Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
John Harvey

Photo of John Harvey

John Harvey was born in London in 1938 and, after living in Nottingham for a good number of years, has now returned to north London to live. After teaching English and Drama in secondary schools for twelve years, Harvey has lived primarily by his writing. Initially a writer of paperback fiction – both for adults and teenagers – John Harvey has over 90 published books to his credit. He is now principally known as a writer of crime fiction, principally the Charlie Resnick novels and, more recently, the Frank Elder trilogy.

From 1977 until 1999, John ran Slow Dancer Press, and edited the Slow Dancer magazine until 1993. Slow Dancer Press continues to publish poetry and fiction, with a focus on crime fiction, short stories, and writing dealing with jazz and blues. As evident from his Charlie Resnick novels, he is a true jazz aficionado. He now lives in Cornwall, with his third daughter and her mother, Sarah Boiling.

What he writes: John Harvey is the author of dozens of books, including mystery novels, juvenile novels, television scripts, books of poetry, western novels, and works in other genres, all under a variety of pseudonyms. Among his more popular work is his Charlie Resnick series of crime novels, books that center on compassionate, good-natured, jazz lover and police investigator Charlie Resnick. In the Resnick books, Harvey focuses on the day-to-day, ordinary work life of the British police inspector. The series has proven to be popular with readers and critics alike.

In more recent years, Harvey introduced a new police series with Flesh & Blood. The main character, Frank Elder, is called upon to come out of retirement and help investigate the disappearance of a sixteen-year-old girl. Elder returns in Ash & Bone and Darkness & Light to complete the trilogy. Harvey has also written several stand alone mysteries, including Gone to Ground, set against the familiar backdrop of Nottingham. Bill Ott, writing for Booklist, remarked that "more successfully, perhaps, than any other writer of a successful mystery series, Harvey continues to reinvent himself in novel after novel."


List of works
Charlie Resnick series
  Lonely Hearts (1989) Easy Meat (1996)
  Rough Treatment (1990) Still Waters (1997)
  Cutting Edge (1991) Last Rites (1998)
  Off Minor (1992) Now's the Time (1999)
  Wasted Years (1993) Cold in Hand (2008)
  Cold Light (1994)  
Frank Elder trilogy
  Flesh & Blood (2004)  
  Ash & Bone (2005)  
  Darkness & Light (2006)  
Other crime novels
  In a True Light (2002)
  Gone to Ground (2007)
  Far Cry (2010)
1989 The Times' list of the Hundred Best Crime Novels of the Last Century: Lonely Hearts
1990 CWA Gold Dagger for Fiction (shortlist): Rough Treatment
1995 CWA Dagger in the Library
1997 French CWA award for Best Foreign Novel: Off Minor
1998 Sherlock Award: Last Rites
2000 Grand Prix du Roman Noir Étranger: Cold Light
2004 CWA Silver Dagger for Fiction: Flesh & Blood
2004 Barry Award for best British Novel: Flesh & Blood
2007 CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger award for a Lifetime's Achievement in the Field
2007 Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award: Ash & Bone
What the critics say
"Resnick is British crime fiction’s best kept secret. Critics love the series and so do many readers but not nearly as many readers as the books merit...Resnick is, in many ways, the most believable policeman in British crime fiction." - Peter Guttridge, Waterstone’s Books Quarterly
"Perhaps no other crime writer combines unflinching realism with bedrock humanity as convincingly as Harvey." - Bill Ott, Booklist
"Charlie Resnick is one of the most fully realized characters in modern crime fiction; complex and capable, a man who not only loves justice, jazz, and cats, but one who can turn the construction of a sandwich into a work of art." - Sue Grafton


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