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Norfolk (UK)

This page lists crime novels and short story collections set wholly or partly in the English county of Norfolk.

 

Norfolk: Novels and short story collections

Death Walks in Eastrepps

Francis Beeding

Hodder & Stoughton

1931

"Heralded as one of the greatest detective books of all time on first publication in 1931, Death Walks in Eastrepps is a genuine page-turner, set in a picturesque English seaside resort and with a plot involving a double identity, a series of murders, blackmail, a courtroom drama and, unmasked at the end, an unlikely suspect."
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Mist on the Saltings

Henry Wade

Constable

1932

"Hilary and John Pansel have muddled along in their cottage in the small community of Bryde-by-the-Sea for ten years, hopeful that John's paintings will ignite a flame of interest in the art world. Now Hilary is being pursued by a successful writer from London, Dallas Fiennes, who has retreated to Norfolk to write another bestseller to replenish his bank account. For Dallas, Hilary is no more than an amusement - one of many - but when John becomes jealous of Dallas's attentions, Hilary is driven into the writer's arms. Then Fiennes is found dead, and John Pansel is the prime suspect."
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The Norwich Victims

Francis Beeding

Hodder & Stoughton

1935

"A middle-aged schoolteacher wins the French lottery and looks around for somewhere safe to invest her prize. Unfortunately for her she decides to consult the unscrupulous John Throgmorton, and he seizes a once in a lifetime opportunity, murdering the unsuspecting Miss Haslett and sending his secretary and partner in crime, Hermione Taylor, to Paris to collect the money. Throgmorton's devious plan is executed to perfection, and it seems that nothing can go wrong. But then he receives an unexpected visitor."
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The Asking Price

John Buxton Hilton

Collins

1983

A Superintendent Simon Kenworthy novel.

"Kenworthy in retirement is consulted by a special team operating from the Cabinet Office. They need his second opinion on the random kidnapping of a motley collection of customers from a village shop in Bedfordshire. The ransom price is so bizarre that it is kept secret from the public - and on their return the villagers seem none the worse for their experience. But a rougher time is had by all when an entire Norfolk Parish Council is spirited away. Not until they try their hand at abducting a Yorkshire branch of the Women's Institute do the kidnappers meet their match. In the meantime, Kenworthy has been sorting out the red herrings and finds the answer in the cut-throat power politics of organized crime. The action moves rapidly - and murderously - from the North Country to the Fens, from rural Wiltshire to the hinterland of the Costa del Sol."
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A Bird in the Hand

Ann Cleeves

Century Hutchinson

1986

A George and Molly Palmer-Jones novel.

"Young Tom French was found dead, lying in a marsh on the Norfolk coast, with his head bashed in and his binoculars still around his neck. One of the best birders in England, Tom had put the village of Rushy on the birdwatching map. Everyone liked him. Or did they? George Palmer-Jones, an elderly birdwatcher who decided quietly to look into the brutal crime, discovered mixed feelings aplenty. Still, he remained baffled by a deed that could have been motivated by thwarted love, pure envy, or something else altogether. But as he and his fellow "twitchers" flocked from Norfolk to Scotland to the Scilly Isles, in response to rumours of rare sightings, George-with help from his lovely wife, Molly-gradually discerned the true markings of a killer. All he had to do was prove it . . . before the murderer strikes again."
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Devices and Desires

P.D. James

Faber & Faber

1989

An Adam Dalgleish novel.

"When Commander Adam Dalgliesh visits Larksoken, a remote headland community on the Norfolk coast in the shadow of a nuclear power station, he expects to be engaged only in the sad business of tying up his aunt's estate. But the peace of Larksoken is illusory. A serial killer known as the Whistler is terrorising the neighbourhood and Dalgliesh is drawn into the lives of the headlanders when it quickly becomes apparent that the Whistler isn't the only murderer at work under the sinister shadow of the power station."
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Giotto's Hand

Iain Pears

HarperCollins

1995

A Jonathan Argyll and Flavia di Stefano novel.

"General Bottando of Rome’s Art Theft Squad is in trouble: his theory that a single master criminal, dubbed ‘Giotto’, is behind a string of major art thefts has aroused the scorn of his arch enemy and rival, the bureaucrat Corrado Argan. He needs a result, and the confession of a dying woman may just provide the vital clue. In pursuit of the elusive Giotto, Bottando’s colleague, Flavia di Stefano, sets off hotfoot for Florence, and English art dealer Jonathan Argyll is dispatched to London and then on to rural Norfolk – only to discover a body and a mystery which could lead to the greatest art find of his career."
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Death Wore White

Jim Kelly

Penguin / Michael Joseph

2008

A DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine novel.

"At 5.15 p.m. Harvey Ellis was trapped - stranded in a line of eight cars by a blizzard on a Norfolk coast road. At 8.15 p.m. Harvey Ellis was dead - viciously stabbed at the wheel of his truck. And his killer has achieved the impossible: striking without being seen, and without leaving a single footprint in the snow . . . For DI Peter Shaw and DS George Valentine it's only the start of an infuriating investigation. The crime scene is melting, the murderer has vanished, the witnesses are dropping like flies. And the body count is on the rise."
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Copper Kiss

Tom Neale

Headline

2006

A Vince Piper novel.

"FBI Agent Vince Piper is back in London and determined not to screw up this time. But the woman he loves, high-class call girl Celeste Young, is in danger. Her brother is running an on-line sex blog and the girls involved are being murdered. Terrified Celeste could be next, Piper starts his own investigation. But the line between the good guys and the bad quickly becomes blurred when he realises that the American Government is involved. And as the trail leads him from London to the bleak mudflats of the North Norfolk coast the mayhem intensifies. As do the rumours that Piper is no longer the agent he once was, until even he's starting to think they might be right. The question is, has he gone too far to go back...?"
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Sherlock Holmes and the Morphine Gambit

Jason Cooke

Breese Books

2009

Published electronically by Endeavour Press in 2015.

