Sisters are literary partners in crime

pictured is Sheffield Crime Writer Dauta Reah
pictured is Sheffield Crime Writer Dauta Reah
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IT MUST be something in the blood.

Sheffield-born siblings Danuta Reah and Penny Grubb are both acclaimed crime authors - with their older sister Sue Knight a published poet - and they each focus on the dark world of crime in their novels.

Now the family are being described as a contemporary version of the ultimate literary dynasty - Yorkshire’s Bronte sisters – as Danuta and Penny prepare for their first joint book signing in Sheffield.

Danuta, of Endcliffe Vale Road, Endcliffe, said: “I wouldn’t want to compare myself with Charlotte Bronte or one of her sisters, these are classic writers, but in a way we’re doing a similar thing.

“Crime fiction looks at darkness in society, the awful things people do to each other, that reaches out to a wide audience like the Brontes did.”

Like the Brontes, the family love the wild moors of their home county and are all talented, with younger brother John Kot an astrophysicist.

Penny, 56, who now lives near Hull, said: “It is a flattering comparison. When we were little we used to play games and write reams. Unfortunately, unlike the Bronte family we didn’t keep that.”

It is not just a lifelong passion for writing that runs in the family, but the theme of darkness too.

Father Jan Kot, a former Sheffield city architect, was declared an enemy of the state in Poland after bravely escaping service during World War Two.

In the 16th century, a relative was killed for being a Catholic priest when following the faith was seen as treason.

Danuta’s new novella, Not Safe, focuses on the murder of an asylum seeker in Sheffield, while Penny’s latest trilogy follows the journey of a private investigator.

Danuta, 62, said: “We get together and give each other feedback on our work.

“We do talk about writing a lot.”

* The book signings on Saturday are at Waterstones, Park Lane, Meadowhall, from 9.30am to 11.30am, and Waterstones, The Arcade, Meadowhall, from 1pm to 3pm.

They also have signings on Saturday, February 11, at Waterstones, Orchard Square, Sheffield, from noon to 2pm, and WHSmith, Fargate, Sheffield, from 2.30pm to 4.30pm.

READ MORE: For more information about Waterstones visit their official web site homepage at