Marion Lane

Created by T.A. Willberg

I dunno. This seems like a cross between Harry Potter and Harriett the Spy. With some Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie tossed in, and a quick spritz of steampunk, just in case. So you’ve got a little whimsy,a little fantasy, and a little mystery. We leave anyone out?

When we meet MARION LANE in Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder (2020), she’s twenty-three, an odd bird for sure–an unemployed former auto mechanic with a knack for putting things right, living a life of quiet desperation with her chronically unsatisfied grandmother on Number Sixteen Willow Street (Grandma wants nothing so much as to to marry off her peculiar granddaughter), in London’s post-war East End.

But that may soon change. Marion has just become a Junior Inquirer in Miss Brickett’s Investigations & Inquiries, a rather peculiar and clandestine private detective agency, tucked away in a number of hidden subterranean nooks and crannies under the streets of London; full of gadgets, and secrets left over from the War.

Their agency’s mission? To track down the criminals that Scotland Yard can’t. Or won’t.

But then one of Miss Brickett’s filing assistants, one not particularly well-liked, is murdered. Mysteriously… at midnight…

And so it goes. In 2022’s Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose, Lane and her fellow sleuths are back, hired to bring in “the Florist,” a serial killer (sigh) who brands roses on his victims. 


T.A. Willberg was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and holds a chiropractic masters degree from Durban University of Technology. Marion Lane and the Midnight Murder is her first novel and the first in a potential series. She lives in Malta with her partner.


  • “Willberg spins her narrative with a striking sense of verve. I found myself so drawn into this world of peculiar crimes that finishing the last page left me disoriented, requiring an extra beat to flash forward and rejoin the current century.
    — Sarah Weinman on Marion Lane and the Deadly Rose (February 2022, NYTBR)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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