Born in Edinburgh and educated at Trinity College Dublin, Sara Sheridan is most famous for her two series of historical novels: one, the Mirabelle Bevan novels, noir mysteries set in 1950s Brighton, and the other exploring on real lives of late Victorian adventurers.
Her first book, Truth or Dare, featured in the Sunday Times Top 50 and was nominated for the Saltire Prize. In 2015 Sara was named one of the Saltire Society’s 365 most influential Scottish women, past and present. She sits on the Committee of the Society of Authors in Scotland and is also on the board of the UK-wide writers’ collective ‘26’, taking part in the acclaimed 26 Treasures project in 2010 at the V&A, in 2011 at National Museum of Scotland and in 2012 at the Children’s Museum, Bethnal Green.
An occasional journalist and blogger, Sara has appeared on BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and blogged for the Guardian and the London Review of Books. She is a member of the Historical Writers Association and the Crime Writers Association and occasionally mentors for the Scottish Book Trust.
Sara is represented at Jenny Brown Associates by Jenny. For all enquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Books by Sara
The Secrets of Blythswood Square
Hodder, February 2024
1846. Glasgow is a city on the cusp of great social change, but behind the curtains, neighbours are watching, and rumours of improper behaviour spread like wildfire on the respectable Blythswood Square.
When Charlotte Nicholl discovers that the fortune she has been bequeathed by her father is tied up in a secret collection of erotic art, she is faced with a terrible dilemma: sell it and risk shaming her family’s good name or lose her home.
An encounter with Ellory McHale, a talented working-class photographer newly arrived in Glasgow, leads Charlotte to hope she has found not only someone who might help her, but also a friend. Yet Ellory is hiding secrets of her own – secrets that become harder to conceal as she finds herself drawn into Charlotte’s world.
As the truth begins to catch up with both women, will it destroy everything they’ve fought to build – or set them both free?
Praise for The Secrets of Blythswood Square
Dripping with intrigue and luscious prose, this sumptuous novel shines a light on a Glasgow long past … Sherdian’s fine writing and expert characterisation just pull you in, so you can hear silk skirts swish and secret doors creak, as if you too are dwelling amongst the bustle of Blytheswood Square. I loved it
The Fair Botanists
Hodder, August 2021
It’s the summer of 1822 and Edinburgh is abuzz with rumours of King George IV’s impending visit. In botanical circles, however, a different kind of excitement has gripped the city. In the newly-installed Botanic Garden, the Agave Americana plant looks set to flower – an event that only occurs once every few decades.
When newly widowed Elizabeth arrives in Edinburgh to live with her late husband’s aunt Clementina, she’s determined to put her unhappy past in London behind her. As she settles into her new home, she becomes fascinated by the beautiful Botanic Garden which borders the grand house and offers her services as an artist to record the rare plant’s impending bloom. In this pursuit, she meets Belle Brodie, a vivacious young woman with a passion for botany and the lucrative, dark art of perfume creation.
Belle is determined to keep both her real identity and the reason for her interest the Garden secret from her new friend. But as Elizabeth and Belle are about to discover, secrets don’t last long in this Enlightenment city . . .
Celtic Cross (A Mirabelle Bevan mystery)
Constable, September 2021
About to get married, Mirabelle and her fiancé retired Superintendent Alan McGregor are torn about where they will settle but when a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity comes up to buy a secluded house on the banks of the Firth of Forth, they submit to getting permission from the local landlord. But that permission comes at a price and when a nun dies in mysterious circumstances at the Little Sisters of Gethsemane Convent nearby they are drafted to uncover what happened.
Where are the Women? A Guide to an Imagined Scotland
Historic Environment Scotland, May 2019
For most of recorded history, women have been sidelined, if not silenced, by men who named the built environment after themselves. Now is the time to look unflinchingly at Scotland’s heritage and bring those women who have been ignored to light. Can you imagine a different Scotland, a Scotland where women are commemorated in statues and streets and buildings – even in the hills and valleys? This is a guidebook to that alternative nation, where the cave on Staffa is named after Malvina rather than Fingal, and Arthur’s Seat isn’t Arthur’s, it belongs to St Triduana. You arrive into Dundee at Slessor Station and the Victorian monument on Stirling’s Abbey Hill interprets national identity through the women who ran hospitals during the First World War. The West Highland Way ends at Fort Mary. The Old Lady of Hoy is a prominent Orkney landmark. And the plinths in central Glasgow proudly display statues of suffragettes. In this guide fictional streets, buildings, statues and monuments are dedicated to real women, telling their often unknown stories.
