Your Guide to Elizabeth George Books in Order

Published: 13 August 2023
Written by Chris Beach

Navigating the intricate labyrinths of Elizabeth George's mind is an adventure in itself, and for those unacquainted with her literary genius, there's a treasure trove awaiting. When it comes to her brilliant Inspector Lynley mysteries, it's crucial to plunge into them with a guide by your side. And what better compass than a detailed list of Elizabeth George books in order? While the books in the Inspector Lynley series can stand alone, understanding the evolution of characters and the unfolding of intricate plots becomes a more fulfilling journey when taken step by step. Let's embark on this thrilling quest, unraveling each Elizabeth George book in its chronicle.

A Georgian mansion in the mist at night

Table of Contents

• Inspector Lynley Mysteries in Order
• Publication Order of Saratoga Woods Books
• Publication Order of Short Story Collections
• Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books
• Turning the Last Page: Our Farewell to Elizabeth George's books

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who is Elizabeth George? Her Biography.

• Related Posts
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The beauty of literature is often in the details; sometimes, order matters. The Inspector Lynley mysteries are not just any detective tales; they are layers of human emotions, complexities, and intricate relationships. Delving into them without a roadmap might deprive you of the full depth of the narrative. Hence, before diving headfirst, let's ensure that we've got all our 'Elizabeth George books in order' ducks in a row. Join me as we chart the course through this compelling series, ensuring you don't miss a single twist or turn.

Inspector Lynley Mysteries in Order

A Great Deliverance (1988)

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In the serene valleys of Keldale, a chilling infant's cry still echoes, a relic from a three-century-old tale when villagers, fleeing Cromwell's onslaught, allegedly silenced a baby within Keldale Abbey. Now, the area's calm is shattered again by a grotesque scene: Roberta Teys, in her finest attire, sits in a barn, an axe nearby, beside her decapitated father. Her stark confession: "I did it. And I'm not sorry." But as Inspector Thomas Lynley, the eighth earl of Asherton, and the relentless Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers delve deeper, they unravel a complex web of old houses, ancient secrets, and shocking crimes that not only shake the quaint English valley but their lives too.

Payment In Blood (1989)

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On a remote Scottish estate, playwright Joy Sinclair's life dramatically ends with a dirk driven through her throat. Without much power in this foreign territory, elite Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his determined partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, find themselves in a race against time to decipher both a motive and identify the killer. The emotional stakes are high, with a suspect list featuring the UK's leading actress, a top-tier theatrical producer, and even the woman Lynley cherishes. Navigating a maze of intricate human connections, they're plunged into a mystery steeped in haunting history and the complex depths of the human soul.

Well-Schooled In Murder (1990)

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When young Matthew Whately vanishes from the elite Bredgar Chambers in West Sussex, Inspector Thomas Lynley is personally drawn into the case by an old friend, the boy's housemaster. Teaming up with Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers and forensic expert Simon Allcourt-St. James, the trio ventures beyond their usual boundaries, hunting not only for the missing teen but soon for a cold-blooded murderer. As they sift through the shadows of the school, interviewing everyone from prefects to teachers, a sinister pattern emerges. Yet, as they dig deeper, their own personal traumas threaten to cloud their judgment, making them vulnerable just as another potential tragedy is brewing behind those privileged walls.

A Suitable Vengeance (1991)

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During a seemingly serene visit to his family's estate in Howenstow, Lynley, the distinguished eighth earl of Asherton, introduces his fiancée, only for their peace to be fractured by the brutal murder of a nearby journalist. This dark twist sets off a whirlwind of unsettling events in the quaint Cornwall village, pulling Lynley and his associate St. James into an investigation beyond their usual realm. But when another death rapidly ensues, Lynley is compelled to take the matter even more to heart as chilling clues hint at the unthinkable: the murderer might be someone from his own bloodline.

