Going under the pseudonym of Peter Tremayne, the British author, literary biographer and historian Peter Berresford Ellis has been writing for quite some time now to much acclaim, who, along with his other pen-name of Peter MacAlan, has amassed a large body of work over the course of his career. Well known and equally well regarded for his long-running historical mysteries, most notably that of his Sister Fidelma series, he’s managed to garner a lot of positive attention over the years. Appreciated both nationally as well as internationally, he’s gotten a lot of traction throughout the years with his bestselling franchises that are lauded by both critics and the general public alike.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1943 on the 10th of March, the author Peter Berresford was brought up and raised in the city of Coventry in the United Kingdom. With his father being a journalist who started his own career in the city of Cork where he worked on the Cork Examiner, Peter Berresford had a background in literature from the outset. Taking up reading and writing from a young age, he begun to harness his gift for the written word and history, taking it up over the following years to come.

Initially attending the Brighton College of Art, he soon went on to study and graduate from the University of London in 1989. Gaining a degree in Celtic Studies, he managed to give his material the foundations it needed, lending it his now much admired sense of accuracy. He would also in this time work on developing his sense of style and tone, creating the voice for which he’d become well known for.

Starting out as a junior reporter on a south coast weekly newspaper, he quickly built his name as an important writer. It was here that he also learned many of the tools of his craft, employing them through experience this time, instead of an academic setting. Soon progressing through the papers and publications, he went on to work in Northern Ireland in 1964, building up his name and profile.

Gaining a number of awards and honors for his various contributions and offerings to the field as well as the genre, he’s become a well established presence on the scene. Paving the way for many others to follow in his footsteps as well, he’s been a useful addition, creating a whole new style surrounding him and his work. This is something that shall continue for years to come as his writing career grows from strength-to-strength, something will carry on for some time yet.

Writing Career

Publishing and releasing over ninety-eight books, fifty-five of which are under his pen-name of Peter Tremayne, he has become a highly prolific author. He also goes under the name of Peter MacAlan, under which name he has published another eight novels too. With a whole host of academic works as well, he really is one of the most versatile authors to date, with a variety of different works coming from him.

Not only that, but he has also been operating as a member of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, something which has stuck with him throughout his life. Getting involved in politics, he’s worked on his writing career simultaneously, whilst maintaining his academic standing as well. Lecturing in universities, he really is one of the busiest authors as well, with a whole host of activities undertaken alongside his novels.

Bringing out his first book, ‘The Hounds of Frankenstein’, in 1977, he quickly started to release his novels with far more frequency. Shortly after this his Sister Fidelma series quickly followed, which is his longest-running and most popular franchise to date. All of this has lead to him becoming one of the leading figures of the genre, something that shall continue on into the foreseeable future.

Suffer Little Children

This was to be the third book in the long-running Sister Fidelma series of novels, creating the next chapter of sorts in the ongoing saga. Providing a lot of tension it was first published in 1995 through the Signet publishing label on the 1st of February to much acclaim. Not only that, but it also gave his ever eager fans of the series more of what they were looking for, whilst simultaneously providing them with something new along the way in the process.

Set in A.D. 644, it sees the murder of a Celtic Church scholar of the time, who is brutally murdered whilst visiting the Irish Kingdom of Muman. Turning up on the scene is one Sister Fidelma, the ever resourceful investigator of the period, and if anybody can ever hope of getting to the bottom of the case then she can. Summoned by the ruler of the kingdom himself, she finds that there is a lot more to this case than first meets the eye, with a lot of secrets and lies buried deep within the case itself. Who was the murdered victim and what was their political standing? Can Sister Fidelma keep herself safe in the process and out of harm’s way? What will become of them all, and prevent them from seeing the case of suffer little children?

The Leper’s Bell

First published in 2004, this was a later title for Peter Berresford under his Peter Tremayne pseudonym. Brought out on the 17th of October in 1999, through the St. Martin’s Griffin publishing label, this was to be the fourteenth title in the Sister Fidelma series, with it already well under way now. With the tone and the style already firmly established, it manages to capture the essence of the previous novels, whilst simultaneously providing something new and interesting all of its very own.

This time set in 667 A.D., it follows Fidelma of Cashel as she returns home once more to find that her son’s nurse has been brutally murdered in his castle. Not only that, but her brother is also missing thought to be kidnapped, or worse, and it is up to her to get to the bottom of the matter. Diving into a web of intrigue once again, she must this time unravel all the clues in one of her most baffling cases yet. Will she be able to find the murderer? Can she locate her brother before it’s too late? What is the truth behind the Leper’s Bell?

Books in order of publication by series:

Dracula Lives Books

Dracula Unborn(1977) 
The Revenge of Dracula(1978) 
Dracula, My Love(1980) 

Lan-Kern Books

The Fires on Lan-Kern(1980) 
The Destroyers of Lan-Kern(1982) 
The Buccaneers of Lan-Kern(1983) 

Sister Fidelma Books

Absolution by Murder(1994) 
Shroud for the Archbishop(1995) 
Suffer Little Children(1995) 
The Subtle Serpent(1996) 
The Spider’s Web(1997) 
Valley of the Shadow(1998) 
The Monk Who Vanished(1999) 
Act of Mercy(1999) 
Our Lady of Darkness(2000) 
Smoke in the Wind(2001) 
The Haunted Abbot(2002) 
Badger’s Moon(2003) 
The Leper’s Bell(2004) 
Master of Souls(2005) 
A Prayer for the Damned(2006) 
Dancing with Demons(2007) 
The Council of the Cursed(2008) 
The Dove of Death(2009) 
The Chalice of Blood(2010) 
Behold a Pale Horse(2011) 
The Seventh Trumpet(2012) 
Atonement of Blood(2013) 
The Devil’s Seal(2014) 
The Spiteful Shadow(2015) 
The Second Death(2015) 
The Lair of the White Fox(2016) 
Penance of the Damned(2016) 
Night of the Lightbringer(2017) 
Blood in Eden(2019) 

Sister Fidelma Collections

Hemlock at Vespers(2000) 
Whispers of the Dead(2004) 

Standalone Novels

Hound of Frankenstein(1977) 
The Vengeance of She(1978) 
The Curse of Loch Ness(1979) 
The Ants(1979) 
The Return of Raffles(1981) 
Zombie!(1981) 
The Morgow Rises!(1982) 
Snowbeast!(1983) 
Judas Battalion(1983) 
Raven of Destiny(1984) 
Kiss of the Cobra(1984) 
Airship(1984) 
The Confession(1985) 
Angelus!(1985) 
Swamp!(1985) 
Kitchener’s Gold(1986) 
Nicor!(1987) 
Trollnight(1987) 
Valkyrie Directive(1987) 
Ravenmoon(1988) 
Fireball(1990) 
Island of Shadows(1991) 
The Windsor Protocol(1993) 

Short Story Collections

My Lady of Hy-Brasil and Other Stories(1987) 
Aisling and Other Irish Tales of Terror(1992) 
An Ensuing Evil and Others(2005) 

Anthologies

Irish Masters of Fantasy(1979) 

Non-Fiction Books

The Un-Dead: The Legend of Bram Stoker and Dracula(1997) 
Creeper’s Secret War(2009)