Bill James Books in Order

The Bill James books have become so popular over the years that generation after generation, people keep going back to them.

If you're just starting with it and want a reading list, you're in luck. Here we list out all the Bill James books in order; keeping in mind various factors like the publication year, reviews, its popularity among readers, etc.

It’s always a good idea to read such book titles in sequence so that you don't miss out on the story plot and its discussions in the book clubs.

Publication Order of Roy Rickman Books

The Alias Man

Craig, David (Bill James) 1968
First American Edition. A VG+ copy in a VG- dust jacket. Tanning to the edges of the book's upper page block and along the page margins. The dust jacket rubbed/frayed at its spine tips and corners. Rubbing along the spine and folds. Creases at the panels' upper edges. Read More

Publication Order of Bellecroix and Roath Books

A Walk at Night

Craig, David 1971
Book by Craig, David Read More

Publication Order of Harpur & Iles Books

You'd Better Believe It

James, Bill 1985
When one of his men is missing and two narcs are murdered, Detective Chief Superintendent Harpur finds himself increasingly dependent on his rich and crooked informer, Jack Lamb Read More

The Lolita Man

James, Bill 1987
Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur investigates the murder of a thirteen-year-old girl, in what appears to be the latest in a series of murders Read More

Halo Parade

James, Bill 1987
Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur investigates the case of a cocaine trafficking ring, with the help of a top-notch undercover man Read More


James, Bill 1988
Forced to retire from the department under a cloud of suspicion, Detective Colin Harpur's colleague, Hubert Scott, concocts a scheme that will clear his name--one that is related to the kidnapping of underworld informant Bernard "Tenderness" Mellick's eleven-year-old son Read More

Come Clean

James, Bill 1989

"Le Carré-like psychological ambiguities and fierce double-crosses―from an author who, in an understated sentence or two, can pack a knockout punch."―Kirkus Reviews Sarah Iles's latest young lover, Ian Aston, and the seedy gangland club he frequents both possess the intense attractive of the forbidden.

When one night at the Monty they witness a fatal knifing, they unwittingly learn far too much for their own welfare of a deadly plot that could, if successfully executed, rearrange the city's criminal power structure. Immediately, the unfaithful wife and petty criminal become targets of both police and underworld observation.

The Machiavellian ACC Desmond Iles, Harpur's superior officer―a character Booklist calls "ranting, conniving, brutally sarcastic, and painfully funny"―has often taken the center stage in Bill James's novels. Here the betrayed policeman allows a professional crisis to become part of a personal vendetta as well, and Harput is swept direction into the path of escalting subterfuge and violence.

In Come Clean, Bill James once again explores the no-man's land of law enforcement, where human concern and naked expediency stand perennially at odds with each other. And just as in its four predecessors, a memorable drama is played out against James's striking and unique urban tableau.

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James, Bill 1990

Bill James's Come Clean, the fifth novel in his stunning series of British police procedurals, was greeted with unprecedented critical acclaim upon its American publication in 1993. Readers eager for the next in the series will be amply rewarded with Take, an equally powerful portrait of men and women on both sides of the law.

Ron "Planner" Preston has enjoyed a long criminal career out of jail. Caution, if anything, has been the key to his success. So a payroll van with a predictable route and minimal guard looks like a quick easy take. When the truck's schedule is abruptly changed and its guard doubled, however, Preston much either abandon the plan altogether or take on some young and risky new recruits, ones who may consider his habitual wariness a sign of the timidity of old age.

Harpur and his boss, Assistant Chief Constable Iles, are accustomed to keeping an eye on men like Preston, not so difficult a task in a milieu where cops and criminals meet on many levels: professional, familial, social. Therefore, they are quick to take notice of increased activity surrounding "Planner" on the part of his family and associates.

But how are these moves to be interpreted? And where is the line between certainty and conjecture to be drawn? As one criminal aptly observes, "Chance matters."

