Elizabeth George

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Elizabeth George
BornSusan Elizabeth George
(1949-02-26) February 26, 1949 (age 72)
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
Bachelor of Arts
Counseling and psychology
Master's of Education
Alma materUniversity of California, Riverside
GenreMystery fiction, detective fiction
SpouseIra Jay Toibin (1971, divorced 1995)

Susan Elizabeth George (born February 26, 1949)[1] is an American writer of mystery novels set in Great Britain.

She is best known for a series of novels featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley, twenty in number as of 2018. The first eleven were adapted for television by the BBC as earlier episodes of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.


Elizabeth George was born in Warren, Ohio, the second child of Robert Edwin and Anne (née Rivelle) George. She has an older brother, author Robert Rivelle George. Her mother was a nurse, and her father a manager for a conveyor company.[1] The family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was 18 months old as her father wanted to get away from the Midwestern weather.[2]

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.[3] 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.

George married Ira Jay Toibin in 1971 and they divorced in 1995.[3] George is currently married to Tom McCabe.


Her first published novel was A Great Deliverance (1988). It introduces Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, in private life the Earl of Asherton, privately educated (Eton College and Oxford University); his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, grammar school educated and from a working-class background[4]—both from Scotland Yard; Helen Clyde, Lynley's girlfriend and later wife; and Lynley's former school friend, the forensic scientist Simon St. James and his wife, Deborah.


George's first novel, A Great Deliverance, was favorably received by the mystery fiction community.

It won the Agatha Award for "Best First Novel" in 1988 and the 1989 Anthony Award in the same category. It was nominated for an Edgar Award in 1988.[5][6][7]


Fiction: Inspector Lynley[edit]

The Edge of Nowhere[edit]

  • 2012: The Edge of Nowhere (The Edge of Nowhere: Saratoga Woods or The Edge of Nowhere 01: The Dog House) (ISBN 9781444719956)
  • 2013: The Edge of the Water (The Edge of the Water: Saratoga Woods) (ISBN 9780670012978)
  • 2016: The Edge of the Shadows
  • 2016: The Edge of the Light

Short Story Collections[edit]



  1. ^ a b Thompson, Clifford (2001). Current Biography Yearbook 2000. Bronx, New York: H. W. Wilson Company. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-8242-1004-5.
  2. ^ Stenger, Karl L. (2005). "Elizabeth George". Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit, Michigan: Gale. pp. 132–143.
  3. ^ a b Lindsay, Elizabeth Blakesley (2007). Great Women Mystery Writers. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-313-33428-3.
  4. ^ George, Elizabeth. A Great Deliverance. Chapter 2. As if a grammar school background and a working-class accent were social diseases that might infect himCS1 maint: location (link)
  5. ^ "Malice Domestic Convention – Bethesda, MD". Malicedomestic.org. August 23, 1988. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  6. ^ "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention: Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon.info. October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  7. ^ "Best First Mystery Novel by an American Author Edgar Award Winners and Nominees – Complete Lists". Mysterynet.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.