Peter Lovesey

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Peter Lovesey
Peter Lovesey
Born 1936
Whitton, Middlesex
Pen name Peter Lear
Occupation Novelist
Nationality British
Genre Detective fiction, Historical mystery
Notable works

Sergeant Cribb series

Peter Diamond series
Notable awards

Peter (Harmer) Lovesey (born 1936), also known by his pen name Peter Lear, is a British writer of historical and contemporary detective novels and short stories. His best-known series characters are Sergeant Cribb, a Victorian-era police detective based in London, and Peter Diamond, a modern-day police detective in Bath.

Early life[edit]

Lovesey was born in Middlesex, England, and attended Hampton Grammar School.[1] He went to Reading University in 1955 but since he did not have the requisite Latin qualification, he chose a degree in Fine Art which included History and English as elective subjects.[1] Two of his English tutors, John Wain (1925–94) and Frank Kermode (1919-2010), thought well enough of Lovesey's essays to get him into the English course after all.[1]

He graduated from Reading with an honours degree in 1958; he then did three years of National Service in the Royal Air Force. Signing up for the third year - National Service was ordinarily for two years - enabled him to train, and obtain better pay, as an Education Officer. When he left the Air Force it also gave him an edge in starting his teaching career. He married Jacqueline (Jax) Lewis, whom he had met at Reading, in 1959.[1]

Teaching career[edit]

Lovesey's career in education lasted fourteen years. He started as a Lecturer in English at Thurrock Technical College in Essex, 1961; he then became Head of the General Education Department at London’s Hammersmith College for Further Education (now West London College). He quit teaching to become a full-time writer in 1975.[1]

Later life[edit]

Peter Lovesey lives near Chichester. His son Phil Lovesey also writes crime novels. His son was born in 1963 and worked as an English teacher at Wolverhampton Grammar School until the end of the autumn 2012.[2] His daughter, Kathy Lovesey, was born in 1960, and now lives with her family in Greenwich, Connecticut.


Lovesey's novels and stories mainly fall into the category of entertaining puzzlers in the "Golden Age" tradition of mystery writing.

Most of Peter Lovesey's writing has been done under his own name. However, he did write three novels under the pen name Peter Lear.

Lovesey's novels and short stories have won him a number of awards, including both the Gold and Silver Daggers of the Crime Writers' Association, of which he was chairman in 1991/92.[2] In 2000, he received the Cartier Diamond Dagger Award for lifetime achievement in crime writing.[3]

Sergeant Cribb novels[edit]


The television series Cribb (1980–81) is available on DVD in the UK, the US, and Canada.

Peter Diamond novels[edit]

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales novels[edit]

Novels as Peter Lear[edit]

Other novels[edit]

Short story collections[edit]



  • The Kings of Distance (1968)
  • The Guide to British Track and Field Literature, 1275-1968 (1969), ISBN 0-902175-00-9 (with Tom McNab)
  • The Official Centenary History of the Amateur Athletic Association (1979), ISBN 0-900424-95-8
  • An Athletics Compendium (2001), ISBN 0-7123-1104-1 (with Tom McNab and Andrew Huxtable)


External links[edit]