Anna Dean

Anna Dean

I live in the English Lake District with a husband and a cat. I write compulsively. It all started with a mistake. When I was taught to read at the age of five I assumed that I must pen books. By the time I realised my mistake and understood that it was not actually compulsory to create stories - the habit was too deeply ingrained to give up.

My other interests include: reading old letters and journals in local archive collections, walking, visiting old houses, reading (or rather compulsively re-reading) Jane Austen, watching Star Trek, spoiling the cat, and canoeing on very, flat water.

The Dido Kent series of mystery novels has grown out of many things including my enjoyment of puzzles and word-play, my love of the English countryside in which I have always lived, my interest in old houses, my time spent reading eighteenth and nineteenth century documents and my affection for the work of Jane Austen. The books are not in any sense continuations or 'spinoffs' of Austen's work. But they are set in the same period and they tend to focus on '3 or 4 families in a country village' - the setting which Jane Austen once described as 'the delight of my life.'

There are also other influences and references, not only to the novels but also Jane Austen's own life. For example, the visit to Lyme in Bellfield Hall is influenced by Persuasion; there are parallels with Emma in A Gentleman of Fortune; and the ruined abbey in A Woman of Consequence owes much to Northanger Abbey. Readers unfamiliar with Austen's work need not worry about all this. These allusions and references are certainly not essential to understanding the stories. Sometimes though, there are extra clues which avid readers of Jane Austen may be able to pick up; but, beware, the references to her life and work are not always pointing you in the right direction...

And just a quick note about names: Bellfield Hall was first published in Britain as A Moment of Silence and, in that version, the name of Edgar Montague's country house is Belsfield, not Bellfield. But the latter name was thought, by my U.S. publishers, to be more comfortable for American pronunciation.

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