Mystery Fanfare brings the sad and belated news that Hazel Holt, author of the long-running Mrs. Malory mystery series, died on November 23. She was 87 years old.
Holt came from Birmingham, England, and according to Wikipedia, she “studied at King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham …, and then Newnham College, Cambridge. She went on to work at the International African Institute in London, where she became acquainted with the novelist Barbara Pym, whose biography she later wrote. She also finished one of Pym’s novels after Pym died. Holt has published My Dear Charlotte , a story that uses the actual language of Jane Austen’s letters to her sister Cassandra to construct a Regency murder mystery.”
In the book Detecting Women, Willetta L. Heising explains that “Holt’s first fiction, published when she was 60, introduced 50-something Sheila Malory, a widowed literary magazine writer from the English seaside village of Taviscombe, in Mrs. Malory Investigates.” A paperback edition of Holt’s final novel, Mrs. Malory and Death Is a Word (originally published in the UK in 2014) is set to be released in the States come May of next year.