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Yorke, Margaret

novels crime justice

(British, 1924– )

Margaret Yorke began her career writing family-problem novels. Turning to fictional crime, she created an amateur detective, Patrick Grant, a don who appeared in five novels. No Medals for the Major (1974) was a turning-point: Yorke had gained the confidence to allow plot to flow from character and the result was a much-admired novel about the persecution of an innocent man. Yorke's interest lies more in the effects of crime than in describing how it has been carried out and in novels such as Devil's Work (1982) her understanding of human behaviour and ability to build suspense combine to memorable effect. Later books often examine aspects of the English criminal justice system. Yorke's accomplished stories are collected in Pieces of Justice (1994). Her contribution to crime fiction earned her the award in 1999 of the CWA Diamond Dagger.

Minette Walters, Frances Fyfield  ME

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