Meet The Crime Drama Authors – Crimescene UK

Many of our favourite TV crime dramas and films are adapted from novels written by well-known, and sometimes not so well known, authors.

Possibly the most famous of these is, of course, Agatha Christie who gave us the characters Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple as well as the longest-running murder mystery stage play of all time – The Mousetrap which has been running in various theatres since its opening on 6th October 1952 at the Theatre Royal, Nottingham.

There are, of course, many others including the creator of Chief Inspector Barnaby in the Midsomer Murders series – one of the UK’s longest running crime dramas along with Taggart and The Bill – Caroline Graham.

Ian Rankin gave us Rebus, Colin Dexter created Morse, Val McDermid created Dr Tony Hill in the Wire in the Blood, Ruth Rendell is best known for creating Chief Inspector Wexford and, of course, we should not forget the granddaddy of them all, Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Where an author is not a UK citizen but originated from the UK then his/her work will be included on this site. Where an author is not a UK citizen but writes stories that are based in the UK, e.g. Harlan Coban’s “The Stranger” or Elizabeth George’s Inspector Lynley novels, then they too will be included in both the USA site and this site.

Find out more about these and many other crime drama authors in our Authors Guide.

Caroline Graham

(1931 – )

Creator of Midsomer Murders

Caroline Graham is a British author and screenwriter, best known for creating the “Chief Inspector Barnaby” series of crime novels, which inspired the long-running television series “Midsomer Murders.” Graham began her writing career with the publication of “The Killings at Badger’s Drift” in 1987, which introduced the character of DCI Tom Barnaby. The series features the character of DCI Tom Barnaby, who investigates murders in the fictional county of Midsomer.

Graham wrote several novels featuring Tom Barnaby before the series was adapted for television in 1997, and continued to write novels featuring his successor, John Barnaby. The series has been praised for its picturesque rural setting, complex plots, and well-drawn characters.

In addition to her work as a novelist, Graham has also written for television, including several episodes of “Midsomer Murders.” She has received numerous awards and nominations for her writing, including the Crime Writers’ Association Silver Dagger for “The Killings at Badger’s Drift” and the Macavity Award for “Death of a Hollow Man.”

Graham continues to write novels and screenplays, and her work is praised for its wit, style and sense of humor.



Ellis Peters (Edith Pargeter)

(1913 – 1995 )

Creator of Cadfael

Ellis Peters was the pseudonym of British author Edith Pargeter, who wrote the “Brother Cadfael” series of historical mystery novels set in 12th century England. The series features the character of Brother Cadfael, a monk and former Crusader turned detective. The series is known for its richly detailed historical setting, complex plots, and well-drawn characters.

The books are set in the town of Shrewsbury, England, and the stories often involve conflicts between the English and the Welsh, as well as religious and political intrigues. The series includes 20 novels, which were published between 1977 and 1994, and was adapted into a popular British television series ” Cadfael ” which ran from 1994 to 1998. Pargeter wrote many other novels and short stories under her own name and pseudonym, including historical fiction, detective fiction and poetry.

Agatha Christie

(1890 – 1976)

Creator of Hercule Poirot, Miss Marples and many others.

Agatha Christie was a British crime fiction writer, who is considered one of the most important and successful authors in the genre. She is known for her 66 detective novels and 14 short story collections, as well as the world’s longest-running play – The Mousetrap. She wrote under her own name and also as Mary Westmacott. Her works feature several enduring characters such as Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, both amateur detectives who have appeared in many of her novels and short stories.

Christie’s first novel, “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” was published in 1920, and introduced the character of Hercule Poirot. She went on to write over 30 novels featuring the Belgian detective. Another famous character, Miss Marple, appeared in 12 novels and 20 short stories. Her best-selling novel, “Murder on the Orient Express” published in 1934, featured both Poirot and Marple.

Christie’s writing is known for its intricate plots, cleverly concealed clues, and surprising twists and turns. Her writing has been adapted into numerous films, television shows, stage plays, and radio dramas, which have been enjoyed by audiences all over the world. Agatha Christie’s books have sold over 2 billion copies worldwide, making her the best-selling novelist of all time and the third most-translated author in the world, behind only Jules Verne and William Shakespeare.

Anthony Horowitz

(1955 – )

Creator of Foyles War and numerous Midsomer Murders episodes.

Anthony Horowitz is a British novelist, screenwriter, and television producer. He is best known for his work in the mystery and crime fiction genre, and for creating and writing the television series “Foyle’s War” and “Midsomer Murders” , as well as the novels of the “Alex Rider” series for young adults.

Horowitz began his career as a novelist with the publication of “The Sinister Secret of Frederick K Bower” in 1979. He then went on to write the “Alex Rider” series, which follows the adventures of a teenage spy. The series has been highly successful and has sold millions of copies worldwide.

In addition to his work as a novelist, Horowitz has also written for television and film. He created and wrote the long-running series “Foyle’s War,” which is set during World War II and follows the investigations of a police detective in a small English town. He was also the creator and a writer of the British crime drama series “Midsomer Murders” and wrote several episodes of the show.

Horowitz has received numerous awards and nominations for his work, including the Edgar Award and the Anthony Award, which are both given for excellence in crime and mystery writing. He has also been honored with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for his services to literature and drama.

Ann Cleeves

(1954 – )

Creator of Vera and Shetland.

Ann Cleeves is a British author of crime fiction, best known for her “Vera Stanhope” and “Shetland” series of novels. Cleeves began her writing career with the publication of “The Crow Trap” in 1999, the first book of the “Vera Stanhope” series. The series features the character of DCI Vera Stanhope, a police detective who works in the fictional Northumberland town of Bradfield. The series has been adapted into a successful television series of the same name, starring Brenda Blethyn as Vera.

