Ruth Hogan

Sunday Times bestselling author Ruth Hogan was brought up in a house full of books and grew up with a passion for reading and writing. She loved dogs and ponies, seaside piers and cemeteries. She studied English and Drama at Goldsmiths College, University of London where she hennaed her hair, wore dungarees and aspired to be the fourth member of Bananarama. After graduating she had a successful if uninspiring career in local government before a car accident left her unable to work full-time and was the kick she needed to start writing seriously.

In 2012, she got cancer, which precipitated an exciting hair journey from bald to a peroxide blonde Annie Lennox crop. When chemo kept her up all night, she passed the time writing and the eventual result was her debut novel The Keeper of Lost Things which has sold over a million copies and been translated into almost 40 languages. Since then, she has published three further novels, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel, and Madame Burova, for which she learnt to read Tarot cards and developed a hankering for a traditional vardo and pony.

Currently working on her fifth novel partly set in an abandoned ballroom, Ruth continues living the dream (and occasionally nightmare!) as a full-time writer in a chaotic Victorian house with an assortment of rescue dogs and her long-suffering husband. She describes herself as a magpie and still loves piers, particularly The Palace Pier at Brighton and would very much like a full-size galloping horses carousel in her back garden.

Ruth’s website:
Ruth’s Twitter: @ruthmariehogan
Ruth’s Instagram: ruthmariehogan
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Ruth Hogan is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Lisa Highton. For all enquiries contact

Books by Ruth

The Phoenix Ballroom by Ruth Hogan

The Phoenix Ballroom

Corvus, June 2024

Recently widowed Venetia Hamilton Hargreaves is left with a huge house, a bank balance to match and an uneasy feeling that she’s been sleepwalking through the last fifty years. Determined to live fully again, she embraces life with an enthusiasm and purpose she’d forgotten she could muster.

Buying the dilapidated Phoenix Ballroom and with it a drop-in centre and spiritualist church could be seen as reckless, but Venetia’s generosity, courage and kindness provide a refuge for a touching cast of damaged and lonely people who find their chosen family. As their stories intertwine, long buried secrets are revealed, missed opportunities seized and lives are renewed as the Phoenix lives up to its name.

The Phoenix Ballroom is a story of hope and second chances across the generations.

Praise for The Phoenix Ballroom:

Will enthral and delight everyone who reads it
– Mike Gayle

Magical … uplifting … The Phoenix Ballroom feels like an old friend
– Anton Du Beke

Packed with Ruth Hogan’s trademark warmth
– Matt Cain

Every page is a joy
– Pip Williams

The Keeper of Lost Things

Two Roads, January 2017

The Sunday Times bestseller and winner of the Richard & Judy Readers Award which has sold over a million copies. A celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.

Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost Things’ have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters…

Praise for The Keeper of Lost Things

‘that rare and precious thing: a real story with brilliant characters’ –Daily Mail

‘Don’t lose it! Keep it!’ –Richard & Judy

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

Two Roads, May 2018

Once a spirited, independent woman with a rebellious streak, Masha’s life has been forever changed by a tragic event twelve years ago. Unable to let go of her grief, she finds comfort in her faithful canine companion, and peace in the quiet swimming lanes of her town’s lido.

Then a chance encounter with two extraordinary women – the fabulous and wise Kitty Muriel, a convent girl turned magician’s wife turned seventy-something roller disco fanatic, and the mysterious Sally Red Shoes, a bag lady with a prodigious voice – opens up a new world of possibilities, and the chance to start living again. But just as Masha dares to imagine the future, her past comes roaring back…

The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes introduces a cast of wonderful characters, both ordinary and charmingly eccentric, who lead us through a moving exploration of the joy of friendship and the simple human connections that make life worth living.

Praise for The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes

‘filled with hope and the power of friendship’ –Evening Standard

‘warm and wise’ –Guardian

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel

Two Roads, June 2019

Winner of the Romantic Novelists Award 2020. Tilly was a bright, outgoing little girl who liked playing with ghosts and matches. She loved fizzy drinks, swear words, fish fingers and Catholic churches, but most of all she loved living in Brighton in Queenie Malone’s magnificent Paradise Hotel with its endearing and loving family of misfits. But Tilly’s childhood was shattered when her mother sent her away from the only home she’d ever loved to boarding school with little explanation and no warning.

Now an adult, Tilda has grown into an independent woman still damaged by her mother’s unaccountable cruelty. Wary of people, her only friend is her dog, Eli. But when her mother dies, Tilda returns to Brighton and with the help of her beloved Queenie sets about unravelling the mystery of her exile from The Paradise Hotel, only to discover that her mother was not the woman she thought she knew at all…

Praise for Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel

‘absorbing, tender and heartfelt’ –Mike Gayle

‘a poignant tale of love and family’ –Good Housekeeping

Madame Burova

Two Roads, April 2021

Madame Burova – Tarot Reader, Palmist and Clairvoyant is retiring and leaving her booth on the Brighton seafront after fifty years.

Imelda Burova has spent a lifetime keeping other people’s secrets and her silence has come at a price. She has seen the lovers and the liars, the angels and the devils, the dreamers and the fools. Her cards had unmasked them all and her cards never lied. But Madame Burova is weary of other people’s lives, their ghosts from the past and other people’s secrets, she needs rest and a little piece of life for herself. Before that, however, she has to fulfill a promise made a long time ago. She holds two brown envelopes in her hand, and she has to deliver them.

In London, it is time for another woman to make a fresh start. Billie has lost her university job, her marriage, and her place in the world when she discovers something that leaves her very identity in question. Determined to find answers, she must follow a trail which might just lead right to Madame Burova’s door.

In a story spanning over fifty years, Ruth Hogan conjures a magical world of 1970s holiday camps and seaside entertainers, eccentrics, heroes and villains, the lost and the found. Young people, with their lives before them, make choices which echo down the years.

Praise for Madame Burova

‘an uplifting, shimmering novel’ –Janet Skeslien Charles

‘blooming with wonderful, vibrant and charismatic characters’ –Prima