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James, Bill 1991
While trying to rescue a posh club owner from a bank-robbing scheme, Colin Harpur must help his boss avoid conviction for murdering his wife's lover, in a sardonic police procedural by a critically praised Welsh writer. IP. Read More

Astride a Grave

James, Bill 1991
A darkly comic mystery in which Chief Supt. Colin Harper hopes to find the missing brains of a bank robbing gang who has gone missing with more than his share of the loot, before the vengeful members of the gang go beyond simply kidnapping their leader's daughter Read More


James, Bill 1992
In the ninth novel in a celebrated British series of police procedurals, Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur tries to protect a pretty college student who becomes involved with his wealthy and powerful underworld informant. Read More

Roses, Roses

James, Bill 1993
The mystery series continues with the stabbing death of the wife of Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur by a railway station, the culmination of her affair with a London police detective with a shady background and a strange fear of persons unknown. Read More

In Good Hands

James, Bill 1994
When two criminals involved in the drug trade turn up dead, ACC Desmond Iles is suspected in the killings, which may have been in retaliation for another cop's murder, and Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur finds himself caught between Iles and Chief Constable Mark Lane. Read More

The Detective Is Dead

James, Bill 1995
With three killers free after beating the rap, their victim's drug empire is up for grabs and the cops are relying on less conventional methods to do their job. Read More

Top Banana

James, Bill 1996
Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur investigates the murder of thirteen-year-old Mandy Walsh, a drug runner, who was caught in the crossfire between two rival drug gangs Read More

Panicking Ralph

James, Bill 1998
Ralph Ember, the owner of the shady drinking club The Monty, longs to be respectable, but as a proponent of the big-time drug dealing, that notion seems impossible, especially as he devises a plan to get his hands on the syndicate of the best drug operation in Britain. Read More

Lovely Mover

James, Bill 1998

Up-and-coming drug lord Keith Vine likes the fine work his best pusher, Eleri ap Vaughan, but when her eye wanders to another supplier, he kills her. Her death is intended as a message, but instead it sets off a murderous struggle for turf. At the center is a lurking stranger, "Lovely Mover", who seems to be planning an invasion.

Detective Chief Inspector Colin Harpur, working undercover as Vine's supposed partner, now finds himself in increasing danger, and only one person suspects what he's up to -- his sneering superior ACC Desmond Iles, a man it is risky to trust. Before the story reaches its exciting conclusion, Harpur will be lucky to get out alive.

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Eton Crop

James, Bill 1999
Naomi Anstruther has been sent undercover to investigate the death of the head drug purveyor of the floating restaurant known as the Eton Boat Song, only to have her cover blown and her life threatened. Read More

Kill Me

James, Bill 2000
When Naomi Anstruther's blown undercover operation results in the death of her lover, she is urged by a young woman named Esme to personally avenge his death and to take on the violent London drug ring that is responsible. Read More

Pay Days

James, Bill 2001

A tale of fear, greed, and murder by "one of the kings of the dark hill" (Val McDermid). Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur and his brilliant, amoral superior ACC Desmond Iles face a dilemma that's both political and personal when they suspect a police officer of taking bribes from underworld criminals Panicking Ralph Ember and Top Banana Mansel Shale.

Is Nivette doing some unauthorized undercover work―as Harpur himself often does―or is he really bent? It's a question of intense interest not only to Harpur and Iles but also to Ember and Shale, and searching for the answer entails several break-ins to Nivette's house to look for, take, or plant the evidence.

Meanwhile, the body of a pusher, Victor Goussard ("Slow Victor"), is found trussed up on a deserted boat in the city harbor―and then it disappears. His lover frantically, unwisely, starts to ask questions down at the docks; a snoopy television reporter sees a breaking story; and Ember, terrified of exposure, plots the murder of a man who knows too much.

Harpur is fast on the trail to make the connections and prevent another crime, but it's a race against time―and treachery.

