The Lively Dead

About the Book

Omni-competent Lydia Timms owns a large house in a once-grand Notting Hill terrace, living in the basement with her family and renting out the rest of the building. She has to cope with a husband recovering from a breakdown, a lively autistic son, dry-rot under the floor-boards, the problems of her tenants, including the government-in-exile of the Baltic state of Livonia on the top two floors, and the recent death of her garrulous and strong-willed cleaner. In the opening sequence she attends the funeral, but then the cleaner's body is discovered buried in her back garden.


“Witty, civilized, delightful… ”
Sunday Times
“Well-written...full of insights...rewarding.”
The New York Times
“Suspenseful and hilarious”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Another bizarre tale from a genuine original.”
The Village Voice
“Full of slambang action”
Publishers Weekly
“How delicious it, spies, frighteners, and zaniness begin from page one and mount in liveliness and suspense to the end. Characters are splendid, sky-high improbable, but always rooted in simple truth. Description of both scenes and happening is wonderfully skillful.”
The Times (London)
“Peter Dickinson upstages almost everyone around with his distinctively different, stylish and literate entertainments and just one word will do - exceptional.”
Kirkus Reviews


Hodder & Stoughton, UK - 1975
Pantheon Books, US - 1975
Open Road Media, US - 2015
Mysterious Press, UK - 1988
Avon, US - 1977