The Crime Readers' Association

Graham Brack

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Graham writes police procedurals set in Prague and historical fiction based in the Dutch Golden Age (around 1670).

His Czech detective, Josef Slonský, has been described by reviewers as “grungy” but lovable. Slonský spent the first half of his career working under Communism, and knows that during that time law and justice did not always coincide. He remembers what he had to do, and assumes that anyone of his age did the same; and since those of his age include his bosses, he feels a general a priori contempt for them. The one exception he will make is for his immediate boss, Captain Lukas, who was an honest man and whose promotion was therefore long delayed. Slonský enjoys a beer or six, often with his reporter friend Valentin, with whom he has been drinking since they were eleven years old.

Slonský is not a lone wolf. He leads a team that slowly grows over the series of books, and works closely with the desk sergeant, Sergeant Mucha, whom he has known for many years. Mucha has spent a long time filing reports and is very good at digging up the paperwork that Slonský does not have the patience (or inside knowledge) to find. You can read more about the characters in these stories at .

The Dutch detective, Master Mercurius, is very different. In his mid-thirties when the series starts, Mercurius is a university lecturer and an ordained minister; very intelligent, but completely innocent in some of the ways of the world. He finds women particularly difficult to understand, since the only one he really knows is his grandmother.

The chief difference between them is that Slonský has nothing in his life outside his job. He lives for being a policeman, and he dreads retirement. Mercurius is an extremely reluctant detective. In his dreams, he spends his time in a library surrounded by books, reading and writing, with the occasional hour of teaching to earn his living, but the great men of his age keep demanding his help; and, because they are great men, he cannot say no.

Both series contain humour, largely because Graham is incapable of being serious for long.


Debut - Shortlisted in 2011, 2014 and 2016

Books by Graham Brack

  • Lying and Dying


  • Slaughter and Forgetting


  • Death on Duty


  • Field of Death


  • A Second Death


  • Laid in Earth


  • Midwinter Mysteries


  • Death in Delft


  • Untrue till Death


  • Dishonour and Obey


  • The Noose's Shadow


  • The Vanishing Children


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