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Naked at the Window

James, Bill 2002

The latest dark suspense from "the Elmore Leonard of Britain's underworld" ―Kirkus Reviews. Big drug dealer Ralph Ember stumbles on a ghastly surprise when he and sidekick Beau Derek arrive at the house of yachtsman Barney Coss, his bulk supplier: Barney and his two women have been savagely murdered―and the murderers, three drug rivals from London, are still in the house.

Beau dies quickly at their hands; they let Ralph go―for the moment―but he's a marked man because of what he's seen. When Melanie, Beau's alluring, ruthless girlfriend, learns what has happened, she is bent on revenge and wants Ralph as her partner―all the way.

Bill James's latest Harpur & Iles police procedural ratchets up the tension as the cops (the brilliant Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur and his ungovernable, half-cracked superior, Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles) fight the drug barons for control of the city.

As a body washes up, and one of the London creeps meets a violent end, the wily Ralph finds himself starting a new, very risky career―and Harpur sorts out what's going on just in time.

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The Girl with the Long Back

James, Bill 2003

Harpur and Iles are back on the scene, and this time the danger is even closer to home. With the rumored transfer of Chief of Police Mark Lane, London's competitive drug lords are on edge. In the past, Desmond Iles has managed to maintain the peace on the streets in an old-fashioned system of give a little, take a little.

But with a dangerous mix of greed and fear, the looming threat of a stricter police force, and three sudden deaths, all sides are preparing themselves for a full-scale battle of the ugliest kind. A deliciously witty addition to a classic series, The Girl with the Long Back heightens the urgency and pace of the tantalizing London underworld in which cops and criminals, and all of their clever asides, are sketched in fantastic detail.

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Easy Streets

James, Bill 2004

For years Colin Harpur's dubious boss, Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles, ran a questionable but practical arrangement with Mansel Shale and Panicking Ralph Ember, owner of the Monty Club: Iles would protect their businesses if they ensured peace on the streets.

But the arrangement fails when violence erupts. After a small-time criminal's house is firebombed. leaving the owner and his daughter dead, mistrust and uncertainty pervade the formerly well-managed streets: more drug dealers emerge and competition grows.

With the failure of a once mutually beneficial relationship between cops and criminals, a battle for survival ensues. Bill James is "a point--ripe with humor, fast dialogue and incisive wit, he offers entrance into the shocking and fascinating underbelly of a city and its inherent mysteries.

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Wolves of Memory

James, Bill 2005

"Savagely comic and expertly choreographed." ―The Guardian A large, carefully plotted "cash-in-transit" raid goes hopelessly awry when armed policemen intervene to seize the perpetrators. Relatives and friends of the incarcerated are convinced that informationthe date, the timewas leaked by the only man to escape before his arrest.

Deputy Constable Colin Harpur and Assistant Constable Desmond Iles are delegated the job of hiding and protecting the informant and his family.

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The Sixth Man and Other Stories

James, Bill 2006

An anthology featuring previously unpublished Harpur and Iles stories - All is not well in the underworld . . . With three entirely new Harpur and Iles stories, three more never before published together, plus a spicy little interlude with some crooks from the series and a fistful of other tales from the seamier side of life, this anthology is a must-read for fans of Bill Jamess dark, gritty thrillers.

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James, Bill 2006

"[Bill James'] strangely compelling series offers its own ample rewards."―Mystery Scene For years Panicking Ralph Ember and Mansel Shale have run profitable drugs empires in peaceful cooperation with each other, and ACC Iles will blind-eye their trade as long as it keeps violence off the streets.

But this happy arrangement is threatened by foreign dealers moving in and offering not just drugs, but punters―exploited girls from Eastern Europe. And bloody gang warfare threatens as a scrabble for territory ensues.

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James, Bill 2007

The 24th novel in the Harpur & Iles series follows DCI Harpur into an illicit narcotics ring. There’s intrigue right from the start of this new entry in Bill James’s Harpur and Iles series: A houseful of paintings is stolen and the body of a finely dressed stranger is discovered.

