Novel by former Worksop Guardian reporter was the most borrowed book in libraries in the East Midlands last year

Stephen Booth
Stephen Booth

A novel written by a former Worksop Guardian reporter has been named as the most borrowed book in libraries across the East Midlands in 2018.

The top titles for each region of the country are revealed in the latest Public Lending Right figures issued by the British Library.

They show 'Secrets of Death' by crime novelist Stephen Booth to be the number one title for borrowers in East Midlands libraries last year.

It's the 16th novel in the author's series featuring police detectives Ben Cooper and Diane Fry, all set around the Peak District.

The region's readers went against the national trend in choosing a local author as their favourite read. In other parts of the country, the most borrowed titles were either by thriller writer Lee Child, or children's authors David Walliams and Jeff Kinney.

'Secrets of Death' features a spate of mysterious deaths in well-known Peak District beauty spots, investigated by Detective Inspector Ben Cooper and Detective Sergeant Diane Fry, who have appeared in seventeen other best-selling novels, the most recent being 'Dead in the Dark' and 'Fall Down Dead'.

Stephen Booth lives in Laxton and was a newspaper journalist for more than 25 years, including 15 years on the Worksop Guardian, where he became Deputy Editor.

He left journalism in 2001 to write crime novels full-time after the success of his first book, 'Black Dog'. Since then, he's won awards in both the UK and USA, and his books have been translated into 16 languages, including Russian and Japanese.

In 2003 he was presented with the Dagger in the Library Award by the Crime Writers' Association for "the author whose books have given readers most pleasure."

One of his characters, Ben Cooper, was a finalist for the Sherlock Award for the Best Detective created by a British author. Stephen has been described by the Sunday Telegraph as "one of our best story tellers" and by The Guardian as "a modern master".

He has appeared on the list of the 100 most borrowed adult authors in the country for the past four years.

Stephen said: “I've always been a keen supporter of libraries.

"My local library meant a lot to me when I was growing up, and I don't think I'd be where I am today without having the opportunity to read so widely at a young age.

"So it's wonderful to feel that I'm giving something back and providing pleasure for today's library users.

"Library staff know how much their readers enjoy crime fiction, which remains one of the most popular genres year after year. I love meeting readers too, and libraries are great places to do reader events."

Stephen Booth has a new standalone novel published this month called 'Drowned Lives' and he'll be launching it with a book signing at Retford Library on Thursday, August 15, from 11am to 1pm, in conjunction with local booksellers Bookworm of Retford.

He'll also be appearing at the first ever North Notts Literary Festival on Saturday, September 14.