Murder in Gloucestershire. James Michael Gregson (1934–2016), also known as J M Gregson, spent 27 years as a teacher in the United Kingdom before turning exclusively to writing. He created criminal books, notably the Lambert and Hook series and the Inspector Peach series (which included some golf).
The show centers on Superintendent John Lambert and Sergeant Bert Hook as they look into homicides in Gregson’s chosen home of Gloucestershire.
How to read the Lambert and Hook Series in Order?
Although each entry in the Lambert and Hook book series may be read independently, the lives of the various characters change as the series progresses.
- Murder at the Nineteenth – Superintendent John Lambert finds the crime when a brutal murder occurs at a storied Home Counties golf club. He finds himself conducting a murder investigation among individuals he knows well for the first time in his lengthy career. The two days that follow the murder are filled with rapid-fire events. Superintendent Lambert, assisted by the deceptively stolid Sergeant Hook, makes steady progress toward a resolution amidst further surprising events.
- Making a Killing – Lydon Hall is a home of charm, as the real estate agent’s brochure describes it. But surely one of its many intriguing aspects shouldn’t be a body in the classy drawing room? Is this death what it seems to be-a suicide? Sergeant Bert Hook and Superintendent John Lambert are sent in to look into the little settlement where Lydon Hall is located.
- Dead on Course – A guy is discovered dead on the golf course while surrounded by the opulent amenities of the Wye Castle Hotel and Country Club. Sergeant Hook and Superintendent Lambert swiftly determine the cause of his death. Finding out who killed him, however, proves to be a far more challenging task.
- Bring Forth Your Dead – The old invalid Edmund Craven’s exhumation serves as proof that he was poisoned, and by one of his closest associates. But until Superintendent Lambert and Sergeant Bert Hook look into it, the odors are cold and the traces are well-covered. Twelve months after the body was buried, the investigators showed up on the spot. Lambert has never had to look into a homicide that happened more than a year ago. He gradually uncovers a web of evil and treachery.
- The Fox in the Forest – Peter Barton, the town vicar, is discovered shot on Christmas Eve in the woods between two quiet towns. Superintendent Lambert and his CID team are brought in to conduct the investigation. In the days leading up to her husband’s passing, his estranged wife herself went missing because she was out with a lover. Could she be the homicide Lambert is after? Or could it be the lone man with a shotgun that matches his and appears to despise the victim?
- Stranglehold – The body of a little girl is discovered in a vacant home. Only a few hints may be found at the murder site to help identify her killer after she has been dead for two days. When a second murder occurs in the same tiny town, it becomes clear that a serial killer is being sought who will undoubtedly commit another murder. The arrangement of the bodies implies a person with a deranged mentality as well as someone who was aiming to tease the police.
- Watermarked – The deceased woman’s body had been floating in the Severn for some time before it finally settled among the willow’s exposed roots. What is left over is not appealing. The forensic evidence has mostly been destroyed by the water. However, there is enough of it left enough to imply to Superintendent Lambert and Detective Sergeant Bert Hook that she did not die accidentally and was instead slain somewhere else before being thrown into the river.
- Death of a Nobody – The guy desired was Charlie Pegg. Being a talented joiner, he had unfettered access to many affluent people’s houses, including Old Mead Park, a posh apartment complex where the legendary mobster Jim Berridge resides. Pegg was the ideal informant thanks to his insider knowledge and endearing personality. He gave the police helpful leads by listening to voicemails and looking at the homes. When Pegg’s body is discovered stabbed in a gutter while en route to give his most recent intelligence, it is immediately obvious that this was a well-planned hit by skilled assassins. This case won’t be easy for Superintendent Lambert and Sergeant Hook to solve. The criminal underworld won’t cooperate in any way.
- Accident by Design – In the Forest of Dean, at the bottom of one of the isolated valleys, dwells Walter Fletcher. When his family tries to convince him to leave the home he has lived in for forty years, he is determined to establish his independence despite his advanced age. But it is a deadly choice, as he passes just two days later. His granddaughter, who is visiting for the burial, is the one who initially casts doubt on the first assumption that his death was an accident. To their disgust, Superintendent Lambert and Sergeant Hook discover that the girl’s suspicions of criminal activity are more than justified.
