Sarah Rayne, the daughter of an Irish comedy actor, began writing in her teens, including plays for the Lower Third to perform in her convent school.
Her first novel was published in 1982, and since then she has written more than 30 books. As well as being published in America and Australia, Sarah’s novels have been translated into German, Dutch, Russian, and Turkish.
For many years Sarah was active in amateur theatre, and lists among her hobbies theatre, history, music, and old houses. This fascination with old buildings is strongly apparent in many of her settings – Infanger Cottage in Song of the Damned, the eerie old watermill, Twygrist, in Spider Light, and the haunted Charect House in Property of a Lady.
Music has certainly influenced a number of her plots: the eerie death lament ‘Thaisa’s Song’ in The Bell Tower, the sinister ‘Dark Cadence’ in The Devil’s Harmony, and the story of the scandalous 19th-century violinist, Roman Volf, in Death Notes.
But it is the theatre world of the late19th/early 20th century that has inspired her more recent work, with the backdrop of the Victorian music hall, ‘Linklighters’, in Music Macabre, and the creation of the Amaranth Theatre for the irrepressible Fitzglen family, who make their first appearance in Book One of the ‘Theatre of Thieves’ series – Chalice of Darkness.
‘It was hard choosing just one of Rayne’s supernatural thrillers – they are all superb…‘
Woman & Home
‘Totally hypnotic… Grabs you from the start and builds to a gripping end…’
‘Equal parts Daphne du Maurier, Josephine Tey and Ruth Rendell… Rayne possesses superb story-telling skills…’
US Mystery Guild
‘Enjoyable… those who like their mysteries erudite will be well satisfied’
‘The Fox novels are a joy to read. They’re beautifully written, with a strong protagonist and very cleverly constructed stories. Each one has been better than the last… Fans of Phineas Fox will be lining up for this one’.
Starred Review from Booklist on The Devil’s Harmony