Peter James, was voted Best Crime Writer of all time by WHSmiths Readers this week against stiff competition including Ian Rankin, Lee Child, PD James, Patricia Cornwell, Val McDermid, James Patterson, Martina Cole, Agatha Christie and many others.
I have to say I was delighted to see this news come through on my twitter feed this morning as because as loyal readers of this blog will know this is my favourite crime series of all times. For once it appears my tastes are in line with the majority (well of WHSmiths voters anyway)
I honestly can’t remember when I picked up the first in the Roy Grace series, Dead Simple, but it was published in 2005 and since my copy has been through the two house moves I’ve undertaken since then I think I was early on the uptake! I do know that for many years I look forward to June not for the better weather, ice-creams, lighter evenings (although I enjoy those too) but because that is the month that the next in the series is published.
This year I have it on good authority that You Are Dead, the eleventh in the series, will be published in May 2015 and you won’t have to wait long see my review here.
So what does Peter have to say about his runaway win?
“I was amazed – it is truly a list of giants. I am thrilled beyond words. It is a massive honour, and a wonderful feeling that so many readers out there like my work enough to have voted for me. I’d like to thank them all so much.”
Geoff Duffield, Commercial Director of Pan Macmillan added: “It’s not a surprise to see Peter voted as the best-loved thriller writer. This accolade is a direct response to his uncanny ability to connect to his readers through his writing, and through Detective Superintendent Roy Grace in particular”.
Why do I enjoy this series so much? Well for me there is always at least one good mystery in each book to solve, not that I ever do, Roy Grace isn’t a maverick detective, obnoxious or an alcoholic, instead he comes across as a very ordinary type of man, the story arc about his missing believed dead wife Sandy along with his now settled home-life with Cleo (what a brilliant choice of name that has no bearing on my love of this series) is neither dismissed nor too big a part of each book and Peter James draws believable characters to populate Brighton. What’s not to like?
Peter’s Roy Grace novels, Dead Like You, Dead Man’s Grip, Not Dead Yet, Dead Man’s Time and Want You Dead all went straight into the bestseller lists at No 1. in the Autumn of 2012, Not Dead Yet toppled the 50 Shades Of Grey trilogy off the No 1 paperback fiction slot, ending its 25 week domination of the chart. His novella, ‘The Perfect Murder’ (2010) went straight in at No 1 in the iBooks chart and spent 40 consecutive weeks in the iBooks Top 10. In 2014 it was adapted into a play called The Perfect Murder which had sell out audiences. Peter’s second play Dead Simple is currently on a sell out 6-month UK tour.
If you haven’t read any of Roy Grace Series by Peter James, you really should so here are the books in order:
Looking Good Dead
Not Dead Enough
Dead Man’s Footsteps
Dead Like You
Dead Man’s Grip
Not Dead Yet
Dead Man’s Time
Want You Dead
Click here to see more information on the top twenty crime writers along with all those authors who were voted for by WHSmiths’ readers. I’m very pleased to see that a fair few of my favourites made the list, are your favourites there too?