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Nicholas Rhea

RIP: Nicholas Rhea

Peter Walker, who wrote as Nicholas Rhea, photographed by his daughter Tricia

It is with great sadness but with enormous love that we wish to announce that Peter N Walker (aka Nicholas Rhea) died peacefully on the evening of Friday April 21st, surrounded by his beloved wife Rhoda and their four children Janet, Andrew, Tricia and Sarah. Peter's cancer, originally diagnosed ten years ago, sadly returned two weeks ago with a vengeance. His decline was rapid but he was cared for in those last moments by those who mattered most to him and he spent his final days in his beloved home of fifty years in Ampleforth, a Yorkshireman to the end.

Dad was the author of over 130 books and is best remembered for those turned into much loved TV series Heartbeat which was in continuous production for 15 consecutive years and sold to 41 countries.

Thank you so much to everyone for all your cards, kind words and caring thoughts. Thank you to all the nurses and carers who helped. We are heartbroken and we miss him tremendously already but we are pleased his suffering has ended and we find solace in the knowledge that he is surrounded in love.

With loving kindness,
Rhoda, Janet, Andrew, Tricia and Sarah.

In the Yorkshire Post

On the BBC website

The Darlington & Stockton Times looks back on a Country Diarist

"Nicolas Rhea" is only one of the six pseudonyms under which Peter Walker wrote around 130 books in his 50 year career. This amazing record is rooted in the application of his own experience - whether it is from being a village bobby, a Yorkshire villager, a police press officer or a father of four. The picture shows him at work on his Country Diary (see below).

Nicholas Rhea working on his Country Diary


Meet the author in a selection of interviews which Nicholas Rhea has given over the past ten years: from a retrospective of his career to date, in 1998, to a father-and-daughter double interview in the winter of 2007/2008.

Interviews with Nicholas Rhea  »

Spotlight on Nicholas Rhea

Peter Walker in 1957Nicholas Rhea was born the son of an insurance agent and a teacher in 1936 in the North York Moors village of Glaisdale. The oldest of three children, he won a scholarship to Whitby Grammar School but left at 16 to become a police cadet. In 1956, he joined the North Yorkshire force as a beat bobby in Whitby. He also began to write seriously after years of casual interest, having his first short story published in the Police Review.

Three years later he moved to the region's Police Headquarters at Northallerton before being posted to Oswaldkirk, about 20 miles north of York, as the village bobby in 1964. He then became an instructor at the police training school in 1967, the same year as his first novel, Carnaby and the Hijackers, was published. He was promoted to sergeant in 1968 and inspector in 1976, when he was also appointed Press and Public Relations Officer.

He retired in 1982 after 30 years' service to concentrate on his writing, encouraged by an interest in his Constable books from Yorkshire Television. Nicholas Rhea still writes full-time. He has four children and eight grandchildren, and lives with his wife in a quiet North Yorkshire village.

In the autumn of 2007, Peter Walker (Nicholas Rhea) was given The Crime Writers' Association's John Creasey Award (named after the CWA founder) for services to the Association. Read the full story here.

A dream comes true for Nicholas Rhea  »

On-line notebook

Exclusive to this website, Nicholas Rhea (writing under his real name as Peter N. Walker), agreed to keep on on-line diary. Between January 2003 and February 2017 he wrote journal entries about natural and traditional happenings in the Yorkshire countryside, in Aidensfield and elsewhere.

Nicholas Rhea's Country Diary  »

Also known as...

Nicholas Rhea is a prolific author: there are 35 books in the Constable series alone. Yet during his long career as a writer, he has also published under a number of different names. In most cases, the choice of a new name was linked to the introduction of a new series of books. Here's the list:

Nicholas Rhea
Constable series, Montague Pluke novels, crime novels, Yorkshire non-fiction
Peter N. Walker
non-fiction books, Carnaby series, other crime novels
Christopher Coram
crime novels
James Ferguson
Emmerdale books
Tom Ferris
crime novels
Andrew Arncliffe
crime novels

More about Nicholas Rhea's books  »