Shirley was born and raised in the Cotswolds, where her headmaster wrote on her school report—Shirley is content to dream her life away.
Years later—as an adult living in Cyprus—it dawned on her that this wasn't necessarily a bad thing and that fellow dreamers, in the guise of fiction writers, had been getting away with it for centuries.
A move to the Orkney island of Hoy followed and, during the twelve years she spent there, she wrote short stories as well as full-length romantic fiction for UK women's magazines.
She's now settled in Lancashire, where the Pennines provide the inspiration and setting for her popular mystery novels. She and her husband share their home with an ever-changing selection of deranged pets, who often insist on cameo roles in Shirley's novels.
When she isn't writing, Shirley loves reading (anything and everything), listening to live music, watching TV, eating chocolate and drinking whisky—though not necessarily at the same time. She's also a season ticket holder at Burnley Football Club and can often be seen in the biting wind and pouring rain cheering on her favourite team.
And she's still content to dream her life away.
Private investigator Dylan Scott is struggling to come to terms with the death of his wife. He has to cope for the sake of his two children, though it's easier to blame himself for her death and take comfort in a bottle of whisky.
When he hears that the man who helped him solve his first case has been killed in Dawson's Clough, Dylan finds a new purpose and vows to put all his energy into finding justice for him. Who would have a motive to kill a kind man like Simple Stevie? As it turns out, everyone.
Dylan's hunch is that Stevie must have snapped a photo of the wrong person, doing something they want erased, so he focuses his investigation on the town's residents. But Dylan's worst fears are realized when he again finds his own family in the crosshairs.
A Dylan Scott Mystery
Ten months ago, Samantha Hunt set off for work…and was never seen again.
Despite the statistics of cold cases, Dylan Scott wants to believe the young woman's alive—and not just because her father, his client, is desperate to find his missing daughter before he dies of cancer. By all accounts Sam was a lovely girl, devoted to her younger stepsisters, well-liked at her work, in love with her boyfriend.
But as usual not everything is as it seems in sleepy Dawson's Clough. Sam's boyfriend has a violent past. She may have been having an affair with her boss. And Dylan can't shake the feeling that her stepfather is hiding something. Meanwhile, someone is trying to scare Dylan off the case.
Who wanted to silence Sam, and why? The truth turns out to be worse than anyone expected… (80,000 words)
Murder on the Arctic Sea
Detective Dylan Scott thinks cruising well above the Arctic Circle in November is nothing short of madness. He has zero interest in seeing the elusive aurora borealis, but agrees to the Norwegian holiday to keep his wife and mother happy. At least the biggest problem he'll have to deal with is boredom. But that boredom quickly dissipates when the unpleasant elderly woman in the neighboring cabin is found dead.
Everyone thinks Hanna Larsen had a heart attack. Everyone except Dylan. Dylan is convinced there's a killer aboard the Midnight Sun—a killer who may strike again...
After his ex-wife bled to death in a bathtub covered in his fingerprints, the case against Aleksander Kaminski seemed open and shut. Though sentenced to life in prison, he swears he's innocent, a claim supported by his current wife.
Private investigator Dylan Scott finds himself drawn back to dreary Lancashire in a search for justice. The evidence against Kaminski is damning, but having been unjustly jailed himself, Dylan is compelled to pursue the case; if there's even a small chance the man is innocent, he has to help. The other obvious suspect—the victim's second husband—has a watertight alibi. But Dylan has a strong hunch that as usual, there's more going on than meets the eye in Dawson's Clough.
The deeper Dylan digs, the more secrets he unearths. The question remains: If Kaminski didn't murder his childhood sweetheart, who did?
Thirteen years ago, Anita Champion went out for a night on the town and never came home. Most people including the local police figured she just took off, either with a man, or just to get away. But not the daughter she left behind at age 11. Holly Champion is now 25 and she wants answers. So she hires ex cop Dylan Scott who is now a PI to take the case. Dylan has problems of his own. He was kicked off the police force due to his 5-month incarceration for assault, his wife kicked him out and his mother just moved in. Maybe this case is just the diversion he needs.
So what DID happen to Anita? She had been known to take off before, sometimes for up to a week. Or was foul play involved? One thing is for sure, not many people are talking and Dylan has his work cut out for him.
This book has everything to make a good mystery. A missing woman, a known criminal who may or may not have connections to Anita, lots of people who look like they know something, but aren't willing to talk, My only complaints were the book's title, because to me it seemed most of the people presumed Anita was ALIVE and just took off. I found the pace a little slow in the beginning, but once I got into the "thick" of it, I couldn't stop reading. There were a lot of suspicious characters and I really had no guesses as to what really happened to Anita. Fans of mystery and suspense will enjoy this read.