Constable, May 2019
Brighton,1957: Mirabelle Bevan can’t resist a cry for help, be it the little girl at a seaside sanatorium who is getting bullied or the strange behaviour of Uma, the Indian nurse who is looking after her. Intrigued she soon finds herself drawn into a spider’s web of connections between an upmarket brothel, local priest Father Grogan, a man’s body washed up on Brighton beach and a missing nursing sister.
Attracted to handsome police doctor, Chris Williams, Mirabelle is determined to finally put her love affair with Jack Duggan behind her and recover from the betrayal of Superintendent Alan McGregor, but the police force in Brighton is undergoing a sea change that keeps leading her back to the sanatorium at the epicentre of a spate of brutal killings. And very soon it becomes apparent Mirabelle is in much more danger than she realises…
On Starlit Seas
Black & White Publishing, July 2016
1824 – Charged with a mission by the Empress of Brazil, celebrated writer and the toast of Georgian London, Maria Graham sets off for England with the Brazilian civil war at its height. Newly widowed and a woman travelling alone, the stakes are high and when she accepts roguish smuggler Captain James Henderson’s offer of passage on his ship, she gets more than she bargains for.
Henderson is on a journey of his own, back to his childhood home in Covent Garden. Onboard Maria discovers both a dangerous secret concealed in a chocolate bar and an irresistible attraction to the mysterious captain. But falling in love with a smuggler is almost unthinkable for a woman of Maria’s social standing. Though Henderson tries his utmost to abandon his life of crime and forge a new identity as a London gentleman, he is caught in a dangerous tangle with a deadly aristocratic smuggling ring.
The only chance he has to save himself and prove worthy of Maria is to unmask the gang and break free from their clutches, but will it be enough? On Starlit Seas is a breathless tale of adventure, love and chocolate set at the height of the British Empire.
Praise for On Starlit Seas
Sheridan binds together social comment, romance on the high seas, pursuit by excisemen, knife-wielding toerags in the stench of 19th-century London and the consumption of so much hot chocolate that the pages seem impregnated with its heady aroma. It all makes On Starlit Seas a pleasure to consume, and not even a guilty one.
Operation Goodwood (#5) – Mirabelle Bevan Series
Constable, February 2017
1955. When Mirabelle Bevan is rescued from a fire at her home on the Brighton seafront she’s lucky to escape unharmed – but the blaze takes the life of her neighbour, Dougie Beaumont, a dashing and successful racing driver living in the flat above. It soon becomes clear that this was arson and, back on the trail of a potential killer, it emerges that Dougie Beaumont’s life was not as above-board as it seemed. When a second shocking murder takes place, Mirabelle’s pursuit is frustrated first by Dougie’s well-connected and suspicious family and then by the official investigation – led by her would-be lover Superintendent McGregor. With the help of her colleague at McGuigan & McGuigan Debt Recovery, Vesta, and some of her ex-intelligence service connections, Mirabelle discovers the dark secrets of the glamorous racing driver have ramifications far beyond the English coastline.
British Bulldog (#4) – Mirabelle Bevan Series
Constable, March 2016
British Bulldog is the fourth instalment in Sara Sheridan’s best-selling 1950s murder mystery series featuring stylish sleuth Mirabelle Bevan. Following a mystery bequest, Mirabelle sets out on the trail of an RAF pilot who went missing during World War II. It is 1954 and her search takes her to Paris, where she finds herself digging into the activities of Resistance fighters and ex-Nazis, whose lives are defined by the political climate of Cold War Europe. The bequest raises issues closer to home than she expects and as the story unravels Mirabelle is forced to confront the truth about her wartime lover Jack and the true nature of their relationship.
Praise for British Bulldog
Mirabelle has a dogged tenacity to rival Poirot
Unfailingly stylish, undeniably smart
A crime force to be reckoned with
Plenty of colour and action, will engage the reader from the first page to the last. Highly recommended