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Constable Books In Order

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Publication Order of Constable Nick Mystery Books

Constable on the Hill (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable On The Prowl (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Around the Village (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Across the Moors (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable in the Dale (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable by the Sea (1985)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Along the Lane (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable at the Double (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Through the Meadow (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable in Disguise (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Among the Heather (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable by the Stream (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Around the Green (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heartbeat Constable on Call (1993)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Beneath the Trees (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable in the Shrubbery (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable in Control (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Versus Greengrass (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable about the Parish (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heartbeat Constable at the Dam (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable at the Gate (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Over the Stile (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable at the Dam (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Under the Gooseberry Bush (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable in the Farmyard (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Over The Bridge (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Along The Highway (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Along The River Bank (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Goes to Market (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable in the Wilderness (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Around The Park (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Along the Trail (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable on the Coast (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable in the Country (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable on View (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable Beats the Bounds (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable at the Fair (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Constable on Trial (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

The “Constable Series” is a set of novels by Nicholas Rhea, a cozy mystery and mystery author from North York Moors. He was born in 1936 to a father that was an insurance agent and a mother that was a teacher in Glaisdale village. He was the oldest of three siblings and as a child attended the Whitby Grammar School on a scholarship, though he quit at sixteen to go become a cadet. In 1956 he was a beat bobby in Whitby after joining the North Yorkshire force. After years of casual interest in writing, he finally published a short story in the Police Review and this is the time he began seriously considering becoming an author. Three years later, he was transferred to Northallerton, where he worked at police headquarters. A few years later, he was posted to a small town twenty miles north of York named Oswaldirk. In 1967 he started working at the police training school as an instructor. Since he had so much time on his hands, he penned “Carnaby and Hijackers” in the same year. By 1968, he was a sergeant and eight years later he had attained the rank of inspector and was the Public Relations and Press officer.

Rhea retired in 1982 after serving for more than three decades as he wanted to focus more on writing. He had been a huge fan of Yorkshire Television’s “Constable Books” and this encouraged him to get into writing himself. He soon quit the police force to become a full-time author. In the meantime, he got married and went on to live with his wife and children in a small village in North Yorkshire. He was also very active in the writer community and was the winner of the John Creasy Award for services provided to the Crime Writers Association. While he wrote a lot of novels in different genres and under many pseudonyms, he is best known for the Constable series of detective mystery novels. Rhea has said that he got much of his inspiration and the stories he writes about from his experiences working in the police service. By the time of his death in 2017, the “Constable” series had more than thirty-seven titles. As Nicholas Rhea, he had more than sixty novels and under his many other pseudonyms, he had more than 130 titles. His “Constable” series was later adapted into a TV series titled “Heartbeat” that had more than 350 episodes and ran for eighteen seasons and was distributed to more than forty-one countries. He died of cancer in 2017.

The “Constable” series of novels became Nicholas Rhea’s most popular work given that they were made into the highly popular Heartbeat TV series. Nicholas Rhea got inspiration from his time as a bobby for a small village in Yorkshire to write about the life and time of Constable Nick. It charts his experiences right from the time he arrived in Aidensfield in the debut novel of the series “Constable on the Hills” and continues right up to the end of the series in the novel “Constable on Trial.” His many other novels fleshed out the narrative and told different stories between his arrival in 1979 and retirement in 2011. One of the many admirers of the novels was Yorkshire Television’s Head of Drama and this eventually led to Nicholas selling the rights of the novel to the TV station. Much of the early series used the same names for the characters and also the same places for the settings. Rhea was very much involved in the development of the storylines on the show and also advised on Yorkshire life during the sixties and police procedures.

“Constable on the Hill” is the first novel by Nicholas Rhea that introduced the lead character of the series Constable Nick Rhea. He is a married man with three young children that has been transferred to a small village in York full of quirky residents and major crime. He is responsible for all aspects of law enforcement from the large to the small given that he is the only police officer in town. His cases include anything from tracking down an escape artist who has the nickname of a donkey, getting rid of a pack of wolves that have made the bus station their base of operations and apprehending a naked woman running around town. There are also some entertaining stories about animals such as sheep, dogs, pigs, goats, donkeys, cattle, horses, and some exotic animals that escape from the zoo. Some of the zoo animals include hares, deer, foxes, badgers, and even a camel and kangaroo. Some of the residents are friendly some quirky and some seem cagey, especially when in the presence of the constable who is very new to them. It seems that it takes quite a while before anyone is accepted as a member of the small community. There are craftsmen, storeowners, and all manner of small traders in a town where everyone knows everyone.

Nicholas Rhea’s “Constable on the Prowl” sees Nick struggling to adapt to his new role at Ashfordly. He has been assigned to night duty where he has no one to keep him company save for stray cats, dead leaves, and legends of ghouls and ghosts. While he lives in a sleepy old village, it does not mean that his shift is any easier. He has no time to kick up his feet in between getting to know his mates, early risers, and trying to ward off a badger with a sweet tooth. The constable proves that working the night shift can be very interesting as he shares tales of finding young men and women in compromising positions, catching poachers, and dealing with fires while patrolling the village. But even though he has to deal with some major crimes, there are some heartwarming moments in the night patrol such as meeting up and observing animals up close. There are also stories of the pranks the police colleagues play on each other just because they can or in a bid to stay awake. Some backfire while others succeed to make for a hilarious ending.

“Constable Around the Village” by Nicholas Rhea continues with the story of Nick who is finally getting to grips with his new neighbors, colleges, and rural life. He has managed to maintain his upbeat attitude through all the incidents that include anything from an undug grave scandal to the First Footing on New Year’s Eve. The village is not as quiet as it seems and Nick is soon embroiled in a canine crisis. An overworked sheepdog belonging to Farmer Lowe is feigning deafness and while he is out of commission milking the cows is impossible. The farmer’s business has grounded to a halt even as five sheep are found dead a crime that is blamed on Chapman’s dog. Will it be possible to salvage the farm before it is too late while still working on other important cases?

Book Series In Order » Characters » Constable

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