My life in books: Peter Lovesey

PUBLISHED: 15:43 19 October 2020 | UPDATED: 15:43 19 October 2020

Peter Lovesey

Peter Lovesey

Kim Hill

Honoured with the Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger and Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America, West Sussex-based crime writer Peter Lovesey started writing 50 years ago with his prize-winning Wobble to Death

The book I loved as a child

In the grey days of the 1940s, Richmal Crompton’s Just William gave me a colourful schoolboy rebel to delight in. I learnt a lot about disrespect from William and I realise now how much I learnt about storytelling from a brilliant author.

The book that inspired me as a teenager

I have always been an athletics fan and Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile was a magical moment. His First Four Minutes puts into elegant words the drama of that unforgettable May evening in 1954.

The book I’ve never finished

In an air-raid shelter in 1944, my reading of Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kästner was interrupted by a flying bomb that destroyed my house. Miraculously, we all survived, but I’ve never wanted to find out whether Eric and his gang found the thief who stole his money.

The book that moved me most

The Initials in the Heart by Laurence Whistler is a love story – a true one – about the five short years of his marriage to Jill Furse. Recalling it brings a lump to my throat, but it is mainly an affirmation of joy.

The book I’m reading now

Howdunit, edited by Martin Edwards, is a 500-page masterclass in crime writing by members of the Detection Club, from GK Chesterton to Ian Rankin. There is always something new to learn about the craft of writing.

The Finisher, the latest in Peter Lovesey’s Peter Diamond series, about murder in the Bath half-marathon, is out now (Sphere, £20.99).

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