“Rayne perfects the craft of deftly chosen details, simmering suspense and chilling surprises, all woven into a quiet, elegant narrative.”
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Sarah Rayne is the author of a number of acclaimed psychological thrillers, mysteries, and haunted house books.
Here’s an introduction to her work, starting with the recently launched ‘Theatre of Thieves’ mystery, described by the publishers as ‘spellbindingly gothic’.
Chalice of Darkness: London, 1908. The Fitzglens are proud of their reputation as one of London’s leading theatre families. They are, however, equally proud of another profession which they pursue very discreetly… When not on stage, they are thieves. Find out more >>
The popular Phineas Fox series, first published in 2016, featuring the music historian and professional researcher, Phineas Fox. There are six in the series:
Death Notes (2016)
Chord of Evil (2017)
Song of the Damned (2018)
Music Macabre (2019)
The Devil’s Harmony (2020)
The Murder Dance (2021)
“If future installments are as gripping and intricately plotted as this one, it could have a long run…” Booklist, on Death Notes
“Fans of erudite mysteries with a musical slant are in for a treat” Publishers Weekly on Song of the Damned
Sarah’s haunted house series, featuring the Oxford don, Michael Flint and the antiques dealer, Nell West, has received high praise from the critics, and the books have been described as ‘eruditely eerie’.
There are six novels in the series, and although they can be read individually, it’s probably a good idea to start with Book One, Property of a Lady.
“The haunted-house theme is one of the most venerable in the genre, and Rayne has given it new life in this series, drawing again and again on the secrets (and the horrors) contained within structures built originally to keep us safe…” Booklist
“Rayne perfects the craft of deftly chosen details, simmering suspense and chilling surprises, all woven into a quiet, elegant narrative.” Kirkus
Watch Sarah Rayne talking about her acclaimed haunted house series, and the inspiration behind the books and the ghosts that walk through them.
These are six stand-alone books, and have all received high praise, with Tower of Silence long-listed for the prestigious Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year.
“Equal parts Daphne du Maurier, Josephine Tey and Ruth Rendell… Rayne possesses superb story-telling skills…” US Mystery Guild
“Had me both absorbed and fascinated as well as scared stiff… Wonderful stuff!” Euro Crime
Sarah Rayne’s six contemporary horror books have recently been reissued in digital format. They were originally written under the pseudonym of Frances Gordon, and Blood Ritual was described by Time Out as “A superior example of the vampire genre…”
The three Immortal Tales titles are re-telling of traditional fairytales, and include the eerie Wildwood – the modern-day version of Little Red Riding Hood.
Sarah’s widely-read fantasy books – the Wolfking quartet, first written and published in the early 1990s – have recently been re-issued in digital format.
There are four novels in the fantasy series. It is recommended that you start with Wolfking.
“Delicately wrought…” The Times
“Before long you find yourself engrossed…” Fear
“Perhaps the best fantasy on Celtic legend that I’ve ever read…” Lester Del Rey
To date, Sarah has written and published four short stories:
The Unknown Crime
The Forgotten Manuscript
A Clever Evil
A Strange Retribution
These are available in the short-story collection, Crimes and Punishments.
Music is a brilliant tool for setting just about any scene and creating any mood. For starters it can be unashamedly romantic: for example Fred Astaire serenading Ginger Rogers with Jerome Kern’s, The Way You Look Tonight, in the film, Springtime. It...
I wasn’t expecting to find I had combined an ancient law and opera for a book, but Song of the Damned, (Book 3 of the Phineas Fox series), turned out to have both elements at its heart. It’s not, of course, so very rare for opera and the law to meet up. In Lohengrin...
Embarking on a new outing for music historian and researcher, Phineas Fox, it seemed to me that it was time for him to explore uncharted territory.
To date he had wandered happily and generally quite productively through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, helped (occasionally hampered), by the various characters who surrounded him.