Sarah Dunant Biography


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Sarah Dunant was born on August 8, 1950, in London. She earned a degree in history from Newnham College, Cambridge University, in 1972, and began working as a producer for British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Radio in 1974. She became a successful broadcaster, critic, and writer, well-known to British audiences as a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour; BBC Television’s The Late Show, a nightly cultural news program; and BBC Radio 3’s Nightwaves.

Dunant wrote her first two novels, the thrillers Exterminating Angels (1983) and Intensive Care (1986), with Peter Busby under the joint pseudonym, Peter Dunant. The first novel Dunant published under her own name, Snow Storms in a Hot Climate (1988), is a psychological thriller with a complex web of psychology, eroticism, humor, twisting plot, and intelligent writing that foreshadow the elements of the her later mysteries.

Dunant then wrote three mysteries in the Hannah Wolfe series. Her objective was to create a realistic modern female detective who would be clever yet vulnerable. Set in London, Birth Marks introduces Hannah Wolfe, a working-class young woman who works for a security firm. She takes a job tracking down a missing ballet dancer, and an unexpectedly complex tale of action and ideas unfolds. Fatlands, perhaps the most compelling Wolfe mystery, followed in 1994. Further revelations about Hannah’s...

(The entire section is 550 words.)