Cleeves’ second series, “Shetland,” is set in the Shetland Islands of Scotland and features the character of DI Jimmy Perez. The series has also been adapted into a television series which airing on BBC One since 2013.

Cleeves’ writing is known for its atmospheric settings, complex characters, and intricate plots. She has won several awards for her writing, including the CWA Gold Dagger for “The Crow Trap,” the Duncan Lawrie Dagger for “The Glass Room,” and the McIlvanney Prize for “Wild Fire.”

Cleeves has also been honored with an OBE (Order of the British Empire) for her services to literature in 2017.



Chris Chibnall

(1970 – )

Creator of Broadchurch.

Chris Chibnall is a British television writer and producer, best known as the creator and showrunner of the crime drama “Broadchurch”. He has also worked on other TV series such as “Life on Mars” and “Doctor Who”.

Ben Aaronovitch

(1964 – )

Creator of Rivers of London

Ben Aaronovitch is a British author, screenwriter, and comic book writer. He is best known for his “Peter Grant” series of urban fantasy detective novels, which blend elements of crime fiction, magic, and humor. The series has been highly acclaimed for its unique take on the detective genre and its imaginative use of London as a backdrop.

In addition to his book-writing work, Aaronovitch has also worked as a screenwriter and has contributed to several popular British TV series, such as “Doctor Who” and “Casualty”. He has a loyal fanbase and is regarded as one of the most original and entertaining writers in the genre.

Barbara Machin

Creator of Waking the Dead

Ruth Rendell

(1930 – 2015)

Creator of Inspector Wexford.

aka Barbara Vine

David Renwick

(1951 – )

Creator of Jonathan Creek

Lynda La Plante

(1943 – )

Creator of Prime Suspect

Val Mcdermid

(1955 – )

Creator of Wire in the Blood

Jimmy McGovern

(1949 – )

Creator of Cracker

Glenn Chandler

(1949 – )

Creator of Taggart

Ian Rankin

(1960 – )

Creator of Rebus

Reginald Hill

(1936 – 2012)

Creator of Dalziel and Pascoe

W.J. Burley

(1914 – 2002)

Creator of Wycliffe

Jed Mercurio

(1966 – )

Creator of Line of Duty & The BodyGuard

Elizabeth George

(1949 – )

Creator of Inspector Lynley

Colin Dexter

(1930 – 2017)

Creator of Inspector Morse

J.K. Rowling

(1965 – )

Creator of Cormoran Strike published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith

Alan Hunter

(1922 – 2005)

Creator of Inspector George Gently

Richard Warlow

(1972 – )

Creator of Ripper Street

Richard Warlow is a British television writer and producer, best known as the creator and lead writer of the BBC television series Ripper Street. Warlow was born in the UK in June 1972 and studied English Literature at the University of East Anglia. After graduating, he worked in various jobs, including as a freelance writer and journalist.

Warlow’s breakthrough in television came in 2012, when he created Ripper Street, a crime drama set in the aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders in Victorian London. The show premiered on BBC One and was praised for its strong performances, intricate plotting, and detailed historical setting. Warlow served as the show’s lead writer and showrunner for all five seasons, which aired between 2012 and 2016.

In addition to Ripper Street, Warlow has worked on a number of other television projects. He served as a writer and producer on the ITV drama Waking the Dead, and as a writer on the BBC drama Mistresses. He also wrote an episode of the popular Netflix series The Crown.

Ted Willis

(1914 – 1992)

Creator of Dixon of Dock Green

Ted Willis was a British playwright, screenwriter, and novelist, best known for creating the BBC TV series “Dixon of Dock Green,” which ran from 1955 to 1976.

Born on 15 January 1914 in Poplar, East London, Willis left school at the age of 14 and started working as a messenger boy at the Daily Sketch newspaper. In his spare time, he wrote short stories and plays, and his first play, “The Full Treatment,” was produced in 1948.

In addition to “Dixon of Dock Green,” which starred Jack Warner as a police constable in the East End of London, Willis wrote numerous other TV dramas, including “Stryker of the Yard” and “The Avengers.” He also wrote screenplays for films, such as “The Blue Lamp” (1950), which inspired the Dixon of Dock Green series, and “The Long Arm” (1956).

Willis was a member of the Labour Party and was made a life peer in 1979, taking the title Baron Willis of Chislehurst. He was also a prominent campaigner for nuclear disarmament and social justice.

Ted Willis passed away on 10 November 1992 in Oxford, England. His contributions to British television and literature are remembered to this day.

R.D. Wingfield

(1928 – 2007)

Creator of: A Touch of Frost

R. D. Wingfield was the pen name of Ronald David Wingfield, a British author best known for his series of crime novels featuring Detective Inspector Jack Frost. Wingfield was born on June 6, 1928, in London, England and died on July 31, 2007, in Basildon, Essex, England.

Wingfield worked in various jobs, including as a merchant seaman, a teacher, and a social worker, before turning to writing in his fifties. He published his first novel, “Frost at Christmas,” in 1984, which introduced the character of Detective Inspector Jack Frost.

The Frost novels are set in the fictional town of Denton, which is based on the town of Denton in Lancashire, England. The series comprises twelve books, with the final novel, “A Killing Frost,” published posthumously in 2008.

Wingfield’s Frost novels are known for their complex plotting, sharp wit, and realistic portrayal of police work. The character of Jack Frost, with his unconventional methods and rough-around-the-edges personality, has become one of the most beloved detectives in British crime fiction.

In addition to his Frost novels, Wingfield also wrote a standalone thriller, “Hard Frost,” which was published in 1995.