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Peter Lovesey a classic crime writer
Profile of a Crime Writer
Peter Lovesey was born in 1936, Middlesex, Britain growing up during the second world war, his earliest childhood memory occurred during an air raid in 1944. After being picked up from a school air raid shelter, Lovesey discovered that a V1 bomb exploded at his parent’s home. Narrowly missing his brothers who had managed to find cover under a Morrison table. Their next door neighbours in the other half of the house were killed by the bomb. Lovesey and his brothers were evacuated to the West Country until the end of the war.
Returning after the war to London Lovesey’s father took him to white city the east side of London to try to see if they could get into an Athletics race. Disappointingly they didn’t manage to get in, Lovesey and his father watched the London Olympics. Lovesey was so inspired by cycling races he decided to take up competitive cycling himself.
Leaving Hampton Grammar School and enrolling at Reading University to study Fine Art, Lovesey decided early on to change courses and study of an English degree. After graduating from Reading University, he joined the RAF. In post-war Britain Lovesey was eligible for National Service; a Pilot Officer teaching young RAF entrants. When he completed his National Service he married his long-term partner Jackie Lewis in 1959.
In 1961 after leaving the RAF Lovesey started working as a Lecturer at Thurrock Technical College which has since changed its name to Hammersmith College in London. Outside of his main job as a Lecturer, Lovesey started writing his first book Kings of Distance. When it was published it won sports book of the year by Sports World. In 1969, Lovesey and his wife noticed a competition in the newspaper, the winning crime novel would win one thousand pounds. Four months of solid writing and Lovesey wrote his first crime novel Wobble to Death, a Victorian mystery based on Lovesey knowledge of Victorian Athletics featuring Sergeant Cribb. His novel won the competition, and after it was published he wrote another seven books before leaving Lecturing in 1975. Waxwork was Lovesey eighth published novel, which won the Dagger Awards in 1978. After television producer, Jane Wyndham-Davies noticed a review of Waxwork in Time Magazine. A television episode was screened based upon the novel which was aired at Christmas 1979. Casting actor Alan Dobbie as Sergeant Cribb and Karen Royal as the character in the book who is about to be executed. A further two series were produced for television, collaborating with his wife they both wrote another six stories for television again starring Alan Dobbie and William Simons playing Constable Thackeray. Lovesey now wrote The False Inspector Drew a new crime novel which was published in 1982.
Lovesey now writing under the pen name Peter Lear, Goldengirl was the story of a talented athlete entering the 1980 Moscow Olympics to compete for three gold medals. It was adapted into a film starring Susan Anton and James Coburn. However, when the film was released, America withdrew its athletes from the 1980 Olympics in protest of Russia invading Afghanistan.
In 1991, Lovesey returned to writing crime novels, he wrote a modern day detective novel The Last Detective starring Peter Diamond as a detective Superintendent. The book was nominated and won the Anthony Award for best mystery book of the year in America. The Summons was written in 1995 and the following year Bloodhound was published each novel winning a Silver Award. In 2000, Lovesey was awarded the Cartier Dagger Award for his career in writing crime fiction novels.