The Constable Books
The early episodes of Nicholas Rhea's series of Constable books have become collector's items - both in their own right and because they contain the seeds of television's much loved Heartbeat series. But they continue to be in demand by readers who still want to enjoy these stories of the life of a country copper. So Nicholas Rhea's family were delighted to learn that Joffe Books have acquired world English digital and POD rights to the complete Constable, which they will be reissuing in electronic and paperback editions.
These follow a series of paperback reissues from Agora Books, under the Constable Files banner, and replace the Endeavour Press Kindle editions.
Constable at the Double
The Constable Files were launched in April 2018 with a bumper bundle: Constable at the Double is an anthology title, containing both Constable around the Village and Constable across the Moors.
Constable around the Village
Nick Rhea is busy settling into his role as a Police Constable in Aidensfield, getting to grips with rural life and his new colleagues and neighbours.
P.C. Rhea maintains his charismatic approach through the village's many incidents, whether it's the historic tradition of the First Footing on New Year's Eve, the scandal of an un-dug grave, or a case of a missing child.
Rhea soon finds himself facing a canine crisis: Farmer Lowe's overworked sheepdog is feigning deafness, and without the dog, the cows cannot be milked, bringing his farming business to a screeching halt. Meanwhile, five sheep turn up dead, and Sidney Chapman's dog is accused of the crime, much to his dismay.
Can Rhea salvage Aidensfield's farming future, not to mention the reputations of two dogs, while juggling his other cases?
Constable around the Village was originally published by Robert Hale in 1981, and by the same publisher in the Constable at the Double omnibus edition in 1988. It was also reissued by Áccent Press. It was included in the paperback anthology title Constable at the Double published by Ipso Books; and is now available for Kindle and in a paperback edition from Joffe Books.
Constable across the Moors
Police Constable Nicholas Rhea has come to know and love the host of characters who live and work on the beautiful North Yorkshire Moors.
The amiable constable handles every encounter with his characteristic humour and professionalism, whether he's investigating a plot to scare away a troublesome suitor or helping a neighbour return his late wife's ashes to her beloved moors. But when Ted Williamson's sheep start disappearing, can Rhea find the culprit without making enemies of the farmers of Yorkshire?
The book is packed with stories of a country flavour and it provides a colourful picture of police work in a large rural district. There is humour and pathos and above all a love of human beings and concern for their welfare.
Constable across the Moors was originally published by Robert Hale in 1981, and by the same publisher in the Constable at the Double omnibus edition in 1988. It was also reissued by Áccent Press, and in the paperback anthology title Constable at the Double published by Ipso Books.
Constable in the Dale
In the spectacular North Yorkshire countryside, Constable Nick's roles are as varied as the preoccupations of his often eccentric villagers.
He finds himself called upon as detective to recover lost sheep; as crime prevention officer to guard giant gooseberries; as legal adviser in the Best Kept Village competition, and sympathetic social worker to those in distress.
Constable Nick is invaluable.
His many hilarious anecdotes include a brush with some bright yellow pigs and the account of the invitation to be best man at a wedding because he had to arrest the groom's new mother-in-law.
Curious, funny and poignant, this reveals something of the rich diversity of village life and how Constable Nick continues to realise his place within it.
Constable in the Dale is a heartwarming and good-natured tale of into the relationship between a copper and his community. It was first published by Robert Hale in 1983; it was reissued in 1996 as a Heartbeat tie-in edition and as a Heartbeat Omnibus edition (combined with Constable on the Hill and Constable on the Prowl; an Áccent Press edition was published in 2008, and an Endeavour Press paperback in 2016.
Constable by the Sea
Constable Nick's off to the seaside!
"I was on my way to Strensford, a picturesque and sometimes busy seaside resort on the north-east coast of Yorkshire. Graced by miles of smooth, yellow sand, Strensford is famed for its kippers and the fact that the bright summer sun both rises and sets over the sea. It is also known for its towering cliffs with a ruined abbey gloriously perched on top, and the haphazard cluster of red-roofed cottages which crowd around the harbour side, at times touching the water."
