Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Jo Bannister

Photo of Jo BannisterBiography
Jo Bannister was born in Lancashire, England, in 1951. Growing up she lived in Birmingham, Nottingham, and Bangor, Northern Ireland. She left school at 16, going to work in a newspaper office, where she worked her way up to journalist and then editor. She quit in 1988 to write full time. She has published over thirty novels, including nine stand-alones. She also contributes stories to Ellery Queen Magazine. When not writing, she’s usually on horseback at home in Northern Ireland or pursuing her interest in archaeology.

What she writes: Bannister’s mysteries feature hair-raising suspense and complex plots. They range from cozies to harder-edged mysteries, heavy on atmosphere, yet written in lean prose.

  • In her oldest series, Clio Rees is a former physician turned mystery writer and sleuth. In this series, Rees meets and marries Chief Inspector Harry Marsh.
  • Mickey Flynn is a photojournalist and recovering alcoholic who partners with a freelance newsman. The focus in this series is on political intrigue in the Middle East.
  • The Castlemere series features a young, independent Inspector Liz Graham and her hard-edged Irish partner Cal Donovan.
  • In the cozy Rosie Holland series, Rosie is a middle-aged advice columnist full of humor and common sense, but lacking Miss Marple’s tact.
  • Brodie Farrell is a single mother who runs an agency that locates lost things – including bodies – in an English seaside town. She gets help from her boyfriend, the gruff Detective Superintendant Jack Deacon, as well as her best friend, math teacher Daniel Hood.

 

List of works
 
Clio Rees and Harry March series
  Striving with Gods (1984) - also published as An Uncertain Death
  Gilgamesh (1989)
  The Going Down of the Sun (1989)
  The Fifth Cataract (2005)
   
Mickey Flynn series
  Shards (1990) - also published as Critical Angle
  Death and Other Lovers (1991)
   
Castlemere series
  A Bleeding of Innocents (1993)
  Charisma (1994)
  A Taste for Burning (1995) - also published as Burning Desires
  No Birds Sing (1996)
  Broken Lines (1998)
  The Hireling's Tale (1999)
  Changelings (2000)
   
Rosie Holland series
  The Primrose Convention (1997)
  The Primrose Switchback (2000)
   
Brodie Farrell series
  Echoes of Lies (2001)
  True Witness (2002)
  Reflections (2004)
  The Depths of Solitude (2005)
  Breaking Faith (2006)
  Requiem for a Dealer (2007)
  Flawed (2008)
  Closer Still (2009)
  Liars All (2003)
   
Other novels
  The Matrix (1981)
  The Winter Plain (1982)
  A Cactus Garden (1983)
  Mosaic (1986)
  The Mason Codex (1988) - also published as Unlawful Entry
  The Lazarus Hotel (1996)
  The Tinderbox (2006)
  From Fire and Flood (2007)
  Fathers and Sins (2008)
   

Awards

Ms. Bannister has been shortlisted for several awards, including one from the Royal Society of Arts and another from the British Press.

 
What the critics say
"Bannister is one of the undersung treasures of the mystery genre." - Chicago Tribune
Regarding Striving with Gods - "A bizarre plot – but Bannister, with a literately witty style and a likable/dazzling Clio, makes it surprisingly convincing: a diverting US debut." -Kirkus Reviews
Regarding The Fifth Cataract - "Taut and gripping, Bannister's latest offers readers a high-octane adventure thriller that's virtually unputdownable." - Booklist
Regarding A Bleeding of Innocents - "This novel offers a strong woman character – independent, hip, and more than up to the challenges of her career. Bannister nicely integrates women into the standard British procedural genre." - Booklist
Regarding Broken Lines - "Sensitive and intelligent writing produces a police procedural which ranks with the best of its kind." - Yorkshire Post
Regarding Reflections - "What makes this mystery so compulsively readable is its sinister, disturbing tone and the perceptive psychological insights Bannister brings to her characters." - Deadly Pleasures

 

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