|Born||10 September 1936|
|Pen name||Peter Lear|
|Genre||Detective fiction, Historical mystery|
|Notable works||Sergeant Cribb series Peter Diamond series|
Peter (Harmer) Lovesey (born 1936), also known by his pen name Peter Lear, is a British writer of historical and contemporary detective novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath.
Lovesey was born in Middlesex, England, and attended Hampton Grammar School.He went to Reading University in 1955 but since he did not have the requisite Latin qualification, he chose a degree in Fine Art which included History and English as elective subjects. Two of his English tutors, John Wain (1925–94) and Frank Kermode (1919–2010), thought well enough of Lovesey's essays to get him into the English course after all.
He graduated from Reading with an honours degree in 1958; he then did three years of National Service in the Royal Air Force. Signing up for the third year – National Service was ordinarily for two years – enabled him to train, and obtain better pay, as an Education Officer. When he left the Air Force it also gave him an edge in starting his teaching career. He married Jacqueline (Jax) Lewis, whom he had met at Reading, in 1959.
Lovesey's career in education lasted fourteen years. He started as a Lecturer in English at Thurrock Technical College in Essex, 1961; he then became Head of the General Education Department at London’s Hammersmith College for Further Education (now West London College). He quit teaching to become a full-time writer in 1975.
Lovesey has written that he entered into writing detective fiction by way of his interest in British sports history. His first detective novel, Wobble to Death (1970), was set within a historically accurate depiction of a 19th century foot race.Lovesey has also authored non-fiction works on the history of British athletics. His first novel was followed by seven others in the Sergeant Cribb series set in Victorian England with the stories often placed in sport or entertainment events such as boxing, rowing, and music hall. After the Cribb series concluded, Lovesey continued with standalone and series mysteries, mostly set in various historical periods. From 1991, he switched to contemporary crime fiction with the Peter Diamond series set in modern-day Bath and consisting of nineteen titles as of 2021.
Peter Lovesey lives near Chichester. His son Phil Lovesey also writes crime novels. His son was born in 1963 and worked as an English teacher at Wolverhampton Grammar School until the end of the autumn 2012.His daughter, Kathy Lovesey, was born in 1960, and now lives with her family in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Peter Lovesey has won awards for his fiction, including Gold and Silver Daggers from the British Crime Writers' Association, the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement, the French Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and first place in the Mystery Writers of America's 50th Anniversary Short Story Contest. In 2016, the UK's Detection Club published Motives for Murder (US: Crippen & Landru, UK: Sphere) to recognise Lovesey's 80th birthday. In 2019, he was recognised by the Bouchercon Convention in Dallas for Lifetime Achievement.
Lovesey's novels and stories mainly fall into the category of entertaining puzzlers in the "Golden Age" tradition of mystery writing.
Most of Peter Lovesey's writing has been done under his own name. However, he did write three novels under the pen name Peter Lear.
Novels featuring Victorian era detective Sergeant Daniel Cribb and his assistant Constable Thackeray.
The novels were adapted into a Granada TV Series simply entitled Cribb (1979–81). The Series starred Alan Dobie as Cribb, with William Simons as Thackeray. The series is available on DVD in the UK, the US, and Canada.
BBC Radio's Saturday Night Theatre adapted six of the novels:
The historical mystery or historical whodunit is a subgenre of two literary genres, historical fiction and mystery fiction. These works are set in a time period considered historical from the author's perspective, and the central plot involves the solving of a mystery or crime. Though works combining these genres have existed since at least the early 20th century, many credit Ellis Peters's Cadfael Chronicles (1977–1994) for popularizing what would become known as the historical mystery. The increasing popularity and prevalence of this type of fiction in subsequent decades has spawned a distinct subgenre recognized by the publishing industry and libraries. Publishers Weekly noted in 2010 of the genre, "The past decade has seen an explosion in both quantity and quality. Never before have so many historical mysteries been published, by so many gifted writers, and covering such a wide range of times and places." Editor Keith Kahla concurs, "From a small group of writers with a very specialized audience, the historical mystery has become a critically acclaimed, award-winning genre with a toehold on the New York Times bestseller list."
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Cribb is a television police drama, which debuted in 1979 as a 90-minute TV film from Granada Television in the United Kingdom. Later, thirteen 50-minute episodes were produced, which ran from 1980 to 1981.
Kenneth Martin Edwards is a British crime novelist, whose work has won awards in the UK and the United States. As a crime fiction critic and historian, and also in his career as a solicitor, he has written non-fiction books and many articles. He is the current President of the Detection Club and in 2020 was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s Diamond Dagger, the highest honour in British crime writing, in recognition of the ‘sustained excellence’ of his work in the genre.
Nancy Pickard is a US crime novelist. She has won five Macavity Awards, four Agatha Awards, an Anthony Award, and a Shamus Award. She is the only author to win all four awards. She also served on the board of directors of the Mystery Writers of America. She received a degree in journalism from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri and began writing when she was 35 years old.
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The Last Detective (ISBN 978-1-569-47209-5) is a book written by Peter Lovesey and published by Soho Crime in 1991, which later went on to win the Anthony Award for Best Novel in 1992.
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