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Susan Elizabeth George (born February 26, 1949)[1] is an American writer of mystery novels set in Great Britain.

Elizabeth George
Born Susan Elizabeth George
(1949-02-26) February 26, 1949 (age 68)
Warren, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Writer
Nationality American
Citizenship United States
Education English
Bachelor of Arts
Counseling and psychology
Master's of Education
Alma mater University of California, Riverside
Genre Mystery fiction, detective fiction
Spouse Ira Jay Toibin (1971, divorced 1995)

She is best known for a series of novels featuring Inspector Thomas Lynley, 19 in number as of 2015. The first eleven were adapted for television by the BBC as earlier episodes of The Inspector Lynley Mysteries.



Elizabeth George was born in Warren, Ohio, to Robert Edwin and Anne (née Rivelle) George, their second child—she has an older brother, author Robert Rivelle George. Her mother was a nurse, and her father a manager for a conveyor company.[1] The family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area when she was eighteen months old. Her father wanted to get away from the Midwestern weather.[2]

She was a student of English, having received a teaching certificate from the University of California, Riverside. While teaching English in the public school system, she completed a master's degree in counseling and psychology.[3] She received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Cal State University Fullerton in 2004 and was awarded an honorary Masters in Fine Arts from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts in 2010. She also established the Elizabeth George Foundation in 1997.

George married Ira Jay Toibin in 1971 and they divorced in 1995.[3]

George is currently married to Tom McCabe (see acknowledgements in 2015 novel A Banquet of Consequences)


Her first published novel was A Great Deliverance (1988). It introduces Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley, actually Lord Asherton, privately educated (Eton College and Oxford University); his partner Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, grammar school educated and from a working-class background[4]—both from Scotland Yard; Lady Helen Clyde, Lynley's girlfriend; and Lynley's former school friend Simon St. James.


Art can't be taught; passion can't be taught; discipline can't be taught; but craft can be taught. And writing is both an art and a craft.

Published booksEdit

Fiction: Inspector LynleyEdit

Fiction: otherEdit



George's first novel, A Great Deliverance, was favorably received by the mystery fiction community.

It won the Agatha Award for "Best First Novel" in 1988 and the 1989 Anthony Award in the same category. It was nominated for an Edgar Award in 1988.[5][6][7]


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Clifford (2001). Current Biography Yearbook 2000. Bronx, New York: H. W. Wilson Company. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-8242-1004-5. 
  2. ^ Stenger, Karl L. (2005). "Elizabeth George". Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit, Michigan: Gale. pp. 132–143. 
  3. ^ a b Lindsay, Elizabeth Blakesley (2007). Great Women Mystery Writers. Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 92. ISBN 978-0-313-33428-3. 
  4. ^ George, Elizabeth. A Great Deliverance. Chapter 2. As if a grammar school background and a working-class accent were social diseases that might infect him 
  5. ^ "Malice Domestic Convention – Bethesda, MD". August 23, 1988. Archived from the original on April 12, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Bouchercon World Mystery Convention: Anthony Awards Nominees". October 2, 2003. Archived from the original on February 7, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Best First Mystery Novel by an American Author Edgar Award Winners and Nominees – Complete Lists". Archived from the original on April 14, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2012. 

External linksEdit