Laura Thompson attended stage school and at sixteen won an exhibition to read English at Oxford. Her first book, THE DOGS: A PERSONAL HISTORY OF GREYHOUND RACING, won the Somerset Maugham Award. She also wrote Newmarket, a history of the town and its racing.
LIFE IN A COLD CLIMATE, a biographical study of Nancy Mitford, was published in 2003. It was described as ‘well-nigh perfect’ by Lady Diana Mosley in the Literary Review. In the Sunday Telegraph, Selina Hastings wrote that it was ‘a brilliant study, original, perceptive, passionate and very nearly as enjoyable to read as the subject’s own novels’.
In 2007 Headline published AN ENGLISH MYSTERY: A LIFE OF AGATHA CHRISTIE, a major biography written with full access granted by Christie’s family. Reviews included:
• ‘A triumphant success’: A. N. Wilson, Daily Mail
• ‘This splendid account of [Christie’s] life and work is unlikely to be bettered’: Melanie McDonagh, Evening Standard
• ‘Laura Thompson has certainly written the last word on Agatha Christie. Her book is a superb piece of biography’: Charles Osborne, Literary Review
• ‘The best biographies are labours of love and this fascinating book is just that’: Jessica Mann, Sunday Telegraph
• ‘Laura Thompson’s outstanding biography… is a pretty much perfect capturing of a life’: Kate Mosse, who nominated AN ENGLISH MYSTERY as her book of the year in The Guardian, The Independent and Independent on Sunday
A radical reassessment of the Lord Lucan case, A DIFFERENT CLASS OF MURDER, containing interviews from several new sources, was published by Head of Zeus in November 2014.
Laura Thompson presented a BBC4 film on returning to ballet as an adult, Back to the Barre, and has appeared frequently on television and Radio 4 documentaries, including with David Suchet in a 2013 ITV Perspectives about Agatha Christie. She has written columns for The Times, The Guardian, The Financial Times and the Racing Post, as well as features for Esquire, Arena and Vogue, and is now a contributor to the arts pages of The Daily Telegraph.
She is the author of TAKE SIX GIRLS: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters, published by Head of Zeus in 2015 (and by St Martin’s Press in the US as THE SIX), and of REX V. EDITH THOMPSON, published by Head of Zeus in 2018 and in the US by Pegasus as A TALE OF TWO MURDERS.