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Brand, Christianna

Page history last edited by Pietro De Palma 7 years, 9 months ago

Christianna BrandChristianna Brand was the pseudonym of Mary Christianna Lewis (1907-1985), who also wrote as China Thomson, Annabel Jones, Mary Roland and Mary Ann Ashe.


Born in Malaya, Mary Christianna Lewis is considered to be one of the last writers of the golden age of fiction. Her work showed a love of the language, excellent plotting and a great sense of humor. Raised in her birth place as well as India, she arrived to be educated in a Franciscan convent only to leave it in her teens due to family financial problems. She worked in a variety of jobs, from governess to professional ballroom dancer. While working as a salesgirl, she wrote her first book, Death in High Heels, as means to fantasize killing a co-worker she disliked. The book was finished after her marriage to Ronald S. Lewis in 1939.


The first Inspector Cockrill case - a character inspired by her father-in-law - was Heads You Lose (1941), her next novel, and it is with this series character that she wrote her masterpiece Green for Danger. She dropped the series in the late 1950s and concentrated on various genres, including fantasy and children's books as well as short stories.


From Bastulli Mystery Library


Inspector Cockrill is in the tradition of the eccentric, omniscient private detective rather than that of the realistic police procedural. Shrewd, irascible and shabbily dressed, his fingers stained dark from rolling cigarettes, Cockrill is a deus ex machina who manages, by virtue of acute powers of observation, to ferret out the real criminal from a confusing collection of suspects -- Joanne Harack Hayne




Death in High Heels (1941)

Heads You Lose (1941)

Green for Danger (1944)

Suddenly at His Residence (1946) aka The Crooked Wreath

Death of Jezebel (1948)

Cat And Mouse (1950)

London Particular (1952) aka Fog of Doubt

Tour De Force (1955)

The Three Cornered Halo (1957)

What Dread Hand? (1968)

Court of Foxes (1969)

Brand X (1974)

The Rose in Darkness (1979)

Buffet for Unwelcome Guests (1983)

The Spotted Cat and Other Mysteries from Inspector Cockrill's Casebook (2002)


As China Thompson

Starrbelow (1958)


As Mary Anne Ashe

A Ring of Roses (1976)


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