Peter May biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Peter May.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Peter May
Photo: Domi Photographe

Peter May

Peter May Biography

Peter May won the Scottish Young Journalist of the Year Award at the age of 21, and had his first novel published at 26. He then left journalism and became one of Scotland's most successful and prolific television dramatists. By the age of 30 he had created two major TV series, The Standard and Squadron, for the British television network, the BBC. He went on to gather more than 1000 TV credits in fifteen years, creating and writing major drama serials for both BBC and ITV in the UK: including the ground-breaking Gaelic serial Machair, which he also produced.

Returning now to novels, the six novels in his outstanding China Thrillers series have won critical acclaim. To research the series, Peter May makes annual trips to China. With an extraordinary network of contacts, he has gained unprecedented access to the homicide and forensic science sections of Beijing and Shanghai police forces and has made a painstaking study of the methodology of Chinese detectives and pathologists.

As a mark of their respect for his work, The Chinese Crime Writers' Association made him an honorary member of their Beijing Chapter. He is the only Westerner to receive such an honor.

He won the French Literary Award, the Priz Intramuros for the French edition of his China Thriller Snakehead, at the 2007 Cognac Literary Festival.

His next series of books, The Enzo Files, is set in France. He started a new series in 2011 set on the Scottish Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, forty miles from the Scottish mainland.

He was inducted as a Chevalier de l'Ordre de la Dive Bouteille de Gaillac in December 2007 in recognition of his knowledge and support of the wines of Gaillac.

He is married to writer Janice Hally and lives in France.

The Lewis Series to Date
The Blackhouse (2011 in UK, 2012 in USA)
The Lewis Man (2012 in UK)
The Chessmen (2013 in UK)

The Enzo Series (to date)
Dry Bones (originally titled Extraordinary People, 2006)
A Vintage Corpse (originally titled The Critic, 2007)
Blacklight Blue (2008)
Freeze Frame (2010).
Blow Back (2011)

The title changes for the first two books were explained to BookBrowse by Barbara Peters, Peter May's editor, as follows: "In line with the forensics in the seven-book Enzo series based on a wager that the Scottish scientist can solve seven cold cases presented in a book by Parisian journalist Roger Raffin -- perhaps a ruffian himself -- we have retitled the first two books to fit the concept better. Thus 2006's Extraordinary People is now available in trade paperback as Dry Bones. The Critic is now A Vintage Corpse. Both are available under these titles while the older titles no longer are."

Link to Peter's website

This biography was last updated on 10/14/2012.

A note about the biographies
We try to keep BookBrowse's biographies both up to date and accurate. However, with over 2500 lives to keep track of it's inevitable that some won't be as current or as complete as we would like. So, please help us - if the information about a particular author is out of date, inaccurate or simply very short, and you know of a more complete source, please let us know. Authors and those connected with authors: If you wish to make changes to your bio, please send your complete biography as you would like it displayed so that we can replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Interview

Peter May chats with Lisa Guidarini about his books and his writing - and why he writes 3000 words a day, never more nor less, even if that means he stops for the day in the middle of a sentence!

As a native Scot, it's natural you've managed to create such a strong sense of place any reader can identify with. What is it about Scotland and the Scots culture you feel evokes such a visceral reaction in your readers? What makes Scotland so fascinating?
Scotland and the Scots are shaped by a hard climate and a hard religion, set against a backdrop of some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. In the 18th and 19th centuries it was that hard religion that introduced universal education, bucking against years of Catholic dominance when the Church liked to keep people in compliant ignorance. The new Protestantism wanted people to read the bible, and so taught them to read and write. As a result, Scotland was in the vanguard of the new enlightenment, its education system turning out scholars and engineers, doctors and inventors, economists and philosophers. Scotland was transformed from a medieval backwater into one of the most forward thinking countries in the world, and the Scots took their ideas and their work ethic with them...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Peter May at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Blackhouse
The Blackhouse

by Peter May

From acclaimed author and television dramatist Peter May comes the first book in the Lewis Trilogy - a riveting mystery series set on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland's Outer Hebrides, a formidable and forbidding world where tradition rules and people adhere to ancient ways of life.
Read More

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Peter May but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Kate Atkinson

    Kate Atkinson

    Kate Atkinson was born in York and now lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award and has been a critically acclaimed international bestselling author ever ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Blackhouse

    Try:
    Started Early, Took My Dog
    by Kate Atkinson

  • Lyndsay Faye

    Lyndsay Faye

    Lyndsay Faye is the author of critically acclaimed Dust and Shadow, and is featured in Best American Mystery Stories 2010. Faye, a true New Yorker in the sense that she was born elsewhere, lives in Manhattan with her husband,... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Blackhouse

    Try:
    The Gods of Gotham
    by Lyndsay Faye

We recommend 9 similar authors

View all 9 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  132Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.