Elizabeth George Books in Order: Our Guide

For readers looking to dive into the world of British crime fiction, Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley books are a must-read.

Spanning over two decades and over 15 novels, these mysteries have captivated thousands of readers around the globe with their gripping plots, vivid characters, and intricate details about British police procedure.

A Guide To Reading All Elizabeth George Books in Order

Navigating through this massive body of work can be daunting for newcomers; however, fans will be pleased to know that there is an easy way to discover all the Lynley titles in chronological order.

About Elizabeth George

Elizabeth George is a New York Times bestselling author of crime fiction and suspense novels.

She is best known for her Inspector Lynley series, which follows Detective Sergeant Thomas Lynley and his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers as they solve complex cases. George has also written several stand-alone novels.

George began her writing career in 1982 when she wrote her first novel, A Great Deliverance.

The novel was published in 1988 and was the first in the Inspector Lynley series. Since then, she has written nineteen novels in the series, most recently released in 2020.

Let’s take a look at her famous Inspector Lynley books.

Inspector Lynley Books In Order

A Great Deliverance

A Great Deliverance (Inspector Lynley Book 1)

This story follows Scotland Yard Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley as he tries to solve the murder of William Teys who was found beheaded in rural England.

Not only does this novel set up the relationships between Lynley and his partner Sergeant Barbara Havers, but also introduces readers to their unique investigative style.


  • The characters are vivid and well-developed.
  • George’s writing style is fluid and engaging.


  • Some of the plot elements are predictable.
  • The novel’s length can be intimidating to some readers.

Payment In Blood

Payment in Blood (Inspector Lynley Book 2)

Payment in Blood is the second novel of the Inspector Lynley series. It follows the story of DI Lynley and his partner, Sergeant Barbara Havers, as they investigate a murder that has taken place on a country estate in Scotland.

The case becomes more complex when it turns out the victim was blackmailing several people connected to the estate. Through their investigation, Lynley and Havers uncover secrets that have been hidden for years.


  • The plot is intricate and engaging.
  • The characters are well-developed and realistic.


  • The setting and atmosphere of the book are often too gloomy.
  • Some of the dialogue can be confusing and difficult to follow.

Well-Schooled In Murder

Well-Schooled in Murder (Inspector Lynley Book 3)

This book tells the story of a murder investigation at an elite boarding school in England.

Adrian Palgrave is a student who is found dead in a churchyard one night.

As DI Lynley investigates further into the case, he finds that it goes far beyond the initial appearance of suicide to involve multiple suspects with dark secrets they would do anything to keep hidden.

In order to get to the bottom of things, DI Lynley must delve deep into the pasts and lives of these characters and uncover what really happened on that fateful night.



  • The book is quite complex and may be difficult to follow for some readers.
  • The characters are quite complex and can be hard to keep track of.

A Suitable Vengeance

A Suitable Vengeance (Inspector Lynley Book 4)

In A Suitable Vengeance, DS Havers and DI Lynley face a difficult case while working through their own issues.

The story centers around the murder of a journalist in the local area. As they investigate further, Havers and Lynley discover evidence pointing to one suspect in particular.

With time running out and pressure mounting from all sides, Havers and Lynley must find a way to uncover the truth without sacrificing justice for those involved.

In A Suitable Vengeance, readers will witness two detectives struggling against insurmountable odds to solve a seemingly impossible case—all while finding their footing after life-altering events have shaken them both to their core.


  • The novel features a well-developed and complex plot.
  • The characters are engaging and multi-layered.


  • The novel is quite long and may be intimidating for some readers.
  • The language is quite complex and may not be suitable for younger readers.

For The Sake Of Elena

For the Sake of Elena (Inspector Lynley Book 5)

For The Sake Of Elena follows Inspector Lynley as he investigates the murder of Elena Weaver, a deaf university student.

Elena had gone for a run after a heavy night of sexual exploration and on her way home she is approached by two figures who scare her and then go on to kill her.

Lynley teams up with DI Havers to uncover the truth behind Elena’s death and soon finds himself embroiled in a complex case involving a cover-up, a powerful politician, and a dead student.


