CHANDLER’S Ford author Nicola Slade has died, aged 77.

She was an award-winning, bestselling author of historical and contemporary mysteries and romantic fiction, all set in an around Winchester and Romsey.

The House at Ladywell - a contemporary romantic novel with historical echoes - won the Chatelaine Grand Prize for Romantic Fiction at the CIBA awards in April 2019, in Washington State, USA. At the time she said this came as quite a surprise.

This novel was set in a fictional town which was based on Romsey.

She was brought up in Poole and lived in various places with her family, including Cairo, Egypt. In 1981 the family moved to Chandler’s Ford and all three of her children went to Thornden School.

She wrote The Charlotte Richmond Mysteries, set in 1858 and located in a fictional version of Otterbourne, as well as the contemporary Harriet Quigley Mysteries all set in and around Winchester.

Her first published novel - in 2005 - was the romantic comedy Scuba Dancing which was set in Ramalley, a fictional version of Romsey, as was The House at Ladywell and its sequel, Christmas at Ladywell.

In 2019 she wrote The Convalescent Corpse, the first in a new historical mystery series set in 1918 - this was also set in Ramalley.

She fought deteriorating health in 2020 to complete the second in this series, The Merry Month of Murder.