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Natural Detective Books In Order

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Publication Order of Natural Detective Books

An Invasive Species (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Lamb's Tale (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Wolf at the Gate (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Slip & the Catch (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Here Comes the Flood (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
Away From a Manger (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Burnt Offering (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Summer's Grass (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sins of the Old Fellas (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The MISPER Mystery (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Natural Detective is a series by J.J. Salkeld, real name Richard Simpson an author known for writing several investigative crime fiction series. Simpson used to be a documentary filmmaker and national newspaper journalist prior to becoming a crime fiction author. From his base in Cumbria, Salkeld spent more than one and a half decades writing stories of the events, places, and people who make the Lake District the magical spot that it is. Nonetheless, while it is a magical place, he is more interested in writing of the misdemeanors and crimes of the people who linger in the darkness after all the tourists retire to their hotel rooms.

Salkeld is best known for the “Lakeland Murders” and the “Border City Blues” series both of which are set in Cumbria County. Salkeld is known for identifying a strong sense of place along with the development of well rounded, evolving characters in overarching storylines in each of his series. While each series has different characters, settings, and tone, they sometimes have a crossover of characters. Some of the characters make an appearance from the Lakeland Murders, Border City Blues, and Natural Detective. In “Lakeland Murders” he tackles some of the ugliest crimes in some of the most tranquil locations in Britain, which make for quite the contrast. While the novels tell of mortal crimes, they are for the most part detective stories without much gore. Salkeld tells stories of the consequences of criminal activity on his society and on the individual in that society. In “Border City Blues” he tells the violent, urban gritty stories of DS Samantha who battles with Dai Young a vicious crime lord in an extended narrative.

Salkeld writes the “Natural Detective” series in a Northern noir style that combines dry humor with the story of crime and social decay in Britain. The novels are set in some of the most beautiful spots of England’s beautiful Lake District. They are gripping narratives that take the reader by the scruff of the neck right from the first page and never let go with their fantastic stories and pure pleasure. The novels not only deal with crime in the British countryside but also documents and portray how effective modern policing is. They also cover the political aspect of policing and how this impacts police work in a behind the scenes way that seems so real. The lead in the “Natural Detective” series is ex-police officer Detective Sergeant Owen Irvine. As well as introducing DS Owen as the lead in the novels, the new series features some of the most popular characters from previous series. Some of the people that make an appearance include Andy Hall and Jane Francis from the “Lakeland Murders” series. Other novels in the series introduce other characters including Kathy Stone a rural police officer who works with Owen and his old friends like Hall and Francis. DS Owen Irvine is different from other Salkeld characters in that he is more rounded. While he has a passion for detective work, he also has a life outside policing. As an officer from the county he knows a lot about the terrain and the people, which makes it easier for him to do his job. Nonetheless, while he is an effective detective, he has a major flaw like most good investigators – he has a tendency for violence and overreaction.

“An Invasive Species” the first novel of the A Natural Detective series introduces the newest detective in the Lake District. Owen Irvine is a craftsman, countryman, ex-police officer, and natural detective. As such when he learns of the weird narrative of a con artist that has been preying on lonely women in search of love, he knows he has to do something about it. Meanwhile, the familiar characters from the Lakeland Murders series make their appearance. They include Detective Inspector Andy Hall who just came out of retirement and now has his own beat, DC Abla Khan and DS Ian Mann. The police department does not have the investigative resources to go after a con artist though he gets help from friends and some unexpected quarter. Recently promoted DC Abla Khan could have worked on a lot of other criminal cases but is keen to go after the man Irvine has nicknamed “Jason Strong”. But then things take a turn for the worse and DS Ian Mann who is known for being one of the most resourceful detectives may not have any tricks to stop a calamitous ending to the case.

“A Lamb’s Tale” the second novel of the series is set in the picturesque Kentmere Valley of the English Lake District. Bad things rarely happen here but that does not mean they never happen. Detective Owen is called in to solve a case of one farmer who accused his neighbor of rustling one of his ewes. At the same time, he is working on a case of a local feed merchant that had been conned when he fell victim to a sophisticated phishing scam. He seeks the help of Kathy Stone who is known as the best Farming Crime detective in Cumbria in addition to DI Andy Hall who has some special skills. But they need to work fast if tragedy in the valley is to be averted. But then things turn very dangerous when Irvine’s investigations bring him in close contact with some well-organized and vicious criminal. His life and that of his loved ones may be in danger.

“The Wolf at the Gate” the third novel of the series is set in the high summer of 2015. Detective Owen Irvine is working on a case of a violent criminal gang that has caused a lot of havoc in his previously tranquil Cumbria. They have brought legal highs that have resulted in fatal consequences and Irvine is not going to stand by and watch them destroy the peace. But even with the help of Tom Atkins and DI Andy Hall, his investigations soon put him and his loved one into a position of grave danger. It is a thrilling story that brings in some of the best detectives that Salkeld ever created. From DC Ray Nixon to PC Kathy Stone, they all come with their issues but contribute their talents to the case. But could the might of Salkeld’s best characters beat some of the most accomplished international criminals?

Book Series In Order » Characters » Natural Detective

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