Tributes to award-winning writer described as ‘one of Britain’s most distinguished crime novelists’

Margaret opens the Long Crendon Community Library in April
Margaret opens the Long Crendon Community Library in April
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One of Britain’s most renowned crime writers, who spent much of her life living in Bucks, has died.

Margaret Yorke, who lived in Long Crendon for more than 40 years, passed away on November 17 aged 88 after losing her battle with cancer.

She wrote more than 40 novels from the 1950s into the new millennium and was awarded the prestigious Crime Writers Association Cartier Diamond Dagger in 1999. She served as the Crime Writers Association’s chairman between 1979 and 1980 and also won the 1993 Golden Handcuffs award, a prize given to the UK’s most popular crime writer.

Her works included the Dr Patrick Grant mystery series, which was released with new editions in May, 30 years after their original publication. Among her other books were The Scent of Fear, Death on Account and Admit to Murder.

Her daughter, Diana Procter, described her as a ‘fantastic mum’ who was always interested in what was going on in the community.

She said: “She was always there and supported you through good and evil.”

Mrs Procter said watching her mother receive the Diamond Dagger award in the House of Lords was one of the proudest moment of her life.

She said of the novelist’s writing: “It was just something that was in her, something that she just had to do.

“I am very proud of her and what she achieved.”

Ms Yorke had two children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Her real name was Margaret Beda Nicholson, but she changed to Yorke to avoid confusion with a similarly named published relative.

Award-winning crime author Martin Edwards said she was ‘one of Britain’s most distinguished crime novelists’.

Mr Edwards said: “She excelled at studies of domestic tension, spilling over into violence, and her characterisation showed profound insight into human nature.

“Margaret was a strong character, with strong opinions, which she was never afraid to express.

“Margaret’s family and friends will all know that she, and her books, will long be remembered, not only with admiration, but with great affection and appreciation.”

A service will take place on November 30 at St Mary’s in Long Crendon.

Anyone wishing to make a donation should do so to the Meningitis Trust or the Multiple Sclerosis Society.