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Nicholas Rhea
Nicholas Rhea
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Nicholas Rhea is a highly successful novelist, whose Constable series formed the basis of the Heartbeat TV series.


Nicholas (Peter N Walker) was born at Glaisdale in the North York Moors and educated at Whitby Grammar School. His first ambition was to become a journalist, but local opportunities were non-existent. So, being a sturdy 16 year old, 6' tall and with good-sized feet, he enlisted with the police service as a cadet. Colleagues soon recognised his talent with words and Nicholas was often found pounding on an old typewriter in the police station, compiling reports on behalf of down-to-earth Yorkshire police officers who, one might say, found the truncheon mightier than the word.


Nevertheless, Nicholas liked the work and eventually joined the regular police. He served his probation in the harbour town of Whitby and was eventually posted, with a wife and three small children, to a rural beat. Being country born and bred, the life of a village bobby suited him and provided the opportunity to take up writing. He began with contributions to Police Review and countryside pieces for the Yorkshire Post. But his great ambition was to see his name on a full-length book. For several years and with a fourth child, he had no luck with his novels until someone suggested the obvious: ‘Write about what you know - police work!’ This he did, and in 1967 had his first crime novel published by Robert Hale. His hero, Detective Sergeant Carnaby-King, appeared in eleven books, later followed by Detective Supt Mark Pemberton and then Detective Inspector Pluke. In between his crime novels came the Constable series which spawned the hugely successful TV series, Heartbeat, featuring a village bobby in the 1960s. This is located around Whitby and is seen in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Scandinavia and many other countries. A spin-off TV series, The Royal, is set in a 1960s cottage hospital on the Yorkshire coast.

Nicholas Rhea's non-fiction titles include The Courts of Law; A History of Punishment; Murders and Mysteries from the North York Moors and Murders and Mysteries from the Yorkshire Dales. His other works include collections of folk tales from Yorkshire and the Lake District. He writes on rural matters and dialect, country lore, folk lore, natural history, local history, topography and all aspects of Yorkshire country life. For the past 35 years he has compiled Countryman's Diary for the Darlington & Stockton Times, and Rural View for the Yorkshire Gazette & Herald.


He is a member of the Crime Writers' Association and was its Chairman in 1995/96. He is also a member of the Yorkshire Dialect Society and former President of Nottingham Writers' Club. He now has eight grandchildren and continues to live in North Yorkshire.


Crime Fiction by Peter N. Walker

The Carnaby series pub. Hale:

  • Carnaby and the Hijackers (1967)
  • Carnaby and the Gaolbreakers (1968)
  • Carnaby and the Assassins (1968)
  • Carnaby and the Conspirators (1969)
  • Carnaby and the Saboteurs (1970)
  • Carnaby and the Eliminators (1971)
  • Carnaby and the Demonstrators (1972)
  • Carnaby and the Infiltrators (1974)
  • Carnaby and the Kidnappers (1976)
  • Carnaby and the Counterfeiters (1980)
  • Carnaby and the Campaigners (1984)

Written as Andrew Arncliffe

  • Murder after the Holiday - Hale (1985)

Written as Christopher Coram pub. Hale:

  • A Call to Danger (1968)
  • A Call to Die (1969)
  • Death in Ptarmigan Forest (1970)
  • Death on the Motorway (1973)
  • Murder by the Lake (1975)
  • Murder Beneath the Trees (1979)
  • Prisoner on the Dam (1982)
  • Prisoner on the Run (1985)

Written as Peter N. Walker

  • False Alibi - Constable (1991)
  • Grave Secrets – Constable (1992)

Written as Nicholas Rhea:

  • Family Ties - Constable (1994)
  • Suspect - Constable (1995)
  • Omens of Death - Constable (1997)
  • Confession - Constable (1997)
  • Superstitious Death - Constable 1998)
  • Death of a Princess - Constable (1999)
  • A Well-pressed Shroud - Constable (2000)
  • The Sniper - Constable (2001)
  • Garland for a Dead Maiden - Constable (2002)
  • Dead Ends - Constable (2003)
  • The Curse of the Golden Trough - Constable (2004)
  • Sergeant Simpson's Sacrifice - Hale (2005)
  • Prize Murder – Constable (2006)
  • Murder under the Midnight Sun – Constable (2008)

TV HEARTBEAT is based on the Constable books by Peter N.Walker as Nicholas Rhea (pub.Robt.Hale)

  • Constable on the Hill (1979) (and Black Dagger 2004)
  • Constable on the Prowl (1980) Hale pb (1994) (and Black Dagger 2004)
  • Constable around the Village (1981)
  • Constable across the Moors (1982)
  • Constable in the Dale (1983) pbk (1990)
  • Constable by the Sea (1985)
  • Constable along the Lane (1986)
  • Constable through the Meadow (1988)
  • Constable at the Double (1988)
  • Constable in Disguise (1989)
  • Constable among the Heather (1990)
  • Constable by the Stream (1991)
  • Constable around the Green (1993)
  • Constable beneath the Trees (1994)
  • Constable in Control (1994)
  • Constable in the Shrubbery (1995)
  • Constable versus Greengrass (1995)
  • Constable about the Parish (1996)
  • Constable at the Gate (1997)
  • Constable at the Dam (1997)
  • Constable over the Stile (1998) pbk (2003)
  • Constable under the Gooseberry Bush (hbk & pbk1999)
  • Constable in the Farmyard (1999)
  • Constable around the Houses (2000)
  • Constable along the Highway (2001)
  • Constable over the Bridge (2001)
  • Constable goes to Market (2002)
  • Constable along the River-bank (2002) (pbk 2003)
  • Constable in the Wilderness (2003) (pbk 2004)
  • Constable around the Park (2004) (pbk 2005)
  • Constable along the Trail (2005) (pbk 2006)
  • Constable in the Country (2005)
  • Constable along the Coast (Autumn 2006) (pbk 2007)
  • Constable On View (2007) (pbk 2008)
  • Constable beats the Bounds (August 2009)
  • Constable at the Fair (may 2010)
  • Constable over the Hill (May 2011) - This is the final book in the series


  • Constable along the Lane – Accent Press (2008)
  • Constable through the Meadow – Accent Press (2008)
  • Constable by the Sea – Accent Press (2008)
  • Constable in the Dale – Accent Press (2008)
  • Constable across the Moors – Accent Press (2008)
  • Constable around the Village – Accent Press (2008)
  • Constable on the Prowl – Accent Press (2008)
  • Constable in Disguise – Accent Press (2009)


  • Heartbeat: The Story behind the Series – Mortons (2008)
  • Blessed Nicholas Postgate: Marty of the Moors
    Gracewing publishing (15th May 2012)
  • Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey
    Robert Hale (29th Nov 2013)
  • Full Churchyard
    Robert Hale (30th Sept 2014)
  • Confession at Maddleskirk Abbey
    Robert Hale (30th Apr 2015)


  • Some Assured - Severn House (2004)
  • Rest Assured - Severn House (2005)
  • Self Assured - Severn House (2006)
  • Life Assured - Severn House (2007)
A Full Churchyard
Buy from Amazon

Murder at Maddleskirk Abbey
Buy from Amazon


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