  • The book contains a well-developed plot with many unexpected twists.
  • The characters are complex and believable.


  • The novel is quite dark in tone and can be emotionally draining.
  • It is also quite long and may take a while to finish.

Missing Joseph

Missing Joseph (Inspector Lynley Book 6)

Missing Joseph starts with Deborah and Simon James on a holiday in Lancastershire, trying to repair their marriage.

They hear news of the local vicar, Royston Knapman, being found dead in his home.

Although the police suspect accidental poisoning, Inspector Lynley is called in to investigate, and Simon, an investigative journalist, is eager to help.

Simon and Lynley soon find that the vicar was not well-liked by the people of Winslow and had many enemies.

They also meet a mysterious figure, Joseph, who seems to be hiding something. It soon becomes clear that Joseph may have been involved in the vicar’s death.


  • The novel explores the psychological impact of a missing family member.
  • The novel conveys the power of resilience and hopes in the face of tragedy.


  • Some readers may find the novel too emotionally intense.
  • The novel is quite long and may be difficult to complete in a short amount of time.

Playing For The Ashes

Playing for the Ashes (Inspector Lynley Book 7)

When Kenneth Fleming, England’s top batsman, is found dead in the charred remains of a rural cottage, it appears to be a straightforward arson case.

Yet, upon further investigation, a bewildering number of suspects arise. From Fleming’s lover to his son, it seems everyone had a motive and opportunity to commit the crime.

Inspector Lynley and Barbara Havers are called in to aid the police. As Lynley closes in on the murderer, he discovers a web of heartache, broken relationships, and unfulfilled dreams.


  • It is a suspenseful and thrilling novel.
  • The characters are well-developed and realistic.


  • The plot is complex and slow-paced.
  • The book is quite long and may be challenging to read.

In The Presence Of The Enemy

In the Presence of the Enemy (Inspector Lynley Book 8)

Charlotte Bowen, a 10-year-old girl, has been abducted, and it appears that her father, a locksmith, is the only one with the secret to her whereabouts.

Acknowledging Charlotte as his child would not only throw his own life and career into chaos but also the reputation and career of her mother, who is the Under Secretary of State for the Home Office – one of the most high-profile junior Ministers.

When tragedy strikes and New Scotland Yard gets involved, Detective Lynley quickly discovers that the case extends far beyond London and into the countryside.

He must use all his skills to outsmart death and uncover the truth behind Charlotte’s mysterious disappearance.


  • The plot contains many twists and turns which keep the reader engaged.
  • The characters are well-developed and believable.


  • The plot is quite slow-paced at times.
  • Some of the plot elements are quite far-fetched.

Deception On His Mind

Deception on His Mind (Inspector Lynley Book 9)

The tranquility of the coastal town of Balford Le Nez is broken when a member of the Growing Asian community is found murdered near its beach.

Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers is assigned to the investigation, setting out on her own as her longtime partner, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley is not available.

This case proves to be one of the toughest Havers has ever encountered. It not only involves unearthing the mind of a murderer but also her own inner emotions in regard to the case.

Furthermore, the case sheds light on the terrible price people pay for deceiving others and themselves.

As the investigation continues, London neighbor Taymullah Azhar’s involvement sparks an intensifying racial conflagration, leaving Havers with an unsettling task.


  • The book is thrilling and suspenseful, with a gripping plot.
  • The characters are well-developed and highly engaging.


  • The book is very dense and requires a lot of concentration to keep up with the plot.
  • The book can be slow-moving at times, with a lot of back-story.

In Pursuit Of The Proper Sinner

In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (Inspector Lynley Book 10)

Caledon Moor is a treacherous place, where many have ventured and never been seen again.

The land holds a multitude of dangers; from collapsed copper mines to perilous bridges, and from treacherous limestone caves to the enigmatic Nine Sisters Henge.

It is here that Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley encounters one of the most baffling cases of his career.

Two bodies, a young man and a woman, have been found in the shadows of the circle of stones.

Both have died a violent death, and the how and why remain a mystery. Lynley must piece together the clues to solve the case and find the truth.


