Caroline Todd, the British mystery writer who was Britain’s longest-serving female author

Fifty-eight novels including many that enthralled young readers around the world

Caroline Todd, author of Half of a Mystery-Writing Duo, has died at 86. She was Britain’s longest-serving woman mystery writer, having published 58 novels, of which four have been made into film.

She also contributed numerous pieces to the Guardian, including features about her family’s struggles to join the Nationality of Authors and write with a female authorial voice, and her need to adopt the names of her fictional heroines to disguise them from men.

Todd’s other books included Death, Lies and Sex, The Dancing Dogs and A Bloody Word, and her biography of the late writer AA Milne, an account of life with Milne’s wife, Sylvia, revealed the shadow of domesticity in their relationship.

Her books were enormously popular in the 1960s and 70s, spanning a half-century and innumerable translations and newspaper reviews. Her late son, one of five daughters, started out in 1974 as a ghostwriter for Todd before becoming her regular collaborator on Scandal series.

Decca Aitkenhead, Todd’s publisher at Dundurn, said: “Through her 49 novels, Caroline Todd revealed what it’s like to be a woman, a wife, a mother, and to want to be as much a writer as anyone else. It’s no small feat to write so much so well, and she did it with wit, warmth and enormous charm. She was always a delight to be with.”

After Todd died, the Brittania crime series came to a close. Aitkenhead said: “We will miss her greatly and read her stories again.”

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