Josephine Mary Wedderburn Pullein-Thompson was born in April 1924, the second of four children of a school-master badly wounded in the First World War and the novelist Joanna Cannan.  Like many women before her, Miss Cannan had turned to writing to support her family; as well as writing detective stories and literary novels, she single-handedly created the ‘pony book’, a new genre which inspired her three daughters, Josephine, Christine and Diana, to emulate and make their own.  All three sisters were expert horsewomen and ran their own Grove Riding School near Henley-on-Thames. When Josephine’s early ambition to become a vet was thwarted by an unconventional and rather haphazard education, she turned to writing with her first books being published in 1946.  Over the next 50 years she wrote over thirty more pony books, a handful of non-fiction equestrian titles, and three novels for adults; the murder mysteries Gin and Murder (1959), They Died in the Spring (1960) and Murder Strikes Pink (1963).  She had long involvement with the British branch of International PEN, which campaigns for writers’ freedom in authoritarian regimes, and was awarded the MBE in 1984 for services to literature.  Josephine Pullein-Thompson died in June 2014, aged 90.