Davinia 3

Doctor Davinia Bellamy is the Guild of Assassins' principal lecturer in Botany and works in the Natural History Department alongside Johanna Smith-Rhodes. Davinia, who as a florist had an interesting sideline in Saying it With Flowers (the message was usually "Drop Dead!") was recruited by the Guild and put through a Mature Students Class to qualify her as a Licenced Assassin and, to, er, regularise a situation where she had accepted hard cash and inhumed thirteen people without a licence to practice.

Her degrees and PhD were conferred by the university in Brindisi, and the sudden death of a very unpleasant and creepy academic of the sort who hinted better grades could be traded for, err, favours, is held to be coincidental. If only for lack of hard evidence. But it is thought this wholly unconnected death gave her the initial idea for a way to use her skills with plant-derived toxins profitably and productively. Hearing about the activities of a serial killer dubbed the Marriage Guidance Counsellor by the Tanty Bugle, Davinia had a hard think about the principles of Ethical Assassination. Noting the original MGC, prior to her disappearance, had targeted only men whose passing could be said to leave the Disc cleaner and tidier - rapists, child-molestors, wife-beaters and so on - the student feminist activist she'd once been stirred in this young mother. And the Marriage Guidance Counsellor was reborn. Until, as related in the story Murder Most 'Orrible, it took a joint Guild-Watch pursuit to bring her in and suggest an Angel.

She is married to Peter Bellamy, a prison officer who is now Deputy Governor at the Tanty prison, and they have three sons, two of whom are enrolled at the Assassins' Guild School as day pupils. There is talk of a daughter to round the family off.

In appearance a mumsy, somewhat matronly, and approachable blonde on the turn of forty, Guild pupils are reminded she is still an Assassin - and an experienced mother of boys - and has seen all the usual put-ons from young children before. While she is genuinely maternal and caring to a pupil having a tough time, she is not a soft touch for sob stories. You have been warned.

Her name is a tribute to Roundworld botanist Doctor David Bellamy. Who for legal reasons we must point out has never murdered anyone, anywhere.

Davinia also appears as a main character in Hyperemesis Gravidarum, in which she acts as mentor to two first-time mums and the long-awaited and wanted Bellamy daughter makes an appearance.