detection Club published in 2016, and is the author of WRITING CRIME FICTION – Making Crime Pay.
She has also published three contemporary women’s fiction under a pseudonym, Julia Lisle, and has ghost written a series of romantic novels. She is the author of a number of cookery books, most recently NORWEGIAN FOOD AND COOKERY, and THE CRAFT OF FOOD AND COOKERY WRITING. For a time she regularly presented papers at the Oxford Food Symposium.
A number of crime short stories have been published in various anthologies, of which COME TO TEA was short listed for an Agatha Award. A paper on publishing in the Golden Age of Crime Fiction was published in A-Z … GOES CLASSIC, published in the US.
Janet has presented papers on crime writing to a number of International Conferences, Symposia and Seminars. She has served as chairman of the Crime Writers’ Association and is a member of The Detection Club. She was included in The Times ‘100 Masters of Crime’ and has been a Writer in Residence and Visiting Fellow at Jane Franklin College at the University of Tasmania. She runs a number of crime writing courses and also produces editorial assessments for unpublished scripts. She is currently Chair of the Judging Panel for the CWA International Dagger and a member of the Society of Authors’ Management Committee.
Janet lives in Somerset and enjoys being part of a village community. When she’s not writing, she plays bridge, is a keen cinema-goer and also member of a local book club.