Graham Greene (1904 - 1991) Graham Greene was born in Berkhamstead. After a very troubled youth, he graduated from Oxford and worked for The London Times. During World War II, he served with the
Foreign Office and was assigned to West Africa. Greene traveled to many parts of the world, and his travels are reflected in his writings. He was a convert to Catholicism
and his interior debates on good and evil are reflected in his crime novels which he called "entertainments" to separate them from his more serious fiction. He is probably best know
for Brighton Rock (1938) and The Third Man (1950). More information on Greene may be found at Greeneland: The world of Graham Greene
Christianna Brand (1907 - 1988). Pseudonym of Mary Christianna Lewis. Author of the Inspector Cockrill (of the Kent County police) series. Brand was born in Malaya, lived in India and Malaya until she returned to England
to attend school. Her father lost his money, and Brand took a variety of low paying jobs in order to support herself. While she was working at a dismal job in a department store, Brand wrote the book Death in High Heels (1941) as a fantasy way of taking revenge on a fellow worker. She left this job when she married. She continued writing both
novels and short stories. More information may be found here.
John Creasey (1908 - 1973) - A prolific writer who is best know for his series of police procedural novels featuring
Gideon of Scotland Yard. Creasey was named as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1969. A biography may be found at Books and Writers.
Michael Gilbert (1912 - 2006) Prolific writer of police procedurals, espionage novels, short stories, and plays.
He was a founding member of the British Crime Writers Association, and was named a Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America in 1988. Gilbert was born in Billinhay, Lincolnshire. He was a
lawyer, and served in the British Army during WWII. A biography of Gilbert may be found at Books and Writers.
W. J. Burley (1914 - 2002) - Burley is best know for the Wycliffe series which is set in the West Country of Cornwall and Devon. Burley was born in Falmouth. He trained as an engineer, but left engineering to get a degree in Zoology. He became head of the biology department at Nequay school in Cornwall. He published his first novel, A Taste of Power in 1966. A bibliography of his books may be found at The Cozy Mystery List. The TV series Wycliffe was based upon his novels.
P.D. James (1920 - ). James has written a series featuring Inspector Adam Dalgliesh and another
featuring private investigator Cordelia Gray. She writes in the traditional British mystery style but her characters and stories are richly developed. She has won an incredible number of awards, and was given the OBE in 1983 and is now properly know as Baroness James of Holland Park. P. D. James' web site. You may also enjoy this interview with P. D. James on YouTube.
Gwendoline Butler (1922 - 2013). Gwendoline Butler was born in South London. She wrote two series of mystery novels. Under her own name she wrote a series featuring Inspector John Coffin. Under the name Jennie Melville, she created the woman's police procedural with a series about Charmian Daniels of the Oxford and Thames Valley police. The first book in this series is Come Home and Be Killer which was published in 1962. A bibliography of John Coffin books may be found at Fantastic Fiction which also has a bibliography of Jennie Melvile books. An interview with Ms. Butler may be found at Crime Time.
Patricia Moyes (1923-2000) Ms. Moyes was born in Bray, Ireland. She served in the radar
section of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force during WWII. After the war she worked for Peter Ustinov Productions and then was an assistant editor for Vogue. She
is best known for her series about Inspector Henry Tibbett and his wife Emmy. If you like travel in mystery novels, please note that the Tibbetts took some
interesting trips. For more information, read the article Patricia Moyes: Putting the "Who" Back in the Whodunit by Katherine Hall Page in Mystery Scene Magazine. A short biography and a bibliography may be found at Fantastic Fiction
H.F.R. Keating (1926 - 2011).Born in England, Keating served in the army during WWII. After the war, he
received a degree in journalism and worked as a journalist with several British newspapers. He is the author of the series featuring Inspector Ghote of the Bombay police.
More information about Keating may be found at H. F. R. Keating.
Nicholas Freeling (1927 - 2003). Nicholas Freeling is the pen name of F. R. E. Nicolas. He was born in London, and was educated in England and France. He served in the Royal Air Force from 1945 to 1947. After leaving the military, he worked as a professional cook for a decade. He lived on the continent for most of his life. He is best know for the Inspector Van Der Valk series. The first book of this series Love in Amsterdam was published in 1961. More biographical information may be found in his obiturary in the Guardian. A bibliography of his works may be found at the Fantastic Fiction web site.
Catherine Aird (1930 - ) Her real name is Kinn Hamilton MacIntosh. She is the author of a series featuring Detective Inspector Sloan of the Calleshire police. Her novels have ingenous plots and a number of strange characters. Her mysteries will appeal to the fans of Golden Age mysteries. For more information, read this article about Aird written by Tom and Enid Schantz. A bibliography of her books may be found at The Fantastic Fiction web site.
Colin Dexter (1930 - ) - Creator of Inspector Morse of Oxford, familiar both to readers and TV viewers, Dexter is also a compiler of crossword puzzles.
