Caitlin Davies is a novelist, non-fiction writer, teacher, mentor and journalist. She’s the author of six novels and eight non-fiction books, many of which are inspired by forgotten women from history.

Her early books are set in Botswana, where she started her writing career as a human rights reporter, including her memoir Place of Reeds

Some of her books have a watery theme, such as Taking the Waters: A Swim Around Hampstead Heath, Downstream: A History and Celebration of Swimming the River Thames, and Daisy Belle: Swimming Champion of the World.

Others have a criminal theme, including The Ghost of Lily Painter, Bad Girls: The Rebels and Renegades of Holloway Prison, nominated for the Orwell Prize for Political Writing 2019, and Queens of the Underworld, a history of professional female crooks from the 17th century to today.

Her latest book, Private Inquiries: The Secret History of Female Sleuths, tells the story of the UK’s female private eyes from the 1850s to the present, interspersed with her own training as a Professional Investigator.

Private Inquiries is a must-read – a riveting mythbuster, with its revelations of the real histories of women PIs’

– Val McDermid

‘Davies is a great storyteller and this is a feast of true crime and women’s place in history. Fascinating and utterly riveting’

– Baroness Helena Kennedy of the Shaws KC

Photo: Michael White


‘Caitlin has a particular gift for capturing an individual’s physical presence.’

– Hilary Mantel, Sunday Telegraph

Caitlin is an executor of the literary estate of her mother, Margaret Forster.