Elizabeth George

Susan Elizabeth George (born February 26, 1949)[1] is an American writer of mystery novels set in Great Britain.

Elizabeth George
BornSusan Elizabeth George
(1949-02-26) February 26, 1949
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States
Bachelor of Arts
Counseling and psychology
Master's of Education
Alma materUniversity of California, Riverside
GenreMystery fiction, detective fiction
SpouseIra Jay Toibin (1971, divorced 1995)

She is best known for a series of novels featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley, 20 in number as of 2018. The first eleven were adapted for television by the BBC as earlier episodes of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.


Elizabeth George was born in Warren, Ohio, the second child of Robert Edwin and Anne (née Rivelle) George. She has an older brother, author Robert Rivelle George. Her mother was a nurse, and her father a manager for a conveyor company.[1] The family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was 18 months old as her father wanted to get away from the Midwestern weather.[2]

She was a student of English, having received a teaching certificate from the University of California, Riverside. While teaching English in the public school system, she completed a master's degree in counseling and psychology.[3] She received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Cal State University Fullerton in 2004 and was awarded an honorary Masters in Fine Arts from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts in 2010. She also established the Elizabeth George Foundation in 1997.

George married Ira Jay Toibin in 1971 and they divorced in 1995.[3] George is currently married to Tom McCabe.


Her first published novel was A Great Deliverance (1988). It introduces Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, in private life the Earl of Asherton, privately educated (Eton College and Oxford University); his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, grammar school educated and from a working-class background[4]—both from Scotland Yard; Lady Helen Clyde, Lynley's girlfriend and later wife; and Lynley's former school friend, the forensic scientist Simon St. James and his wife, Deborah.


George's first novel, A Great Deliverance, was favorably received by the mystery fiction community.

It won the Agatha Award for "Best First Novel" in 1988 and the 1989 Anthony Award in the same category. It was nominated for an Edgar Award in 1988.[5][6][7]


Fiction: Inspector Lynley

  • 1988: A Great Deliverance (ISBN 9780553278026)
  • 1989: Payment in Blood (ISBN 9780553284362)
  • 1990: Well-Schooled in Murder (ISBN 9780553287349)
  • 1991: A Suitable Vengeance (ISBN 9780553295603)
  • 1992: For the Sake of Elena (ISBN 9780553561272)
  • 1992: Missing Joseph (ISBN 9780553566048)
  • 1993: Playing for the Ashes (ISBN 9780553092622)
  • 1996: In the Presence of the Enemy (ISBN 9780553092653)
  • 1997: Deception on His Mind (ISBN 9780553102345)
  • 1999: In Pursuit of the Proper Sinner (ISBN 9780553102352)
  • 2001: A Traitor to Memory (ISBN 9780553801279)
  • 2003: A Place of Hiding (ISBN 9780553801309)
  • 2005: With No One as Witness (ISBN 9780060798451)
  • 2006: What Came Before He Shot Her (ISBN 9780060545628)
  • 2008: Careless in Red (ISBN 9780061160875)
  • 2010: This Body of Death (ISBN 9780061160882)
  • 2012: Believing The Lie (ISBN 9780525952589)
  • 2013: Just One Evil Act (ISBN 9781444706000)
  • 2015: A Banquet of Consequences (ISBN 9780525954330)
  • 2018: The Punishment She Deserves (ISBN 978-1444786613)

Fiction: other

  • 2001: The Evidence Exposed (ISBN 9780340750636; Short story collection UK)
  • 2002: I, Richard (ISBN 9780553802580; short story collection)
  • 2004: A Moment on the Edge: 100 Years of Crime Stories by Women (editor; ISBN 978-0-06-058821-2)
  • 2012: The Edge of Nowhere (The Edge of Nowhere: Saratoga Woods or The Edge of Nowhere 01: The Dog House) (ISBN 9781444719956)
  • 2013: The Edge of the Water (The Edge of the Water: Saratoga Woods)—book 2 of The Edge of Nowhere Series (ISBN 9780670012978)
  • 2016: The Edge of the Shadows—book 3 of The Edge of Nowhere Series
  • 2016: The Edge of the Light—book 4 of The Edge of Nowhere Series



  1. Thompson, Clifford (2001). Current Biography Yearbook 2000. Bronx, New York: H. W. Wilson Company. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-8242-1004-5.
  2. Stenger, Karl L. (2005). "Elizabeth George". Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit, Michigan: Gale. pp. 132–143.
  3. Lindsay, Elizabeth Blakesley (2007). Great Women Mystery Writers. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-313-33428-3.
  4. George, Elizabeth. A Great Deliverance. Chapter 2. As if a grammar school background and a working-class accent were social diseases that might infect him
  5. "Malice Domestic Convention – Bethesda, MD". Malicedomestic.org. August 23, 1988. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  6. "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention: Anthony Awards Nominees". Bouchercon.info. October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
  7. "Best First Mystery Novel by an American Author Edgar Award Winners and Nominees – Complete Lists". Mysterynet.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012.
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