An award-winning author who grew up in Bury and taught in Bolton has released a thrilling new book for young adults.

Former teacher and St Monica's High School pupil, Cynthia Murphy, has published another book, dubbed by Waterstones as perfect for fans of Karen McManus and Stranger Things.

The 40-year-old began writing after she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.

Since following her dream, she has become a TikTok sensation, published five books in the UK, one in America, and won the Lancashire Book of the Year 2022 with her first novel 'Last One to Die'.

The Bolton News:

She said: “2023 has been one of my busiest years, The Midnight Game came out in January, I wrote a short story in “A Taste of Darkness” and I am starting 2024 with the release of Signed Sealed Dead.

As a former teacher at the Old Hall in Bury, Clevelands in Bolton, and most recently, Bury Grammar, Cynthia said some of the best news she received last year was from Barrington Stoke.

She said: “They are a dyslexia-friendly publisher and I often gave out their books to pupils when I was a teacher.

The Bolton News:

“To have been approached by them and asked to write a book - 'Welcome to Camp Killer' - was so exciting, I couldn’t say no."

The young adult horror and thriller writer from Prestwich has had a long-standing love for all things scary, reading Point Horrors at primary school before graduating to Stephen King.

Her most recent publication, 'Signed Sealed Dead' doesn’t stray from this and takes inspiration from Manchester and her reading habits as a child.

The Bolton News: The newly published bookThe newly published book (Image: Public)

Cynthia said: “It is about a girl from Manchester who moves to her dad's hometown in America.

“This is partly because when I was growing up, all I would read and see were American stories so this became my way of reliving that.

"I was able to include and reminisce on the typical tropes but think about what it would be like now in a modern world.

The Bolton News:

Read more: Ex St Monica's RC High School pupils return to Prestwich to share their success stories

“But, of course, I write thrillers so once the main character arrives things start getting creepy.

“She starts to get threatening letters and discovers there used to be a mass murderer in the town and there is a connection between her new home and a previous target."

Cynthia said her latest publication has taken some inspiration from the true story that Netflix show The Watcher, was based on.

The Bolton News: Cynthia MurphyCynthia Murphy (Image: Public)

Read more: Former teacher wins impressive book award after breast cancer diagnosis

She said: “It wasn’t my favourite show but I listened to a podcast talking about the true story that inspired the book.

“It planted a seed in my head that I didn’t know what to do with at the time, and then one day the idea for Signed Sealed Dead came, and that seed developed".

Read more: Award-winning author lands 3-book USA deal after huge success

The blurb of the latest release reads: “From best-loved YA thriller author, Cynthia Murphy, comes an explosive new mystery! True-Crime obsessed Paige, and her family, move across the Atlantic to her father's eerie hometown, and it's not long before she uncovers the town's dark history - a string of unsolved murders and disappearances in the 90s.

“And then notes start appearing at their dilapidated old home,
about the secrets the house is keeping. The clues lead Paige to a diary concealed in the walls that belonged to one of the missing girls. Could this be the key to solving a quarter-of-a-century mystery, or will this make Paige the next target?!"