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Joy Martin books in order

Joy Martin is an Irish journalist and author of historical and contemporary fiction books.

Born in Limerick to an English-Protestant father and an Irish-Catholic mother, she was educated at Laurel Hill Convent.

Trained as a journalist on The Limerick Weekly Echo, a local paper, Joy went on to ply her trade as a reporter with The Evening Press, in Dublin, the Rand Daily Mail, in Johannesburg, and the BBC Home News and World Service.

During her time with the Rand Daily Mail, she did a series of interviews with men and women living in the dilapidated townships outside Johannesburg, which ultimately became Twelve Shades of Black.

Passionate about writing from the time she was in school, Joy enjoys writing about deep-rooted evil and its ability to poison and weaken the next generation.

She has two sons and three step-children, and currently lives with her husband in south-west France.

More about Joy Martin

Genres: Contemporary , Historical Fiction, Mystery



Non Series

  • The Moon is Red in April (1989)
  • Ulick's Daughter (1990)
  • The Image of Laura (1993)
  • Seeking Clemency (2014)


  1. Twelve Shades of Black: 12 essays on the black experience during apartheid (2017)

A Wrong To Sweeten

  1. A Wrong to Sweeten (1989)
  2. A Heritage of Wrong (1992)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Moon is Red in April

Ireland, 1744, and the young Catholic, Richard 'Dick' O’Shaughnessy, embarks on a perilous journey to escape the harsh Penal Laws and fight for his country in France. En route he meets wealthy Philip Cantillon, and together they pursue their studies in Paris with the intention of joining the Irish Brigade.

Across the waters in Ireland, Dick leaves behind his erstwhile admirer Ellen Nagle's, life is changed forever by her crush's departure. Not dissuaded by his indifference, Ellen sinks her last savings into a trip to France to find him.

However, she arrived to a cold welcome when Catherine Cantillon, Philip’s sister, takes a disliking to her. Having made a promise to Philip, Dick does all he can to take care of Catherine and her mother, Hélène, and Catherine makes the most of this situation. She wants Dick all to herself - and certainly nowhere near the young woman who's just turned up on their doorstep! So begins a lifelong rivalry, that will lead every one of them to question their choices and desires.

Author: Joy Martin
First Release: 1989
ISBN: 978-1549775390
Publisher: Independently published
Ulick's Daughter

Unravelling the secrets of the past…

Eva Dillon, the illegitimate daughter of Ulick John de Burgh, 14th Earl of Clanricarde, is fiercely proud of her noble lineage.

But while she may be the daughter of a nobleman, Eva has not inherited her father’s status in society. And her illusions are soon shattered when Ulick dies, leaving Eva and her mother with nothing.

It is Ulick’s second son, Hubert, who inherits Ulick’s vast estates in County Galway, and he is determined to throw out any non-paying tenants – including Eva and her mother.

And when Eva and her mother are evicted from their home, Eva is not only determined to seek revenge on her brother, but also to claim her rightful legacy and place in society.

In her efforts, she will cross paths with intrepid journalist, Dan Fahy, whose encouragement leads her to move to Dublin, as well as wealthy Russian Sasha Pobedonostsev, who introduces Eva to a life of glittering wealth and the world of Russian high society.

But amidst the opulence and glamour, will Eva ever find the sense of belonging that she craves? And will she manage to break free of the secrets of her past that have been haunting her for years?

Author: Joy Martin
First Release: 1990
Ebook: B075722SJ7
Publisher: Lume Books
The Image of Laura

From 1930s Berlin to contemporary London, nothing has escaped Laura Conway’s trusty Leica camera.

She’s famed throughout the world for her shots as diverse as innocent children and drop-outs in pre-war Berlin to the long-legged catwalk models and celebrities of the swinging sixties. Now 75, the art world is celebrating Laura’s birthday with a glittering opening party at her retrospective exhibition. And Cassie, her journalist granddaughter, has discovered the perfect present — she's tracked down the very handcrafted desk belonging to Laura at the start of her career, back in Berlin.

