Christianna Brand

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Christianna Brand
Christianna brand upload.jpg
Pencil sketch of Christianna Brand
Born Mary Christianna Milne
(1907-12-17)17 December 1907
British Malaya
Died 11 March 1988(1988-03-11) (aged 80)
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality England
Citizenship British
Genre Children's literature
Spouse Roland Lewis

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


Christianna Brand 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] Brand also wrote under the pseudonyms Mary Ann Ashe, Annabel Jones, Mary Roland, and China Thomson. Christianna Brand served as Chair of the Crime Writers' Association from 1972-1973.[3]

Her first novel, Death in High Heels, was written while Brand was working as a salesgirl, the idea stemming from her fantasies about doing away with an annoying co-worker. 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 II 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Her Inspector Cockrill short stories and a previously unpublished Cockrill stage play were collected as The Spotted Cat and Other Mysteries from Inspector Cockrill's Casebook, edited by Tony Medawar (2002).

She was the cousin of the illustrator Edward Ardizzone.


Inspector Cockrill series[edit]

Inspector Charlesworth[edit]

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

Inspector Chucky[edit]

  • Cat and Mouse (1950) OCLC 557497970
  • A Ring of Roses (1977) (writing as Mary Ann Ashe)


  • The Single Pilgrim (1946) (writing as Mary Roland)
  • Welcome to Danger (1949) juvenile mystery, also published as Danger Unlimited
  • The Three Cornered Halo (1957)
  • Starrbelow (1958) (writing as China Thompson)
  • Dear Mr. MacDonald (1959)
  • Court of Foxes (1969)
  • The Radiant Dove (1975) (writing as Annabel Jones)
  • Alas, for Her That Met Me! (1976) (writing as Mary Ann Ashe)
  • The Honey Harlot (1978)
  • The Brides of Aberdar (1982)


  • Heaven Knows Who (1960)


For children[edit]

  • Nurse Matilda (1964)
  • Nurse Matilda Goes to Town (1967)
  • Nurse Matilda Goes to Hospital (1974)

Anthologies edited[edit]

  • 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. Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2010.