Villainous drug dealers fight for dominance on Constable Iles and Detective Harpur’s turf. While the kingpins maneuver and scheme, Harpur is helped-or hindered?-by his very persistent daughters and by Iles’s irregular and perhaps illicit methods.

In this fast-paced thriller, there’s no telling who will catch the next bullet.

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In the Absence of Iles

James, Bill 2008

The 25th installment of the acclaimed Harpur & Iles series by mystery master Bill James. Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles’s absence from a police undercover conference sets the stage for the moral and practical dilemmas faced by one of his colleagues, ACC Esther Davidson, as she works to bring down the largest gang operating in her sector.

The role of undercover agents―or “out-located” officers―is brought into sharp focus as James masterfully unfolds the story of Davidson’s decision to infiltrate the gang against the events of the resulting court case.

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James, Bill 2009

Who gets hurt when the bad guys cross paths? For years drug baron Ralph Ember has run his crooked enterprises peacefully enough alongside those of his rival, Mansel Shale. Their empires have been tolerated by Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles as a way of keeping violence off the streets.

But are things changing? Karl Marx’s bleak theory that all capitalists―including drug tycoons―lust for monopoly seems to be coming true. Do Ember and Shale long for sole control of the trade and the profits? Ember fears that Shale now wants to kill him and take over his firm.

Shale, on the other hand, is about to get remarried and―believing in keeping his (so-called) friends close and his enemies closer―has asked Ember to be his best man. Will Ember be appallingly exposed as he stands with Shale at the altar? Or will Shale? Ember wonders whether he should act first to protect himself; one of his people has already been gunned down and the killer has not yet been caught.

Iles and Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur have picked up hints of this acutely dangerous shift in the Ember-Shale relationship and must urgently try to head off the inevitable carnage.

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I Am Gold

James, Bill 2010

The 27th installment in the popular Harpur & Iles series. A woman and her stepson are gunned down while driving to school on a quiet residential street. An former bodyguard kills himself by firing two pistols simultaneously. Was the killer really aft er the woman’s husband, the notorious drug baron Mansel Shale? And what possible connection could Shale’s collection of pre-Raphaelite works of art have to the killings? Nothing in Bill James’s latest Harpur & Iles thriller is as it seems.

When the police chase the shooting suspect into a busy second-hand shop the action quickly turns into a deadly cat-and-mouse standoff . As the siege unfolds, with more than just gunplay in the mix, events threaten to take down more than the gunman and his hostages.

Will this spell the end of Detective Harpur and his troubled boss, Assistant Chief Constable Iles?

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James, Bill 2011

The brand-new Harpur and Iles police procedural from master crime writer Bill James - After the dreadful business when his son and wife were shot, Mansel Shale has turned to God – leaving DCS Colin Harpur with a potential problem. Instead of keeping a grip on his profitable drugs empire, Shale has abandoned that sphere of commerce, leaving his business in the hands of an inexperienced assistant who is reputed to occasionally hallucinate about the Spanish Civil War.

Harpur can see the possibility of protracted, warring viciousness on the horizon, and it is clear that something must be done . . .  

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James, Bill 2012

When Harpur and Iles are called in to investigate an undercover investigation gone wrong, they can sense dark, hazardous times ahead . . . - After a gang shooting involving an undercover police officer, Colin Harpur and his boss Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles are called to another Force’s ground to investigate what the Home Office see as spectacular failings.

Harpur can imagine the pressure the officer would have been under. If a gang decided to kill, a spy would have to go along with it. But with careers of fellow officers – who might be in secret, dangerous alliance with villains – at risk, Harpur knows that he and Iles have an exceptionally tough inquiry ahead.

