Faith Martin

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Faith Martin is a pen name of English author Jacquie Walton,[1][2][3] who is best known for her popular detective series, starring Detective Inspector (DI) Hillary Greene.[2][4] She also writes under the pen names Maxine Barry and Joyce Cato.


Walton was born in Oxford.[3][5] She attended a secretarial college,[6] and then worked as a secretary at Somerville College for six years.[6] During this time she was supporting her parents, after they were injured in a motor vehicle accident.[6] When they received compensation for their injuries, she was able to take leave from her job for a year, in order to write.[6] She now lives in an Oxfordshire village.[7]


Maxine Barry romance[edit]

Walton began her career writing romance novels using the pen name Maxine Barry.[1][2][8][9][10] Her first novel, Stolen Fire, set in Hawaii, was published in 1993.[6][8] She wrote thirteen other romance novels, which were published by the imprints Scarlet and Heartline.[6]

Faith Martin: DI Hillary Greene Series[edit]

Walton is best known[by whom?] for writing a series of detective novels under the pen name Faith Martin. They are set in Oxfordshire, with the lead character being CID DI Hillary Greene,[4][11] who works out of Thames Valley Police headquarters in Kidlington and lives on a narrowboat.[2] All of the books in this series have the word 'narrow' in the original title.

Whereas Inspector Morse spent his time solving the surprisingly[clarification needed] large number of murder cases in the city of Oxford, DI Hillary Greene works in the towns and villages in the north of Oxfordshire, where there are also a large number of such cases.[clarification needed]

The Hillary Greene books were fairly[clarification needed] successful when they were first released. Then, in 2008, Blackstar Crime republished A Narrow Escape, which was very successful,[peacock term] and was followed by On the Straight and Narrow. Subsequently, Joffe Books republished the Hillary Greene series under new titles, which almost all contain the word 'murder'.

The following table shows the original titles and the new titles:

No. First published Original title New title
1 2004 A Narrow Escape[6] Murder on the Oxford Canal
2 2005 On the Straight and Narrow Murder at the University
3 2006 Narrow is the Way Murder of the Bride
4 2006 By a Narrow Majority Murder in the Village
5 2007 Through a Narrow Door Murder in the Family
6 2007 With a Narrow Blade Murder at Home
7 2008 Beside a Narrow Stream Murder in the Meadow
8 2008 Down a Narrow Path Murder in the Mansion
9 2009 Across the Narrow Blue Line Murder in the Garden
10 2010 A Narrow Point of View Murder by Fire
11 2011 A Narrow Exit Murder at Work
12 2012 A Narrow Return Murder Never Retires
13 2013 A Narrow Margin of Error Murder of a Lover
14 2013 Walk a Narrow Mile Murder Never Misses
15 2015 A Narrow Victory Murder at Midnight
16 2015 The Work of a Narrow Mind Murder in Mind
17 2016 A Narrow Trajectory Hillary's Final Case

Joyce Cato: non-series and Jenny Starling series[edit]

Under the pen name Joyce Cato, Walton also writes non-series[clarification needed] detective novels[2][5] and the Jenny Starling murder mysteries.[1]

Ryder and Loveday series[edit]

Set in the city of Oxford, this series features Probationary WPC Trudy Loveday and coroner Clement Ryder.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Peacocke, Helen (18 November 2010). "Joyce Cato murder mystery series". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lee, Jan (12 June 2015). "Review: An Unholy Mess by Joyce Cato". The Oxford Times. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Author Interview with Jacquie Walton (Joyce Cato / Maxine Barry / Faith Martin)". Robert Hale Books. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Norfolk, Pam (11 July 2018). "Book review: A Fatal Obsession by Faith Martin". Lancashire Post. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  5. ^ a b "Joffe Books Authors". JOFFE BOOKS. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "A Narrow Escape by Faith Martin". Oxford Mail. 6 November 2004. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Novelist stars in roof-top drama". Oxford Mail. 29 May 2001. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b Blenkinsopp, Heather (15 November 1993). "Book Reviews: Fiction - `Stolen Fire,' by Maxine Barry". Library Journal. 118 (19): 99. ISSN 0363-0277. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Forecasts: Fiction - `Dark Desire,' by Maxine Barry". Publishers Weekly. 245 (39): 74. 28 September 1998. ISSN 0000-0019. Retrieved 14 March 2019.
  10. ^ Sias, Catherine (15 September 1998). "Spotlight on romance: `Dark Desire,' by Maxine Barry". Booklist. 95 (2): 207. ISSN 0006-7385.
  11. ^ "Faith Martin".

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