Book Reviews & Publicity

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From The Hampshire Chronicle

Wednesday 12 December, 2007

A former teacher-turned-author from King's Somborne is celebrating publishing her first novel - after gaining a law degree as part of her research.

Penny Morgan, 65, who was head of psychology at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, has penned Prime Witness, which, in her words, is "a thriller with a primate slant".

The book is set in the Winchester, Southampton and Lyndhurst areas and begins with the murder of a young researcher, who was studying primate behaviour.

The novel has been some years in the making and is set to be the first of a trilogy - Dr Morgan, who is now retired, is well-advanced with books two and three.

Such was her commitment to accuracy, Dr Morgan studied online for a law degree, which she passed in 2003.

She said: "It's taken me a while to write. I got the idea originally from research findings on great apes and then had to do a law degree to get to grips with the legal stuff - I'm not sure which was harder!

"It was fascinating, especially criminal law. I needed to know more about animal law too."

Dr Morgan, who was born in London, is married to John and mother to Leonora and Bryn.

Having lived in Canada and attended the University of British Columbia, she returned to the UK to train as a zoologist.

As well as her post at Peter Symonds, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Southampton University, where she looked into sleep behaviour and bird behaviour.

She has also written several scientific papers on animal behaviour and contributed to a book about the social behaviour of mammals and birds.

Dr Morgan is interested in animal welfare and the next two books in her series will be tackling the issues of logging and dog fighting.

She added: "I just want people to enjoy it and read it and perhaps think about the issue."