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Play Dead

James 2013

Good detective work allowed the pair to arrest and charge a fellow policeman, who murdered an undercover officer in an attempt to keep a crook–police racket secret. But their work is not yet done. Who ordered the execution? Why? Just how high did the conspiracy go? And – and most importantly – does the crooked power group behind the assassin still flourish? There are questions that remain to be answered – so when the home office decides to reopen the case, it is Harpur and Iles to whom the investigation is once more handed.

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James, Bill 2014

Panicking Ralph is a big-time villain – but he’s a local villain – and when his life is threatened, policemen Harpur and Iles are straight on the caseDetective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur and his boss, Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles, worry about the safety of one of the big-time crooks on their ground, Ralph Ember, sometimes known as Panicking Ralph.

Yes, Ralph is a villain, but he’s a local villain, and Harpur and Iles feel a kind of bizarre affection for him. And in any case, Ralph helps Iles keep the city reasonably peaceful. But now some awkward repercussions from Ralph’s lawless past seem to bring danger.

Ralph is aware of this new peril and has installed a bulletproof steel barrier to protect himself in the club he owns – but will this be enough to keep him safe? Harpur thinks not. Surely the upcoming party at the club will provide the perfect moment for a gunman to do for Ralph? The only way Harpur can be sure of protecting Ralph is to attend the party himself .

. .

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Blaze Away

James, Bill 2015

Policemen Harpur and Iles get mixed up in the criminal world of fine art dealing Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur feels a sort of warmth towards Jack Lamb, a brilliantly prosperous but profoundly dodgy fine arts dealer. Lamb is the greatest informant Harpur has ever dealt with – might be the greatest informant any police officer has ever dealt with – and although Jack ended this arrangement some time ago, Harpur still feels indebted to him.

Lamb’s posh manor house is stuffed with expensive paintings, ripe for the pinching . . . and small-time thief George Dinnick and his crew intend to relieve him of a few. But their plans are complicated by local big-time crook Ralph Ember, who is on the lookout for some art to elevate his gentleman’s club, The Monty; and who else would he visit to procure this art but Jack Lamb? Add to the mix odd-job man and stolen-art procurer Basil Gordon Loam – aka Enzyme – who Harpur and Iles would very much like to see locked up, and things start to get complicated indeed.

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First Fix Your Alibi

James, Bill 2016

When a major drugs dealer seeks vengeance for the death of his family, policemen Harpur and Iles must do all they can to prevent a bloodbathFollowing the murder of his wife and son, tycoon drugs dealer Mansel Shale is determined to get vengeance – and he wants another drugs baron, Ralph Ember, to help him.

Having heard of the movie Strangers on a Train, in which two men agree to undertake each other’s murders as a way of preventing detection, Shale suggests he and Ralph should have a similar arrangement – and Ralph is in no position to refuse.When he learns of the plan, Assistant Chief Constable Desmond Iles fears that if things go wrong, the hard-won peace he and Harpur have established in the city will be seriously threatened.

The two top policemen find they have their work cut out to limit the damage and restore tranquillity.

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James, Bill 2017

Harpur & Iles to uncover a trail of illegal art trading and money laundering. “I found I had a flair for tag-along, street level stealth. It thrilled me. It killed me. Do you mind if I tell you how?” Thomas Wells Hart drifted into a dodgy career as a private investigator and grew clever at tailing suspects and all the other tricks of the game.

Not quite clever enough, however. Coming across Hart’s shot-up body, Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur and Assistant Chief Constable Des Iles have to work out their own explanation as to how he came to be executed behind the wheel of a Ford Focus in a quiet suburban street.

The trail will lead them through illegal art trading, big-bucks money laundering – and more murder. As ever, Iles suspects Harpur is hiding essential facts from him. As ever, Harpur is hiding essential facts from his boss. Will the mismatched pair manage to close the case?

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Hitmen I Have Known

James, Bill 2019

Assistant Chief Constable Iles finds himself suspected of murder in the fast-paced 35th installment of the popular Harpur and Iles police procedural series. Tensions in the community are mounting following the gruesome deaths of two men, both of whom were accused yet acquitted of the murder of an undercover police officer.

