Biography

Ann Purser lives in the East Midlands, in a small and attractive village which still has a village shop, a garage, pub and church. Here she finds her inspiration for her novels about country life. She has only to do her daily shopping down the High Street to listen to the real life of the village going on around her.

Before turning to fiction, she had a number of different careers, including journalism – she was for six years a columnist in SHE magazine – and art gallery proprietor. Running her own gallery in a 400-year-old barn behind the house, she gained fascinating insights into the characters and relationships of customers wandering around. She had no compunction about eavesdropping, and sharpened up her writer’s skills in weaving plots around strangers who spent sometimes more than an hour in her gallery.

Working in a village school added more grist to the mill, as does singing in the church choir and membership of the Women’s Guild. She reminds herself humbly that Virginia Woolf was President of her local WI…

Six years hard study won her an Open University degree, and when she faltered and threatened to fall by the wayside, writer husband Philip Purser reminded her that he was paying good money for the course. During this period, she wrote two non-fiction books, one for parents of handicapped children (she has a daughter with cerebral palsy) and the other a lighthearted book for schools, on the explosion of popular entertainment in the first forty years of the twentieth century.

Ten years of running the gallery proved to be enough, and while it was very successful she decided to sell. The business moved down the street to another barn and owner, and Pursers stayed on in their house next to the village school – another rich source of material for the stories. Time to start writing novels.

Round Ringford became Ann’s village in a series of six novels, each with a separate story, but featuring the same cast of characters with a few newcomers each time. The list of books gives details of each story, and each features an issue common to all villages in our rural countryside. “Just like our village!” is a frequent comment from Ann’s readers.

Next: the Lois Meade Mysteries, each title reflecting a day of the week. Ann has always loved detective fiction, and determined to make it her next series. So Murder on Monday was born, followed by Terror on Tuesday, and Weeping on Wednesday. The rest of the week follows!

Mornings are set aside for writing, and the rest of the day Ann spends walking the dog, retrieving bantams’ eggs from around the garden, gossiping and taking part in the life of the village. She is never bored!

Buy Ann Purser`s books in your local booksellers and at all on-line retailers, including Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, and Barnes & Noble.com.

Contact Ann Purser through David Higham Associates or directly by clicking here.

Member of the Crime Writers’ Association.

25 thoughts on “Biography

  1. Thank you for writing such fun books. After being out to shovel 16 inches of snow(I live in ski resort area) it is relaxing to sit with a cup of tea and have a read. May there always be a mystery to solve.

    • Hi, Eve, and thank you for sending a nice message. We are having a very snowy, cold time here in England at the moment, and, as always, everything grinds to a halt! Trains, planes and cars foul up, and farmers have a great time getting out their snow ploughs and roaring through the narrow lanes! There`s a plot there somewhere!

      Happy Christmas, and a very prosperous New Year – Ann

  2. Dear Ann,
    Thank you for your wonderful Lois Meade mysteries! I’m always looking for authors with a series because once I read one good book, I want to keep on enjoying the characters! When I found you, I started with Murder on Monday…and have finished out the week and have started the numbers…and now I’m reading Tragedy at Two. I need to order #3! Is there a #4 yet? I can’t wait! I live in California, but still have a cup of tea when reading your “cozy” mysteries. Thanks again! Sincerely, Chris

    • Thank you so much, Chris, for saying nice things about Lois and her adventures! Yes, Threats at Three is the next Lois Meade mystery, and Foul Play at Four is in the pipeline. You can`t keep Lois away from investigations, and I hope you will enjoy these.

      Have you come across Ivy Beasley and her enquiries? These have gone down well, and I am now working on the third. I love the idea of you having a cup of tea and reading cozies! Just the thing for a relaxing interval in the day….
      Best wishes – Ann

  3. Hello Ann, I am about to have my cozy set on Cape Cod (where I lived for all my life until we ran away from terribly cold winters to spend them in North Carolina returning summers to C.C to live on our boat) by a new cozies-only press Cozy Cat Press. Am also looking for an agent for another series of cozies set on Nantucket Island. Any suggestions. Just finishing Murder on Monday and cannot wait to get my hands on your others. Thanks. Nothing does the heart so good anytime as a good cozy. Thanks. Hope your daffodis are up as ours are. Cynthia

    • Sorry for the delay – computer gremlins. Thanks so much for your message – Cape Cod sounds a very glamorous place to live! I am interested to hear about Cozy Cat Press – sounds great! As to agents, my own is very sniffy about new clients, but you might find the Artists and Writers Year Book (sure to be on Amazon) useful, as it lists agents. Not sure if it is only UK, but there`s bound to be a US equivalent. Sounds as if you are very busy!

      Yes, the daffodils are out and very cheering after a rotten winter. But there was an ominous item on the radio news this morning. A posse of policeman entered a town park in pursuit of a six-year-old and a ten-year-old who were seen picking a bunch of daffodils. They threatened them with arrest!! You`d think they had better things to do.

      Best wishes – Ann

  4. Just recently discovered your Lois Meade books at our library, but they only had 2. I’m in the process of purchasing the rest. I love them! Can’t wait to read them all.

