Shropshire Star

Leominster author's detective novels re-published

A collection of pre-Second World War detective novels has been re-released by a new publishing house.

Dorothy Bowers' books.

Born in Leominster in 1902, Dorothy Bowers was a well-regarded author of detective fiction.

She was seen by many as a natural successor to Dorothy L Sayers, and was the only person elected to the prestigious Detection Club in 1948, the year of her death.

Her early death meant her books and her reputation were forgotten for many years.

Now Moonstone Press, a new publisher, is republishing all five of her detective novels both as paperbacks and e-book editions.

Dorothy Bowers' family settled in Monmouth where her father operated a bakery on Agincourt Square until 1936.

She attended the Monmouth School for Girls, and then went to Oxford University, graduating in 1926.


Success was not immediate and she worked for several years as a tutor and crossword compiler for Country Life magazine.

Her first three novels were then published in rapid succession from 1938 – ‘Postscript to Poison’, ‘Shadows Before’ and ‘A Deed Without a Name’.

Her fourth novel ‘Fear for Miss Betony’ was heralded by the Times Literary Supplement as the best mystery of 1941.

When war broke out, she moved to London and worked for the BBC news service. Six years passed before her fifth and final book ‘The Bells at Old Bailey’, published in 1947.

During this period she contracted tuberculosis, and died at Tupsley Hereford in 1948, at the age of 46. Within a few years of her death, all of her books were out of print.

A revived interest in Golden Age detective fiction has helped to introduce Dorothy Bowers to new audiences.

And yet, one mystery still remains. Despite extensive research by Moonstone Press no photograph of Dorothy Bowers has been found.