Monday, November 17, 2008

Crime series set in Birmingham (UK)

Eagle-eyed readers of this blog may have seen that I've listed Maureen Carter's Bad Press as my current read and recently her previous book Hard Time. This is not just because I had a review copy of Bad Press but also because Maureen is giving a talk at Mere Green Library at 11am on Wednesday (a few spaces left if anyone wants to come btw). I had the pleasure of attending a talk by Maureen at my crime reading group when her debut book, Working Girls was first published in 2001. A slight hiatus ensued but since joining Creme de la Crime publishers in 2005, she has produced a book a year, Bad Press being the fifth. Her series stars the feisty, gobby DS Bev Morriss. Her bibliography and links to reviews of her books (written by esteemed reviewer Sharon Wheeler) can be found here. (I'm enjoying these books enormously as well!) 

Maureen joins a select band of authors who set their books in the 'perceived to be' unfashionable/unsaleable-market setting of Birmingham. 

As far as I know the only other crime authors to set a series in Birmingham are:

Valerie Kershaw who wrote a five book series featuring a radio presenter (published between 1993 and 2000)

Judith Cutler who wrote two series set in Birmingham, published between 1998 and 2003, one with an amateur sleuth and another with a policewoman. (She is probably the best well known of the local crime writers, based on my library experience). 

Plimmer and Long - an ex-cop and ex-con who co-wrote a two book series between 2000 and 2001. 

Chris Collett who began a series in 2004 featuring policeman Tom Mariner which stands at eight books so far. (Tom Mariner has many female fans in my reading group!) 

If anyone knows of any more series set in Birmingham (looking at you Martin E :-)) then do please pop them in the comments. 

Update 26/4/21 

Also set in Birmingham:


Lucie Whitehouse has written two books (so far) in the DCI Robin Lyons series set in Birmingham: Critical Incidents and the forthcoming Risk of Harm (July 21).

G S Locke's Neon (2020)

Rachel MacLean's West Midlands DI Zoe Finch series.

Tess Makovesky's  Raise the Blade and The Gravy Train.

Steve Robinson's The Penmaker's Wife

Slightly older:

Marc Blake's Bigtime features Birmingham and Corley Service.

Maureen Carter's DI Sarah Quinn series.
Terry Coy's The Evil Ones.

Gary Coyne's The Short Caution.

John Dalton's The City Trap.

Mick Scully's Little Moscow.

If you are after the Black Country, then Thomas JR Dean has a series set there in the 1950s: Once Upon a Time in The Black Country. Alex Grecian's second book in his Scotland Yard Murder Squad series is called The Black Country and is set in a fictional Midlands mining town. Patrick Thompson's Execution Plan and Seeing the Wires are set in Dudley.

There are also some further suggestions in the comments.


Martin Edwards said...

I can't add to the list, unfortunately, but I can recommend Maureen's books, and also certainly those of Judith, one of my favourite British crime writers.

Anonymous said...

Can highley recommend the Chris Collett series of novels.

There was also an antholgoy, edited by Joel Lane, entitled Birmingham Noir, published in 2003.

It might be interesting to have some more entries on your blog about crime novels set in specific locations e.g. Crime series set in Newcastle or Liverpool or Nottingham....

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

Yes Tindal Street Press have produced a few books set in Birmingham - eg John Dalton's books. (I decided to list just series this time). I'll follow up your suggestion for other cities, thank you.

I think Lindsay Ashford's series may also be set in Birmingham - I've not read her yet so can't confirm.

Nan said...

Not a series, but there is a wonderful, rather new book set in Birmingham, with a mystery element to it - What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn. I just found your terrific blog from a comment you left on 'Do You Write Under Your Own Name.'

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

Hello Nan, nice to see you here. I loved What Was Lost. I reviewed it for euro crime earlier this year: said...

I think Birmingham gets a bad press and yet as Peaky Blinders has shown, is a city from which great drama originates.
I write a Birmingham-based crime series featuring cop DCI Matt Proctor - available in print and ebook from amazon. My readers say they love to find places they know well in my stories - have a look or check out my website.

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

Another author who writes about Birmingham is Tess Makovesky.

col2910 said...

Looking forward to Gravy Train at the end of the month.

col2910 said...

Jay Stringer has a few in a wider West Midlands context - his Eoin Miller series. David Armstrong with a couple in his John Munroe series.