Joyce Collin-Smith: Author and spiritual researcher with Broadland roots

Joyce Collin-Smith, who has died aged 91, was an author and authority on the paranormal and aspects of mysticism who enjoyed an international reputation.

She wrote several best-selling historical novels and later moved to Stokesby, near Acle, in 1981.

She was highly regarded for her readings with tarot cards during a career of more than 25 years.

The former Fleet Street journalist and wartime WAAF officer in intelligence also held a diploma of the Faculty of Astrological Studies.

She had married Richard (Derry) Collin-Smith, who was a war journalist in Burma, and they moved to Africa, which was used as a setting for her first book, Locusts and Wild Honey.

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It was a best-seller, and others followed, including The Scorpion on the Stone and Jeremy Craven. Another historical novel, Of Fire and Music, about the MacLeods on Skye, enjoyed success.

In her autobiography, Call No Man Master, published in June 1988, Mrs Collin-Smith charted her thoughts and feelings from '50 years of spiritual adventures'.

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And her exploration of 'self-development movements and esoteric sects' included the appeal of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who became famous for his links with The Beatles during the height of Flower Power in the late 1960s.

She had even lived in the Yogi's household in London some years before The Beatles, but when western ways began to corrupt him she faded away.

After her husband died in 1992 – he is buried at St John's Church, Hoveton – she continued her readings.

An EDP journalist who wrote a feature in 2006 about foretelling the future was impressed by her accuracy. 'I have had some clients for years,' said Mrs Collin-Smith, then aged 83 and living at Hoveton.

'They often come back when there is a big change in their lives and they say to me that generally what I said to them came true.'

She remained a popular speaker at conferences until she was well into her 80s.

She leaves a daughter, Ann, and granddaughters Carol and Sally.

A funeral at Scarborough was followed by a service of interment at St John's, Hoveton.

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