John Creasey and Inspector West Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

John Creasey and Inspector West

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John Creasey: Ten Authors in One | The First of Many | Simple Facts | The Toff
Gideon of the Yard (as JJ Marric) | Department Z | Dr Palfrey
Patrick Dawlish (as Gordon Ashe) | As Jeremy York | Inspector West
Michael Fane and Dr Cellini | The Baron

The character of Roger West emerged, quite consciously, out of Grice of the Yard in the Toff books. Creasey, always striving for variety, wanted to create a Scotland Yard1 detective not restricted by the presence of another central character in the same book. With Inspector West Takes Charge. and several subsequent books, West had an 'amateur' friend, Mark Lessing, to give unofficial help, but soon he was on his own and the West series was truly launched. It became a worldwide success rivalled only by the Gideon series for authentic police procedural studies.

To add a touch of greater humanity, the John Creasey wrote his own sons, Martin and Richard, into the series, so countless readers are familiar with the year-by-year development of the two sons of Roger and Janet West. As the series developed, also, West and some of its regular characters were drawn in much greater depth. The first of Creasey's series (except the early Barons) to be published in the United States, the Roger West stories are now commonly regarded as among the best crime books published.

As all of Creasey's series characters, West has matured and acquired a character particularly his own. One reader, commenting on Look Three Ways at Murder, said:

If this were a book by an author who has a book published every year or so it would be an out-and-out best-seller.

It is undoubtedly true that Creasey does suffer to some degree from the prejudice against quick writers among critics and in the trade itself. Perhaps the West series has also suffered a little because the word 'Inspector' had to be dropped from the titles when West was promoted to Chief Superintendent - the youngest ever at the Yard.

Creasey himself said that if he had to be judged by any single book he had written he would like it to be Look Three Ways at Murder. Reading back through title after title, however, one is constantly surprised by the quality of the story-telling. The Lythway Library reprints of the West books will certainly be among their most popular. Some early as well as the new titles are now being published in the USA - by Scribner, while Lancer and Berkley find a vastly expanding market for the paperback reprints.

One of the author's greatest moments of satisfaction came when Murder, London - Australia, the 1965 West, was published in the Soviet Union. Creasey went to Moscow in 1960, had great difficulty in making an appointment with any publishers, finally saw one and left several books. The publisher/editor promised politely to consider them. Each year thereafter Creasey sent him several new books, all of which were courteously acknowledged. Not until 1969 did he make the breakthrough.

I will admit that I would rather Russians learned about London and the English police through West than, as they have learned about them for so long, through Sherlock Holmes
Original TitleFirst British EditionFirst US editionUS Title if Different
Inspector West Takes Charge19421972-
Inspector West Leaves Town19431972Getaway for Inspector West
Inspector West at Home19441973-
Inspector West Regrets19451970-
Holiday for Inspector West19461971-
Triumph for Inspector West19481958The Case Against Paul Raeburn
Battle for Inspector West19481972-
Inspector West Kicks Off19491972Sport for Inspector West
Inspector West Cries Wolf19501953The Creepers
Inspector West Alone19501974-
Puzzle for Inspector West19511967The Dissemblers
A Case for Inspector West19521952The Figure in the Dusk
Inspector West at Bay19521954The Blind Spot
Send Inspector West19531975-
A Gun for Inspector West19531954Give a Man a Gun
A Beauty for Inspector West19541956The Beauty Queen Killer
Inspector West makes Haste19551956The Gelignite Gang
Two for Inspector West19551960Murder - One, Two, Three
A Prince for Inspector West19561960Death of an Assassin
Parcels for Inspector West19561957Death of a Postman
Accident for Inspector West19571959Hit and Run
Find Inspector West19571959The Trouble at Saxby's
Strike for Death19581961The Killing Strike
Murder, London - New York19581961-
Death of a Race Horse19591962-
The Case of the Innocent Victims19591966-
Murder on the Line19601963-
The Scene of the Crime19611963-
Death in Cold Print19611962-
Policeman's Dread19621964-
Hang the Little Man19631963-
Look Three Ways at Murder19641965-
Murder - London/Australia19651965-
Murder - London/South Africa19661966-
The Executioners19671967-
So Young to Burn19681968-
Murder - London/Miami19691969-
A Part for a Policeman19701970-
A Splinter of Glass19721972-
The Theft of Magna Carta19731973-
The Extortioners19741974-
A Sharp Rise in Crime19751975-
1Scotland Yard is the headquarters of the British Police.

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