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Christianna Brand (17 December 1907 – 11 March 1988) was a British crime writer and children's author.



She was born Mary Christianna Milne (1907) in Malaya and grew up in India.[1] She had a number of different occupations, including model, dancer, shop assistant and governess.[2]

Her first novel, Death in High Heels, was written while Brand was working as a salesgirl. In 1941, one of her best-loved characters, Inspector Cockrill of the Kent County Police, made his debut in the book Heads You Lose. The character would go on to appear in seven of her novels. Green for Danger is Brand’s most famous novel. The whodunit, set in a World War 2 hospital, was adapted for film by Eagle-Lion Films in 1946, starring Alastair Sim as the Inspector. She dropped the series in the late 1950s and concentrated on various genres as well as short stories. She was nominated three times for Edgar Awards: for the short stories "Poison in the Cup" (EQMM, Feb. 1969) and "Twist for Twist" (EQMM, May 1967) and for a nonfiction work about a Scottish murder case, Heaven Knows Who (1960). She is the author of the children's series Nurse Matilda, which Emma Thompson adapted to film as Nanny McPhee (2005).

Her Inspector Cockrill short stories and a previously unpublished Cockrill stage play were collected as The Spotted Cat and Other Mysteries from inspector Cockrill's Casebook, edited by Tony Medawar (2002).

Christianna Brand served as Chair of the Crime Writers' Association from 1972-1973.[3]

Brand also wrote under the pseudonyms Mary Ann Ashe, Annabel Jones, Mary Roland, and China Thomson.



Inspector Cockrill series

  • Heads You Lose (1941)
  • Green for Danger (1944)
  • Suddenly at His Residence (1946)
  • Death of Jezebel (1948)
  • London Particular (1952)
  • Tour De Force (1955)
  • The Three Cornered Halo (1957)
  • The Spotted Cat and Other Mysteries from Inspector Cockrill's Casebook (2002)

Inspector Charlesworth

  • Death in High Heels (1941)
  • The Rose in Darkness (1979)

Inspector Chucky

  • Cat and Mouse (1950)
  • A Ring of Roses (1977) (writing as Mary Ann Ashe)


  • The Single Pilgrim (1946) (writing as Mary Roland)
  • Welcome to Danger (1949)
  • Starrbelow (1958) (writing as China Thompson)
  • Dear Mr. MacDonald (1959)
  • Heaven Knows Who (1960)
  • Blood Brothers (1965)
  • My Ladies' Tears (1965)
  • Twist for Twist (1967)
  • Court of Foxes (1969)
  • Alas, for Her That Met Me! (1976) (writing as Mary Ann Ashe)
  • The Honey Harlot (1978)
  • The Brides of Aberdar (1982)


  • What Dread Hand? (1968)
  • Brand X (1974)
  • Buffet for Unwelcome Guests (1983)

For children

  • Nurse Matilda (1964)
  • Nurse Matilda Goes to Town (1967)
  • Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital (1975)

Anthologies edited

  • Naughty Children: An Anthology (1962)


  1. ^ "Christianna Brand". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  2. ^ "Biography for Christianna Brand". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "History of the CWA". Crime Writers' Association. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 

External links


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