Jump to content

Sara Sheridan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sara Sheridan
Born (1968-06-07) 7 June 1968 (age 56)
Edinburgh, Scotland
GenreNovels, historical, crime
Notable worksBrighton Belle

Sara Sheridan (born 7 June 1968) is a Scottish activist and writer who works in a variety of genres, though predominantly in historical fiction. She is the creator of the Mirabelle Bevan mysteries.


Born Sara Louise Goodwin, Sheridan comes from Edinburgh and was educated at Trinity College, Dublin.[1][2][3] She is a former member of the Society of Authors Committee for Scotland[4] and the Crime Writers Association. From 2009 to 2015 Sheridan sat on the board of writers' collective, '26'. She both managed and took part in the 26 Treasures projects which took place at the V&A, Kensington, the Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh and the Museum of Childhood, Edinburgh. The resulting book, 26 Treasures won the Literature Category at the British Design Awards 2013. Sheridan also ran the organisation's annual charity advent calendar, 26 Stories for Christmas. In 2014 she actively campaigned in favour of Scottish independence and in 2016 supported the Remain campaign in the UK's EU Referendum. Sheridan has one daughter, Molly by her first marriage to Irish businessman, Seamus Sheridan. She married her second husband, Alan Ferrier in 2011 and the couple live in Scotland.


Sheridan's first book, contemporary commercial fiction, Truth or Dare entered the Sunday Times top 50 when it was published in 1998. It was nominated for the Saltire Prize and was also listed in the Scottish Libraries Top 100 Books. In the successive two years Sheridan wrote two more novels in the same genre, Ma Polinski's Pockets and The Pleasure Express. During this period, she also co-wrote two short films, Fish Supper[5] starring Lynda Bellingham and The Window Bed, which was nominated for a Sky Movies Max Award in 2001. She was then commissioned by specialist publisher Barrington Stoke to write a novella for reluctant readers, called The Blessed and The Damned.[6]

In 2003, she switched genres to historical fiction and funded the move by ghostwriting.[citation needed] She now writes two series of historical novels: one based on the real lives of late Georgian/early Victorian adventurers (The Secret Mandarin – 2009, Secret of the Sands – 2011, On Starlit Seas – 2016, The Ice Maiden - 2018) and a series of 1950s cosy crime noir mysteries featuring her fictional ex-secret service heroine, Mirabelle Bevan (Brighton Belle – 2012, London Calling – 2014, British Bulldog – 2015, Operation Goodwood – 2016, Russian Roulette – 2017','Indian Summer – 2019. Highland Fling 2020 and Celtic Cross - 2021). The Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries were optioned by STV in 2015 but were not developed for television.[7] In 2022 the series was longlisted for Crime Writers Association Dagger in the Library Award.[8] In 2017 On Starlit Seas was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize. In 2022 her novel The Fair Botanists won Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year.[9] Sheridan has also written two children's picture books, (I'm Me – 2010) which was inspired by her relationship with her niece and a pan-European picture book written with her daughter, Molly (Monsters Unite - 2019).

Sheridan occasionally appears as a commenter on TV and radio in the UK.[10] She has reported from both Tallinn, Estonia[11] and Sharjah, United Arab Emirates[12] for BBC Radio 4.[13] She has contributed to several British newspapers, including writing blog articles for The Guardian in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014.[14][15] She has also appeared, talking about history and feminism on RTE radio in 2017 and 2018. In 2017 she wrote a Love Letter to Europe which was published on the cover of The National newspaper. In 2013 she appeared on The History of the Lady on BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Sheridan also writes blog articles for the Huffington Post[16][17][18] and occasionally writes for the BBC online [19] and as a cultural commentator on BBC Radio Scotland.

Sheridan also writes TV-tie in books. One for the second series of ITV's hit drama series, "Victoria" based on the life of Queen Victoria (2017) and most recently for ITV's adaptation of Jane Austen's last, unfinished novel: Sanditon (2019). Two of her five-part radio plays have been broadcast on BBC Radio Four.

She remapped Scotland for Historic Environment Scotland (Where are the Women? An imagined female atlas of Scotland - 2019), which was included in the David Hume Institute's First Minister's Summer Reading List 2019.[20] The book is credited with inspiring Claire Mitchell QC to found the Accused Witches of Scotland campaign in 2019 to seek an apology and a pardon for Scotland's witches and raise a national memorial.

A portrait of her by Scottish artist Sophie Mckay Knight, the result of a creative collaboration, was featured by The Guardian Art & Design column in 2015[21] before going on to public exhibition in the National Gallery of Scotland.

