There’s no better way to spend a night than by curling up with a good mystery novel. Whether you’re a fan of the twisting, suspenseful plotlines or the personable, engaging characters, there’s something for everyone to love in an effective mystery novel.
Enter Peter Grainger, the UK-based novelist of more than fifteen well-written mystery and crime books. Although he self-published his writing, he still has a dedicated readership who anticipate his releases with unfettered excitement.
Peter Grainger is best known for his ten-book DC Smith series, a collection of police procedurals based around Sergeant DC Smith and his career solving crimes, both professional and personal. Readers enjoy the series for its thoughtful storytelling, endearing characters, and atmospheric writing.
Additionally, Peter Grainger’s four-book King’s Lake Investigation series features cameos from a retired DC Smith and follows a newly assigned “murder squad” who set out to solve creating, cunning mysteries. If you prefer writing with a female lead, Grainger’s three-book Willows and Lane series retains the same suspense as his other collections, but with even more warmth and lighthearted wit.
Don’t miss out on some of mystery’s finest writing — pick up a Peter Grainger book today, and use this “in-order” list to help you know just where to start!
Peter Grainger’s DC Smith Series In Order
An Accidental Death (2013)
An Accidental Death is the first in Peter Grainger’s beloved DC Smith series — old-fashioned detective fiction that you won’t want to miss.
Meet Detective Sergeant Smith — formerly the Detective Chief Inspector — who could have retired years ago but keeps on working despite that. With the help of his new detective trainee, DC Smith investigates the drowning of a student in the Norfolk countryside.
Before long, Smith and his trainee are in danger — with nobody to call for backup, they’ll have to find their own way out.
You can buy An Accidental Death here, and you’re sure to have a new favorite mystery series to get invested in!
But For The Grace (2014)
DC Smith returns in But For The Grace, a humorous procedural that’s a step up from its predecessor.
Nobody pays much attention when residents at the Rosemary House care home pass away until the resident’s post-mortem results reveal something unexplainable. DC Smith is on the case, but difficult memories threaten to complicate the already sensitive investigation.
You can purchase But For The Grace here, and prepare for a witty and unputdownable read.
Luck and Judgment (2015)
The third installation of the DC Smith series, Luck and Judgment, is an addictive mystery read that you won’t want to miss.
A worker suddenly disappears from a North Sea gas platform, leaving people guessing whether what happened is a tragic accident or a suicide. But once Smith and his detectives are on the case, they quickly learn that the truth is much more complicated: James Bell had been living a double life full of dangerous enemies before he disappeared.
You can buy Luck and Judgment here, and you’re bound to be impressed by this worthy series continuation.
Persons of Interest (2015)
Peter Grainger masterfully amps up the tension in Persons of Interest, the fourth installation in his riveting DC Smith series.
When DC Smith’s phone receives a call from the Kings Lake police station, he expects that they have a new case for him to work on: he never expected that they’d be investigating him. With two teenagers newly disappeared and a prisoner’s violent death miles away, this complex case is only just beginning.
You can purchase Persons of Interest here, and make sure to clear your schedule: you won’t want to put this book down!
In This Bright Future (2016)
In This Bright Future is the fifth addition to Grainger’s DC Smith series, and it’s widely considered to be one of his finest works to date.
DC Smith was ordered to take two weeks of rest and recuperation by his doctor, and he’s more than happy to oblige. But when his next-door neighbor knocks on his door, a sequence of events is set off that’s likely to make getting rest practically impossible.
You can buy In This Bright Future here, and enjoy reading about DC Smith’s most close-to-home mystery yet.
The Rags of Time (2016)
The sixth book in the DC Smith series, The Rags of Time, is as page-turning and deeply perplexing as the rest.
When DC Smith begins to suspect that his colleague’s investigation is going in the wrong direction, he tries to keep his opinions to himself. That is until a wrongful conviction is in question, and Smith refuses to let the wrong man be punished on his watch.
You can purchase The Rags of Time here, and prepare for a can’t-miss read with a seriously shocking twist.
Time and Tide (2017)
Peter Grainger’s beloved police procedural series keeps getting better as it progresses — and Time and Tide, the seventh in the series, is no exception.
Tensions run high when a new detective inspector begins working at the Kings Lake police station — but DC Smith and his team are quickly reminded of what’s important when a body is discovered in the marshes, unlocking answers to a centuries-old murder.
You can buy Time and Tide here, and brace yourself for one of Smith’s most suspenseful investigations yet.
A Private Investigation (2018)
A Private Investigation is the absorbing eighth installation in the fan-favorite DC Smith series that readers have grown to love.
DC Smith is due to retire in just three weeks, and he’s now forced to face a case that has been haunting him for years. Fourteen-year-old Zoe Johnson goes missing, and while most people assume she may have just run away, Smith has a sinking feeling that the truth is something much darker.
You can purchase A Private Investigation here, and you’ll be hooked by this fascinating mystery in no time.
The Truth (2021)
DC Smith returns once more in The Truth, the long-awaited ninth book in Grainger’s beloved mystery series.
Retirement hasn’t changed DC Smith, not one bit. So when his former colleague Charlie Hills calls him up to talk about some personal trouble, Smith is quick to be on the case — but he’ll need to be careful, or else he’ll be the one in trouble soon.
You can buy The Truth here, and you’re sure to enjoy Grainger’s return to the character of DC Smith — even without Smith’s official title.
The Camera Man (2023)
The Camera Man is the latest and greatest in Peter Grainger’s iconic DC Smith series, and his return to form is better than ever before.
Amanda Fitch’s husband has been missing for more than five years, and she’s hoping to obtain a certificate of presumed death for legal reasons. DC Smith is just the person for this case — but first, he needs to be convinced to take it on.
