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Last Updated onPeter James is the popular British author of the Roy Grace crime mystery series. While his first novels were standalone works, he really came into his own when Roy Grace was born in 2005 in Dead Simple.
This was also the year when I first learned about this author. I have been reading the Peter James Roy Grace books ever since.
Here are the Peter James books in order not only for his popular British crime mystery series but also for his several standalone novels which the author continues to write even today.
New Peter James Books
Roy Grace Series
- Dead Simple, 2005
- Looking Good Dead, 2006
- Not Dead Enough, 2007
- Dead Man’s Footsteps, 2008
- Dead Tomorrow, 2009
- Dead Like You, 2010
- Dead Man’s Grip, 2011
- Not Dead Yet, 2012
- Dead Man’s Time, 2013
- Want You Dead, 2014
- You Are Dead, 2015
- Love You Dead, 2016
- Need You Dead, 2017
- Dead If You Don’t, 2018
- Dead At First Sight, 2019
Cold Hill Series
Max Flynn Series
Standalone Peter James Books
- Billionaire, 1983
- Possession, 1988
- Dreamer, 1989
- Sweet Heart, 1990
- Twilight, 1991
- Prophecy, 1992
- Host, 1993
- Alchemist, 1996
- The Truth, 1997
- Denial, 1998
- Faith, 2000
- Perfect People, 2011
- Christmas is for Kids, 2011 (novella)
- In the Nick of Time, 2014 (novella)
- Footloose, 2018 (novella)
- Absolute Proof, 2018
Who is Roy Grace?
Roy Grace, Peter James’ main character is a Detective Superintendent of the CID, in Sussex, England. The character is based on Dave Gaylor, the officer who investigated the author’s burglary back in the 1980s. While Roy Grace is an outstanding detective who is solving other people’s crimes, he is also dealing with his own very sad story based on the disappearance of his wife.
That’s why reading the Peter James books in order, at least for the Roy Grace series, is important, as the topic of the disappeared wife comes up in every book. And readers can’t but want a resolution to unsolved things, and what best way to get there than read all the books for a possible solution?
The detective is quite a down-to-earth guy who finds humor in situations despite his own tragic home affair. He can’t stop hoping that his wife will turn up at some point and that there is a logical explanation to her disappearance. Until then, however, he is a man haunted by his missing wife’s shadow.
Peter James Biography
The author Peter James was born in 1948 in Brighton, UK. As an interesting trivia, his mother, Cornelia James, was the glovemaker to Queen Elizabeth II. In fact, her company is still the official glovemaker of the Queen, which now is run by his sister, Genevieve and her husband, who supply the court with gloves even today.
During his childhood, he spent most of his summers in France as his parents had a flat near St. Tropez. From the age of 7, he started writing stories. At the age of 14, when he read Brighton Rock by Graham Greene, he realized that his ambition in life would be to write books.
He attended the Charterhouse School, a prestigious boarding school in Godalming, Surrey, after which he enrolled at the Ravensbourne Film School in London.
After graduation, Peter James moved to the US, where he worked as a screenwriter and film producer. Before that, he went to Canada to work several jobs, including being a gofer and later on a writer on Polka Dot Door, a Canadian children’s TV series.
Peter James started writing standalone novels from the time he was still working fulltime in TV and films, with Dead Letter Drop being his debut novel. He followed this book with several additional standalones, until 2005 when he wrote Dead Simple, a novel that would become the first in his bestselling series featuring Roy Grace, a Brighton-based Detective Superintendent.
Dead Simple started as a short original story written many years ago. Eventually, the author decided to turn it into a full-fledged thriller since its topic was so strong and could be fleshed out into something much better. Later, when the publisher asked the author to write a crime series, Roy Grace was truly born and flourished in the next 14 novels (and counting).
The story goes that Roy Grace was born once the author’s home was burglarized. Without this sorry incidence, Peter James might have still remained a spy story writer, similar to the first two books he wrote in the Max Flynn series. However, soon the author became friends with some of the detectives on his case, and he got a newfound appreciation for the hard work they do in catching criminals.
Over the years, the author Peter James wrote spy thrillers, supernatural thrillers, psychological thrillers, even a black comedy (The Perfect Murder), and crime thrillers like his Roy Grace novels.
So far, these books have sold over 19 million copies all over the world and were translated into almost 40 languages.
Overall, the Roy Grace series brought Peter James at least 12 consecutive times to the first position of the UK Sunday Times newspaper.
The Peter James books are said to be the first to be printed electronically as well. His novel Host was published by Penguin Books in 1993 not only on paper but also on two floppy disks. In fact, the Science Museum in London has one of the copies on display.
Of course, this made the author a very controversial figure back when traditional publishing was the norm. Many readers and critiques were against electronic books, claiming that Peter James was about to help destroy the regular novel.
Peter James was a heavy spokesperson for eBooks, and in 1996 he found himself on stage speaking at a conference at UCLA speaking on the topic of the future of reading. Some other spokesmen on that very conference were Steve Jobs and the Time Warner CEO.
Host was also adapted to a TV movie titled Virtual Obsession in 1998. Peter James has worked also on over 25 other movies and films, being either a producer or writer. Some of the actors playing in these movies were Sharon Stone, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Michael Cane, among others.
In the meantime, Peter James got a 7-figure deal for his next three books, with the first one to be published in May 2020. The publisher, Pan Macmillan, is thrilled to get three more books written by this bestselling author, whom associate publisher Wayne Brookes calls “a dream author.”
The Peter James books and the author himself have so far won or were nominated over 40 times, including Krimi-Blitz, Best Crime Writer of the year in Germany in 2005, Sounds of Crime Award in 2010, ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Winner, People’s Bestseller Dagger for Crime Novel of the Year in 2011, Sussex Police, Outstanding Public Service Award in 2012, CWA Diamond Dagger Award in 2016, Specsavers Honorary Platinum Award for book sales over 5 million in 2018, and many more.
Praise for Peter James
James has got the gift for turning mind-stretching subjects into novels that are irresistibly readable as well as utterly believable (Robert Goddard)
James is a master plotter… this follow-up to Dead Simple cannot fail to thrill’ Daily Mail ‘Will have you glued to your deckchair (Observer)
An exciting, fast, satisfying read.” Eurocrime “One of the most fiendishly clever crime fiction plotters. (Daily Mail)
James really knows how to plot a procedural thriller, and he enjoys a sly joke. (The New York Times Book Review)
Peter James is one of the best crime writers in the business (Karin Slaughter)
Sinister and riveting… Peter James is one of the best British crime writers, and therefore one of the best in the world. (Lee Child)
Exceptional, knock-your-socks-off. (Washington Post)
Compulsive … I cannot remember when I last read a novel I enjoyed so much. (Sunday Telegraph)
One is always tempted to read “one more chapter” – and then another. Until, arriving at, say, page 350, and, desperate to know how it will all end, it’s all too easy to read the final 50 odd pages with ferocious speed. (Huffington Post)
I like your books, especially the last one—the torture was really good. (reader in Marbella)
Every parent’s nightmare becomes Roy Grace’s most challenging case (the RealBookSpy)
ReferencesBooks Reading Order » Authors » Peter James