Ruth Rendell (1930 - ) Rendell has written over 60 books
from police procedurals to psychological suspense. Her police series features Inspector Wexford of Kingsmarkham. Her novels of
psychological suspense are written under her own name and her pseudonym, Barbara Vine. She has won just about every mystery award in existence. She is also a peer of the British Empire and is more properly know as Baroness Rendell of Baberg.
Martha Grimes (1931 - ) Martha Grimes was born in Pittsburgh, PA, but her books are in the best tradition of the British mystery. She is best known for series about Inspector Richard Jury of Scotland Yard. The first book in the series The Man With a Load of Mischief was published in 1981. She was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 2012.
The Martha Grimes web site. You may also find interviews with Martha Grimes on YouTube
Caroline Graham (1931 - ) Creator of Chief Inspector Barnaby and Sargent Troy who are
known to many TV viewers through the series Midsomer Murders. Graham has written plays for both stage and TV and several children's books.
Dorothy Simpson (1933 - ) Dorothy Simpson was born and raised in Wales, but now resides in Kent. She is the author of a series of mysteries featuring Inspector Luke Thanet.
They are set in the town of Sturrenden in Kent. These books are traditional police procedurals which delve deeply into the psychology and motives of those involved in the crime. Ms.
Simpson won the Silver Dagger Award in 1985 for the book Last Seen Alive. A bibliography of Thanet books may be found at Crime and Mystery Fiction web site.
Robert Barnard (1936 - 2013) Barnard has quite an academic career. He graduated with honors from Balliol College in 1959. He has lectured at University of New England in New South Wales, Australia, and at the University of Bergen in Norway. He received his doctorate from the University of Bergen in 1971. His first mystery novel Death of an Old Goat was published in 1974. In 1983, he took up writing full time. Barnard's work is in the full tradition of the British classic style with a bit of cynicism. He has two series detectives, D. I. Perry Trethowan of Scotland Yard, and Charlie Peace in Leeds. He has also written a number of stand alone books. Barnard has received a number of awards for his mystery novels. A bibliography of his works may be found at Fantastic Fiction
M. C. Beaton (1936 - ) is the pseudonym of Marion Chesney. She was born in Glasgow. After having a variety of jobs, she started writing historical romance novels under her own name. She has written over 100 historical romances. Then she took up writing mystery novels under the M. C. Beaton name. She writes two series. One of these is about Scottish policeman Hamish MacBeth, and the other is about Agatha Raisin who has retired from a career in public relations to a small town in the Cotswolds. For more information, see The Agatha Raisin web site.
Reginald Hill (1936 - 2012) British author of the Dalziel and Pascoe series describing British police work in
Yorkshire. Hill earned a degree in English at Oxford, and taught in secondary schools and college before becoming a full time writer.
Reginald Hill web site.
Peter Lovesey (1936 - ) - Lovesey started his mystery writing career writing novels about Sargent Cribb and Constable Thackeray who were police in Victorian England during the 1880's. After 8 novels, he
started a new series featuring Bertie, who is the Prince of Wales and the future Edward VII. Lovesey also has contemporary detective series
which features Inspector Diamond who first appeared in The Last Detective which won the Anthony award. Lovesey received the CWA Diamond Dagger award for
lifetime achievement. Click here for an interview with Lovesey by Anne Perry. Also visit the Peter Lovesey web site.
Anne Perry (1938 - ). The majority of Anne Perry's novels are set in the Victorian era in England. One series details the investigations of Inspector Pitt and his wife Charlotte. Another series
features private investigator William Monk and his wife Hester. Both series describe the social inequalities and injustices which were common to this period.
Anne Perry's web site.
Elizabeth George(1949 - ) Elizabeth George was born in Warren, Ohio and lives in the United States. This provides an
unusual background for a writer who has produced a noted series of books featuring the aristocratic Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Lynley. Although George writes in the
style of the traditional British mystery, the strength of her stories lie in the excellent
characterizations and complex plots. Elizabeth George's web site.
Ann Cleeves - (1954 - ) Ms. Cleeves has a background in social work, but has also
been a cook at a bird observatory on Fair Isle, and a coast guard on the isle of Hilbre. Her writings include police procedurals featuring Inspector
Ramsey, and a series about George and Molly Palmer-Jones. George is a retired civil servant with a hobby of bird watching. She also writes a series about Detective Inspector Vera Stanhope which has been adapted for the TV series Vera.
Ann Cleeves Web Site.
Val McDermid - (1955 - ). Ms McDermid was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland and attended St. Hilda's College in Oxford. She worked as a journalist and a dramatist. Her first successful novel was Report for Murder which was published in 1987. Her web site may be found here.. You may see Val McDermid in this You Tube video.
Ian Rankin (1960 - ) Rankin is a Scot who was born in Cardenden. His series features Inspector John Rebus of the Lothian and Borders police who tackles serious and dark social issues in the city of Edinburgh. Rankin won the 2004 Edgar award for his novel Resurrection Men.Ian Rankin Web Site.
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