Janet Gleeson was born in Sri Lanka, where her father was a tea planter.
After graduating from Nottingham University she worked at Sotheby's and Bonhams Auctioneers before embarking on a writing career. She was antiques correspondent for House & Garden, later joining Reed Books, where she was responsible for writing and editing numerous collectors' guides. She is the author of three novels, The Grenadillo Box, The Serpent in the Garden and The Thief-Taker. She is also the author of the Sunday Times non-fiction bestsellers The Arcanum and The Moneymaker. She is married with three children and lives near Lulworth in Dorset.