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Ironside, Elizabeth [A pseudonym] (Lady Catherine Manning)

Ironside, Elizabeth [A pseudonym] (Lady Catherine Manning)

PERSONAL:

Born in England; married Sir David Manning (a diplomat). Education: Oxford University, Ph.D.

ADDRESSES:

Home—London, England. Office—British Embassy, 3100 Massachusetts Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20008-3600.

CAREER:

Novelist and diplomatic hostess. Also taught school.

AWARDS, HONORS:

John Creasey Award for Best First Mystery, 1985, for A Very Private Enterprise; Golden Dagger Award shortlist, 1995, for Death in the Garden.

WRITINGS:

MYSTERY NOVELS

A Very Private Enterprise, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1984.

Death in the Garden, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1995, Felony & Mayhem Press (New York, NY), 2005.

The Accomplice, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1996, Felony & Mayhem Press (New York, NY), 2006.

The Art of Deception, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 1998.

A Good Death, Hodder & Stoughton (London, England), 2000.

SIDELIGHTS:

Mystery novelist Elizabeth Ironside is the pseudonym for Lady Catherine Manning, the wife of British diplomat David Manning. A former teacher, Ironside turned to writing as a way to occupy her time as her husband's busy career took them to Poland, India, France, Russia, Israel, and the United States. "There's almost not a happier moment than when you've got a book that's going well," Ironside told Helena de Bertodano in the Daily Telegraph Online. "You suddenly wake up from the writing and discover it's five hours later and you've been completely transported."

Ironside made her literary debut in 1984 with A Very Private Enterprise, which received the John Creasey Award. Death in the Garden was Ironside's first novel to be published in the United States. According to Washington Post Book World contributor Maureen Corrigan, Death in the Garden is "a mystery that resurrects the upper-crust world of England between the wars without making readers feel as though they're strolling through a Disneyland simulacrum." The story concerns Diana Pollexfen, a wealthy socialite who is accused of murdering her husband in 1925. Six decades later, Diana's heir, Helen, investigates the crime to clear her great-aunt's name. "The leisurely pace of the storytelling is perfectly pitched to that mannerly period between the two world wars," wrote New York Times Book Review critic Marilyn Stasio, and Corrigan noted that the author's "storyline matches the delicate intricacy of her language, snaking around like the vines on a panel of vintage William Morris wallpaper."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, June 1, 1985, review of A Very Private Enterprise, p. 1371.

British Book News, March, 1985, review of A Very Private Enterprise, p. 138.

Forbes, July 24, 2006, Susan Adams, "Publish or Perish."

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1985, review of A Very Private Enterprise, p. 352.

Library Journal, May 1, 1985, Lynnette Friesen, review of A Very Private Enterprise, p. 82.

New York Times Book Review, November 6, 2005, Marilyn Stasio, "Barn Burning," review of Death in the Garden, p. 27.

Observer (London, England), August 26, 1984, review of A Very Private Enterprise, p. 19.

Punch, October 3, 1984, review of A Very Private Enterprise, p. 64.

Spectator, September 2, 1995, Harriet Waugh, review of Death in the Garden, p. 32; December 14, 1996, Harriet Waugh, review of The Accomplice, p. 74.

Times Literary Supplement, October 26, 1984, review of A Very Private Enterprise, p. 1225.

Tribune Books (Chicago, IL), February 19, 2006, Dick Adler, "Two Bull's-Eyes and Some Near Misses," review of Death in the Garden, p. 4.

Washington Post, October 18, 2005, Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts, "The Reliable Source: The Tale of the Ambassador's Wife," p. C3.

Washington Post Book World, January 8, 2006, Maureen Corrigan, "Mysteries," review of Death in the Garden, p. 13.

ONLINE

Daily Telegraph Online,http://www.telegraph.co.uk/ (February 11, 2004), Helena de Bertodano, "I've Given Up on Crime for Now," interview with Catherine Manning.

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