All I’ve ever wanted to be is a writer, and that’s pretty much the only work I’ve ever done. As both Isabelle Grey and Isabelle Anscombe (journalism and non-fiction), I’ve written advertising copy, exhibition catalogues and illustrated books, been a ghostwriter, magazine editor, journalist and reviewer, and now write radio and television drama and fiction. I have learnt something from every single job. Writing is difficult, which is what makes it so endlessly fascinating, frustrating and rewarding.

My novels of psychological suspense, Out of Sight and The Bad Mother, and my new crime series set in Essex and featuring murder detective Grace Fisher, Good Girls Don’t DieShot Through the HeartThe Special Girls, and Wrong Way Home are all published by Quercus.

Out of Sight Pb


GOOD GIRLS 1untitled Isabelle Grey - The Special GirlsWrong Way Home

My television writing credits include over thirty-five episodes of series such as The Bill, Casualty, Wycliffe, Rosemary & Thyme and Midsomer Murders, the BBC/Discovery Channel docu-drama Genghis Khan, and original drama commissions from the BBC, Scottish TV, Carnival and Working Title TV. ‘Tina’s Story’, an episode of Accused, co-written with Jimmy McGovern for BBC1, starred Anna Maxwell Martin, Ewen Bremner, John Bishop and Robert Sheehan. (See my post, Praise for Accused).

As Isabelle Anscombe, I am the author of Arts & Crafts in Britain and America (with Charlotte Gere), Omega & After: Bloomsbury & the Decorative Arts, A Woman’s Touch: Women in the Decorative Arts from 1860 to the Present Day, Arts & Crafts Style, and Not Another Punk Book!

I grew up in Manchester, was educated there and at Newnham College, Cambridge, and now live in London.

On why my younger self wanted to be a journalist: see my post, The New Gonzo.

8 thoughts on “About

  1. pooja says:

    Hi. I came here looking for the author of a bbc afternoon drama I just heard . ‘ It takes two to lie’ . i loved it, very interesting and crisp 🙂 Love the interplay between the characters. Looking fwd to more of ur work. Warm regards.

  2. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed my radio drama debut.

  3. jean-paul says:

    Hello Isabelle,
    Have your books (+ ,tv scripts) been translated into French ?
    English to French translator
    (at the London Book Fair on April 13th)


  4. relhayman says:

    As an aspiring writer/journalist, I really enjoyed stumbling across this blog.


  5. Tonia says:

    How interesting that you moved from writing design history to crime fiction. I just came across your book on women designers on my bookshelf.

  6. Michael Duncum says:

    I’ve just finished ‘Shot Through the Heart’.The key character, DI Grace is utterly believable.It’s nail-biting to the end and beyond. You have the gift of engagement;wonderful.

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