For The Sake of Elena (1992)

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Elena Weaver, with her provocative attire contrasting starkly against her room's innocent unicorn decor, was an enigma, leaving distinct impressions on everyone. Based in Cambridge's St. Stephen's College, while her anxious mother remained in London, Elena navigated complex relationships, including with her estranged father and his new wife. But her journey met a brutal halt when an unknown assailant targeted her during her daily run.

Preferring a more elite investigation, the university beckoned New Scotland Yard, bringing Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers into Cambridge's academic backdrop, where secrets are as common as scholarly robes. Elena's multifaceted identity perplexes them, with suspects ranging from a controversial Shakespearean professor to the introspective leader of the Deaf Students Union. Amidst this, Elena's father, eyeing a coveted academic position, grapples with ghosts from his past, making him both obsessively protective of Elena and tragically misguided.

Missing Joseph (1993)

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Taking a break from the hustle to mend their strained relationship, Deborah and Simon St. James find themselves amidst the wintry landscapes of Lancastershire. Their hopes of a quiet retreat crumble when they discover that the local vicar they intended to visit has met an untimely death, ruled as an accidental poisoning. However, the ties between the officer probing the case and the woman behind the lethal meal raise eyebrows. Simon, sensing something amiss, reaches out to his old pal, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley. Diving deep, they find themselves entangled in a web of intense emotions and intricate village relationships, where love, sorrow, and darker intentions interweave.

Playing For The Ashes (1994)

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Diving into the narrative, a chilling confession shakes the foundation: "I'm the reason my father's gone, and it's not even my first offense." Yet, the true depth of this admission only unfurls as the story progresses. Inspector Thomas Lynley and Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers are once again pulled into a whirlwind of deception, passion, and intrigue, where discerning reality becomes a challenge. Every corner they turn introduces another layer of complexity, making it clear that perceptions are rarely rooted in truth. A tapestry of love, betrayal, and dark revelations await.

In The Presence Of The Enemy (1996)

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Tabloid heavyweight Dennis Luxford is thrust into a nightmarish predicament when an anonymous threat targets his concealed secret: a ten-year-old daughter, Charlotte. To save her life, he must confess to fathering her, risking not just personal disgrace but also upending the life of Charlotte's mother, a rising political star in the government. Their refusal to involve the police leads them to forensic scientist Simon St. James, but as the mystery deepens, the case proves more twisted than imagined. Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his steadfast partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, are pulled in, navigating a web of deception stretching from bustling London to the serene countryside. Yet, as Havers inches towards the chilling truth, she might be stepping into a peril she never anticipated.

Deception On His Mind (1997)

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In a fading coastal town of Balford-le-Nez, an unexpected crime shakes its modest Asian populace. As murmurs of racial tension begin to spread, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, drawn by connections closer to home than she'd like to admit, dives into the investigation solo, without her usual sidekick, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley. This isn't just a chase after a perpetrator; it's a dance around personal demons and the shadows cast by deception.

In Pursuit Of The Proper Sinner (1999)

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In the eerie expanse of Calder Moor, amidst the haunting silhouette of the Nine Sisters Henge, two bodies - a man and a woman - lay as grim testaments to violence. The woman, Nicola Maiden, had ties to Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley's past, being the offspring of a figure from his undercover days. As Lynley dives deep into the murk of the case, Barbara Havers, once shamed and now yearning to regain her stature, hustles through London hunting details about the second victim. Yet, as they peel back layers, they're hit with a chilling truth: relationships can often be deadly, and those close bonds may spill blood.

A Traitor To Memory (2001)

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On a dim London avenue, an elderly lady meets her end, not by accident but by deliberate force. In chasing the mystery behind this eerie act, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley delves into a puzzle that seems intertwined with a famed violin prodigy's past. As he navigates this enigmatic trail, not just the notes of a violin but the shadows of a deep-rooted family secret play in the background. Loyalties waver and professional boundaries blur as Lynley, alongside partners Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, unearths a tale of obscured truths and concealed passions.

