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James McClure Books In Order

Publication Order of Kramer and Zondi Mystery Books

The Steam Pig (1971)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Caterpillar Cop (1972)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gooseberry Fool (1974)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Snake (1975)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Sunday Hangman (1977)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Blood of an Englishman (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Artful Egg (1984)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Imago (1989)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Song Dog (1991)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Four and Twenty Virgins (1973)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rogue Eagle (1976)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Killers (1976)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Spike Island (1980)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cop World (1984)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

God It Was Fun (2014)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

James McClure was a prominent British journalist and author popular for writing mystery and nonfiction novels. He was particularly well known for the Kramer and Zondi book series. McClure was born as James Howe McClure in Johannesburg, South Africa on October 9, 1939. He was brought up in his city of birth and sent to Pietermaritzburg, Natal for education. McClure studied at Scottsville School, Maritzburg College, and Cowan House between 1947 and 1958. Following his graduation, McClure started working as a photographer along with Tom Sharpe, the popular writer of comic novels. Later, he gave up commercial photography to work as an English teacher at Cowan House. McClure left the teaching job in 1963 and was employed by Natal Witness to work as a photographer and crime reporter. With the start of his career in journalism, McClure was headhunted by Natal Mercury and Natal Daily News owing to his high-quality work.

In 1965, McClure relocated to Britain along with his family following his first son’s birth. There, he worked on the post of sub-editor for Scottish Daily Mail. After some time, McClure moved on to work for Oxford Mail and then for The Oxford Times. McClure wrote his debut crime novel in 1971 called The Steam Pig, which was the winner of the CWA Gold Dagger. When he saw some scope for success in the field of writing, McClure resigned from his job as a deputy editor to write on a full-time basis in 1974. All the stories written by McClure were derived from his experience of police procedurals in South Africa and featured detective partners Tromp Kramer and Mickey Zondi. Kramer is depicted in the novels as an Afrikaner Lieutenant, while Zondi is shown as a Bantu Detective Sergeant. Apart from the popular Mickey Zondi and Tromp Kramer books, McClure penned a spy novel called Rogue Eagle. It was the winner of the CWA Silver Dagger in 1976. McClure has also written numerous short stories and couple of widely acclaimed nonfiction books, Spike Island and Copworld.

After successfully writing and publishing fourteen books, McClure returned to work for The Oxford Times in 1986. This decision was the result of the realization that after becoming an author, he missed the company of others at work a lot. McClure intended to work normal hours as a journalist and write police procedural stories only in the spare times. Shortly after, he came up with the most famous Kramer & Zondi book called The Song Dog. After this, McClure started feeling that he was unable to contribute much to his writing work because of the fact that journalism had become too much consuming for him. In 1994, he was promoted to the rank of the editor. His dedication towards his editing work can be understood from the fact that his employer became the winner of the Weekly Newspaper of the Year prize after three years of his promotion. In winning this prestigious award, Oxford Times defeated some of the most popular weekly newspapers from across the U.K. In 2000, McClure worked on the editor’s post for Oxford Mail. He spent the next few years working on a number of objectives to help in enhancing the revenue and quality of the daily paper. After achieving the set objectives, McClure again stepped down and retired to focus on his writing projects. When McClure was working on developing a story based in Oxford, he suffered from a respiratory illness. McClure breathed his last on June 17, 2006. At the time of his demise, he used to reside in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

The Kramer and Zondi Mystery series written by author James McClure is comprised of a total of 8 books released between 1971 and 1991. It features the central characters in the roles of Tromp Kramer and Mickey Zondi. The books’ settings take place primarily in Trekkersburg, South Africa. Other important characters mentioned in the novels include Hugo Swart, Shabalala, Lucky Siyayo, Tollie Erasmus, Mrs. Digby-SMith, Naomi Stride, Theo, etc. A very popular book of this series is entitled ‘Snake’. It was released in 1985 by the Pantheon publication after it was initially released in 1975. The novel opens by showing that Lt. Kramer and Sgt. Zondi have a number of cases in their hands to investigate. They get involved in two murder cases on the same day.

The first victim is an adult entertainer named Eve, who is found strangled with her own python. Her death is seen as accidental strangulation, but the detective duo has other opinions. In the second case, an owner of a candy shop, Lucky Siyayo, is discovered with a shot wound on his body, possibly killed by robbers. As soon as the investigation of the two cases begins, the detectives seem to be certain that the deaths didn’t actually happen the way they appear to be. The cash register of Siyayo was not touched at all. This makes it clear that he was not killed by a robber. Zondi & Kramer know that a killer is roaming freely in the city and it is very important to catch him before he takes another innocent victim’s life. Meanwhile, Eve’s post-mortem report reveals that she had died a few hours before her ex-boss reported her death. The search for the culprits in the 2 murder cases takes the detectives to all parts of town, where they come across stirring observations before succeeding in solving the mysteries.

Another mind-blowing novel penned in this series is known as ‘The Artful Egg’. It was published by John Curley and Associates in 1986. The book features the lead characters in the form of Mickey Zondi, Naomi Stride, Tromp Kramer, Theo Stride, etc. Initially, it is mentioned that Naomi Stride had an enormous amount of wealth before her death, which got inherited by her 26-year-old son named Theo. It was believed that the two shared bitter differences over Naomi’s money. Naomi was surrounded by controversies throughout her life. Her novels, on the basis of which she had collected her wealth, were banned in her country. It was not clear whether she was killed for politics, money, or for some other reason. But, the question that bothered the detectives the most was that why did the killer leave herbs and flowers on Naomi’s naked corpse. It becomes a lot more difficult for them when Kramer is released from the investigation unexpectedly. He is ordered to look into another case that involved a fatal accident. Even though Kramer gets involved in the second case, he doesn’t give up on the first one. He and Zondi remain in touch and keep working together secretly to establish the identity of Naomi’s killer and catch him before time runs out.

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