Gregson, J.M.

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Gregson, J.M.

(James Michael Gregson)


ADDRESSES: Home—England. Agent—Severn House Publishers, 9-15 High Street, Sutton, Surrey SM1 1DF, England.

CAREER: Writer. Taught at high school and university level for twenty-seven years.



Murder at the Nineteenth, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1989.

For Sale—With Corpse, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1990.

Dead on Course, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1991.

Bring Forth Your Dead, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1991.

The Fox in the Forest, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1992.

Stranglehold, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1993.

Watermarked, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1994.

Death of a Nobody, HarperCollins (London, England), 1995.

Accident by Design, HarperCollins (London, England), 1996.

Body Politic, Collins Crime Club (London, England), 1997.

Girl Gone Missing, Severn House (Surrey, England), 1998.

Malice Aforethought, Severn House (Surrey, England), 1999.

An Unsuitable Death, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2000.

An Academic Death, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2001.

Death on the Eleventh Hole, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2002.

Mortal Taste, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2003.

Too Much Water, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2005.


Who Saw Him Die?, Severn House (Surrey, England), 1994.

Missing, Presumed Dead, Severn House (Surrey, England), 1997.

To Kill a Wife, Severn House (Surrey, England), 1999.

A Turbulent Priest, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2000.

The Lancashire Leopard, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2001.

A Little Learning, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2002.

Murder at the Lodge, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2003.

Wages of Sin, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2004.

Dusty Death, Severn House (Surrey, England), 2005.


Poetry of the First World War, Edward Arnold (London, England), 1976.

Shakespeare: Twelfth Night, Edward Arnold (London, England), 1980.

Public and Private Man in Shakespeare, Croom Helm (London, England), 1984.


Golf Rules OK, Black (London, England), 1984.

Sherlock Holmes and the Frightened Golfer (novel), Breese Books (London, England), 2000.

Just Desserts (novel), Severn House (Surrey, England), 2004.

SIDELIGHTS: British author J.M. Gregson taught for twenty-seven years at both the high school and university level before he began writing full time. He has written on diverse subjects, including golf and Shakespeare, but is best known for his mystery novels. Gregson's mysteries fall primarily within the parameters of two series: the Inspector Peach novels, and the Lambert and Hook books. The Lambert and Hook novels follow the adventures of Superintendent John Lambert and Detective Sergeant Bert Hook as they investigate various murders in the English countryside. In Girl Gone Missing, Lambert and Hook find themselves changing a missing person case into a murder investigation when the body of Alison Watts is discovered. It soon becomes clear that Watts led a secret life, and that none of her friends, family, or acquaintances can be disregarded in the search for her killer. John Rowen, in a review for Booklist, noted the book's straightforward narrative, country settings, and no-nonsense characters," and remarked that the leading characters "combine appealing humanity with dry wit."

In Malice Aforethought, Lambert and Hook are torn away from their golf game in order to examine a body that has been discovered in a churchyard. The body is determined to be a man with a past, again providing Lambert and Hook with a long list of potential suspects. Booklist reviewer Rowen stated that "the series is recommended for its gritty realism and hard-to-solve mysteries." An Unsuitable Death finds the detectives searching for yet another killer, this one having left the corpse on the steps of the town's cathedral. Of this installment in the series, Rowen wrote that "along with a sure sense of police procedure, Gregson offers unsettling insights into drugs, fundamentalist religion, and the delusions that love brings."

With An Academic Death, Gregson mines his own background as an educator, setting Lambert and Hook to discover who has murdered a local university professor. A contributor for Publishers Weekly commented that "while Gregson develops the characters of Hook and Lambert, he skimps on the unsavory collection of faculty members they investigate, none of whom is sympathetic." However, in another Booklist review, Rowen remarked that "the prose and the pace in this latest Lambert and Hook mystery are clipped, clean, and crisp," and called the detectives "an appealing team." In Mortal Taste, Lambert and Hook investigate the murder of a school headmaster, and delve into the world of drugs, sex, and possibly pedophilia. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found the book "both dependable and inventive—and likely to delight procedural fans on both sides of the pond."

Gregson writes another series of mysteries that focus on Detective Inspector Percy Peach and his associate, Detective Sergeant Lucy Blake. In To Kill a Wife, an English accountant is getting ready to kill his spouse, only to have someone else do it before he can get the chance. Rowen, in a review for Booklist, reported that "Peach himself makes a memorable hero, as distinctive as Inspector Morse but less brooding." Rex E. Klett, writing for Library Journal, found the book "well done, suspenseful, and engaging."

A Turbulent Priest provides Detective Inspector Peach with a corpse when a stream floods and the body rises to the surface. As is typical of Gregson's mysteries, a large number of suspects come to the foreground once the body is identified. Booklist reviewer Rowen remarked of this installment in the series that "Gregson combines unsettling insights on contemporary religion with fascinating procedural detail."

In Murder at the Lodge Gregson adds internal politics to the situation with the possibility of a promotion for Detective Inspector Peach. Matters are complicated by Peach's superior, Chief Inspector Thomas Tucker Bullstrode, who finds himself missing valuable information regarding the team's current case. A Kirkus Reviews contributor found the novel "another amusing procedural that makes for a lovely evening's entertainment—except, as Peach might observe, for the victim and his killer." By Wages of Sin, Bullstrode has banished Peach to the traffic division, but is forced to call him back when he cannot handle a case.



Booklist, October 1, 1998, John Rowen, review of Girl Gone Missing, p. 310; April 15, 1999, John Rowen, review of To Kill a Wife, p. 1476; January 1, 2000, John Rowen, review of Malice Aforethought, p. 883; March 15, 2000, John Rowen, review of A Turbulent Priest, p. 1333; September 1, 2000, John Rowen, review of An Unsuitable Death, p. 69; January 1, 2002, John Rowen, review of An Academic Death, p. 818; September 15, 2003, Emily Melton, review of Mortal Taste, p. 214; April 1, 2004, Emily Melton, review of Wages of Sin, p. 1352; October 1, 2004, Emily Melton, review of Just Desserts, p. 313.

Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2002, review of A Little Learning, p. 617; October 15, 2002, review of Death on the Eleventh Hole, p. 1507; April 1, 2003, review of Murder at the Lodge, p. 508; October 15, 2003, review of Mortal Taste, p. 1253; March 1, 2004, review of Wages of Sin, p. 203; October 14, 2004, review of Just Desserts, p. 986; April 1, 2005, review of Dusty Death, p. 388.

Library Journal, June 1, 1999, Rex E. Klett, review of To Kill a Wife, p. 184; April 1, 2004, Rex Klett, review of Wages of Sin, p. 128.

Publishers Weekly, January 21, 2002, review of An Academic Death, p. 67; May 20, 2002, p. 51; April 28, 2003, p. 53; November 17, 2003, p. 49.

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