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Stephen Booth is a British award-winning author of crime and mystery novels.

Born in Burnley, he attended City of Birmingham Polytechnic; presently know as Birmingham City University.

Although Stephen moved to Manchester to train as a teacher, he called it quits after a frightening experience as a trainee teacher in a huge city comprehensive school.

He would later begin working for a newspaper in Wilmslow, Cheshire, pursuing a career as a newspaper and magazine journalist for more than 25 years.

On top of being published in the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, his renowned Ben Cooper & Diane Fry Mystery Series has been sold in 16 languages across the globe.

More about Stephen Booth

Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Thriller

Born: 1952

United Kingdom

Website: http://www.stephen-booth.com/index.htm

Non Series

  • Top Hard (2011)
  • Drowned Lives (2019)

Ben Cooper & Diane Fry Mystery Series

  1. Black Dog (2000)
  2. Dancing with the Virgins (2001)
  3. Blood on the Tongue (2002)
  4. Blind to the Bones (2003)
  5. One Last Breath (2004)
  6. The Dead Place (2005)
  7. Scared to Live (2006)
  8. Dying to Sin (2007)
  9. The Kill Call (2009)
  10. Lost River (2010)
  11. The Devil's Edge (2011)
  12. Dead and Buried (2012)
  13. Already Dead (2013)
  14. The Corpse Bridge (2014)
  15. The Murder Road (2015)
  16. Secrets of Death (2016)
  17. Dead in the Dark (2017)
  18. Fall Down Dead (2018)

Novellas

  1. Claws (2007)
Novellas

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Top Hard

It's 1998 in Nottinghamshire, England.

There’s an ever-widening gap between the rich residing in the historic country park mansions, and the poor in the decomposing villages and rundown housing estates.

In this world, which is rife with injustice, lives Stones McClure—a man determined to become the best version of himself. In this ruthless part of the world, there’s only one survival rule: trust no one.

Things are about to go terribly wrong Stones.

Someone is after him, and for once, it’s not any of the women in his life.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0956902771
Publisher: Westlea Books
Drowned Lives

When council officer Chris Buckley is approached by a queer elderly man who wants help solving a problem that has divided his family for decades, he doesn’t take the stranger seriously and swiftly sends him away.

When the elderly man however ends up dead, Chris finds himself being asked question by the police about things that he knows nothing about.

Determined to look into what could have caused the elderly man to lose his life, Chris unearths a lethal secret hidden in the silt and mud of the local canals; one which had every reason to be buried.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-0751576306
Publisher: Sphere

Ben Cooper & Diane Fry Mystery Series

Black Dog

The search operation by the police dogs and helicopters is called off when the mutilated body of teenager Laura Vernon is discovered in a thicket in the heart of the country.

Laura harbored secrets well beyond her years, and the killer lives within the community.

Ben Cooper is a young police detective whose work has just gotten harder after the determined DC Diane Fry is transferred from a nearby city.

In a case where everybody is a suspect until proven otherwise, Cooper and Fry—who are like fire and gasoline—must learn to work together if they are to catch a vicious killer hiding in the open.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2000
ISBN: 978-0957237902
Publisher: Westlea Books
Dancing with the Virgins

The Nine Virgins is a ring of stones overshadowed by a dark legend somewhere in an isolated part of the Peak District.

As winter draws closer, a tenth figure is added in the form of the lifeless body of Jenny Weston, with her limbs arranged as though she were dancing.

Another woman, Maggie Crew, was also ambushed on the moors. Though alive, she was left brutally butchered and seriously traumatized.

Is there a lunatic on the loose, randomly butchering women?

As DS Diane Fry and DC Ben Cooper attempt to solve the case, they find themselves with far more questions than answers.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2001
ISBN: 978-0957237919
Publisher: Westlea Books
Blood on the Tongue

It a new year for Peak District, which means DC Ben Cooper and DS Diane Fry just have more murders to solve.

The lifeless remains of Marie Tennent lie underneath the Peak District snow. But body is neither the only one, nor the first to be discovered.

When the wreckage of a bomber was found on the Hill in 1945, all but one crewman died.

A young Canadian woman, who is the daughter of the missing pilot who was declared responsible for the death of the crew, arrives with only one thing in mind: uncovering the truth.

And it doesn’t take long for things to get more intriguing in the winter cold.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2002
ISBN: 978-0007130665
Publisher: Harper Collins
Blind to the Bones

Withens, a tiny village in the Peak District, is a place ridiculed with larceny and vandalism mostly caused by a family of local malefactor known as the Oxleys.

