Linora Lawrence author and journalist


About me

Linora has lived in Oxford for over thirty years and wrote feature articles for the magazine, Oxfordshire Limited Edition for the past 20 years. In addition to this is the Chair of the Oxford Writers Group which has published 5 anthologies over the past 10 years. She has a story in each collection and these books are available in Blackwell's and Waterstone's book shops in Oxford; the Bodleian and the Town Hall gift shops; Scriptum and various book shops in the county.  They can also be ordered from Amazon and other online book suppliers.

OxPens anthologies

The Sixpenny Debt and other Oxford Stories

The Lost College and other Oxford Stories

The Bodleian Murders and other Oxford Stories

The Midnight Press and other Oxford Stories

The Radcliffe Legacy and other Oxford Stories


News about Oxfordshire Limited Edition

Linora wrote a series entitled A - Z of the Bodleian Library which appeared between February 2014 and March 2015. 

The series intended to give an overview of the different departments in the library, the collections, the exhibitions, the gift shops and some of the history behind this amazing institution. It also tells some anecdotes: Gladstone's connection with the library, visits from royalty and the likes of the Duke of Wellington and Bill Clinton. It takes a peek into the John Johnson collection and much more besides.


Remembering Colin Dexter

29.9.30 - 21.3.17

I was privileged to be invited to attend the Memorial Service held for Colin in Christ Church Cathedral on the 26th April 2018. The service was conducted immaculately by the Dean, the Very Reverend Professor Martyn Percy, assisted by the Sub Dean, the Reverend Canon Dr Edmund Newey. We, the congregation had the joy of hearing the magnificent Christ Church organ played by Clive Driskill-Smith for the hymns and, in addition, music from Barrington Pheloung and his Players who paid their tribute to Colin by playing while guests arrived and were being seated (this took some 45 minutes), during the service (which lasted an hour) and finally, just before the closing prayers we listened to the hauntingly beautiful ‘Morse theme. Altogether this was a service that reminded you of what cathedrals are for.

A prediction: should Martyn Percy, in the fullness of time, be made an Archbishop he would be the first one in the Church of England to have a wife who is also an ordained priest. The Reverend Emma Percy is the Chaplain of Trinity College, Oxford. Together they would be a powerhouse of prayer and good leadership. It would be very good in my opinion, if this were to come about in the future, not that we want to lose them from Oxford yet!

After the service ended we guests walked up St Aldate’s to be welcomed by the Lord Mayor, Mrs Jean Fooks, to a civic reception in the Town Hall. A full afternoon tea was laid on, plus drinks on arrival and a buffet table. Interestingly, tables became filled by specific groups, actors gravitating together, publishers doing likewise and seeing Philip Pullman and Val McDermid at another table indicated that this was the seriously successful authors’ table. There was probably a crossword table, given that Colin’s crossword setter friends were guests, Johnathan Crowther and Don Manley (retired from OUP). There were of course, many friends and family and others with writing connections.Some guests had traveled hundreds of miles to be at the event. It was lovely to see Lady Bannister (Moira) there despite having so recently lost her husband, Sir Roger Bannister.

Sir Muir Gray and Marcus Ferrer ably assisted the Lord Mayor in welcoming and introducing people to each other.

 Phillip Pullman made an excellent speech about the business of writing as well as about Colin – both of them having had the Freedom of the City of Oxford bestowed upon them.  I remember Colin, always up there with a pertinent remark, saying he now had the right to drive a herd of sheep down the High Street, not particularly useful in his case, he thought.

 Val McDermot also had a link – the various Gold and Silver dagger awards she and Colin had been awarded with over the years.  Another good speech.

 James Neville, a former colleague of Colin’s at the Oxford Local Examinations Board (don’t forget about the day job) reminded us that Colin was all about education and the sharing of knowledge. A teacher, examiner and author – a productive mix.

 I knew Colin as the father of a work colleague at OUP; as a reader at the Bodleian; almost as a neighbour (we lived in the same road, but it is a  very long road!) seeing him with his wife, Dorothy at the local shops and later on as an patron of The Oxford Writers Group, entertaining us at parties, encouraging us and always finding the right words to say about our work.  You will be sadly missed Colin, but joyfully too, for all you have done for Oxford and for a life well lived.