A Touch of Frost.
Who is R.D. Wingfield?
Rodney David Wingfield was a prolific radio dramatist, writing crime and comedy scripts for BBC Radio 4, but he also became famous for his novels about Detective Inspector Jack Frost, who was later played by Sir David Jason in A Touch of Frost, the ITV series.
The crumpled, slapdash and foul-mouthed character first appeared in a radio play entitled Three Days of Frost which was inspired by the (not published at that time) novel “Frost at Christmas.” He then found his way to the bookstores and became a sensation.
After Wingfield’s death in 2007, prequel books approved by the author’s family started to be written.
R.D. Wingfield’s Jack Frost books in order:
- Frost at Christmas – Ten days to Christmas and Tracey Uphill, aged eight, hasn’t come home from Sunday school. Her mother, a pretty young prostitute, is desperate. Enter Detective Inspector Jack Frost, sloppy, scruffy, and insubordinate. To help him investigate the case of the missing child, Frost has been assigned a new sidekick, the Chief Constable’s nephew. Fresh to provincial Denton in an oversmart suit, Detective Constable Clive Barnard is an easy target for Frost’s withering satire.
- A Touch of Frost – Detective Inspector Jack Frost, officially on duty, is nevertheless determined to sneak off to a colleague’s leaving party. But first the corpse of a well-known local junkie is found blocking the drain of a Denton public lavatory – and then the daughter of a wealthy businessman is reported missing. And now a wave of crime threatens to submerge sleepy Denton.
- Night Frost – A serial killer is terrorizing the senior citizens of Denton, and the local police are succumbing to a flu epidemic. In uncertain charge of the investigations is Detective Inspector Jack Frost. He tries to cope despite inadequate back-up, but there is never enough time; the unsolved crimes pile up and the vicious killings go on. So Frost has to cut corners and take risks, knowing that his Divisional Commander will throw him to the wolves if anything goes wrong.
- Hard Frost – Denton Division is shorthanded after a car crash involving several tipsy high-ranking cops, and on Guy Fawkes night there’s more mischief abroad than just a few children making the rounds begging for pennies and lighting firecrackers. In the next few days, Frost will deal with a parade of miscreants, including a blackmailer, a shifty businessman, a not-so-greiving widow, a sexual pervert or two, a crazed housewife, and a cold-blooded kidnapper. The clock is ticking, and Frost is perilously short of clues…
- Winter Frost – Detective Inspector Jack Frost’s main concern is for the safety of a missing school girl. Nine weeks ago Vicky Stuart, eight years old, didn’t return home from school and in spite of exhaustive enquiries and extensive searches, has never been seen since. Another little girl from the same school is reported missing. Her body is found…raped and strangled.
- A Killing Frost – On a rainy night in Denton, Detective Inspector Jack Frost is called to the site of a macabre discovery in the woods – that of a human foot. Meanwhile, a multiple rapist is on the loose, the local supermarket reports poisoned stock and a man claims to have cut his wife up into little pieces, yet can’t recall where he hid them. But it is when two young girls are reported missing in quick succession that the Denton crime wave reaches terrifying heights.
DS Jack Frost Prequel
The beginning of the Jack Frost saga, not written by R.D. Wingfield, but by James Henry at first, then by Danny Miller.
- First Frost by James Henry – Denton, 1981. Britain is in recession, the IRA is becoming increasingly active and the country’s on alert for an outbreak of rabies. Detective Sergeant Jack Frost is working under his mentor and inspiration DI Bert Williams, and coping badly with his increasingly strained marriage. But DI Williams is nowhere to be seen. So when a 12-year-old girl goes missing from a department store changing room, DS Frost is put in charge of the investigation…
- Fatal Frost by James Henry – May, 1982. While the force is busy dealing with a spate of local burglaries, the body of fifteen-year-old Samantha Ellis is discovered in woodland next to the nearby railway track. Then a fifteen-year-old boy is found dead on Denton’s golf course, his organs removed. DS Jack Frost is sent to investigate – a welcome distraction from troubles at home. And when the murdered boy’s sister goes missing, Frost and Waters must work together to find her . . . before it’s too late.
- Morning Frost by James Henry – 5 October 1982. It’s been one of the worst days of Detective Sergeant Jack Frost’s life. He has buried his wife Mary, and must now endure the wake, attended by all of Denton’s finest. All, that is, apart from DC Sue Clark, who spends the night pursuing a bogus tip-off, before being summoned to the discovery of a human hand. And things get worse. Local entrepreneur Harry Baskin is shot outside his club, an off-licence is set on fire and a famous painting goes missing.
- Frost at Midnight by James Henry – August, 1983. Denton is preparing for a wedding, with less than a week to go until Detective Sergeant Waters marries Kim Myles. But the Sunday before the big day, the body of a young woman is found in the churchyard. Their idyllic wedding venue has become a crime scene. As best man to Waters, Detective Inspector Jack Frost has a responsibility to solve the mystery before the wedding.
- A Lethal Frost by Danny Miller – 1984. After a morning’s betting at the races, bookmaker George Price is found in his car, barely alive with a bullet in his head. As he’s rushed to hospital, Detective Inspector Jack Frost and the Denton police force start their hunt for the would-be murderer. But with a long list of enemies who might want the bookie dead, the team have got their work cut out for them.
- The Murder Map by Danny Miller – When art dealer Ivan Fielding is found dead of a heart attack in his home, surrounded by the treasures he’s collected all his life, it doesn’t initially seem like a case for Detective Inspector Frost and the Denton police force. But then signs of a burglary are discovered, and Frost senses there’s more to the story than meets the eye – even though the only thing taken was a worthless amateur painting.
If you like R.D. Wingfield’s Jack Frost series, you may also want to see our Kate Brannigan reading order or the DCI Ryan reading order. Don’t hesitate to follow us on Twitter or Facebook to discover more book series.