Friday 4 February 2022


A couple from an untried author, Peter Turnbull and a series which goes back to the 80s and has been likened to Ed McBain's work. Gotta be good hasn't it?

Fantastic Fiction
tells me that Peter Turnbull has written over thirty novels in his writing career. (Actually he's had 47 titles (published.) 

His debut was Deep and Crisp and Even (1981). This was the first in the 10 book long P Division series of which Fair Friday and Big Money are #3 and 4.

He has a twenty-five book long series featuring Hennessey and Yellich as well as another series and half a dozen standalone novels. 

It's strange that with this fantastic body of work behind him, I had never actually heard of him until recently.

Fair Friday (1983)

Bill McGarrigle was about to join the ranks of the unemployed. He would have done if he had not been brutally beaten up in a Glasgow back alley.

Before he died, he had given the men of P Division enough to go on to start a full murder investigation. But it was the annual summer holiday - and the heat was bringing all the rats out of their holes with a vengeance...


'Scotland's answer to Ed McBain' TLS

'This author is adding cubits to the British police procedural with each new book' OBSERVER

Big Money (1984)

The Post Office Raid was a criminal's dream - and a policeman's nightmare. The rovvers were a superbly professional team, the job went like clockwork, and the police had virtually nothing to go on. But with big money at stake, the officers at P Division knew they would be working a twenty-six hour day until they cracked the case. Their only clue was related to an unsolved mystery already two years old. Yet the truth was frighteningly close to home...

'Another brilliant novel of police procedure... confirms Peter Turnbull is amongst the foremost thriller writer' GRIMSBY EVENING TELEGRAPH

'Procedurals can hardly come more authentic' SUNDAY TIMES


  1. I used to really enjoy Peter Turnbull books, set as they were in my adopted city of Glasgow! I feel him, and Campbell Armstrong's Lou Perman series, have been kind of overlooked in the Tartan Noir canon - they were writing it really well before it became fashionable. The only irritation is how hard it is to find Peter Turnbull books now - yours look second hand, so lucky you to have found them! I used to have to get them from the library in Glasgow.

    1. Yeah, I'm a bottom feeder when it comes to older books. I'll go for cheap copies as long as they are readable. The first in series is quite hard to find, but the rest are affordable. I never knew Armstrong wrote crime fiction I had him badged as a thriller writer. I'll have to look them up. Quintin Jardine is another author I've been meaning to try for a number of years. He has an Edinburgh set series.

    2. Hmm...not a big Jardine fan, personally, but horses for courses - I read one and didn't much enjoy it (although I have a couple more, of course!) so maybe I should give him another try - it's just there's so many books I WANT to read on my shelves! Be interested to hear your thoughts, Col. And I went online and invested in a cheap second hand Peter Turnbull - thanks for the reminder! (Although my OH isn't - it's a constant, um, debate about the amount of books in our house! How do you cope? Or am I correct in remembering your OH is a keen crime fiction fan too?)

    3. And yes, Armstrong wrote (I think) four or so about Glasgow-based Jewish PI Lou Perlman - I loved them. I remember Jig when it came out - it was massive, but I think that was before my really obsessive reading of crime fiction, or perhaps I was too young? A book I never got round to...(another!) one for the list!

    4. I'll try and get to both Turnbull and Jardine later this year. Always more books than time unfortunately. My wife enjoys crime fiction but isn't as committed to reading and books as I am. I'm a tad obsessed. The number of books I have has been a subject of lively debate on many occasions!

    5. I think I had Jig or Mambo but never read it and got rid I think.

    6. I'm like you - a tad obsessed! And there's so maybe great new books forever coming out, tempting us...I'm just grateful he's no idea how many are on my Kindle!

    7. Yeah me too, that's a secret! New Alan Parks in a few months and Malcolm Mackay has been quite for a spell. Just saying...

  2. You had me at 'Ed McBain,' Col. The stories do sound good, and I'm another who isn't familiar with Turnbull's work, although I had heard the name. I really need to get to know him, and I'll be keen to read your thoughts on his work when you get there.

    1. Thanks Margot, hopefully I won't keep you waiting too long!