Third Quality Street Novel set in Halifax has been published

A new novel set in Halifax back in the 1930s has recently been published.

Thursday, 3rd June 2021, 6:00 pm
Alex Hutchinson, also known by pen name Penny Thorpe. Picture: Scott Leach

The Quality Street Wedding is the third in a series of chocolate-themed Halifax-based historical novels .

Alex Hutchinson, better known by her pen name Penny Thorpe, secured a two-book deal in 2018 with international publishing house HarperCollins to write about life in Halifax in the 1930s.

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Alex — who can often be seen speaking at events in Halifax or wandering around as part of her research — says that she owes her success as an historical novelist to the brilliant subject matter she has been given to work with.

She said: “I couldn’t believe my luck when the publishers agreed to a series of books set in Halifax. Halifax is a gift for an historical fiction writer.

"There are so many wonderful stories and locations to use, but even better are the people of Halifax themselves.

"I think there’s a warmth mingled with down-to-earth practicality about Halifax people which makes writing about them an absolute joy. It’s no surprise that readers all over the world are in love with Reenie Calder, horse-riding heroine of Halifax; she’s just such a typical local girl.”

Alex’s Quality Street series is set in the Mackintosh’s factory which is now owned by Nestlé.

Alex described her books as: “A bit like Call The Midwife, but with chocolate instead of babies. They follow the story of four girls who work in the factory in the 1930s and manage to get into all sorts of scrapes. Not to mention a horse called Ruffian who has become so popular with readers that he now gets his own fan mail.”

Alex is particularly well placed to write about chocolate factories because she spent over a decade working in the former Rowntree’s factory in York (now Nestlé) as their in house historian and archivist.

Alex is an expert in the history of chocolate and she regularly appears on television and radio to talk about her subject.

The Quality Street Wedding is the third in a series of books which begins with The Quality Street Girls, and is followed by The Mothers of Quality Street.