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Lucinda Riley (1966–2021), author known for “The Seven Sisters” series

by Linnea Crowther

Lucinda Riley was a bestselling Irish author of historical fiction, known for her “The Seven Sisters” series and her 2019 No. 1 Sunday Times bestseller, “The Butterfly Room.”

Writing career

Riley was an actress in her young life before turning to writing after an illness interrupted her acting career. Her debut novel, “Lovers and Players,” was published in 1992 under her maiden name, Lucinda Edmonds. She followed it with almost two dozen more books. Riley began her well-known series, loosely based on the Greek myth of the Pleiades, in 2014 with “The Seven Sisters.” The series’ seventh book, “The Missing Sister,” was published in April 2021 and quickly climbed bestseller lists. An eight book in the series had been planned.

Riley on how she became a writer

“I always had a very vivid imagination and as a child spent much of my free time making up stories. So it wasn’t anything to do with whether I had a talent, as much as a passion for writing. It always seemed to come naturally. I didn’t write my first novel until I was 22 and became ill with glandular fever. I had been working as an actress and suddenly found myself confined to my bed — what else could I do but write!” —from a 2015 interview for pop.edit.lit


Tributes to Lucinda Riley

Full obituary: The Bookseller

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