Edie Ledwell

Edie Ledwell is the co-creator of the popular and successful Ink Black Heart cartoon. She and Josh Blay, her boyfriend at the time, had the idea for the cartoon whilst smoking amongst the graves in Highgate Cemetery. Josh and Edie met at the North Grove Art Collective in Highgate and subsequently lived together there.

Robin is alone in the partners’ office one Friday afternoon in late January when Pat calls her asking if she can go to Gateshead, which is the agency’s code for “I’ve got a nutter here.” Robin goes to the outer office to find “a young woman with untidy brown shoulder-length hair” sitting on the sofa. She gives Robin an impression of “scruffiness even grubbiness.” Her boots need reheeling, her make-up is badly applied and her shirt creased. However, her coat is of very high quality and her bag, Robin observes, is Yves Saint-Laurent (The Ink Black Heart, Chapter 6). 

Robin finds her “attractive in an offbeat way. Her square face was pale, her mouth generous and her eyes a striking shade of amber.” She has a London accent and a small, blurry tattoo of a black heart on one of her knuckles (The Ink Black Heart, Chapter 6). 

Edie is obviously upset and desperate and wants to hire the agency to investigate the identity of her online persecutor, Anomie. However, Robin has to turn her down as the agency is currently fully booked and doesn’t specialise in cyber-investigation.

Edie is murdered at the age of 30 in Highgate Cemetery a couple of weeks later. She was tasered and then stabbed, as was Josh Blay, who survived (The Ink Black Heart, Chapter 14).

The agency is later hired to investigate Anomie by Edie’s agent and the head of the company producing a film version of The Ink Black Heart. They give Strike and Robin some more background about Edie’s life (The Ink Black Heart, Chapter 18).

Edie’s mother died when she was a small child. Her uncle, Grant Ledwell, was unmarried and working in Oman at the time so was unable to take her in. As a consequence, she was brought up in a series of foster families. At the time of her death, she was living with her boyfriend Philip Ormond in Finchley. She met Ormond at North Grove Art Collective, where he was taking art classes.

After her death, Edie’s half of the rights to the Ink Black Heart passed to Grant, who almost immediately went into collaboration with Maverick Films to adapt the cartoon into a motion picture.