It looks like vigilante justice, but who is responsible? Alarmingly, suspicion falls on Assistant Chief Constable Iles. Matters escalate when a TV show investigating the murders is aired, further implicating Iles. Iles seems at ease with the accusations, as are his superiors in the police force.

But others are not feeling so secure. Local crime bosses Ralph Ember and Mansel Shale fear reprisals against Iles will result in their own businesses suffering. And so they begin to plan how to remove potential troublemakers from their path . . .

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Publication Order of Brade and Jenkins Books

The Tattooed Detective

Craig, David 1998

From the author Bill James, writing as David Craig, a further crime novel in which Cardiff Bay is gripped by panic. As money pours into a developing area, the local villains are looking for big gains, supremacy and loyalty. Whilst trying to keep up with events policemen Dave Brade and Glyndwr Jenkins also have a murder case on their hands.

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Craig, David 1999

Bay City

Craig, David 2000
Set in Tiger Bay, Cardiff. Read More

Publication Order of Kerry Lake Books

Baby Talk

Jones, Judith 1998
Kerry Lake believes a local businessman is t he murderer of a young child. Kerry''s only other ally is a y oung boy who brings her scraps of information and puts himse lf in continual danger. Should the female police detective c arry on or desist ' Read More

After Melissa

Jones, Judith 1999
When Kerry Lake is satisfied that 13 year old Melissa Slater can provide details of drug sales at school, she arranges for the girl to establish contact with notorious drug dealer, Titch Raybould. But a few hours later Melissa is found dead. Read More

Publication Order of Simon Abelard Books


Bill James 2001

Known for his British procedurals featuring detectives Harpur and Iles, James introduces a new protagonist of mixed black-and-white parentage named Simon Abelard. Recruited into the `Outfit' (British Intelligence) as a token but then rapidly advanced on his own merits, Simon now finds his spying abilities in less demand.

Here, he tracks ex-pal and treacherous co-worker Julian, who has stolen a pile of money from some revenge-minded drug traffickers. Along the trail, Simon finds more than one body and makes more than a few mistakes. Marked by exceptionally dry humor, pontifical observations on espionage, and masterly plotting, this should appeal to fans of intrigue.

"" Library Journal. ""Best of all, the marvelously mordant wit that makes every new James book a must is present in abundance."" Publishers Weekly.

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A Man's Enemies

Bill James 2004

In this second Simon Abelard thriller, a section of British Intelligence is still reeling from the unsolved murder of one of its officers. The pain goes deeper because this killing and others before it might have been carried out by members of the section itself in a bloody internal power battle.

Now, to make matters worse, Olly Horton has left the Service and is about to write a book. His former chiefs fear what might come to light and order their most experienced and skilled man-Simon Abelard-to dissuade Horton from going ahead, giving him new girl, Iris Insole, to help.

Pretty soon both Iris and Simon find themselves in real danger, unsure of who is friend, who is foe. ""The Elmore Leonard of Britain's underworld.""-Kirkus Reviews

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Publication Order of DC Sally Bithron Books

Hear Me Talking to You

Craig, David 2005

Detective Sally Bithron has been tipped off by an informer about a clandestine meeting in Cardiff, Wales, of two sets of drug pushers. But her stakeout goes wrong when violence and murder ensues. Three men are convicted; but there is a fourth, Frank Latimer, who is found not guilty partly because of Sally's evidence, or lack of it, and partly because of the lying testimony of Frank's girlfriend.

But Sally and Frank grew up together, and were briefly childhood sweethearts. Could her evidence have been influenced by this? The one grows up on the side of law and order; the other. . . Sally's superiors are convinced Frank was guilty. And so are the patriarchs of a big, and very unpleasant, South London crime gang whose daughter, brutally battered in the bungled meeting, eventually dies in a Cardiff hospital after months on a life support system.

