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James Oswald books in order

James Oswald is a British author of crime and fantasy fiction novels.

He has lived in England, Scotland and Wales for considerably long, so much that he is eligible to play for any of their rugby teams.

James has had a diverse career, from a Wine Merchant to International Carriage Driving Course Builder and professional Sheep Shit Sampler believe it or not.

Whenever he isn’t writing, James can be found managing his 350 acre livestock farm in North East Fife where he passionately farms cows and sheep.

More about James Oswald

Genres: Fantasy / SF, Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult

United Kingdom


DC Constance Fairchild Series

  1. No Time to Cry (2018)
  2. Nothing to Hide (2019)
  3. Nowhere to Run (2021)

Inspector McLean Series

  1. Natural Causes (2012)
  2. The Book of Souls (2012)
  3. The Hangman's Song (2014)
  4. Dead Men's Bones (2014)
  5. Prayer for the Dead (2015)
  6. The Damage Done (2016)
  7. Written in Bones (2017)
  8. The Gathering Dark (2018)
  9. Cold as the Grave (2019)
  10. Bury Them Deep (2020)
  11. What Will Burn (2021)
  12. All That Lives (2022)

The Ballad of Sir Benfro Series

  1. Dreamwalker (2012)
  2. The Rose Cord (2012)
  3. The Golden Cage (2012)
  4. The Broken World (2015)
  5. The Obsidian Throne (2016)

Detailed book overview

DC Constance Fairchild Series

No Time to Cry

Although DC Constance Fairchild was always aware of the dangers of covert operations, she never expected things to backfire terribly.

Upon returning to their mysterious office in a scruffy neighborhood, Con is shocked to find the ruthlessly murdered remains of her boss, and friend, DI Pete Copperthwaite. Covered in blood, he has been killed by one lethal shot to the head.

As time goes by, it becomes clear that someone within the Met is trying to blame Con of the incident.

Relieved of her duties, she languishes in her rage and loneliness—until someone attempts to execute her too.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1472249890
Nothing to Hide

Temporarily relieved of her duties after her last case ended in the prominent apprehension of one of the richest men in the UK, DC Constance Fairchild is trying to keep a low profile.

That however isn't to be, as she crosses paths with a wounded young man on her way home.

Plunged into the countrywide investigation, it appears that the man is the latest in a series of ritualistic attacks.

Despite being on suspension, and the fact that some individuals in the Met aren’t pleased with her involvement, Con’s conscience won’t allow her to rest until she arrests those responsible.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1472250056
Publisher: Wildfire
Nowhere to Run

On compassionate leave following the death of her mother, Detective Constable Constance Fairchild thought renting a cottage near Aberystwyth, Wales would get her far enough from London to finally relax. But trouble always seems to find Con, and it's not long before she is cooling off in a police station cell after defending herself from two would-be rapists.

In custody she meets a young Ukrainian woman, Lila, who confides in Con that she's been forced by her manipulative boyfriend into prostitution and running drugs. Fearing for her life, she has run away from him, only to end up in the cells.

Con offers to help, but when her cottage is ransacked, and Lila subsequently disappears, she realizes she's stumbled into very dangerous company. International drug smugglers and ruthless people traffickers - those who will stop at nothing to protect their secrets. Out here at the end of the line, will Con find that there's nowhere left to run?

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B09JQRC5T8
Publisher: DevilDog Publishing

Inspector McLean Series

Natural Causes

The lifeless remains of a youthful woman, seemingly killed in a gruesome ritual, are found in a sealed room. The act however seems to have been committed more than sixty years ago.

Although this shouldn’t be a high priority case for Tony McLean, the recently appointed Detective Inspector is greatly troubled by the terrifying nature of the woman’s death.

Meanwhile, bodies are turning up dead all over Edinburgh.

In as much as there doesn’t seem to be any motive or connection between the killings, McLean has a feeling that the recent killing spree is related to the young woman’s murder.

And as he begins his search, he’ll uncover a terrifying ancient evil.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0544319486
Publisher: Mariner Books
The Book of Souls

A dead body of a woman has been discovered in Edinburgh every Christmas period for the last decade, with the most recent victim being Kirsty Summers—the fiancée of Detective Constable Tony McLean.

McLean however brings an end to the mayhem after discovering a torture chamber in a shop's basement.

More than a decade later, the Christmas Killer is murdered by a fellow prisoner.

