top of page

Books by Heather Richardson

Click on the cover images to find out how to buy

A Dress for Kathleen jacket 3 (1).jpg

A Dress for Kathleen

‘Every family has shadow people, the ones who slipped out of the story too soon, leaving a blank space where they should have been. In my father’s family that person was his sister Kathleen.’

So begins Heather Richardson’s astonishing fragmentary celebration of her aunt, Kathleen Hutchinson, whose life was cut tragically short aged just 14. 

Originally stitched into the fabric of a dress, Kathleen’s life is presented here as a book for the first time. In the process, Heather Richardson also tells the stories of Kathleen’s parents and their lives together in rural Northern Ireland in the first half of the 20th Century.

Doubting Thomas

This is a story of sex, drugs and blasphemy in late seventeenth-century Edinburgh experienced through four viewpoints over fifteen years: Dr Robert Carruth, his wife Isobel, and university students Mungo Craig and Thomas Aikenhead.

“With an exquisite and faultless play of historical language, we witness the most visceral portrayals of early medical practices and a delicately drawn marriage, in which the fear of being different is wonderfully distilled. The childhood of Thomas Aikenhead, the last executed blasphemer in Britain, is also brilliantly created, along with the crucial betrayals that caused his downfall. This novel speaks loudly to our present condition.” – Derek Neale

Doubting Thomas cover.jpg


1631. Germany. As the Thirty Years War rages across central Europe, the Protestant citizens of Magdeburg are holding out against the armies of the Catholic Emperor Ferdinand.

Sweeping in its scope and ambition, Heather Richardson’s debut novel tells the intertwining and conflicting stories of the Henning family, their friends, their associates and their enemies.

Whilst the family printing business is prospering, Christa Henning is troubled. Her brother Dieter is more restless than usual, and her friend Gertrude has been rushed into a loveless marriage. She also has the care of her strange little sister, Elsbeth.

As the endless war of religion tightens its grip remorselessly around the city, old loyalties and old certainties are placed into question and, following the sacking of the town, Christa finds her life shattered beyond recognition. From the chaos and deadly enmity of sectarian strife, she slowly rebuilds a life in the city she loves.

Vibrantly and convincingly told, Magdeburg is a gripping historical novel, striking in its contemporary resonances and its ability to portray complex truths about belief, family, belonging and war.

“An accomplished debut” – Historical Novels Review


A female soldier is haunted by the memory of the refugee she couldn't help. An ex-con's hopes of a normal life are threatened by the secret hidden in the walled-in room. A barmaid serves Irish whiskey to a customer who might just be God.

Five stories from Northern Irish writer Heather Richardson, including 'The Walled-In Room', winner of the Brian Moore Short Story Award, and shortlisted for the British Fantasy Society Best Short Story Award.

bottom of page