  • It is a thrilling mystery with an interesting plot.
  • It features a well-developed cast of characters with complex motivations.


  • The narrative style can be confusing at times.
  • The novel is quite long and dense.

A Traitor To Memory

A Traitor to Memory (Inspector Lynley Book 11)

In Traitor To A Memory DI Lynley has to figure out why an elderly woman was run down and killed in a quiet London street.

What brought her there that rainy night? Could this have something to do with the 28-year-old violin prodigy whose talents have been praised since he was ten?

Lynley’s going to take a risk with his career while protecting the careers of his partners, Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata.

It’s gonna be a tricky story uncovering all the dark events and powerful emotions behind this shocking crime.


  • The story takes place in multiple settings.
  • The characters are complex and multifaceted.


  • The plot is quite convoluted and difficult to follow at times.
  • The story can be quite slow-paced in places.

A Place Of Hiding

A Place of Hiding (Inspector Lynley Book 12)

Guy Brouard, a wealthy benefactor from Guernsey, was murdered while working on the construction of a museum honoring those who resisted Nazi occupation.

Forensic Scientist Simon St. James and his wife Deborah soon discover that many people had motives to kill Guy Brouard and must find the real murderer.


  • The novel features an intricate and suspenseful plot.
  • The characters are well-developed and engaging.


  • The story moves slowly in some parts.
  • The novel contains some graphic content that may be unsettling for some readers.

With No One As Witness

With No One As Witness: A Lynley Novel (Inspector Lynley Book 13)

A serial killer is at large but goes unnoticed until a third murdered boy, their first white victim, was found draped over a tomb in a London graveyard.

Scotland Yard quickly takes action to catch the criminal and avoid charges of racism, assigning Detective Superintendent Thomas Lynley and his disgraced partner Barbara Havers, along with Winston Nkata who had been hastily promoted to Detective Sergeant.

Neither of them expected the tenacity and cunning of the killer they sought after. They were even more unprepared for the sudden and brutal shift that would take place, changing everything forever.


  • The story is well-crafted and enthralling.
  • The characters are believable and complex.


  • The plot is quite complex and difficult to follow.
  • The novel is quite long and dense.

What Came Before He Shot Her

What Came Before He Shot Her: A Lynley Novel (Inspector Lynley Book 14)

Scotland Yard is in shock due to the sudden death of Inspector Thomas Lynley’s wife, Helen.

It is reported that a twelve-year-old boy was responsible. The story focuses on the three mixed-race Campbell children in North Kensington who have been split up between their grandmother and aunt.

Ness is heading for trouble which leaves Joel to care for his younger brother Toby with increasing mental health issues.

Joel himself is also in danger from a local gang and makes a pact that summons Lynley to protect his family.


  • The vivid and detailed descriptions of London’s settings and characters make the book an immersive and engaging read.
  • The complex characters and plot force the reader to think critically and analyze the story.


  • The book is a slow-paced read and may be too slow for some people.
  • The book is quite long and may be a bit too long for some readers.

Careless In Red

Careless in Red: A Lynley Novel (A Lynley Novel, 15)

DI Lynley has been alone for six weeks in Cornwall, desperately trying to cope with the memory of his wife’s murder. Despite going for long walks, the pain is still there.

Lynley discovers a body at the base of a cliff near a surfing town and becomes involved in the investigation, revealing secrets that run deep. He must let go of his past in order to solve the crime.


  • The book has an intricate plot with many twists and turns.
  • The characters are well-developed and believable.


  • Some of the topics discussed in the book may be uncomfortable for some readers.

This Body Of Death

This Body of Death: A Lynley Novel (A Lynley Novel, 16)

Thomas Lynley, on compassionate leave after a tragedy, is brought back to Scotland Yard when a body is found in an isolated cemetery.

Though his colleagues distrust their new chief Isabelle Ardery, Lynley may be the only one who can recognize her vulnerability beneath her tough exterior.

Barbara Havers and Winston Nkata investigate a murder that leads them to the New Forest. Their investigation reveals hidden secrets which lead to a tragic and shocking outcome.


  • The plot of the book is intricate and suspenseful.
  • The characters are well-developed and engaging.


