Susan Barrett's career began in film and television, working as a researcher, director and producer on a variety of magazine programmes, documentaries and children's programming for all the major UK broadcasters. Since having children, Susan has worked freelance, writing treatments for TV and working as script doctor on feature film scripts for an independent features production company.
Photograph Â© Michael Barrett
The switching of babies, normally for monetary gain, is a frequently tried and tested historical novel scenario, but here, as all in sundry seem to be bearing illegitimate children, itâ€™s an interesting puzzle for the reader to try and second guess the manipulative forces behind all the various relationships. Iâ€™m not going to tell you, suffice to say that this romp through aristocratic skulduggery, London vice, heirs lost and found over three-quarters of a century and much else, is enormous fun.Comparison: Sarah Waters, Mary Wesley, Victoria Clayton.Similar this month: None but try David Maine.
Malpractice and mayhem - the events of a single day in a residential home for the elderly are described with humour and compassion in this pacey novel. Edith was a child when Stoneycrest was her family home. Now she's an alert and watchful resident. Spiro, the owner, has his own plans for Stoneycrest, as does his love on the side, Marion, the manager of the home. Tass, his niece, is more straightforward in her aims. The day unfolds in surprising ways, as the characters pursue their own ends with varying degrees of calamity and success.
A captivating fin de siecle melodrama - an artist's muse tells her side of the story. When Patrick McKinley steps through the window of her drawing room, Rose Seaton's fate is sealed: this flame-haired apparition in white flannels - an artist - could not be more different to her approved suitors, the lumpen sons of Yorkshire industry. But when Rose elopes with Patrick to Paris, the vie de boheme quickly loses its lustre, and when she finds herself penniless and pregnant - in an artist's colony in Cornwall - she repents her impetuous choice. Might it be that she would have been wiser to accept the hand of the rising star in her father's firm: dependable, stammering Harold Webb? Susan Barrett offers us a captivating portrait of a young woman's sentimental education, and discovery of a life beyond the gilded cage of her upbringing.