- Body Politic – Raymond Keane, an aspirational MP, is discovered dead on a frozen lake, and Superintendent Lambert and Sergeant Hook quickly learn that the man was skilled at fomenting strife. Many individuals favored his execution. And when Lambert discovers an item beside the lake, he is confident that he has caught the culprit. But the Body Politic has some unexpected treats in store for him.
- Girl Gone Missing – the Gloucestershire castle of Chepstow. While walking her dog, a lady discovers something horrifying. After weeks of decaying in the river, the body of a teenage girl washed ashore on the banks of the River Wye. But it’s not a suicide here. The girl, Alison Watts, was already dead before she entered the river, as shown by bruises on her legs and throat. An unsolved missing person’s case has recently turned into a murder for Superintendent Lambert and Sergeant Hook.
- Malice Aforethought – The churchyard in Broughton Ash contains a corpse. Middle-aged male who was well-dressed but was unidentified. There is just one thing for sure: he was killed. The unnamed victim must be identified, therefore Superintendent John Lambert and Detective Sergeant Bert Hook must get to work. They are shocked to learn that he is Ted Giles, a popular chemistry teacher at the nearby school. Giles had a hidden life that he was desperately trying to hide, the two discover as they start their interrogation.
- An Unsuitable Death – For months, the graphic story of “The Sacristan” had dominated the headlines. The bodies of the victims were buried in serene cemeteries or churches. It seems he has struck again when the body of a stunning young woman is discovered in Hereford Cathedral. When DSI Lambert and DS Hook are assigned to the case, they quickly learn that neither the case nor the victim are as simple as they first seem.
- An Academic Death – Detective Sergeant Bert Hook isn’t exactly focused on finding Matthew when Liz Upson reports that her husband has vanished. Matthew is only one of the many missing people that are reported each year. Mrs. Upson makes it quite plain that she doesn’t give a damn whether her husband is discovered. He could be absent, but he isn’t at all missed. Hook and his supervisor, Superintendent John Lambert, start to question whether there could be more going on than simply a straightforward missing persons investigation when Matthew’s mother shows up a few days later and vehemently claims that the circumstances of her son’s abduction are suspect.
- Death on the Eleventh Hole – In order to escape her drug dealer employer and a life of promoting prostitution and narcotics, Kate Wharton leaves a bustling tavern in her hometown. But she has also put her own death on the line. Sergeant Bert Hook encounters an unwelcome discovery during his routine round of golf at the eleventh hole. the Kate Wharton corpse. Kate’s killer will be difficult to discover given her cloudy history. However, it appears that there may be another motivation for the murder than her illicit links.
- Mortal Taste – Peter Logan, the head teacher, is a peculiar example of Jekyll and Hyde. Although he has made a significant difference at his Cheltenham school, his personal life is far from model. So, when he receives a headshot one September evening, does he die a martyr or is this fair punishment for his actions? Lambert and Hook are responsible for learning the truth.
- Just Desserts – Everyone has a fantastic time at a celebration to commemorate Camellia Park Golf Club’s first ten years, and the commotion is loud enough to drown out the cries coming from the restroom. Chief Superintendent Lambert looks into the matter but is met with a perplexing case: a victim who was universally adored. Who then had a goal?
- Too Much of Water – Although Gloucestershire is experiencing a severe heat wave, Superintendent John Lambert and Det. Sergeant Bert Hook are finding life much more difficult. Clare Mills, a sweet and talented young university student, was found strangled and silently drifting along the Severn River. Unluckily, hardly one who knew her is really grieved-or open-about it.
- Close Call – Three lovely homes and bungalows overlooking the river Wye may be found in Gurney Close, a newly constructed neighborhood in Gloucestershire. Three married couples and a divorcee are moving into these new homes, and they are all excited to meet one another at a little block party. However, one of the new neighbors-friendly, everyday Robin Durkin-is discovered brutally killed the next morning. Detective Sergeant Bert Hook and Superintendent John Lambert learned during their investigation that each neighbor had connections to the murder. They are also far from flawless. everyone, even Durkin.
