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Elizabeth George

Author of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries

July 20, 2023

The length of each Elizabeth Inspector Lynley novel might be daunting to some, but as someone who used to expressly buy only the thickest books (always wanted to get my money’s worth), I’ve set aside entire weekends to delve into many of her well-plotted, twisty and fascinating novels. I started reading Elizabeth George long before I began keeping a record, but every now and then I dive into another novel, and just completed The Punishment She Deserves (2021).

I love that this American woman delves into the language and customs of another country, describing various locations in Great Britain with what strikes me as passion. I’m drawn in by finely described interactions between characters, and the slowly simmering arguments and feelings of various characters, each with their own motivations and struggles. I come away knowing them better than most of the people I meet – why they went into their professions, what their upbringings were like, how they fight with their spouses or ex-spouses, how they view themselves.

George has been translated into a bunch of languages and has been both nominated and recipient of many mystery awards, plus she still teaches writing (I’m interested in her Hedgebrook Women’s Writers’ Retreat on Whidbey Island, where she lives). In addition to the 21 (as of 2022) Inspector Lynley novels, she also has a young adult series set there, in Washington state. I’m also interested in her newish book, a masterclass in the form of a guide for writing.

I'll probably continue to pick up occasional Elizabeth George novels, and hope to one day go through the entire televised series. Meanwhile, she's one of the great authors who has been missing from this list (yes, I know I've neglected to mention many of them - promise I'll get to it at some point). Elizabeth George definitely belongs here -

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