Maggie Joel has studied in UK and Australia, including at Macquarie University where she was a joint winner of the 1998 Marjorie Robertson Prize, awarded for proficiency in creative writing. Joel has published short stories and has been a staff writer with Campaign magazine. .
'In London's South Kensington, in the austere years immediately following the end of the war, Mrs Harriet Wallis is convicted of the murder of her husband, Cecil, and is sentenced to death by hanging. Leading a pampered if conventional existence, the Wallises appear to have a contented life. However, when the police turn up at the front door on the day the new nanny arrives, the first of a chain of events that will culminate in Cecil's murder is begun.
'Set in a post-War period when a well-to-do British family's existence - both outside and inside the house - is ruled by a strict set of conventions, The Second-last Woman in England explores the depth of emotions that are always there in every family but rarely surface. And what happens when they do.' (From the publisher's website.)