Their code demands revenge; perhaps against Sally's informant, and perhaps against Frank and Sally. And perhaps against all three. . .

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Tip Top

James, Bill 2006

A new mystery featuring Detective Constable Sally Bithron The death of a police informant leads to the task least loved by any law enforcement officer ? that of investigating your superiors. Sally Bithron is assigned to support Assistant Chief Constable Esther Davidson in the enquiry.

And when a senior policeman apparently commits suicide, Sally and Esther have to ask some uncomfortable questions ? and find that they are prevented from doing so by the powers that be.

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Whose Little Girl Are You?/The Squeeze

Craig, David 1974

David Craig's new suspense story opens on a kidnapping: a woman and a little girl are taken, but the father does not go to the police and there is no demand for the usual cash ransom. The kidnappers have bigger ideas-this kidnapping is only the first step in their plan to pull off a record-breaking robbery.

-(From Front Flap)

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Bill James 2002

Bill James offers a stand-alone, Middleman, the tawdry if wryly amusing tale of a small-time Welsh operator who runs into trouble when he agrees to help a crooked real-estate developer sell an expensive property on the Cardiff waterfront. James is the author of Pay Days and other titles in his acclaimed Harpur & Iles series.

""--Publishers Weekly

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Between Lives

James, Bill 2004

At the same time as she is ghostwriting the autobiography of film star David Gale, Louise Summers is writing a biography of Andrew Pax, a member of the Apostles, executed in 1941 for passing secrets to the Russians. When Gale plays Pax in a film and commits suicide shortly afterwards, Louise's search for the truth comes up against opposition on all sides.

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Double Jeopardy

James, Bill 2005
With the aid of the victim's mother, married Detective Sergeant Kerry Lake investigates her older detective lover's connection to the cover-up of the murder of a young black American woman by two white men. Read More

Making Stuff Up

James, Bill 2006

Meet the hot-house student talent in a University Creative Writing course for would-be poets, novelists, dramatists ? and some talents not so hot. Rivalries burn and grow dangerous. Sex simmers. Lucy Corth, a lecturer, is given the sack and almost immediately afterwards turns out to be a published literary genius.

Meantime, Principal of the University Caspar Ballaugh must do what he can to suppress these internal wars and pull the college up from its low spot in the educational league tables, so that it can qualify for bigger Government money and survive. His job is made trickier by the fact that the Government's policy seems to change every other day.

One way for Ballaugh to secure glory for his university might be to help get the local city a glistening European award for cultural achievement. He works on it gamely, but there are mighty snags.

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Letters from Carthage

James, Bill 2007

A fresh and original take on a mystery within a mystery - Fresh from the inner city, Vince and Kate are new to the suburbia of Tabbett Drive, delighted to have accessed this middle-class paradise. They've even found the neighbours remarkably friendly Jill and Dennis Seagrave seem particularly affable.

However, Kate begins to detect all is not as it seems with the Seagraves. Can it be that beneath the fagade of this perfect suburban calm lie secrets as dangerous as any inner city? Is everything is anything as it seems?

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Off-Street Parking

James, Bill 2009

A new mystery from this bestselling author - DC Sharon Mayfield is on routine surveillance when she spots a dead man in a car. The cars locks are sealed with superglue and Claude Huddarts face has been mutilated. As with most murders, theres a puzzle to be solved, but the pieces dont fit.

Why is informant Jeremy Dince if thats his real name being so helpful? And theres just something that doesnt feel right about the grieving Alice Huddart . . .

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Full of Money

James, Bill 2009

Part social satire, part police procedural, Bill James returns with the stunning prequel to Tip Top - In the drug-ridden Whitsun and Temperate housing estates a connection, once made, is only ever one thing: trouble. Trouble for the journalist whose investigation into the estates leads to his murder; trouble for policewoman Esther Davidson, whose job it is to arrest the killer; and trouble for TV producer Larry Edgehill, who becomes more involved with a Romeo and Juliet-esque cross-estate romance than he ever would have wanted .