So how is it that yet another body of a youthful woman, killed in a similar fashion, is discovered at Christmas?

Could this be a copycat killer? Or did McLean apprehend the wrong killer the first time?

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0544319493
Publisher: Mariner Books
The Hangman's Song

When a lifeless body is discovered dangling on a rope in an Edinburgh home, it’s assumed that the young man took his own life.
Detective Inspector Tony McLean however isn’t too convinced by the suicide note.

When a second hanging body is discovered, it seems too much of a coincidence.

Preoccupied with getting to the bottom of a prostitution and human trafficking ring, McLean doesn’t have much time to investigate the two alleged suicides.

But when a third body surfaces, he is convinced that a serial killer is on the loose.

And as he investigates, McLean will learn that finding the answers could destroy everything that is dear to him.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0544319509
Publisher: Mariner Books
Dead Men's Bones

A woman and her two and her two small daughters are mercilessly killed in a deserted house in North East Fife.

The culprit is Andrew, the husband and father, who later took his own life.

What could have prompted such a wealthy and renowned politician to turn rogue?

As Detective Inspector Tony McLean investigates, he plunges into a world of affluence where he is exploited by unknown figures.

Will he solve the case if it means endangering his loved ones?

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-1629538297
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Prayer for the Dead

The search for a journalist who mysteriously vanished ends after the discovery of a dead body in what looks like a well planned killing.

The victim seemed to have lived through a gruesome purification ritual in a strange network of caves and secret tunnels snaking underneath Edinburgh.

Having known the victim, Detective Inspector Tony McLean is greatly haunted by the case, which he can’t seem to solve due to the scarcity of forensics at the scene of the crime.

Joining forces with the most improbable of allies, McLean must hunt down a deranged killer who only answers to a higher power.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1683310242
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
The Damage Done

Detective Inspector Tony McLean is forced to come face-to-face after a raid by the police goes terribly wrong.

Troubled by the ghosts of an old case, the memories continually haunt him as he strives to find a connection between a series of macabre killings in Edinburgh.

Plunged into high society by his investigations, he is given stern warnings but some wealthy and influential individuals.

McLean however isn’t afraid to break the rules, even if his career is on the line.

Facing the ghosts of his past, will his courage be too late to undo the damage?

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-1405917131
Publisher: Penguin Books
Written in Bones

When a dead body is discovered in a tree in The Meadows, the most beautiful parkland in Edinburgh, evidence suggests that the victim fell from quite high.

The victim in question is a discredited former police officer turned eminent criminal who went on to rebrand himself as a renowned philanthropist.

Was his death a tragic accident or a terrifying killing to send a sinister message?

As Detective Inspector Tony McLean embarks on a quest to solve the case, he find himself entwined with some of the city’s deadliest and most endangered people.

A devastating truth that will strike the nerve centre of the city is about to be uncovered.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2017
ISBN: 978-1405925297
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Gathering Dark

A truck crashes into a congested bus stop in central Edinburgh after its driver spun out of control.

The truck’s toxic load spills, leaving deadly outcomes.

An eye witness in the tragic accident, Detective Inspector Tony McLean leads the investigation.

And it doesn’t take long before he notices some aura of secrecy among everyone involved.

But right before he gets to the bottom of it, another tragedy emerges.

The son of the new Chief Superintendent has mysteriously vanished.

And the last the place he was sighted was at the scene of the accident.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2018
ISBN: 978-1405925310
Cold as the Grave

The well preserved body of a young girl is hidden in a room which hasn’t been touched for decades.

The recently appointed Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean and his team are on high alert as an unruly protest gradually moves along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh.

McLean is however preoccupied by the thought of the young mummified girl.

For how long has she been hidden there?

The answers to this cold case are however far more sinister beyond what McLean could have anticipated.

The truth will be far stranger than fiction…

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-1472249937
Bury Them Deep

A desperate search is launched after an officer of the Police Scotland fails to report to work.

Although her burnt-out car is found in a distant forest south of Edinburgh, the woman is still nowhere to be seen.

Elsewhere, Detective Chief Inspector Tony McLean and his team are about to begin a huge anti-corruption operation which will unequivocally anger some of the city’s most powerful figures.

This begs the question of whether the vanishing of Anya Renfrew could be linked to the case.

McLean has a strong feeling that this isn’t the first woman to have disappeared without a trace in the ancient hills.

