Author Maureen Lee, who wrote more than 20 novels set in her native Liverpool, has died at the age of 88.
Her son, the DJ and electronic music producer Dave Lee, said she died on December 31 surrounded by family following a short illness.
Lee was born in Bootle, Merseyside, and later moved to Colchester, Essex, with her family.
She published 24 romance and thriller novels between 1983 and 2013, including the Pearl Street series, and wrote more than 150 short stories.
In 2000, her book Dancing In The Dark was named novel of the year by the Romantic Novelists Association.
Her works also regularly appeared in Sunday Times Bestsellers lists and a number were published in Spain, Poland and Russia.
Almost all of her stories were set in and around Liverpool and followed characters inspired by her childhood there.
Lee was married to her husband Richard for more than 50 years and they share three sons, Paul, Patrick and Dave.
When her children were young, she put writing to the side and worked as a typist for local businesses.
Lee found success in later life after taking up writing again after her sons had grown up.
House music DJ Dave, 56, told the PA news agency: “Mum was a very kind person. She shared all the money with my brothers and me and always gave to homeless people and charities.
“She’d always reply directly to fans or up-and-coming authors who mailed her, even meeting up with them.
“She was very modest, you’d not know she was a successful novelist if you met her. She didn’t really talk about her achievements.
“Our lives will now be emptier and missing the unconditional love she gave us.”