Anna Sayburn Lane is a novelist, short story writer and storyteller, inspired by the history and contemporary life of London. Unlawful Things is her first novel.
She has published award-winning short stories in a number of magazines, including Mslexia, Scribble and One Eye Grey.
Her Mslexia award-winning story Conservation was described by judge and Booker-longlisted author Alison MacLeod as “a powerful and profound contemporary piece in which one man’s story stands for an entire nation’s… it’s a punch to the heart, a story that will haunt and touch its readers deeply”.


Women's Fiction

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The Crimson Thread

An 800-year-old murder is still being avenged

A theatrical curse. A murder in the cathedral. Only one woman can unravel the mystery and prevent more bloodshed.

When Helen Oddfellow goes to Canterbury for the opening of an Elizabethan play unseen for 400 years, she is expecting an exciting night. But the performance is disrupted by protests, then a gruesome discovery in the cathedral crypt draws her into a desperate hunt for a killer.

Is the play cursed? The actors think so, but Helen doesn’t believe in curses. As friends go missing and Helen herself is threatened, she pursues the clues through the ornate tombs of the cathedral and dark alleyways of the ancient city. Secrets from the distant and not-so-distant past are exposed. Can Helen find the murderer – before he kills again?


Unlawful Things taster

A hidden masterpiece. A deadly secret buried for 500 years. And one woman determined to uncover the truth.
When London tour guide Helen Oddfellow meets a historian on the trail of a lost manuscript, she’s intrigued by the mystery. But the pair are not the only ones desperate to find the missing final play by sixteenth century playwright Christopher Marlowe. What starts as a literary puzzle quickly becomes a quest with deadly consequences.
There is a price to pay for secret knowledge - but how high is too high?