Dr Mandy Hartley

Dr Mandy Hartley lives in Norfolk with her husband and two children. She has a PhD in Genetics and worked for 15 years in various different laboratories, using DNA to study subjects as diverse as populations of fish, inherited human diseases, criminal work and paternity and relationship testing.

She now runs scientific workshops and performs stories to children with her company The Little Story Telling Co. The stories she performs are designed to be multi-sensory and to help children with their understanding and visualisation of different scientific concepts.

‘When I am describing a scene in the book I think about what I can see, touch, taste, hear and smell. I also try to visit locations in the book, to bring the story alive. I want the reader to have a vibrant picture in their heads as they are reading.’

Mandy’s series of science-based adventure books are designed so that the reader can see how the characters in the book use DNA to solve a mystery – just like real forensic scientists. Mandy wants to share her passion for science with children and hopefully inspire some future scientists.

Self-Employed Parent of the Year 2018
NatWest Mum and Working

Links & Credits

The DNA Detectives - To Catch a Thief

The Little Storytelling Company


DNA Detectives: The Smuggler's Daughter

Mandy Hartley

Harry and Annabelle are on holiday in a beautiful seaside cove in Cornwall. According to the records it was once rife with ship wreckers and smugglers. There are rumours of a secret smuggler’s tunnel, but no one has ever found it.

One day, the brother and sister discover a gold locket in a rock pool. Inside is a photo of a girl and a lock of hair. When they show the locket to the lady in the café she remarks that it must have been left by the smugglers…and so starts their most exciting adventure yet!

Join Annabelle and Harry to see if they can discover the identity of the girl in the locket.

Can they find the smuggler’s tunnel?

How will they use DNA to unlock questions about the past?

DNA Detectives: To Catch A Thief

Mandy Hartley

When dogs start disappearing all around the neighbourhood, Harry and Annabelle are sure they aren’t just ‘getting lost,’ as their mother claims. When their own beloved dog, Milly, goes missing they are convinced she has been taken. It seems so unlike Milly to go astray. And without their parents on their side, Harry and Annabelle know it’s time to take matters into their own hands…

Harry and Annabelle have always fought. Annabelle feels envious of Harry’s easy, sociable nature and ability to get away with almost anything, and Harry can’t understand how Annabelle can’t see her own, special scientific talents… They’re always competing for Milly’s affections, but when it comes to getting her back, it seems the only way will be to work together.

Can they put their sibling rivalry to one side, in time to save Milly? And using DNA, can they catch the thief?