But the moment of unveiling only brings shock and sorrow. Cassie is horrified. What dreadful memories has the bureau brought back? Cassie begins to realize that her famous grandmother — always ready to listen and advise on the trials of love of those around her — has never really come clean about her own affairs of the heart...

Author: Joy Martin
First Release: 1993
ISBN: 978-0586213193
Publisher: Harper Collins
Seeking Clemency

An empty house. A secret room. The key to a tragic Irish past.

Married and living comfortably in Berkshire, Caroline Tremain has succeeded in turning her strange Irish childhood into a series of dinner anecdotes with which to amuse her friends.

But when she receives a phone call from Marie-Rose Keane, her grandmother’s former maid, to say that her aunt Constance Conroy has died, painful memories of her childhood come hurtling back…

Author: Joy Martin
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1973263463
Publisher: Independently published


Twelve Shades of Black: 12 essays on the black experience during apartheid

This is a book about people…people with an identity.

Twelve Shades of Black sees writer Joy Martin attempt to shed light on the daily lives of black people within the racially charged context of South Africa during the apartheid era.

The result is a series of interviews presented as a collection of twelve essays, each focused on the life of an individual person living in the townships outside Johannesburg.

The stories include that of a priest, a “witch doctress” and a poet whose work conveys and carries the weight of the painful experiences of the past.

Author: Joy Martin
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1973145035
Publisher: Independently published

A Wrong To Sweeten

A Wrong to Sweeten

Every love can be torn apart by the right secrets…

In 1800s Ireland, two schoolfriends and a family divided by envy and greed.

The powerful O’Briens of Crag Liath in County Clare were proud of their great estate and their descent from Brian Boru, the last High King of Ireland.

But they were also a family divided by envy and fraternal resentment.

Tom, the elder brother, lived only for today, while Dermot obsessively loved the estate that could never be his.

Two Limerick schoolfriends, Miliora and Rosaleen, had their ambitions, too, but when their lives intertwined with the O’Briens, they found that envy can darken to madness, that love and hatred, loyalty and betrayal, breed side by side – and that even love that is true and deep can be dishonoured by secrecy and hypocrisy.

Author: Joy Martin
First Release: 1989
ISBN: 978-1549611827
Publisher: Independently published
A Heritage of Wrong

Caught in a web of deception…

Rosaleen and Cathal O’Mahoney decide to return to Ireland with their daughter.

Rosaleen is beyond desperate to get back to her twin boys, Daniel and Eugene, who she’d left behind in haste years ago.

The twins were entrusted into the care of Milliora O’Brien in Ireland.

Left as young boys, seven years later and the return of their mother instils mixed emotions.

Daniel, the more compassionate and amusing of the two is excited.

Eugene, on the other hand, harbours a deep resentment towards his mother and Aoibheal, his half-sister – after all, she had their mother all to herself all this time.

Aoibheal looks forward to seeing the brothers she has heard so much about, but she is unprepared for the cold welcome that awaits her.

As the rancour deepens, Kate Keegan, a childhood friend of Daniel’s, finds herself tangled in a web of loyalty and deception.

Her friendship with Daniel was strong and stable and, as the years go by, their feelings grow.

But Kate is ambitious. It has always been her dream to go on stage, and nothing will stop her following her dreams.

Until Eugene steps in.

Bitter and full of hate, Eugene targets Kate. A talented artist, he woes Kate in with his knowledge of the theatre.

Finding a common ground, Kate innocently gravitates towards Eugene. Until he deceives her in the most unimaginable of ways…

From the theatres of Dublin and London to the stark and bloody battlefields of the First World War; from the Bohemian salons of Paris to the country estates of Clare and Dorset, this is a richly evocative portrait of life in the first two turbulent decades of the twentieth century.

Author: Joy Martin
First Release: 1992
ISBN: 978-0586210246
Publisher: Harper Collins