In 2016 Sheridan co-founded REEK.[22] with her daughter, make up artist, Molly Sheridan – a fragrance company that spoke out against the lack of female memorialisation throughout history and challenged beauty industry norms. REEK's fragrances memorialised 'heroic, unapologetic and passionate women from history to the present day' and its first scent was launched in 2016 in memory of the Jacobite women. It has been called the 'first feminist fragrance'. In 2017 the company launched an eau de parfum in celebration of the memory of witches. The company closed in 2020 and its artefacts were collected by the National Museum of Scotland and Glasgow Women's Library.


Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries

  • Brighton Belle (2012)
  • London Calling (2013)
  • England Expects (2014)
  • British Bulldog (2015)
  • Operation Goodwood (2016)
  • Russian Roulette (2017)
  • Indian Summer (2019)
  • Highland Fling (2020)
  • Celtic Cross (2021)

Other novels

  • Truth or Dare (1998)
  • Ma Polinski’s Pockets (1999)
  • The Pleasure Express (2001)
  • The Blessed and the Damned (2002)
  • The Secret Mandarin (2009)
  • Secret of the Sands (2010)
  • On Starlit Seas (2016)
  • The Ice Maiden (2018)
  • The Fair Botanists (2021)
  • The Secrets of Blythswood Square (2024)

Children's picture books

  • I'm Me (2010)
  • Monsters Unite (2019)

Non-fiction books

  • Victoria and Albert: A Royal Love Affair (2017)
  • Where are the Women? (2019)
  • The World of Sanditon (2019)[23]

Short story collections and essays

  • Girls About Town (1999)
  • Sexy Shorts for Summer (2000)
  • Bloody Scotland (2017)
  • Imagine a Country (2019)
  • Noir at the Bar Anthology (2020)
  • Edinburgh Literary Salon (2021)
  • One City Trust Anthology (2021)
  • All the Way Home (2022)
  • Hot Blood, Cold Blood (2023)

Radio Drama

  • On Portobello Prom (BBC Radio Four 2023)
  • Robert Burns: His Psychotherapy and Cure (BBC Radio Four 2024)


  1. ^ "Sara Sheridan, author of the 1950s-set Mirabelle Bevan mystery series ('Miss Marple with an edge') picks her favourite historical crime fiction, including books by Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey and Caleb Carr". Foyles. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  2. ^ Archipelago, World. "Sara Sheridan". HarperCollins UK. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  3. ^ Sheridan, Sara (20 March 2012). Brighton Belle: A Mirabelle Bevan Mystery. Birlinn. ISBN 9780857901866.
  4. ^ "Sara Sheridan, author of the 1950s-set Mirabelle Bevan mystery series ('Miss Marple with an edge') picks her favourite historical crime fiction, including books by Agatha Christie, Josephine Tey and Caleb Carr". Foyles. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  5. ^ "SS Short Films: Fish Supper".
  6. ^ "Sara Sheridan novels to be turned into major new TV series". 25 January 2016.
  7. ^ "1950s-set Mirabelle Bevan mysteries to Little, Brown". The Bookseller. Retrieved 12 April 2024.
  8. ^ "Dagger in the Library". The Crime Writers’ Association. Retrieved 25 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Edinburgh author wins Waterstones Scottish Book of the Year 2022 award". www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com. 16 November 2022. Retrieved 16 November 2022.
  10. ^ "Murnaghan 7.09.14 Paper Review with Keir Starmer, Sara Sheridan & Jeffrey Archer | Sky News Press Office". Archived from the original on 25 September 2014. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  11. ^ "BBC World Service - from Our Own Correspondent, Libya and Estonia".
  12. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - from Our Own Correspondent, 03/12/2011 - Waiting for freedom in the UAE". Archived from the original on 24 January 2019. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
  13. ^ BBC Radio 4’s "From Our Own Correspondent".
  14. ^ "Sara Sheridan on how history informs the present". TheGuardian.com. March 2011.
  15. ^ "Sara Sheridan on getting gay rights right". TheGuardian.com. 10 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Who do You Think You Are?". 14 May 2013.
  17. ^ "What Writers Earn: A Cultural Myth". 24 April 2013.
  18. ^ "How Scotland Nurtures Its Writing Talent". 8 August 2013.
  19. ^ "How the political spectrum is widening for women in Scotland". BBC News. 8 March 2015.
  20. ^ "First Minister's Reading List 2019 Launch". David Hume Institute. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  21. ^ MacLeod, Murdo; Shields, Fiona; MacLeod, Murdo; Shields, Fiona. "A look inside the artist's studio: Sophie McKay Knight paints Sara Sheridan". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 October 2015.
  22. ^ "REEK - Scottish Perfume | Urban Reivers". Archived from the original on 12 December 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  23. ^ "Trapeze pre-empts Sanditon TV tie-in books - The Bookseller". www.thebookseller.com. Retrieved 12 August 2019.

External links[edit]