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World War Two Will Not Take Place

James, Bill 2011

Set during an alternative version of 1938 with Bill James’ trademark satirical take on events  - England,1938. War looms, but the Prime minister’s talks with Hitler in Munich seem to result in a pact of peace. Now Mount, a secret service officer, is sent on an undercover mission to Berlin.

But with all this talk of peace he starts to wonder whether his mission has any point. All until a meeting with Toumlin and two good-time girls from the local bar results in a broken chair. Could this chair have been not only the key to his mission but also the key to peace?

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James, Bill 2013

The past is an inescapable noose around a young man’s neck, in this blackly comic, satirical novel from renowned crime writer Bill JamesBritain, 1956. A young actress seemingly tries to commit suicide over a tangled love affair, but is taken to hospital and her life saved.

The story is just the sort of thing that journalist Ian Charteris likes to cover: a poignant mix of near tragedy, possible thwarted romance, and glamour, needing sensitive but – of course – dramatic treatment. It should be a routine assignment, a welcome assignment.

It would be, if it wasn’t for the identity of the young woman. She may – just may – be Ian’s sister.The unwelcome reminder of the past drags Ian back into memories of places and events he’d rather forget. As far as Ian is concerned, the past is a foreign country.

And not just foreign. Fundamentally and cantankerously hostile. Vengeful, war-torn, dangerous.It is impossible to escape the past; the noose is already around Ian’s neck, and every step he takes it tightens . . . And this is not the only noose.

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James, Bill 2014

Bill James is on top form in this sharply satirical black comedy set behind the scenes at a museumGeorge Lepage, the new Director of the Hulliborn Regional Museum and Gallery, has great hopes that his tenure in the post will be short and profitable. He has visions of early retirement, and perhaps – like his predecessor, and his predecessor’s predecessor – a knighthood.

But circumstances do their best to snatch his happy dreams away from him. First a deranged former staff member causes a riot in the Folk Department, and then three recently purchased, ruinously expensive paintings of dubious authenticity are stolen, putting the museum’s security – and judgement – into question.

The fate of the upcoming Japanese Ancient Surgical Skills exhibition, and its astonishing collection of tonsil excision implements, hangs dangerously in the balance.And over everything hangs the grim specter of the former Director, “Flounce” Butler-Minton, whose body may be most definitely dead but whose legacy lives on.

And with every day that passes, the rumours of what Flounce did behind the Iron Curtain – and how the haversack straps, the whippet and the legendary Mrs Cray were involved – grow, threatening to erupt into a scandal that may cost the museum, and Lepage himself, everything .

. .

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The Principals

James, Bill 2016

“A droll, delightful, skillfully written piece of academic satire”Booklist Starred Review This sharply satirical novel concerns a battle royal between two academic institutions and their principals. England, 1987. It’s all-out war. Two universities in the same city each aim to destroy the other and take over one another’s buildings, students and – above all – bank balance.

At a time of austerity in public life and huge government cuts, the situation has become desperate and the respective university principals are prepared to fight very dirty indeed. Dr Lawford Chute of the revered Sedge University wants to expand, expand, expand, while the government is telling him to cut, cut, cut.

But Dr Victor Tane of Charter Mill employs more covert methods to ensure his institution comes out on top. Who will win these ferocious academic fights and be the model for the statue in the modern-day university grounds: the ultimate proof of posterity for which both principals are battling? This hilariously witty and highly topical satire on the comic absurdities and ruthless politics involved among Britain’s elite academic institutions will appeal to fans of Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse Blue.

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Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

And that's the end of the complete list! Now that you have it - the next step for you is to of course purchase them and dive into reading Bill James books. Worry not, we've done the tedious job for you and added amazon direct book links including AudioBook, Kindle, Paperback and Hardcover versions as applicable.

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