Martine Bailey

Book: An Appetite for Violets (2014)

Click to buy

Genre: Literary, Historical, Crime

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date(s): An Appetite for Violets: UK & Commonwealth (Hodder & Stoughton) May 2014; Germany (Rowohlt) December 2013; US (St Martin’s Press) Jan 2015; Spain (Algaida) May 2015; Croatia (Mozaik) 2016

About:  Martine Bailey’s debut novel, An Appetite for Violets is published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK and Commonwealth, St Martin’s Press in the US and a further three countries. It was picked as one of the Ten Best Crime Fiction Debuts of 2015 by the American Library Association’s Booklist. Credited by Fay Weldon with creating the genre ‘culinary gothic’, Martine was inspired by a collection of eighteenth century recipes to follow in the steps of Georgian travellers to Italy using a 1756 edition of Nugent’s Grand Tour

A keen amateur cook and recipe writer, she won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris. In pursuit of authenticity she has studied with TV food historian Ivan Day and experienced Georgian food and fashion at first-hand with an historic re-enactment society.


Book title: The Penny Heart (2015)

Click to buy

Genre: Literary, Historical, Crime

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date(s):  The Penny Heart UK & Commonwealth (Hodder & Stoughton) May 2015; US ‘A Taste for Nighshade’ (St Martin’s Press) Jan 2016

About:  Martine Bailey’s second novel, The Penny Heart is published by Hodder & Stoughton in the UK and Commonwealth. In the US it will be titled A Taste for Nightshade (St Martin’s Press, January 2016).  Continuing her exploration of the ‘culinary gothic’, it is the narrative of two women, a sensitive and artistic young wife and her duplicitous scheming cook.

The novel is partly set in New Zealand and Australia, where Martine and her husband travelled and house-swapped from 2011 to 2013. In 2011 she had a Creative Artists’ Scholarship living in an eco-house at Muriwai Earthskin, Auckland. She was also awarded a place on the New Zealand Society of Authors Mentorship Scheme. In 2013 she was Writer-in-Residence at the Hosking Housing Trust, Stratford-upon-Avon.


Facebook page

Twitter handle:


Location: Chester, UK

Links to blog posts:

Writer Superpowers (specialist subjects): I have experience in speaking at events and festivals, including a popular illustrated talk. My interest areas are historic food and cookery, fiction, the Gothic and Georgian life and travel.

As non-fiction writer Laura Bloom I also have experience and media training in speaking live on TV and radio.

I can write features and articles on food, history and fiction and have written pieces for the specialist and national press. As a qualified teacher in Adult Education, postgraduate in HR and MSc with a background in personal development, I have run many workshops including fiction writing.

However, as a dedicated writer my time has to be limited and I need to consider every opportunity with care.

© Copyright 2021 The Prime Writers - All Rights Reserved