A Place of Hiding (2003)

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On a secluded Guernsey beach, the affluent Guy Brouard's life comes to a mysterious end. With roots tracing back to a childhood escape from Nazi-occupied Paris, Guy was immersed in commemorating WWII resistors with a museum, hinting his murderer could be a shadow from this past. Yet, Guernsey teems with those holding grudges against him, from estranged loved ones to professional rivals and proteges. As the island's intricate history unravels, Deborah and Simon St. James wade through a sea of deception, realizing everyone seems to wear a mask. To unveil the true face of the culprit, they must confront both Guernsey's historical scars and a chilling act of vengeance.

With No One as Witness (2005)

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The chilling discovery of a young boy's body, precisely staged atop a tomb, rings alarm bells: another victim of a relentless serial killer. However, a twist emerges when this fourth victim turns out to be the first white prey. Fearing accusations of racism for not solving prior cases, New Scotland Yard delegates the perplexing chase to Lynley's team. But as they close in on the deranged perpetrator, an internal heartbreak threatens to derail their hunt.

What Came Before He Shot Her (2006)

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In the heart of London, Scotland Yard grapples with the jarring death of Inspector Thomas Lynley's wife, Lady Helen Clyde Lynley, shockingly at the hands of a twelve-year-old. Dive deeper, and you find the roots of this tragedy in North Kensington. Here, the Campbell siblings - Ness, Joel, and Toby - navigate a tumultuous life, shuffled between relatives. While the rebellious Ness gravitates towards danger, Joel finds himself burdened with caring for Toby, who silently battles his own demons. Joel's attempts to shield his family plunge him into a perilous world, ultimately intertwining their fate with Inspector Lynley's.

Careless in Red (2008)

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Grief-stricken after the tragic death of his expecting wife, former Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley seeks solace in the rugged beauty of Cornwall's cliffs. But the serenity he seeks is shattered when, during a hike, he stumbles upon a young man's lifeless body. Now, instead of leading the investigation, Lynley finds himself scrutinized, on the edges of both witness and suspect lists. The local investigator, outnumbered and overwhelmed, soon enlists Lynley's expertise. Adding to the complexity, Barbara Havers arrives - her official role is to aid the case, but she's also there with an ulterior motive: to coax Lynley back into the fold of Scotland Yard.

This Body of Death (2010)

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Reeling from personal tragedy, Thomas Lynley is reluctantly drawn back to Scotland Yard after a woman's body surfaces in a desolate London graveyard. While his team is wary of their new prickly chief, Isabelle Ardery, Lynley perceives a buried sensitivity under her tough facade. As Lynley delves into the London case, his associates Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata venture to the New Forest, a picturesque realm with roaming wildlife and vibrant thatching traditions, where not all is as idyllic as it seems. Unknown to them, the woods hide more than one sinister secret, and the investigation will take a heart-wrenching turn.

Believing the Lie (2011)

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Summoned undercover to probe the mysterious death of Ian Cresswell, Inspector Thomas Lynley finds the case, initially deemed an accidental drowning, puzzling. With the help of pals Simon and Deborah St. James, they quickly unearth a quagmire of family secrets within the affluent Fairclough dynasty. While Deborah connects deeply with Nicholas's wife, feeling an uncanny kinship, Lynley and Simon navigate a labyrinth of relationships, from a resentful ex-wife to the influential patriarch, Bernard Fairclough. As they dig deeper, the family's polished facade starts to crumble, revealing a web of deception that could ensnare them all.

Just One Evil Act (2013)

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When the daughter of Barbara Havers' friend Azhar is whisked away by her mother, Angelina, it seems there's little to be done legally since Azhar's name isn't on the young Hadiyyah's birth certificate. As Azhar grapples with this devastating loss, Angelina resurfaces with jolting news: Hadiyyah has been abducted in Italy. Though the Yard is reluctant to intervene, Barbara can't help but take matters into her own hands.

This eventually sends her colleague, Inspector Thomas Lynley, to Italy as a middleman between the desperate parents and Italian authorities. However, the kidnapping soon unravels to reveal a tangle of deep-seated secrets, stretching from Angelina's new lover Lorenzo to even Azhar. As the stakes rise with Hadiyyah's life and Barbara's career on the line, Barbara faces the haunting question of how much she's willing to risk for the truth.

