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A fantastic weaving of period Edinburgh culture with intricate, captivating detective work Go out and buy one, Go out and buy one, now' - The Herald 'These stories are true crime classics, imbued with all the pathos, darkness and occasional humour that you will find in the best crime fiction' - Quintin Jardine James McLevy, an Edinburgh policeman, was one of the first exponents of the crime genre and a likely influence on the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

This book features a collection of stories based on some of the 2, cases he dealt with in the course of his career, evoking the spirit of the city, and the vivid descriptions of its criminal classes.

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McLevy and Mulholland join Her Majesty's protection squad in a desperate hunt for a deadly assassin. About the man himself: James McLevy was born in Ballymacnab in Co. Armagh, the son of a farmer.

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In he became a detective and handled 2, cases during his year career, almost always securing a conviction. The last of the current series - http: They are described as "a detective adventure based on the real-life memoirs of a Victorian Inspector of Crime" Recently the books or selections from them have been re-issued by Mercat Press http: Here was this person with this wild humour which I liked, a kind of grandiose quality, someone who really fancied himself as a philosopher with a big character.

I saw the kernel of a character.

While his two novels - Shadow of the Serpent was published last year, and the second, Fall From Grace, is about to come out - use McLevy's name and an outline of his character in a string of fictional episodes, the real McLevy was just as fascinating. He pounded a beat that took in Edinburgh's Old Town slums and Leith crime hotspots, areas like Calton Hill and Princes Street which were popular with pickpockets, and the slums of the High Street and Canongate.

David Ashton, Creator of the Inspector McLevy Mysteries

McLevy had decided the best way to solve crime was to mix with the pickpockets, prostitutes, body-snatchers and thieves, using the information some let slip to drive down the crime rate, and mingling with the population in plain clothes, undercover. He used his ability to blend into a crowd to great effect to snare notorious pickpockets Holmes and Angus McKay. The pair had taken to following McLevy to his home in Old Fishmarket Close each night to ensure he was safely out of the way before they went out looking for victims - a tactic that didn't impress McLevy.

McLevy - Series 7

Aware that one of Holmes' favourite tricks was to use a woman, who was known as The Swan, to sing in public to attract a crowd whose pockets he could then pilfer, McLevy waited until the thieves had followed him home. Then, heavily disguised, he crept out to join the crowd as they enjoyed the music. As Holmes sneaked up, ready to dip McLevy's pockets, one of his colleagues nabbed him.

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