- Something Is Rotten – DS Bert Hook is persuaded to attend the local Shakespeare play’s auditions. He is expecting his supervisor, John Lambert, to ban him from performing since he wants to get out of it badly. It wasn’t to be. Hook encounters a group of individuals who are both unexpected and evil. And Hook wants to get the truth out as soon as possible once the director is discovered dead. Who is innocent, who is only acting, and who is truly evil at heart?
- A Good Walk Spoiled – The Gloucester Chemicals Company’s Director of Research and Development is Richard Cullis. He is forcibly abducted one late-night and told to stop all animal research in the labs if he loves his life. A few weeks later, Richard’s unexpected breakdown after dinner changes the course of a business golf outing. Although a murder may have occurred, who actually used the poison? To separate the truth from the falsehoods, Chief Superintendent Lambert and Detective Sergeant Hook are enlisted.
- Darkness Visible – Darren Chivers, a small-time drug dealer, starts to engage in a different kind of illegal activity after narrowly avoiding being apprehended by the police. Blackmail turns out to be profitable but eventually fatal. Secrets emerge as the inquiry develops as Chief Superintendent Lambert and DS Hook speak with the deceased’s acquaintances, and the puzzle’s answer is as stunning as it is shocking.
- In Vino Veritas – The unwavering proprietor of a prosperous Gloucestershire vineyard is Martin Beaumont. With a small but committed team at his side, he has slowly grown the business over the years. To the dismay of his senior employees, he views Abbey Vineyards as his business, which he is free to manage whatever he pleases. Therefore, Chief Superintendent Lambert and DS Hook don’t have to go very far to identify suspects with compelling reasons for the murder once he is discovered dead in his car.
- Die Happy – An unusual case for Chief Superintendent Lambert and DS Hook begins when the members of the Oldford Literary Festival committee receive identical anonymous letters demanding their resignation or death. All the members believe that only one individual is capable of such a thing: Peter Preston, a conceited snob who is at odds with the festival’s director over what he perceives as the dumbing down of the activities schedule. But may a dispute of this nature result in murder? Shortly after, Lambert and Hook have their response.
- More Than Meets the Eye – Dennis Cooper has a comfortable existence in his role as curator of Westbourne Park, a national historic monument. What could be more rewarding than keeping an eye on the magnificent flowered gardens, managing its well-liked restaurant, and ensuring the daily crowds of tourists depart satisfied? But Dennis’s dead corpse in a pond at the edge of the gardens is the only thing Gloucestershire’s Superintendent John Lambert and Detective Sergeant Bert Hook are interested in seeing when they visit the tranquil setting.
- Cry of the Children – Lucy, Anthea Gibson’s seven-year-old daughter, was excited to be attending her first village fair the last time she saw her. Next, the worst scenario for a parent: Lucy never returns home. Lambert and Hook throw a broad net over potential possibilities as the disappearance goes from hours to days without any leads. However, the story takes a stunning turn when a second youngster goes missing from the region and something awful washes up on the Wye River’s beaches.
- Rest Assured – Twin Lakes is a peaceful location. It is a collection of vacation cottages located in a particularly stunning area of England. At the entryway is a sign that reads, “Rest Assured.” And the fortunate owners of the opulent residences on the property may unwind in a lovely environment. Then one of the lakeside villas receives a string of enigmatic, threatening messages. The notes stop after an informal examination by DS Bert Hook.
- Skeleton Plot – There appear to be a lot of individuals who could know who the body is and how it got there when a human skeleton is found on the edge of a 20-year-old housing complex. However, twenty years is a very long period, and those folks were completely different then. Skeletons are being exposed in many ways, and a number of important local personalities are starting to feel uneasy and concerned. Detective Chief Superintendent Lambert and Detective Sergeant Hook are in charge of searching through the past to find the truth.
- Final Act – Sam Jackson is not someone who takes indifference from idiots or anybody else kindly. He is a wealthy British television producer who imagines himself to be a Hollywood tycoon. He enjoys the fact that he is easily offended. It should come as no big shock that a man like that might die a violent end. The person who killed him is almost definitely to be located among the group of actors who are filming a series of detective mysteries in rural Herefordshire, according to Detective Chief Superintendent Lambert and Detective Sergeant Hook.
Please remember to bookmark our post on the Lambert and Hook series in order, if you find it useful. Also, you may want to take a look at the Grant County series and the Percy Peach novels.