The village has now however become the centre of a murder investigation after the body of a man is discovered on the nearby bleak moors, with the victim identified as an Oxley.

Assigned thecase is DC Ben Cooper.

DS Diane Fry is also in Withens, albeit looking at shocking new evidence about a student who mysteriously vanished. Her parents have however refused to accept the possibility that their daughter could be dead.

As darkness descends on Withens, things get more spine-chilling…

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2003
ISBN: 978-0440242901
Publisher: Random House
One Last Breath

The ancient cave system in Derbyshire is a thriving tourist hub.

The underground tunnels and caverns however also offer the perfect hideout for a killer on the loose.

Detective Constable Ben Cooper and Detective Sergeant Diane Fry are on a desperate search for a man out there who is hungry for vengeance.

Mansell Quinn is an incensed man, having spent thirteen years in prison.

Having violating his parole hours ago, Quinn is now the main suspect in a new murder.

He was initially incarcerated for the vicious killing of his lover, although Quinn has continually protested his innocence.

Whichever the case, those who dared to oppose him are in terrible danger now.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-1909190115
Publisher: Westlea Books
The Dead Place

When an anonymous caller taunts Derbyshire Police, announcing that there will be a killing soon, it sounds like nothing more than a practical joke.

DS Diane Fry however takes him seriously after a woman is abducted from a multi-storey car park.

The frightening voice could be telling the truth, having given glues of earlier murders and bodies waiting to be discovered in 'the dead place'.

DC Ben Cooper has come across the bones of Audrey Steele. But according to her family, Audrey shouldn’t have any bones, as she was cremated eighteen months ago after dying from natural causes.

Fry and Cooper’s investigations immerse them into the world of people whose lives are characterized by death.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2005
ISBN: 978-1909190122
Publisher: Westlea Books
Scared to Live

A harmless and secluded middle-aged woman dies after three shots are fired to her open bedroom window one dark night.

It seems like the dead woman could have been the unfortunate victim of a random homicide, given how she had no friends, no family, and basically no contact with the rest of the world. But was she really harmless?

Elsewhere, a fire destroys a family home at the same time, killing a young mother and her two children. But amid the debris lies many unanswered question. How did the devastating inferno begin? Where was the husband on the night of the fire? Did the flames really claim the lives of the family? Or something more sinister?

DS Diane Fry and DC Ben Cooper certainly have their work cut out solving the mysteries.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-1909190139
Publisher: Westlea Books
Dying to Sin

Labors in the isolated Pity Wood Farm come across a human hand preserved in clay while digging the foundation of an old farmyard.

Upon undertaking more digging, the police are shocked at the unearthing of two bodies seemingly buried a number of years apart.

With no clues to enhance their search and increasingly mounting pressure from the new superintendant, DS Diane Fry and DC Ben Cooper are forced to rely on the memories of the locals in order to piece up the evidence.

Cooper however believes that the key to solving the mystery lies in the possible discovery of a third body.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0957237971
Publisher: Westlea Books
The Kill Call

On a rain-swept Derbyshire moor, hounds from the local foxhunt find the remains of a sharply dressed man with a crushed head.

An anonymous caller however instantly reports seeing the same corpse lying half a mile away.

Assigned to the cases are DS Diane Fry and DC Ben Cooper who get caught up in a world of horses, immense riches, and a mysterious village of Eyam where an outbreak of the black plague has turned it into a present day tourist attraction.

As the number of victims rise, Fry and Cooper find themselves looking for a ruthless killer hiding in plain sight.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0062338983
Publisher: Witness
Lost River

DC Ben Cooper’s holiday weekend in an idyllic village is ruined after he witnesses a drowning incident, forcing him to become entangled in the lives of the victim's family.

However, the more he learns about them, the more his suspicions rise about a desperately hidden family secret.

Meanwhile, while on a journey back to her roots, DS Diane Fry is drawn into an investigation of her own.

But the only person she could ever count on for help is in Derbyshire, where a devastating discovery awaits him on the banks of another river in Peak District.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2010
ISBN: 978-0007382149
Publisher: Harper Collins
The Devil's Edge

They are infamously known by the newspapers as the Savages: a group of home invaders who are known for their ruthlessness just as much as they are known for their surreptitious nature.

But this time round they have left a body. The first victim is discovered in a pool of blood on her kitchen floor, while another lifeless body is discovered, dead of fright.

As the body count rises, DS Diane Fry and DS Ben Cooper embark on a desperate hunt for the killers.

The enemy however isn't who they think it is.

