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The name Dorothy Martin refers to a series of cozy mystery novels that began publication in 1996. The books follow the exploits of a woman in her sixties who solves crimes in the English community of Sherebury.
Order of Dorothy Martin Series
|1||The Body in the Transept||1995||Description / Buy|
|2||Trouble in the Town Hall||1996||Description / Buy|
|3||Holy Terror in the Hebrides||1997||Description / Buy|
|4||Malice in Miniature||1998||Description / Buy|
|5||The Victim in Victoria Station||1999||Description / Buy|
|6||Killing Cassidy||2000||Description / Buy|
|7||To Perish in Penzance||2001||Description / Buy|
|8||Sins Out of School||2002||Description / Buy|
|9||Winter of Discontent||2004||Description / Buy|
|10||A Dark and Stormy Night||2011||Description / Buy|
|11||The Evil That Men Do||2012||Description / Buy|
|12||The Corpse of St James's||2012||Description / Buy|
|13||Murder at the Castle||2013||Description / Buy|
|14||Shadows of Death||2013||Description / Buy|
|15||Day of Vengeance||2014||Description / Buy|
|16||The Gentle Art of Murder||2015||Description / Buy|
|17||Blood Will Tell||2016||Description / Buy|
|18||Smile and Be a Villain||2016||Description / Buy|
|19||The Missing Masterpiece||2017||Description / Buy|
|20||Crisis at the Cathedral||2018||Description / Buy|
|21||A Dagger Before Me||2019||Description / Buy|
|22||Death in the Garden City||2019||Description / Buy|
|23||Death Comes to Durham||2020||Description / Buy|
When she is first introduced to readers in The Body in the Transept, the first book in the Dorothy Martin series, Dorothy Martin is a widow. Dorothy and her husband were American but they loved England.
So when the opportunity came, they did not hesitate to pack their bags and move to England. But then Dorothy’s husband died and she fell under the weight of loneliness.
For a little while, Dorothy merely existed. Financially well off and more than capable of taking care of herself, Dorothy’s self-pity did not last long. She eventually pulled herself out of her misery and began to carve out a new life in her small English community which had become home to her.
Dorothy Martin’s defining feature is her curiosity. She cannot help but ask questions about the people she meets and extraordinary events she encounters. And that attitude has driven her to nurture a love of mysteries and puzzles.
Dorothy is given the opportunity to put her curiosity to good use in The Body in the Transept when she stumbles upon a dead body in a church. Most people would simply scream, run away and then spend the rest of their week trying to overcome the effects of the trauma.
Dorothy goes against the norm and begins to pock around, collecting clues, interviewing suspects and working the case despite the discouragement she receives from local law enforcement.
The rest of the Dorothy Martin series is primarily spent following its heroine around as she investigates and solves the crimes and murders that occur in her community. Dorothy’s friendly demeanor allows her to insinuate herself into other people’s lives without causing much offense.
A notable aspect of the books is the heroine’s relationship with Alan Nesbit, the local Chief constable and a handsome man who also lost the love of his life. Dorothy and Alan get along but she doesn’t know how to define their relationship.
Jeanne M. Dams, the author, based the character of Dorothy on her own life. Like Dorothy, Jeanne lost her husband and struggled to reinvent herself in the months and years that followed.
Dorothy Martin Awards
The first Martin novel won an Agatha Award and an Anthony Award. The Anthony Award was for cover art. The book was also nominated for a Macavity Award.
Best Dorothy Martin Books
The Dorothy Martin novels aren’t particularly original and follow the structure of most cozy mysteries, with some of the best books in the series including:
The Victim in Victoria Station: Most newlyweds spend days, weeks and even months basking in the glow of their marriage. And Dorothy Martin would like to do just that. However, her husband has gone off to Africa to do some police work, leaving Dorothy to stew in her loneliness.
Things start looking up when Dorothy takes a train trip and meets an American along the way, a man that is visiting England for the first time in his life. The two have a conversation that is pleasant enough for Dorothy to be bothered when she finds the man dead.
Dorothy realizes that she might have a mystery on her hands when she tries asking about the death the next day and finds that it hasn’t been reported.
Sins Out of School: Dorothy Martin is a retired teacher looking forward to a great Thanksgiving dinner in England. She doesn’t think much about it when she is asked to fill in for a missing teacher. But then she learns that the teacher in question is believed to have murdered her husband.
Dorothy knows that the dead man deserved what he got but as she investigates, she stumbles upon unexpected secrets.
Other Book Series You May Like
The “County Cork” Series by Sheila Connolly is another great read. When her grandmother dies, Maura Donovan leaves Boston for Ireland to do the old woman’s bidding. Maura’s grandmother wanted her friends in Ireland to know that she was finally dead and Maura set about doing just that, unaware of the crime, drama, and murder that would eventually assault her.
Be sure to check out the “John Pickett Mysteries” Series by Sheri Cobb South. John Pickett is an enthusiastic member of the Bow Street Runners whose time chasing pickpockets ends when he begins investigating high society crimes.
What Is The Next Book in The Dorothy Martin Series?
There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Dorothy Martin Series. The newest book is Death Comes to Durham and was released on July, 2nd 2020.