A Banquet of Consequences (2015)

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While Inspector Thomas Lynley delves deep into a sinister case in London, his partner, Barbara Havers, peels back the serene mask of the countryside, revealing a realm teeming with secrets and deception. The tragic suicide of William Goldacre raises haunting questions - could his fateful jump from a Dorset cliff be connected to a chilling poisoning incident in Cambridge? With her reputation in the department hanging by a thread, Barbara, eager to prove herself, seizes a tenuous link to the unsolved murder. She pleads with Lynley to chase this lead, fully aware that one wrong step could spell the end for her career.

The Punishment She Deserves (2018)

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In the quaint town of Ludlow, shockwaves ripple through when revered deacon Ian Druitt is accused of a grievous act, only to be found dead while in police custody. Was it suicide or a darker play at hand? Dispatched to untangle this mystery, Barbara Havers arrives, initially seeing evidence leaning towards self-harm. Yet, an instinctive nag nudges her to dig deeper. As she scrutinizes the town's mix of elderly residents and young college students, she unveils a web of secrets, realizing nearly everyone has shadows lurking in their past.

Something to Hide (2022)

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After a detective in a coma meets a mysterious end, an autopsy unveils a lethal deed. Thrust into North London's Nigerian community, Thomas Lynley faces cultural complexities unfamiliar to him. Assisted by Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata, they're in a race against time to unmask a killer concealed within a web of deception. Beneath the facade of cooperation, they find individuals inflicting unseen wounds upon each other.

Publication Order of Saratoga Woods Books

Saratoga Island with pine trees

The Edge of Nowhere (2011)

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Fleeing her stepfather after uncovering his dark secrets, Becca King finds herself on Whidbey Island, a stark contrast to Seattle's hustle. Her unique ability to hear others' concealed thoughts, or "whispers," intensifies her plight. Alone and vulnerable, her life intertwines with an array of locals: Derric, a Ugandan orphan; Seth, a compassionate dropout musician; Debbie, a woman battling her past addictions; and Diana, with whom she shares a mystifying psychic bond.

The Edge of the Water (2014)

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On Whidbey Island, oddities abound: a silent girl, a yearly returning coal-black seal named Nera, and an age-old feud no one can explain. Amidst these enigmas, Becca King finds herself entangled, harboring her own clandestine past. Hiding from her dangerous stepfather and keeping even Derric, her close romantic connection, in the dark about her hideout, Becca grapples with emerging paranormal abilities. As past and present secrets unravel, no one foresees the startling culmination these events are steering towards.

The Edge of the Shadows (2014)

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In the midst of Whidbey Island's enigmatic ambiance, Becca King, still evading her felonious stepfather, now calls it home. However, a spate of suspicious fires, the most recent claiming a life, raises alarm among her circle. Fingers point to recent arrivals - could it be Isis Martin's brother, fresh from a school for troubled youths, or Parker, the musician recently ousted by his band? All the while, Becca, under Diana Kinsale's guidance, delves deeper into her own extraordinary powers.

The Edge of the Light (2016)

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Seth Darrow's life has spiraled into complexity; while grappling with his grandfather's health and trying to safeguard his estate from opportunistic relatives, he's uncertain about Prynne's commitment to sobriety, even though he deeply cares for her. Concurrently, on Whidbey Island, Derric reunites with Rejoice, though their true relationship remains concealed; Jenn wrestles with emerging feelings for Cynthia, a relationship her devout mother would shun; and Becca, living under an assumed identity, guards the most explosive secret of them all. As these tales intertwine, the culmination of their stories is both profound and heart-wrenching.

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

The Evidence Exposed - Collection of Short Stories (1999)

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The Evidence Exposed (2001)

During a two-week seminar on the grand estates of Great Britain, a motley crew of aficionados gathers. But when a participant unexpectedly meets their demise, the sharp-eyed Inspector Thomas Lynley steps onto the scene to unravel the mystery.

