CALDEY Island, off Tenby, is the inspiration for the atmospheric setting for a new crime thriller by author Sarah Ward, to be published next month.

On April 6, 2023, Canelo will publish The Birthday Girl by critically acclaimed author of crime and gothic thriller books, Sarah Ward.  Sarah now lives in Derbyshire but was born and grew up in the Neath and Cardiff areas. 

Her fictional island of Eldey is based on Caldey Island, a place Sarah first visited on a school trip.  Then, as now, she found it an atmospheric place to be, close to the mainland and yet with a sense of being cut off.

About The Birthday Girl

The Birthday Girl by Sarah Ward

WELCOME to Eldey, an island with deadly secrets. An island perfect for getting revenge...

Mona, a carefree artist staying at The Cloister to work on her illustrations. Beth, the harried mother of a toddler, on the remote Welsh island for a weekend escape with her family. Charlotte, hoping for a romantic getaway with her husband, not a trip with his troubled teenage stepdaughter. One of them is a serial killer who poisoned three of her friends at her eleventh birthday party.

When one of the hotel guests is found dead, it becomes clear to Mallory Dawson – the night manager of the boutique island hotel and former police detective – that The Birthday Girl is among them. Three guests fit the profile, but which of them would risk everything to kill again?

As the rain sets in and the atmosphere gets increasingly claustrophobic, it's down to Mallory Dawson to try to work out who.

With a nod to an Agatha Christie locked-room mystery, this is gripping mystery, full of twists and turns.

“Sharp, elegantly written, and dripping with suspense. A wonderfully crafted ‘closed room’ mystery that had me turning the pages at record speed.” - J A Corrigan, author

“A brilliant Christie-esque page-turner with an amazing sense of location and some fantastic murders...” - Catherine Cooper, author

“Atmospheric, tense, with lots of twists and turns, I couldn't put this down. With a nod to Agatha Christie, the sharp narrative builds to a nail-biting climax.” - Simon McCleave, author

About Sarah Ward

SARAH WARD is a critically acclaimed crime and gothic thriller writer. Her book, A Patient Fury, was an Observer book of the month and The Quickening, written as Rhiannon Ward, a Radio Times book of the year. Sarah is on the Board of the Crime Writers Association, Derby Book Festival and Friends of Buxton International Festival. She is an RLF Fellow at Sheffield University.