"It is February, 1912 and Sherlock Holmes is called out of retirement by brother Mycroft, acting on behalf of the British Government, to investigate a break-in at the Norfolk home of a wealthy German financier. Holmes is soon at work dismantling a German spy ring, but the investigation becomes clouded by his suspicions concerning Mycroft’s pivotal role in events. What agenda is Mycroft pursuing? What is the truth behind the loss of the fishing vessels the Misty Jane and the Yarmouth Adventuress in the North Sea? And why is the Royal Navy seemingly operating incognito along the Norfolk coast? Before long a number of disparate events crystallise to reveal a dangerous conspiracy. As the story unfolds against the background of an International Opium Conference, Holmes and Watson find themselves embroiled in espionage and arms smuggling in the tense period leading up to the First World War."
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Death Toll

Jim Kelly

Penguin

2011

A DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine novel.

"Bodies are being exhumed at King's Lynn's cemetery, the bones moved to higher ground to avoid flooding. But when the coffin of murdered pub landlady Nora Tilden is hauled up into the light there's a grim discovery: the twisted corpse of a young black man, killed by a billhook blow to the head, and dumped in the grave on the night Nora was buried twenty-eight years earlier. The police are baffled by a bewildering and brutal murder. Who was this young man? Was he the victim of a racist crime? When DI Peter Shaw, DS George Valentine and their team are put on the case their investigation first leads them to The Flask, Nora's pub just along the riverbank, where her family hides more than one dark secret and it's soon clear no one can be trusted. Will Shaw and Valentine be able to get to the shocking truth behind the murder before it's too late and the ghosts from the past claim another victim?"
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Death's Door

Jim Kelly

Creme de la Crime / Severn House

2012

A DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine novel.

"On a hot August day in 1994, 76 holidaymakers travel to an island off the North Norfolk coast. Only 75 return alive – a young man is murdered, the case left unsolved. Twenty years later, using state-of-the-art forensics, the DNA results of a bloodsoaked towel prompts DI Peter Shaw to summon all 75 original suspects to a mass screening, but one of them, the beautiful Marianne Osbourne, is found dead in her bed. Is there a link to the 1994 murder? DI Shaw and DS Valentine become immersed in the dark secrets of an isolated community."
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At Death's Window

Jim Kelly

Creme de la Crime / Severn House

2014

A DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine novel.

"When a body is discovered beneath the waves off Scolt Head Island, the contents of the dead man’s pockets lead Detective Inspector Peter Shaw to suspect an outbreak of ‘samphire wars’: a turf battle for control of the prized sea asparagus which sells for a small fortune along the affluent North Norfolk coast. Or does the killer merely want it to look that way? Meanwhile, Detective Sergeant George Valentine is investigating a series of break-ins targeted at wealthy second-home owners. And a lethal strain of adulterated cocaine is flooding the streets of nearby Lynn, leaving devastation in its wake. Then the second body is found – and the simmering tensions underpinning this remote coastal community come bursting into the open … with devastating consequences."
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Sherlock Holmes: Disquiet at Albany

N.M. Scott

The Book Guild Ltd

2014

"In one of his most disturbing cases yet, Sherlock Holmes is called to the prestigious Albany in Piccadilly, the famously discreet residence for notable and wealthy bachelors, to investigate the disappearance of resident Ethby Sands and his valet. When nothing appears untoward, Holmes and Watson depart to investigate a murder in Norfolk. Holmes is supremely confident in his ability to solve the crime, but when a second murder takes place, just as grisly as the first, and it becomes clear that the missing man may be connected to the atrocities, a far more sinister web of intrigue begins to emerge that will test Sherlock to the very limits of his powers. In his latest new case for Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, N. M. Scott once again takes his readers on a gripping journey through Victorian England, from the West End theatres to the chilly Norfolk Broads, taking in the famous Albany, the Royal Geographical Society, exotic explorations of the tropics and the mysteries of Chinese herbal medicine along the way."
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Death on Demand

Jim Kelly

Creme de la Crime / Severn House

A DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine novel.

"When the newspapers turn up to cover Ruby Bright’s 100th birthday, they find her seaside care home is a murder scene. Someone spirited Ruby away by wheelchair down to the water’s edge on the idyllic north Norfolk coast, and strangled her. But why kill a harmless centurion? As Detective Inspector Shaw and Detective Sergeant Valentine investigate, it’s clear Ruby wasn’t the first victim, and nor is she the last. All trails seem to lead back to the old Parkwood Springs estate, close to the docklands. There’s only one way in and one way out of the estate – through the derelict Lister Tunnel. But what is the secret within …?"
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Death Ship

Jim Kelly

Creme de la Crime / Severn House

2016

A DI Peter Shaw & DS George Valentine novel.

"When an explosion rips across Hunstanton Beach on the north Norfolk coast, an abandoned Second World War bomb is assumed to be the cause . . . but is it? Could there be a connection with the new pier being built - and the increasingly bitter campaign to halt its construction? At the same time, DI Shaw and DS Valentine are on the hunt for an elderly female killer with a uniquely macabre method of despatch. And a 63-year-old Dutch engineer is missing, presumed drowned . . . but where is the body? All seemingly unrelated investigations - but in each case nothing is as it seems. To find the answers, Shaw must delve into the past, and a mystery that has remained unsolved for more than sixty years."
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Last updated December 2018