Obituary: Eileen Robertson (1941-2018)

Eileen Robertson (1941-2018)

We’re sorry to have to report that one of our friends and member of the Portsmouth writing community, Eileen Robertson, died on Tuesday 20th November.

Eileen was proud of being a Yorkshire lass and never lost her northern sense of humour, warmth and plain-speaking nature. She had been a playwright and a German language teacher, but it’s as a writer that we got to know her.

She was the author of four cosy crime novels: Miss McGuire is Missing, Blackmail for Beginners, Sins of the Past, and We’ll be Watching You. Her plots were mysterious without being sinister, and they also showcased her humour – a combination of wit, farce and overt silliness.

She was also a member of the Deadly Dames writers panel, Dunford Novelists’ Conference, Fareham writers group, and a creative writing tutor.

Although she had been taken up by a major publisher (Robert Hale), Eileen never lost her down-to-earth nature, and always had faith in the talent of other writers, even when they didn’t.

Eileen Robertson signing copies of Miss McGuire is Missing at Waterstones, Fareham in 2010.

In recent years she had suffered the loss of her husband Bill and son Michael, but had borne these with a stoic strength and good grace. She also never stopped writing, and was most of the way through the first draft of another novel, set in the Florida Keys where her son had made his home.

When she was living in Gosport, we would give Eileen lifts to writing events and gatherings. More than once, on returning home, she sternly said, ‘Now you two wait here,’ got out of the car, and gave us a bottle of Baileys she had hidden in a bush outside her window. That was Eileen: she was generous and grateful; she hid presents in foliage.

We last saw her at a spoken word event at the Hunter Gatherer cafe, having a good chuckle at the more humorous performances.

She was a good friend. She will be missed.

Richard & Helen Salsbury


Eileen’s funeral is at 2:45 on 18th December at Portchester Crematorium.