Mavis Doriel Hay

Mavis Doriel Hay was a novelist of the golden age of British crime fiction. Her three detective novels — The Santa Klaus Murder, Murder Underground, and Death on the Cherwell — were all published in the 1930s.

Mavis Doriel Hay was born into a middle-class family in Potters Bar, Middlesex. She attended St Hilda's College in Oxford.

After her time at St Hilda's, Hay returned to her primary love, the study and practice of rural crafts, and, in 1927, she and her co-author, Helen Fitzrandolph, published a wide-ranging and authoritative work, Rural Industries of England and Wales.

When she was thirty-five, Hay married Archibald Menzies Fitzrandolph from a wealthy and influential Canadian family.

It was during the years of her marriage to Archibald Fitzrandolph that Hay wrote and published three detective novels, Murder Underground (1934), Death on the Cherwell (1935), and The Santa Klaus Murder (1936). This last novel is a classic example of the cozy mystery genre, often associated with the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.

Set in a country house during Christmas, the story revolves around a wealthy and dysfunctional family that becomes embroiled in a murder mystery.

Hay's writing in this novel showcases her ability to weave intricate plots, create vivid characters, and maintain an atmosphere of suspense and intrigue. The Santa Klaus Murder was well-received by mystery enthusiasts and critics.

In 1921, the Ministry of Agriculture established The Rural Industries Bureau (RIB). The purpose of the RIB was to develop rural industries by providing technical advice and assistance to country workshops. As well as various booklets and reports, it published a quarterly magazine, Rural Industries.

Hay took up a position as a researcher for the RIB. She devoted the rest of her life to her first love, the promotion of rural crafts. Under her married name, Mavis Fitzrandolph, Hay wrote and published many books, including 30 Crafts, written for the Women's Institute.

In 1939, the Second World War broke out, and Hay's husband, Archibald, joined the RAF and was killed in a flying accident in 1943.

Mavis Doriel Hay lived in Gloucestershire and died at the age of eighty-five. Her last book, Quilting, was published in 1972.
years of life: 12 February 1894 26 August 1979
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