You can purchase The Camera Man here, and expect to be desperately wishing there were more books in the series once you’ve turned the final page.
Peter Grainger’s Kings Lake Investigation Series In Order
Peter Grainger’s Kings Lake Investigation series kicks off with Songbird, a thoughtful, slow-burn mystery that’s sure to keep you hooked.
A young woman has been murdered at a campsite, and Detective Sergeant Chris Waters is on the case: along with a star-studded team that includes the recently retired DC Smith. As the investigation proceeds it becomes clear to Detective Waters that nothing about this case is quite as it seems.
You can buy Songbird here, and you’re sure to enjoy this well-written, character-driven series debut.
On Eden Street (2020)
Kings Lake police station’s new detective team returns in On Eden Street, a delightful follow-up to the thoughtful series debut.
Nobody seems to take much interest when a man who sleeps on the streets is found dead — that is, no one except Detective Christopher Waters. Waters launches a full-fledged investigation and soon uncovers a plot full of enemies new and old, and they won’t go down without a fight.
You can purchase On Eden Street here, and prepare to be as invested in this riveting investigation as Detective Waters himself.
Roxanne is the third installation in the Kings Lake Investigation series, and it’s certainly the most heart-pounding read to date.
A young girl goes missing, kicking off a case that quickly becomes a little too personal for some of Kings Lake’s detective team. Alliances are about to be tested as the case unfolds, and no one will be the same once they’ve discovered the truth about the missing girl — and each other.
You can buy Roxanne here, and you won’t want to stop reading until you’ve turned the final page.
Missing Pieces (2021)
Missing Pieces is the fan-favorite fourth book in Grainger’s addictive Kings Lake Investigation series.
The Kings Lake murder squad has run out of murders — prompting them to review the county’s cold cases. But even if they’re able to identify a body from years ago, how could they possibly solve a case with no remaining evidence?
You can purchase Missing Pieces here, and prepare to be charmed by this gripping police procedural with a whole lot of heart.
Peter Grainger’s Willows and Lane Series In Order
Peter Grainger’s Lane is a must-read series debut, written with a picture-perfect mix of lighthearted banter and suspenseful plotting.
Emily Willows is a middle-aged widow who’s looking for change: and that’s exactly what she gets in the form of her next-door neighbor, the young and precocious Summer Lane. The two of them make for an unusual pairing — but throw in a hostage situation and a dangerous group of criminals, and you’ll see why they have to stick together!
You can buy Lane here, and prepare to fall head-over-heels for this rousing cozy mystery read.
One-way Tickets (2018)
Emily and Summer return in One-way Tickets, a character-driven sleuth story that you won’t want to miss!
A local man goes missing, and his parents ask Emily to help them out and look into it. She’s more than excited to solve another mystery until her investigation brings up troubling truths from her past that she wasn’t quite ready to face.
You can purchase One-way Tickets here, and you’re in for a page-turning mystery read like no other.
Peter Grainger’s women-led Willows and Lane series is back, and better than ever before, in Arcadia.
Emily is opening up her private investigation business — finally! — and with the help of Summer, she knows they’re a force to be reckoned with. But when the reputable Sir Roger Parkes asks for help finding his missing daughter, the pair begin to worry that they might be in over their heads.
You can buy Arcadia here, and you’ll be missing the dynamic duo of Willows and Lane long after you’ve turned the last page.
Peter Grainger’s Standalone Novels (as Robert Partridge)
Peter Grainger published the following general fiction novels under the pen name of Robert Partridge.
Robert Partridge’s Afon is a slow-moving and beautifully written work of literary fiction that’s sure to please fans of traditional literary fiction.
A failed middle-aged writer gambles the last of his money in a final attempt to revive his writing career. He moves to a remote Welsh cottage to focus on his writing but is instead distracted by the comings and goings of the people who work on the Afon estate, eventually revealing truths about his relationships that are destined to change him forever.
You can purchase Afon here, and you’re sure to enjoy this touching and contemplative read.
The Rink (2012)
The Rink is a thoughtful and sensitive look into one woman’s mind and heart that will leave readers better off than when they started.
Ruth Chapman is living an increasingly lonely life — her husband passed away, her son moved far from her, and after her husband’s death, she discovered secrets she can’t get out of her head. Everything changes when a temporary ice-skating rink is installed outside her house, and she meets the owner, Jean, who transforms her outlook on life and love for good.
You can buy The Rink here, and prepare to fall for this poignant story that’s teeming with growth and loss.
Robert Partridge takes on the historical fiction genre with Asher, an intelligent take on one man’s faith and morality.
Michael Asher is an archdeacon, soon to become the new bishop — if only his past didn’t keep coming back and haunting him. Before the archdeacon can move forward he’s forced to confront the truth about what he did to Anabel Lynn and his role in Bishop Stephen’s death.
Will he be able to come to terms with the truth and still have space in his heart for the future?
You can purchase Asher here, and enjoy this compelling exploration of the connection between our past and our present.
Is Peter Grainger still writing?
Yes, Peter Grainger is still writing, and he has released work as recently as 2023.
Where are the DC Smith books set?
The DC Smith books are set in King’s Lake, a fictional city in the Norfolk region of England.
How many books has Peter Grainger written?
Peter Grainger has published seventeen books, with three additional novels written under his pen name, Robert Partridge.
What was the first book written by Peter Grainger?
The first book written by Peter Grainger — not counting his work written under a pen name — was An Accidental Death, published in 2013.
What type of books does Peter Grainger write?
Peter Grainger writes mystery novels, with an emphasis on detective writing and police procedurals.