Series to Savour 9 – Elizabeth George’s Lynley mysteries

Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George

Long before they were televised, I was a staunch follower of the Lynley mysteries, though, in my mind, they were the Simon St. James mysteries as his character stood out in the early novels in the series.  I read them as they came out, in order.  However, I must say that when I read #4 in the series, “A suitable vengeance“, I wished I had read it first because the story is actually a prequel which reveals some early history of the main characters. If life ever provides me with enough time to re-read this fabulous series, I would read that one first.

Re-reading would be quite a commitment as most of the books are quite lengthy (I calculated the average length of books in the series to be around 628 pages) AND there are 20 titles in this series!  Anyone who has not yet started reading this series has many enjoyable hours of reading ahead of them.

The 20 novels in the Lynley mystery series are:

NOTE: A Suitable Vengeance is a prequel novel in the Inspector Lynley series and should be read before A Great Deliverance when reading the novels in chronological order.

  1. A great deliverance
  2. Payment in blood
  3. Well-schooled in murder
  4. A suitable vengeance (#1 in chronological order)
  5. For the sake of Elena
  6. Missing Joseph
  7. Playing for the ashes
  8. In the presence of the enemy
  9. Deception on his mind
  10. In pursuit of the proper sinner
  11. A traitor to memory
  12. A place of hiding
  13. With no one as witness
  14. What came before he shot her
  15. Careless in red
  16. This body of death
  17. Believing the lie
  18. Just one evil act
  19. A banquet of consequences
  20. The punishment she deserves

The series protagonists are: Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley (also known as The 8th Earl of Asherton) and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers who work for Scotland Yard. Also featured prominently in the novels are Lynley’s girlfriend, Lady Helen Clyde, and his childhood friend, Simon St. James, who now works as a forensic pathologist, and Deborah St. James, Simon’s wife.

From Wikipedia: “Lynley, the handsome and urbane Eighth Earl of Asherton, has a gilded existence as a member of the nobility, whereas the working class, unattractive and socially inept Havers finds life a struggle.”

This is one of those series where the backstory is just as important, if not more so, than the mystery. You become connected to the characters and invested in how their personal lives pan out.

With characterization that will keep you enthralled, the Lynley mystery series is truly a “series to savour“.


The novels have been televised to great acclaim. The BBC television series stars Nathaniel Parker as Thomas Lynley and the talented Sharon Small as Barbara Havers.

Elizabeth George was born (February 26, 1949) in Warren, Ohio. She was a student of English, having received a teaching certificate from the University of California, Riverside. While teaching English in the public school system, she completed a master’s degree in counseling and psychology. She has always been fascinated with the dark side of human nature and her novels reflect this. She received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Cal State University Fullerton in 2004 and was awarded an honorary Masters in Fine Arts from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts in 2010. She also established the Elizabeth George Foundation in 1997. Her work is translated into more than 30 different languages and have won myriad literary awards. Almost all of them have had a place on bestseller lists at one time or another.

About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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13 Responses to Series to Savour 9 – Elizabeth George’s Lynley mysteries

  1. Veronika Jordan says:

    Didn’t you just love Nathaniel Parker in the TV series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed I did although when reading the books I pictured him as a blonde. I also enjoyed Sharon Small as Barbara Havers but she was much more attractive than the Havers character in the books.


  2. Pingback: My personal canon (the books that shaped my life) | Fictionophile

  3. Barb Saffer says:

    I love this series.


  4. carhicks says:

    Nice post. I have always heard great things about this series, but I have not read any yet. I have a few on my tablet, it is just getting time to start a new series.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. skyecaitlin says:


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Norrie says:

    I’ve only read Great Deliverance but I remember it was awesome. I absolutely adored the writing style and the way the author used the words. English is my second language so there was a lot of looking up words on my Kindle but I have to say, books like this not only entertain me, but help me improve my English as well. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I also read a fair few of these books before they were televised but I don’t expect I read them in the right order 😏

    Liked by 1 person

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