And true to his intuition, a far more terrifying force seems to be at work…

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-1472249951
What Will Burn

The charred remains of an elderly woman are discovered in a burned-out game-keepers cottage, hidden away in woodland to the west of Edinburgh. Clearly no accidental fire, Detective Inspector Tony McLean suspects that neither is this simply a grim arson attack. There is far more to the victim than her humble surroundings might suggest, and something ritualistic to her horrific murder.

Nor will it be the only case of death by fire that Tony and his team will be faced with. This is only the beginning, and with such evil clouding the air, Tony begins to wonder what else will burn...

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2021
ISBN: 978-1472276186
Publisher: Wildfire
All That Lives

An archaeological dig at the old South Leith parish kirkyard has turned up a mysterious body dating from around seven hundred years ago. Some suspect that this gruesome discovery is a sacrifice, placed there for a specific purpose.

Then a second body is unearthed. This victim went missing only thirty years ago - but the similarities between her death and the ancient woman's suggest something even more disturbing.

Drawn into the investigation, Inspector McLean finds himself torn between a worrying trend of violent drug-related deaths and uncovering what truly connects these bodies. When a third body is discovered, and too close for comfort, he begins to suspect dark purpose at play - and that whoever put them there is far from finished.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2022
Ebook: B09RN8XB1R
Publisher: DevilDog Publishing

The Ballad of Sir Benfro Series


A young boy named Errol, in a tiny village far from the majestic cities of the Twin Kingdoms, attempts to find his purpose in the world.

An outsider, not only does he look different from the rest of the children, but he also doesn’t know his father. He has no idea where he is from.

At the heart of the forest, a young male dragon named Benfro starts training in the subtle arts, given that he is destined to be a great Mage just like his mother, Morgwm the Green.

Nobody could have ever imagined that these two improbable heroes would have the fate of the entire Twin Kingdoms in the hands.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B0182Q2790
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Rose Cord

Escaping the wrath of Inquisitor Melyn, Sir Benfro finds himself in the burial grounds of a prominent dragon of legend, Magog, at the heart of the ancient forest.

Thanks to the Magog’s spirit, Benfro learns the real nature of his ancestors. This knowledge is however accompanied by a terrible risk.

Errol Ramsbottom’s hopes of becoming a renowned Warrior Priest are destroyed after he learns of the dark secret of the Holy Order’s power.

But as a selected noviciate, he doesn’t have much of a choice, as he falls deeper into the evil war plans.

As the forces of magic assemble, the fates of Errol and Sir Benfro interweave more.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B0160F3APA
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Golden Cage

Reunited once again, Benfro and Errol face various challenges.

Benfro is fighting against the ever growing influence of Magog, who wants him to assemble the jewels he disbanded, while Errol is plagued by visions of a far-off place.

With Martha imprisoned in a fortress, Errol can’t find her.

His body is also weak following the torture in King Ballah’s chamber, so much that not even the healing gifts from his mother are enough to restore him.

Despite their troubles, Benfro and Errol must work together in order to survive.

For if they work separately, Inquisitor Melyn will assuredly destroy them.

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2012
Ebook: B011T7R03C
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Broken World

Queen Beulah has executed one sister and sanctioned for the killing of another.

The Inquisitor Melyn travels to the north-lands of Llanwennog in a ruthless attempt to depose King Ballah.

Having claimed Brynceri’s, the invasion is nigh.

With Sir Benfro arrested by the travelling circus, Errol Ramsbottom, who is left to die, desperately tries to track down his friend’s detainers. He must find Benfro, as only he could help find Martha.

The two sides are however destined for doom—dragon against dragon, and king against queen.

Given the improbable treaties and changing strategies, who will carry the day?

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-1405917780
Publisher: Penguin Books
The Obsidian Throne

There isn’t a war in the northlands, just utter destruction. Either the dragons will burn this world to ashes, or Queen Beulah will tear it apart.

Underneath the city is a secret protected by the House of Balwen for thousands of years; one about immense treasure.

And only someone from the lineage of Balwen has the ability to gain access. Princess Iolwen won’t rest until she ascends to the Obsidian Throne.

Elsewhere, the fates of Errol and Sir Benfro are becoming more entangled.

With the future of the entire Twin Kingdoms in their hands, will these two improbable heroes emerge victorious?

Author: James Oswald
First Release: 2016
Ebook: B01MRK4S13
Publisher: Penguin Books