Portrait of Lynn Shepherd

Lynn Shepherd

‘Law & Order: English Regency Unit’

Or, was Detective Robert Goren a thief-taker in a previous life?

I’ve been a fan of good TV crime drama for decades – whether the classic, English Inspector Morse, the brutally realistic Law & Order franchise, or the sassy-scientific CSI stable. What I didn’t realise until very recently, is that, whether I knew it or not, I was actually doing was some extremely effective research for my much more recent career as a writer of murder mysteries. This probably won’t strike you as that odd—not, at least—until I tell you that my first book was set in 1811, at a time when England didn’t even have a basic police force, never mind specialist detectives or a murder squad. All my victim’s family could turn to was a hired ‘thief taker’—a professional bounty hunter who would undertake to track down the killer for a hefty fee. So what use could my encyclopaedic knowledge of Grissom, Benson, Briscoe, et al possibly be in those circumstances?

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