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Book Author: Susie Steiner

SUSIE STEINER: An Appreciation

I had never heard of the English mystery author Susie Steiner until her untimely death last month.  Then I read about her in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, and many online sites.  The writers of the various obituaries wrote so glowingly about her talent and her fortitude in the face of devastating illnesses that I decided I had to read her first mystery, Missing, Presumed.

In the opening chapter, we meet Ms. Steiner’s heroine Manon Bradshaw, a detective sergeant (DS) on the Cambridgeshire police force.  She’s thirty-nine years of age and is rapidly losing hope of finding Mr. Right, or even Mr. Almost-Right.  She’s on a date with a man whose name she can’t quite recall–it “might be Brian but could equally be Keith”–as the waiter brings the bill to the table.  Brian/Keith/? decides they should split the bill, although “to be fair” he didn’t have any wine, so he pays for only what he ate and she pays for her wine and food.

But even more upsetting than that, at least to me, is that she invites him back to her flat!  I just wanted to shake her, but instead I devoured the rest of the novel.  And I loved it!  I can’t wait to read the next (and sadly the last) two books in the series.

In childhood Ms. Steiner was diagnosed with a hereditary and degenerative sight condition, retinitis pigmentosa, and she lost her eyesight completely in 2013.  Then in 2016 it was discovered she had grade 4 glioblastoma, a brain tumor.  Incredibly, the three Manon Bradshaw mysteries were written after that.

The literary world is definitely poorer following the death of Susie Steiner, who died at the age of 51.  Her talent was amazing, her resilience even more so.