Inspector Lynley Books

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Inspector Lynley is the protagonist in a series of novels written by Elizabeth George – the American author. The first novel featuring Inspector Lynley titled A Great Deliverance was released in 1988. The series of books are classified as mystery thrillers.

The eight Earl of Ashton, Inspector Lynley is paired up with Scotland Yard’s Detective Barbara Havers. The book series analyzes the tensions brought up in trying to unravel murder mysteries, juxtaposed with the clashes regarding class, gender, and personality. Lynley is a peer of the realm, and dapper male, while his partner Havers comes from a working class background, is female and untidy.

Order of Inspector Lynley Series

1A Great Deliverance1988Description / Buy
2Payment in Blood1989Description / Buy
3Well-Schooled in Murder1989Description / Buy
4A Suitable Vengeance1991Description / Buy
5For the Sake of Elena1992Description / Buy
6Missing Joseph1992Description / Buy
7Playing for the Ashes1994Description / Buy
8In the Presence of the Enemy1996Description / Buy
9Deception on His Mind1997Description / Buy
10In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner1999Description / Buy
11A Traitor to Memory2001Description / Buy
12A Place of Hiding2003Description / Buy
13With No One as Witness2005Description / Buy
14What Came Before He Shot Her2006Description / Buy
15Careless in Red2008Description / Buy
16This Body of Death2010Description / Buy
17Believing the Lie2012Description / Buy
18Just One Evil Act2013Description / Buy
19A Banquet of Consequences2015Description / Buy
20The Punishment She Deserves2018Description / Buy
21Something to Hide2021Description / Buy
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The first novel in the series, A Great Deliverance begins with the pairing up of Lynley and Havers who are trying to solve a murder in Keldale that seems intertwined with old secrets and legends. As they traverse the old streets and alleyways of the ancient town, they find earth-shattering discoveries that could destroy the tranquility of the English countryside.

All of these are contrasted perfectly with the clash of personality and class between the two main characters that struggle to separate their lives from their work. What follows is a display of the remarkable narration skills of Elizabeth George that won her the Anthony Award and the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in 1988.


The Inspector Lynley series, particularly the first book A Great Deliverance received multiple awards. When it came out, A Great Deliverance won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel in 1989, the Agatha Award for Best First Novel in 1988 and a nomination for an Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1988.


The Inspector Lynley series of books have been adapted into a Crime Drama – the Inspector Lynley Mysteries by the BBC. The series aired between March 2001 and June 2008 and broadcast twenty-three episodes over six seasons. Nathaniel Parker plays the protagonist Detective Inspector Thomas Tommy Lynley the eighth Earl of Asherton while Sharon Small plays Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers. After BBC announced in 2007 that it would no longer produce the Inspector Lynley Mysteries, there was fan uproar and a petition to save the series. All six seasons have since been released on DVD.


As the clear fan favorite and winner of numerous awards, A Great Deliverance is deemed the best novel of the Inspector Lynley series of books. Lynley and Havers navigate through a labyrinth of appalling crimes and scandals that reverberate through 300 years of revelations and legend. The earth-shattering revelations in the investigation of the murder of a man by her daughter Roberta Teys, coupled with how it affects the lives of the protagonists make this one of the best works of crime fiction ever by Elizabeth George.

Well Schooled in Murder is the third book of the Inspector Lynley series and as usual Elizabeth George does not disappoint. After Mathew Whately, a thirteen-year-old boy mysteriously disappears from West Sussex school, Inspector Lynley is called in to solve the mystery. As Lynley, Havers and forensic scientist Simon Allcourt-St. James frantically search for the child and later for a child killer, they suspect that the cloistered walls of the old school may harbor something extraordinarily evil. However, as they try to unravel the inner workings of this secretive society, their investigation is opening up old personal emotional wounds that threaten to blind them from another impending murder.

Another incredible book in the Inspector Lynley series is In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner that has some of the most bizarre of openings. A theatrical producer commits suicide just after a night of his supposedly greatest achievement. After that a motorcyclist is found lying in the center of an ancient henge – stabbed to death and a young woman is clubbed to death while camping on the Derbyshire moors. Inspector Lynley is assigned the case of finding the murderer and of determining if the murders are related. However, his recently demoted partner Constable Havers insists on working the case with him. What gives?


Many fans of the Inspector Lynley series of novels will also like the “Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James” series by Deborah Crombie. These books are light detective series that incorporate the politics and personal struggles between Gemma James, a sergeant, and Duncan Kincaid his Scotland Yard superintendent. If you liked the Inspector Lynley series, you might also like the “Richard Jury” mystery series by Martha Grimes. Richard Jury is Scotland Yard Detective initially a chief inspector and later promoted to superintendent working with a British aristocrat Melrose Plant who has recently given up all his titles.

What Is The Next Book in The Inspector Lynley Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Inspector Lynley Series. The newest book is Something to Hide and was released on January, 10th 2021.

1 thought on “Inspector Lynley”

  1. How is this series still going? How is this series still this good? The next book comes out nearly 30 years from the last one and Lynley is still an interesting read. It’s kind of amazing.

    A Banquet of Consequences was one of the best books in the series in a long period and a return to what made the series great. I should warn any potential readers that each book is LONG, 500+ pages, and they are an investment of your time. That said, it can be quite rewarding and a good use of your reading time.

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