  5. I have been reading mysteries for over 50 years and have never cried over a character’s death until today. The sad demise of Mrs Wilson Jones in The Measby Murder Enquiry moved me to tears. In two books I have fallen in love with the characters in the Ivy Beasley series. Not that the Lois Meade series isn’t wonderful, but as an older woman I can relate to Ivy and her fellow inmate, Roy. Bravo Mrs. Purser ! Keep these stories coming, they are a joy to read.

    • Thanks, Julie, for your encouraging message! I have to confess that as I was writing the build up and demise of Mrs Wilson Jones, I shed a few tears myself. Oh dear! – but they are real people to me …

      I have finished the third Ivy Beasley book, and another Lois Meade is on its way, so keep an eye open for publication.

      Happy reading! regards – Ann P

  6. As an inveterate mystery reader, I like all types but especially love “cozies”, both English and American. Have visited the UK four times and can just see Lois Meade and Ivy Beasley. (By the way, the drawings are wonderful!!) Have just read the first two Ivy Beasley books and can’t wait for the next one. Glad there is another Lois Meade coming too. Thanks for new friends and delicious plots.le

    • Thanks for your message, Harriett (by the way, I have a daughter with the same name as yours, but with one `t`). I hope you enjoyed your four visits to the UK – I have been to the US a couple of times, and loved it. New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. We went on a train from Chicago to San F., and saw amazing scenery!

      Yes, Ivy is back in business almost now, and Lois is at the moment struggling with a case involving her own son Jamie, and a cello.

      Best wishes – Ann P

  7. Hello Ann
    When I was “in exile” I loved hearing the rhythms of my native speech in your books (although I was only in Bedfordshire!)
    Now I’m back in Northants, and have daftly signed up for a challenge on goodreads to read as many books set in British counties as we can. So I have to ask, which county do the Meades live in? It has to be Northamptonshire, Leicestershire or Rutland – when you wrote about the “lucky villages” I tried to locate it, but could still just about set it where the 3 counties meet. And is Tresham based on Leicester or Kettering, or a mix of both?
    You have helpfully told us that dear Ivy is in Suffolk, so thanks for the help!
    Looking forward to the next book

  8. I was browsing in a dollar store and happened to come across your book, being a fan of mysteries i bought it. On looking through it I saw you came from Market Harborough, when I lived in England 9 years ago i lived in Cosby (by the brook, such a quaint little village.) I moved to California and love it, after reading afew chapters it really took me back to my roots, coming from Leicestershire and reading the words “How do” and Me duck and Gel. Now I will be on the look out for more of your books, carry on writing you are blessed.

    • Thank you, Pam, for your interesting comment. Although I was born in Market Harborough, we moved when I was seven to Sudbury in Suffolk, which was my mother`s family home. But then, about thirty years ago, we arrived in Northamptonshire, not far away from Market Harborough, and we have been over there many times. It is still a very pleasant market town, and has an interesting museum devoted to the Corset factory! The lily pond where I fell in head first is now a sunken garden, and the Welland river, which I remember as being a huge rushing torrent, turned out to be a trickle along by a small path.
      So glad you enjoyed the book! Let me know if you have trouble finding others. With best wishes and happy reading. Ann P.

  9. Greetings,

    I just ‘discovered’ the Lois Meade series by chance, I was drawn to the
    art on the cover and the dog on another cover.
    I read the first page in the store, as I usually do and was drawn into it,
    so much so I couldnt wait to get home and start it.
    I didnt solve this mystery, Murder on Monday. Oh well, happens
    to the best arm chair detective. :)
    It was a terrific book, so now I have to get the whole series at once.
    Thank You for a terrific read.

    Good Wishes,
    Frostie

    • Hello, Frostie! – I was interested to hear how you came to read Murder on Monday. Just goes to show a book is as good as its cover. My first murder story was inspired by my cleaning lady, who said one day she fancied being a detective, and I realised the potential. I do hope you enjoy the rest of the series. Another one due out soon!

