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James Oswald Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector McLean Books

Natural Causes (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Book of Souls (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hangman's Song (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dead Men's Bones (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Prayer for the Dead (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Damage Done (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Written in Bones (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Gathering Dark (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cold as the Grave (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bury Them Deep (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
What Will Burn (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
All That Lives (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
For Our Sins (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of DC Constance Fairchild Books

No Time to Cry (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nothing to Hide (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nowhere to Run (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Ballad of Sir Benfro Books

Dreamwalker (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Rose Cord (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Golden Cage (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Broken World (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Obsidian Throne (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

#ChooseThePlot (With: Jane Casey,Christopher Fowler) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Christopher Fowler Short Stories/Novellas

with Jane Casey, Christopher Fowler
Wage Slaves (By: Christopher Fowler) (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Green Man (By: Christopher Fowler) (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
American Waitress (By: Christopher Fowler) (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spider Kiss (By: Christopher Fowler) (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beautiful Men (By: Christopher Fowler) (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
#ChooseThePlot (With: Jane Casey,Christopher Fowler) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bryant & May and the Nameless Woman (By: Christopher Fowler) (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Reconciliation Day (By: Christopher Fowler) (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Washing (By: Christopher Fowler) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Dead Simple(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Exit Wounds(2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
An Unnecessary Assassin(2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

James Oswald is, primarily, a Scottish farmer who doubles up as an author. He studied psychology at the Aberdeen University where he had a penchant for penning comic strip books. Among the literary figures that influenced Oswald are English authors J.R.R. Tolkien and Terry Pratchett, and American writers Robin Hobb and Tad Williams.

James Oswald, who is a livestock farmer, lives in North East Fife where he owns an expansive farm where he rears Highland cattle and New Zealand sheep. James had been writing for two decades albeit with little success. His own family gave scant credence to his writing ambitions. Friends of his parents thought he lack the hallmarks of a noteworthy author. His father, though somewhat helpful, was equally bewildered. He had his doubts about the career, but when his parents perished in a 2008 road accident, Oswald reinvigorated his writing ambitions.

Oswald’s debut book, a police procedural and the first entry in the Inspector McLean series, has over thirty five editions. The first edition of the book was initially published in 2012, titled Natural Causes, and the series is shelved as crime, mystery, and thriller genres.

The second book in the series is titled The Book of Souls of which the first edition, a Kindle version, was published in June 2012. Natural Causes was offered for free after being self-published on Amazon, after a quick succession of rejections from traditional publishers. The Book of Souls was also self-published on Amazon, albeit at a greatly discounted price. However, Penguin has since published hard copies of the two books and upped the prices.

The featured protagonist in the two aforementioned books is Anthony McLean, a police inspector. McLean is a homicide detective who was orphaned at an early age. He was reared by his grandmother who, after being in a comatose for quite some time, died of stroke.

The launching pad in the first book in the series, Natural Causes, is the murder of a renowned Edinburgh figure. The local police view it as godsend when they nab the murderer within a day. Unfortunately for the police, the murderer commits suicide shortly thereafter before it can go trial. However, it becomes more than a mere coincidence when the process is re-enacted. There is another murder and, by the same token, the murderer, owns up before taking his own life!

Six decades previously, a young girl died a grisly death; her murderers disfigured her body, disemboweled her, and preserved her body organs in containers. Fast forward to sixty years later, the young girl’s decades-old murder has been noticed and the old murder case has been assigned to police detective Anthony McLean. The death has the hallmarks of an age-old ritual wherein people sought immortality by trapping demons in a girl’s corpse. Detective McLean, who has so much on his plate, is juggling other cases of murders, burglar cases wherein cats are stolen from recently deceased people’s homes, and is striving to reconcile these all the while.

The second book, The Book of Souls, revolves around a series of gory deaths wherein the serial killer has been striking during Christmas every year for a decade. The victims, who are all youthful women, are murdered in the same way: their throats cut, undressed, and their corpses sparkling clean. However, when detective McLean’s fiancee, Kirsty Summers, is targeted and the perpetrator seemingly leaves a clue, the detective is happy to finally nab the perpetrator. McLean has nipped the killings in the bud, or so he thinks.

Another inmate murders the perpetrator, who has been jailed for over a decade. As such, detective McLean is surprised to discover a reenactment of the festive season serial killings, prompting him to conclude that he either arrested the wrong person or the act was imitated.

James Oswald Awards
In 2014, James Oswald’s debut book, Natural Causes, was nominated for the Dagger Award, proffered by the Crime Writers’ Association. Furthermore, the said book was among the nominees for the National Book Awards in the Newcomer of the Year category.

Best James Oswald Books
Natural Causes, The Book of Souls, and The Hangman’s Song are the three best books in the bibliography of James Oswald. Natural Causes and The Book of Souls have just been described and thus no need to revisit them.

The Hangman’s Song, which is the third book in the Inspector McLean series, was initially published in February 2014. In this book, there is a series of seemingly suicide cases wherein three Edinburgh residents take their own lives. But their suicide notes point to a creepy helical trail, implying that a murderous person or thing is on the loose. Detective McLean is on the quest for reconciling the suspicious murders and sleuthing organized crime all the while.

Other Books You May Like
Ardent readers of the Inspector McLean series penned by James Oswald also sought these book series.

The first one is the DCI Gilchrist series authored by Frank Muir. The featured protagonist, called Andy Gilchrist, is a detective inspector domiciled in St Andrews, a coastal town in Scotland.

The second one is the Diana Poole series penned by Melodie Johnson Howe. The protagonist, aptly named Diana Poole, is a wannabe actress. Poole is startled to see a stranger beckoning to her before letting herself be ran over by a car. Soon a man turns up and starts questioning her, specifically asking about an object worn by the deceased but which, curiously, Poole’s mother once wore.

The third one is the Wesley Peterson series authored by Kate Ellis. Protagonist Wesley Peterson, a police detective, is a Devon-based sergeant who is later on promoted to a detective inspector.

Book Series In Order » Authors » James Oswald

2 Responses to “James Oswald”

  1. John Blakey: 1 year ago

    Really enjoyed Inspector McLean ‘All The Lives’.
    Is there a later Inspector McLean please?

  2. Elsa Rose Bryant: 2 years ago

    thoroughly enjoying the Inspector McLean audio books – mesmerizing – love the detail and the bit of weirdness


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