  • The story is quite dark and depressing.

Believing The Lie

Believing the Lie: A Lynley Novel

DI Lynley is dispatched to look into the mysterious death of Ian Cresswell, whose demise was initially declared an accident.

With the help of Simon and Deborah St. James, Lynley discovers that the Faircloughs have a plethora of secrets and motives hidden beneath the surface.

As Lynley’s investigation progresses, he discovers the Faircloughs have a sordid past. With the help of the St. James couple, Lynley delves further into the Faircloughs’ sinister motives.

His discoveries take him ever deeper into the murky depths of the family’s secrets.


  • It is an immersive and gripping read.
  • The characters are realistically portrayed.


  • It contains some difficult topics, which may be distressing to some readers.

Just One Evil Act

Just One Evil Act: An Inspector Lynley Novel: 15

Barbara and her partner, Thomas Lynley, must unravel a complicated case involving the abduction of Hadiyyah, the daughter of their friend Taymullah Azhar.

Barbara’s job is on the line as she discovers secrets that could have major consequences if they are revealed.


  • The story is filled with suspense and tension.
  • The book contains well-developed characters.


  • The plot is quite complex and slow-paced.
  • The book contains long and detailed descriptions.

A Banquet Of Consequences

A Banquet of Consequences: A Lynley Novel

In A Banquet Of Consequences dark secrets and lies of one family are unveiled as Inspector Lynley and his partner, Barbara Havers, investigate a case.

In the city of London and the countryside, a twisted world of desire and deceit is revealed.

William Goldacre has committed suicide, leaving behind potential links to a poisoning in Cambridge.

Barbara Havers is determined to prove herself by attempting to solve the Cambridge murder, a task that could have far-reaching consequences for her career.

With Thomas Lynley by her side, Barbara must navigate shock, intensity, and suspense in order to solve the complicated and deeply disturbing case.


  • The book offers a detailed and captivating plot.
  • It provides a unique insight into the human condition.


  • It is a slow-paced novel that can be challenging for some readers.
  • The characters can be difficult to relate to.

The Punishment She Deserves

The Punishment She Deserves: A Lynley Novel

Ludlow, a cozy, peaceful town, was rocked when one of its most beloved citizens – Ian Druitt, was accused of a serious crime.

Shockingly, while in custody, Ian was found dead. Did he commit suicide or something more sinister?

To investigate the circumstances of Ian’s death, Barbara Havers is sent to Ludlow. The evidence seemed to point to suicide, but Barbara can’t shake the feeling that something is amiss.

She decides to dig deeper into the seemingly ordinary inhabitants of the town – mainly elderly retirees and college students – she discovers that everyone has something to hide.


  • The book is a gripping page-turner.
  • Complex characters that show a great depth of emotion and thought.


  • The book is quite long and can be quite a commitment to read.
  • The narrative can be quite slow in parts, making it difficult to stay engaged.

Something To Hide

Something to Hide: A Lynley Novel

Thomas Lynley is assigned to a case with cultural associations that reveals the heartbreaking truth that a police detective in North London’s Nigerian community had been murdered.

After being taken off life support an autopsy uncovers the sinister truth.

Lynley, Havers, and Nkata try to uncover the truth about a killer hiding in a secret community. They must find the killer and assess the damage done to those affected.


  • The book is full of suspense, keeping readers in anticipation of the outcome.
  • The characters are richly developed and the reader can easily connect with them.


  • The plot is complex and can be challenging to follow at times.


The Inspector Lynley books by Elizabeth George are truly captivating. There is an artistry in her storytelling that leaves readers with a sense of awe and admiration as if they have been transported to London itself.

Her words paint vivid images of the characters, their actions, and the emotions they feel. It’s no wonder why these books have become so beloved; they offer something for everyone!

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Is Inspector Lynley?

Inspector Lynley is a detective inspector with Scotland Yard. He is a member of the aristocracy and is known for his intelligence and ingenious detective work.

What Is The Time Period In Which The Inspector Lynley Books Are Set?

The Inspector Lynley books are set in modern-day London, England.

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Anna Davis