The Old English Peepshow (A Pride of Heroes)

The second of six novels with Detective James Pibble

About the Book

Pibble investigates the apparent suicide of a servant in great English country house being run as a theme park, complete with lions, by two retired WWII heroes.

Author Comment

A baroque spoof — I can't imagine how I thought I could get away with it, but it won the CWA Golden Dagger.


Crime Writers Association Golden Dagger (Winner) - 1969


“A literary magician.”
Sunday Telegraph
“This is a bit crazy, harrowingly suspenseful, surprising - and different…not to be missed, if the offbeat appeals to you.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“A Pride of Heroes confirms Peter Dickinson as the best thing that has happened to serious, sophisticated, witty crime fiction since Michael Innes”
Edmund Crispin, Sunday Times
“Mr Dickinson follows his first prize winning whodunnit with a cracker-jack detective disciplined, witty.”
London Evening Standard
“It is going to be hard to beat for its remarkable combination of elegance, whackiness and almost unbroken climax...quite unputdownable.”
Oxford Mail
“Mr Dickinson is the most original crime novelist to appear for a long, long time.”
“Read this book carefully. It's a jewel.”
New York Times Book Review
“For the choicest of mystery confections try 'The Old English Peep Show' - there are mock duels, mock hangings, and two kinds of terribly intent killers at work”
Chicago Tribune
“The author of 'The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest' has fashioned another fine mystery yarn in 'The Old English Peep-Show.' In this story Superintendent Pibble of Scotland Yard has been given, as usual, a case no-one else desired to handle...Before the story ends, he finds himself in great danger, with the story winding up in a smashing climax.”
Lewiston (Me.) Journal
“The author of 'The Glass-Sided Ants' Nest' has produced another distinctive book featuring Scotland Yard's Superintendent Pibble in an investigation at a stately home that is now a show place with a lion park, where distinguished brothers, the general and the admiral, reside. The admiral's ex-coxswain has killed himself and therein lies the beginning of an unsettling tale.”
Washington (D.C.) Star


Hodder & Stoughton, UK - 1969
Harper & Row, US - 1969
Pantheon, US - 1984
Felony & Mayhem, US - 2007
Panther, UK - 1970
Thriller Book Club, UK - 1971
Mysterious Press, UK - 1988
Black Dagger Crime, UK - 1993
Open Road, US - 2015