I, Richard (2001)

Malcolm Cousins has tirelessly chased after a potentially invaluable letter, believed to have been penned by Richard III just before the iconic Battle of Bosworth. But the burning question lingers: would he go to the extreme of committing murder to possess it?

The Surprise of His Life (2002)

At first, Douglas Armstrong's meetings with Thistle McCloud seemed innocent enough. But just two weeks following their fourth session, a dark thought emerges: what if he were to kill his wife?

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Write Away: One Novelist's Approach to Fiction and the Writing Life (2004)

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Grabbing attention right away: if you're a budding writer aiming to pen the next great novel, keep in mind three pillars - talent, passion, and discipline. Dive deep into the intricacies of writing, from the foundation of setting and plot to the nuances of technique and process, and learn from excerpts by renowned writers like Harper Lee, Stephen King, and Toni Morrison. Writing isn't just about knowing the craft; it's an emotional roller coaster. At times, the journey is strenuous and demanding, but the magic lies in crafting a character so authentic that it breathes life. Every sentence penned and every unexpected inspiration is a reward, but oh, the effort it demands! Through the lens of an accomplished novelist, uncover not just the art and mechanics of writing but also the beating heart behind each word.

Mastering the Process (2020)

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Starting with just a flicker of inspiration and turning it into a full-blown novel can be a daunting task. Peek behind the curtain and witness the intricate dance of transforming initial ideas into compelling narratives. Using personal snapshots, early jottings, and deep character dives, we get a front-row seat to the creation of a bestselling novel - from picking the perfect locale, crafting engaging plots, to breathing life into fictional personalities. Beyond just sharing her secret sauce, she dishes out practical advice, shedding light on what hits the mark and what misses by a mile. For any writer feeling lost in the sea of storytelling, here's your compass, straight from a narrative ninja at her peak.

Turning the Last Page: Our Farewell to Elizabeth George's books

In the grand tapestry of mystery literature, Elizabeth George's books stand out as intricate masterpieces, with each thread weaving a narrative so profound, it's hard to pull away. As with any epic saga, the journey is best experienced when walked path by path, and what a path the Inspector Lynley books pave! Whether you're an old fan revisiting or a new reader venturing into the depths of these tales for the first time, having a guided sequence enhances the essence of the experience. Dive in with confidence, and let the chronology of the tales envelop you in the magic that only Elizabeth George can weave.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is Elizabeth George? Her Biography.

Portrait of author Elizabeth George

Born in Warren, Ohio, Susan Elizabeth George moved with her family to the San Francisco Bay Area at a tender age, growing up in what would eventually become part of Silicon Valley's bustling scene. She pursued her early education at institutions run by the Sisters of the Holy Cross and furthered her studies in various Californian universities, eventually bagging a master's degree in Counseling/Psychology. Her journey in the academic field began as a high school English teacher in California, facing both challenges and accolades, notably being recognized as Orange County Teacher of the Year for her commendable efforts with remedial students.

However, after successfully publishing her first novel, she transitioned to teaching creative writing at the community college level, later branching into intensive writing seminars at various institutions. Her literary talents have been recognized globally, bagging numerous awards including the Anthony Award, the Agatha Award, and France's prestigious Le Grand Prix de Literature Policiere. While most of her works have been adapted for television by the BBC, she currently resides in Seattle, balancing her writing with regular visits to her London flat and doting on her two adorable but naughty dachshunds.

If you love mystery novels you might enjoy the Maisie Dobbs mystery series, and the Jaine Austen novels by Laura Levine.

Portrait of the article author, Chris Beach
Chris Beach

Hi, I'm Chris. My love of books started when I was a child visiting libraries with my Dad. The smell and feel of old pages still sparks something within me that can I can only express as an emotional attachment to books. Two decades later this evolved into a passion for collecting rare books, particularly 17th century early-English literature, and rare children's books. I believe every book has its own story and each one reveals something new about the world we live in.
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