      Happy reading and best wishes – Ann P

  10. My name is Jane Carlisle & I am the Library Manager at Wootton Fields Library, Northampton.
    Our library is I believe quite a special library as we are not only a Public Library we are also a School Library – we are situated in the grounds of The Wooldale Centre for learning which as well as our library comprises The Bright Horizons Day Nursery & The Caroline Chisholm School, a school which caters for children aged 4 years of age – 18 years of age.
    Since taking up my role as Library Manager in 2009 I have always thought of our library as a Community library, by that I mean that myself & my team of staff work extremely hard to devise activities & events, both regular & one off events which will attract all members of the local & indeed wider community – a library that young & old will want to visit together to enjoy.
    In the past 3 years for example we have had 2 pop concerts in conjunction with Get It Loud In Libraries , a one man Shakespeare in 40 Minutes event, a circus themed family party, a charity “Ladies Night” with all proceeds being donated to Macmillan Cancer Support, I arranged for a visit to the library by K9 & his custodian Mat Irvine & I have arranged for my friend to bring his “classic double decker red bus” on site We always plan family fun events to celebrate World Book Day each year – we have had a Captain Underpants Day, a Where’s Wally Day & a Winnie the Witch day ( myself & my staff always attend these events appropriately dressed !!)
    My philosophy & methods have proved extremely successful & indeed in 2012 we were shortlisted in The Bookseller Industry Awards in the Library of the Year category. We were 1 of only 5 libraries in the country to be shortlisted for this award.
    Unfortunately Northamptonshire Libraries & Information Service (NLIS) are hoping to extract the Public library element of our library from our facility. They are citing financial reasons. They are hoping to relocate our public library, in the short term (though they have not said how long short term will be) into a mobile library which will be parked in the carpark of our local community centre. They have no firm ideas as to where they will eventually relocate our Public library.
    Members of our local community are distraught by this & have set up a “Friends of Wootton Fields Library group” & are campaigning to fight the plans of NLIS. They have set up a “Save Wootton Fields Library” Facebook page as well as a Twitter page @woottonlibrary .A petition has been started in the library as well as an E Petition (http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-wootton-fields-library/)
    They have also arranged a protest outside our library on Sunday 8th July at 2pm.
    I realise you are extremely busy but I was hoping you might be willing to add your name to this campaign, sign our e petition & maybe pass news of our plight on to your followers asking them to support us – Our community would be hugely grateful if you were to do so.
    Thank you for taking the time to read this e mail
    Jane

    Jane Carlisle
    LIbrary Manager
    Wootton Fields Library
    Wooldale Centre For Learning
    Wooldale Road
    Northampton
    NN4 6TP

    • Dear Jane,

      I do sympathise with your library problem. There seem to be cutbacks everywhere at the moment. Mobile libraries are reduced in frequency, and branches shut down or struggling with reduced budgets.

      I am afraid, as you suppose, that I am too busy to be much use to you at present. I am however a recipient of PLR, and have added my protest to the reorganisation of that department.

      Best of luck – Ann Purser

  11. I am so glad I found Ivy before I caught up with the Lois Meade books. Love them all. I think they are an antidote to the harsh realities of life e.g. scrubbing the kitchen floor, catching up with teachers’ pd etc. I have an assortment of rainbow lorikeets (the bosses) and doves, indian minahs, little butcher birds and magpies who come to feed. Lorikeets love fruit and seeds even bread ends, doves and minahs eat anything and the little butcher birds are superb athletes who can catch a small ball of minced steak on the wing. I have a special Magpie who will sit on my knee when I sit down to open up the mince packet. She brings her babies and they pester her with their cries till she stuffs food down their throats. We had 5.4 earthquake tremors last tuesday pm. scary. it was quite widespread. Hope you are enjoying good weather and I hope you are finding time to work on your new books. I discovered you just 3 weeks ago and am almost out of titles. I am so enjoying your ‘ordinary’ people, faults and all. I cant stand those beautul, rich and maybe titled protagonists in some genres. I get through busy days thinking at the end of them, I have a Lois Meade book at home waiting on me, so don’t leave me ‘bookless’. All the best, regards, Margaret Conyers
    margaret.conyers@gmail.com

    • Hi, Margaret – thank you for your lovely comment! How wonderful to have all those birds to study in your garden. I had no idea that magpies could be tamed in that way. I have nesting blackbirds, but can never get close to the male, who concentrates on leading me away from the nest! We had a gardener once who used to sit in the open doorway of the potting shed and feed a blackbird with raisins. The house was called Hillside, and he christened the blackbird `Hilda of Hillside`.

      I do hope the earthquake diden`t do too much damage where you are. We have the occasional one, but they are never as earthshattering (literally!) as elsewhere.

      More Lois, and also Ivy, in the pipeline, so keep a lookout. Best wishes – Ann P

  12. Having just read the entire collection by Rebecca Shaw I searched for novels based on English village life! How so very fortunate I came across you – the mobile library van is due in 10 minutes so I am armed with a list – yes yours! Ooooooooooooooh! Will be back!

    • Dear Denise – I loved your comment, and can see you snatching Lois and Ivy off the library shelves! Well, anyway, I dream of such scenes. You mention a mobile library, so I guess you live in a village yourself? I expect you will recognise quite a lot in my books.

      Happy reading – Ann P

  13. Hello Ann from snowy Cape Cod, MA in the U.S.A. I write the Baby Boomer mysteries — working on Book 4 now, Class Reunions Can Be Murder. Just allowed myself the pleasure of reading your newest (I think!) Lois Meade mystery, Found Guilty At Five. Really enjoyed it. I especially love the interaction between Gran and the rest of the family. She can come and cook for us any time! Thanks for keeping your readers so thoroughly entertained.

  14. Dear Ann,
    I stocked up on some mysteries to read after I had surgery to repair
    a shredded tendon in my ankle. I thought I would try a new author and happily discovered you and of course Lois Meade. I couldn’t walk for 9 weeks this winter and had to keep sending my husband back to the bookstore for more of your books! I live in Minnesota so being mostly inside for the winter was not so bad, especially since your books kept me company. I just wanted to thank you so much for such delightful books. By the way, I wish I had New Brooms near by to help me out !!
    Fondly,
    Barby

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