James McCreet

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James McCreet
Pictured in Harrogate, 2009
Born (1971-12-22) 22 December 1971 (age 44)
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Occupation Novelist, Copywriter
Nationality British
Period Victorian
Genre Detective fiction

James McCreet (born 22 December 1971) is a British writer, the author of a series of Victorian detective thrillers set in 1840s London. His works are known for their fast-paced, historically accurate and complex plotlines featuring the same core characters.


James McCreet was born in Sheffield. He studied English and American Literature at the University of East Anglia, where his twin preoccupations were Shakespeare and the novels of Ian Fleming. He also completed a Masters degree at the University of Sussex. Since then, he has lived in Norwich, Maidstone, Brighton, Harrogate and Leeds, as well as a number of years living abroad in Greece, China and Poland. He has worked as a teacher, a bookseller, an editor, a copywriter, a journalist and a holiday rep. He is married and lives in Leeds, West Yorkshire.[1]


McCreet's debut novel for Macmillan New Writing imprint was The Incendiary’s Trail, published in June 2009. The author has since written that that book almost was not published: "I think it was October 2007 that I sent the manuscript in – emailed from Harrogate public library. I heard nothing back and assumed it had been rejected. But in February 2008 I sent it in again. That's when I was told the novel had excited some interest back in October but that my contact details had been misplaced. If I hadn’t tried again in February, it might never have happened."[2]

McCreet’s second book was The Vice Society (2010), a new story featuring the same characters and London setting as the first book. In May 2011, the third part of the series, The Thieves’ Labyrinth, was released.[1]

Though each book is a separate story, the characters and their relationships develop with each new instalment.[1]


Though he has been compared to Charles Dickens in tone and subject,[3][4] McCreet has often said that his main influence is Edgar Allan Poe,[2] a copy of whose stories was one of two books owned by the author while teaching in China (the other was Moby Dick).[5] He has also listed other writers: "Umberto Eco for his ideas and the way he blends history, philosophy and literature. James Ellroy for his distinctive voice. Elmore Leonard for his perfect prose. Kurt Vonnegut for the way his personality comes through in his writing. Ian Fleming for his inner boy. Herman Melville for Moby Dick – a book in which the author luxuriates in his writing. Henry Miller, who made being a writer the subject he wrote about. I'm not sure any of them influence my writing in a perceptible sense. They represent standards to aim at."[2]


  1. ^ a b c James McCreet. James McCreet. Retrieved on 10 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b c Macmillan New Writers. Macmillannewwriters.blogspot.com (27 June 2011). Retrieved on 10 August 2011.
  3. ^ Laura Wilson | guardian.co.uk. Guardian. Retrieved on 10 August 2011.
  4. ^ July | 2009 | GUNS + VERBS. Gunsandverbs.wordpress.com. Retrieved on 10 August 2011.
  5. ^ crimetime.co.uk. crimetime.co.uk (9 June 2007). Retrieved on 10 August 2011.

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