Ongoing, at the foot a mountain ridge called the Devil's Edge, is game more distorted than anything the detectives could have possibly imagined.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0062378262
Publisher: Westlea Books
Dead and Buried

When wildfires destroy the Peak District's stunning and picturesque national park, hundreds of firefighters and park rangers struggle prevent the vicious inferno from consuming a historic inn which has been preserved as a landmark for years.

Although controlling the inferno is best left to the firefighters, DS Ben Cooper is called into action after someone breaks into an abandoned pub.

To his shock, he discovers a double homicide committed years ago, and another recently murdered individual.

Chasing after an intelligent killer in firm control of things, this could very well be the most challenging cases yet for Cooper and DI Diane Fry.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0751545692
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Already Dead

Amidst the never ending summer rain in Peak District lays a lifeless body in shallow water.

This is a nightmare for the Derbyshire CID, as the rains have rendered travelling and undertaking forensic examination impossible.

With DS Ben Cooper away on prolonged leave after an attempt on his life, and DS Diane Fry acting as a hesitant replacement, their makeshift team faces the ultimate test.

As loyalties among the officers are divided and the case surrounding the mysterious car remains unsolved, things get worse when they realized that Ben Cooper has mysteriously disappeared.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0062388070
Publisher: Witness Impulse
The Corpse Bridge

Mourners in Derbyshire have for centuries used the Corpse Bridge as a link to their village burial grounds.

But when a private developer reveals plans of deconsecrating the land into a parking lot for his resort cottages, corpses begin surfacing on the road to the Corpse Bridge.

Could this be an ominous warning from the locals, or the work of a deranged serial killer?

Returning from his recent traumatic event, DS Ben Cooper buries himself head first into the Corpse Bridge mystery as a distraction.

But when the case reaches breaking point, Cooper is forced to make a decision that could spell doom for everything and everyone he loves.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0062382405
Publisher: Witness Impulse
The Murder Road

Shawhead is a quiet and beautiful English village with only one road leading in and one road leading out.

However, this morning it becomes the scene of an investigation after a lorry is found abandoned under the railway bridge, with eerie bloodstain inside and the driver missing.

Whose blood is in the lorry? Is this murder? Who was the driver? And most importantly, where is he?

These are just some of the questions that DI Ben Cooper asks himself as he faces hostility from members of the Shawhead community.

Things however get more intriguing after the only person who could help find the answers is discovered dead.
Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0062439246
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Secrets of Death

Peak District is a tourist hub, given its soaring hills and brooding valleys. Residents this summer however have a different kind of visitor, one who leaves behind a trail of bodies and secrets.

When a number of reported suicides take place all over the Peaks, DI Ben Cooper and his team in Derbyshire’s E Division embarks on a desperate mission to solve the mysteries.

Meanwhile in Nottingham, DS Diane Fry discovers that a key witness has mysteriously disappeared.

What exactly are the mysterious Secrets of Death?

And is there any victim whose story didn’t end in suicide?

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0062690364
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Dead in the Dark

Although Reece Bower was accused of murdering his wife a decade ago, something he never claimed he did, he was never charged because the remains of Annette Bower were never discovered.

But the case has now resurfaced after Reece Bower mysteriously vanishes, with his new wife demanding answers.

However, in order to get back up from the Major Crime Unit and DS Diane Fry, Ben Cooper will first need the evidence of a body.

As his investigation leads him to the caves and deserted mines in the remote parts of Lathkilldale, Cooper can’t help but wonder who would want to avenge the death of Annette Bower.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-0062876119
Publisher: Witness Impulse
Fall Down Dead

“They knew it was dangerous, but they still went anyway.”

The mountain of Kinder Scout is the place to go when one wants breathtaking views of the Peak District.

The stunning landscape has however now become the scene of a murder investigation after a woman, who was part of walking party led by mysterious Darius Roth, falls to her death.

Something however doesn’t seem right about how Faith Matthew met her death. And when DI Ben Cooper looks into the case, he soon learns that more than one of the hikers had a motive to murder.

Even worse is the DS Diane Fry has been caught up in an internal investigations storm that won’t spare Cooper.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-0062912787
Publisher: Witness Impulse

Novellas

Claws

Attached to the Derbyshire Rural Crime Squad, Detective Constable Ben Cooper finds himself handling a case unlike any other: a wildlife crime.

A brutal conflict has been going on for years in the wild crags of the Dark Peak moorland, with the discovery of an illegal haul from a terraced house being the first clue of what could be at stake.

For young DC Ben Cooper, the assignment means being involved in a conflict without knowing exactly where he stands.

This is one intriguing case where not all the victims will be human.

Author: Stephen Booth
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-1907869082
Publisher: Five Leaves Publications