M. J. Arlidge

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Matthew Arlidge
Born (1974-10-10) 10 October 1974 (age 44)
OccupationAuthor/television presenter
Notable work
Eeny Meeny, Pop Goes the Weasel, The Doll's House, Liar Liar , Little boy blue

Matthew Arlidge (born 1974) is an English author of crime novels starring DI Helen Grace. He has also worked in television for the last fifteen years specialising in high-end drama production.[1]

Early life[edit]

Matthew Arlidge was born in London in 1974, the youngest of four siblings. He grew up in Hampstead, North London, attending University College School from 7–18 years of age. In between school and university, he travelled extensively, teaching in a school in southern India, as well as visiting Singapore and Australia. On his return to the UK, he studied for an English Literature degree at St Johns College, Cambridge. During this period he met his future wife, won the Douglas Chivers prize for outstanding Shakespeare scholarship and mastered the specialist skill of punting. He subsequently spent a year studying Film and Television Production at Bristol University.

Writing for television[edit]

His early career was in television production, starting at EastEnders, the popular BBC1 soap opera. He began life as a story liner, later graduating to become a script editor. After 18 months there, he left to work for Ecosse Films, a British Film and TV production company, spending two years story lining and editing their hit BBC1 series Monarch of the Glen, which starred Richard Briers and Susan Hampshire. He then moved into a new role as TV development producer with the same company, creating new shows for BBC/ITV/C4 such as Mistresses and Cape Wrath. The latter starred Tom Hardy, Felicity Jones and David Morrissey, whilst the former has been successfully remade for US television. In 2007, Arlidge left to set up his own production company, TXTV Limited, with colleagues Jeremy Gwilt and Chris Lang. He exec produced a number of successful British crime serials over the ensuing years, including Torn, The Little House and Undeniable. As well as developing his own shows for television, Arlidge also writes for well established crime series, most notably Silent Witness.


Arlidge's first novel was published in May 2014. Eeny Meeny introduced a new British police officer, Detective Inspector Helen Grace. Arlidge famously pitched the first seven novels in the series to his publisher Penguin at their first meeting and other Helen Grace novels soon followed, including Pop Goes the Weasel (Sept 2014) and The Doll's House (March 2015). Several more Helen Grace novels are scheduled for release in the UK and other international markets, including the US, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and France.

DI Helen Grace[edit]

  • Detective Inspector Helen Grace is the heroine of Arlidge's series of serial killer thrillers set in and around the English coastal city of Southampton. A tough, determined police officer who rides a motorbike and prefers to travel through life alone, she nevertheless is beset by personal demons. The legacy of a troubled childhood makes itself felt through her mood swings and tendency towards depression. She neither drinks nor takes drugs, so expiates her dark moods through the controlled use of pain, administered to her by her loyal dominator, Jake. She lives alone, takes occasional lovers and is deeply committed to her work. The criminals she pursues are sadistic, violent and determined, meaning Helen has to put her life on the line to bring them in. She is assisted by a number of colleagues at Southampton Central, most notably her loyal friend, DC Charlene "Charlie" Brooks.

Six Degrees of Assassination[edit]

  • In 2015, Arlidge wrote a ten part audio thriller for Audible, the US owned audiobook giant. Six Degrees of Assassination was multi-layered political thriller, exploring the fallout following the assassination of the British PM. The series had an all star cast – Andrew Scott, Hermione Norris, Freema Agyeman – and was an innovative format, designed to take on BBC Radio in on its own patch. The series was a huge success and was very well received by fans and customers.



Publication Order Title Date ISBN
1 Eeny Meeny May 2014 9781405914871
2 Pop Goes The Weasel September 2014 9781405914956
3 The Doll's House February 2015 9781405919197
4 Liar Liar September 2015 9781405919210
5 Little Boy Blue March 2016 9780718181833
6 Hide and Seek December 2016 9781405925624
7 Love me not May 2017 9780718183851
8 Down to the Woods September 2018 9780718183875