novelist, born in Edinburgh and educated at Girton College, Cambridge. Her first novel, A Case of Knives (1988), is a dark tale of sexual intrigue and manipulation, featuring a homosexual heart surgeon, a titled Scottish lady, and an enigmatic young woman who becomes engaged to marry the surgeon's lover: all four tell their own stories. The prose is carefully wrought and the Firbankian interest in haute couture connects with a violent subplot of animal rights terrorism. A Little Stranger (1989) describes the tensions between the narrator and her 5‐year‐old son's conventional but mysteriously threatening nanny. This was followed by another novel, Debatable Land (1994), and a collection of short stories, Wait Till I Tell You (1997).