During a break from his usual village beat, young Police Constable Nick finds himself involved with holidaymakers and their problems.
As well as the normal seaside duties, how does he cope with a man who's lost his false teeth in the sea and another who wants to give away thousands of pounds when drunk?
Then there's the stray Labrador that thinks he's a police dog and accompanies police officers on night patrols, and the anxious fisherman who daren't tell his wife that he owns a racehorse.
These and a galaxy of other delightful characters are encountered by our rural bobby in his new environment, though Constable Nick wishes he could be home with his wife and small children.
Constable by the Sea was first published by Robert Hale in 1985, and reissued by Áccent Press in November 2008; it has also been published in Large Print and audio (read by Christopher Kay) editions, both currently out of print. It is now once again available in both paperback and Kindle editions from Joffe Books.
Constable along the Lane
There's a crime wave in the village ...
"If we suffered three crimes in the district during a month, the local papers described it as a crime wave. These waves were very tiny, therefore, more like ripples on a village pond than the kind of waves that swamp ocean liners."
A hay barn is set on fire at Low Dale Farm. It seems that an arsonist is targeting isolated barns.
Arnold Merryweather's ancient bus helps catch a car thief.
And when Nick arrests not only a pig thief but also the expectant pig, the police station cleaner is not very pleased.
But it's not all crime. A glider crashes into a romance in a thatched cottage and then Constable Nick is involved in a plot to force a penny-pincher to spend money.
Constable along the Lane was first published by Robert Hale in 1986; reissued by Áccent Press in 2008 and by Endeavour Press in 2016. Other editions, all of which are out of print, include an ISIS audiobook, read by Christopher Kay (ISBN: 978-1-85496-697-1); a Magna Large Print edition published in October 1987 (ISBN: 978-1850572275); and a Heartbeat Omnibus edition, which also included Constable through the Meadow.
Constable through the Meadow
Modern life catches up with the village bobby -
Constable Nick's beat is modernized, with his police bike replaced by a mini-van. He gets more than he bargained for as his work draws him into closer contact with villagers, in more ways than one!
There are compromising positions aplenty in this next charming installment of Aidensfield life. Nick finds himself lost in heavy fog and runs across a couple of illicit lovers trapped in their car. He advises the village grocer about his very respectable lady shoplifter and discovers how Farmer Owens copes with his bossy wife.
"Stories of a constable on his village beat in North Yorkshire. All very gentle and far, far removed from the hurly burly of modern day city policing."
In the beautiful North Yorkshire countryside of the 1960s, Constable Nick's roles are as varied as the eccentric villagers.
Constable through the Meadow was first published by Robert Hale in 1988; it was also published with Constable along the Lane as a Heartbeat Omnibus in 1993. This, the Magna Large Print edition and the ISIS audiobook (read by Christopher Kay) are currently unavailable; the Áccent Press edition was published on January 5th 2009.
Constable in Disguise
Britain's most popular bobby turns detective!
A delightful account of Constable Rhea's foray into the CID, whose initials are said to mean 'Constable in Disguise'. Young Rhea is appointed as an Aide to the CID, an essential part of every constable's training. Adopting civilian clothes, he joins the Criminal Investigation Department to learn about the work of the men in plain clothes.
Asked to keep a watchful eye on a house thought to be used as a brothel, Rhea quietly climbs the roof and sends a tile crashing through the window. When the woman resident and her five brothers set about the neighbours for causing the damage, the police turn out in force and arrest everybody... Meanwhile Rhea lies low on the roof.
Investigating a series of housebreakings, the CID visit a local snooker hall. There the Detective Sergeant challenges two strong suspects to a match on the understanding that if he wins, they will admit to the crime.
Packed with stories that reveal the joys and sorrows of country folk, Constable in Disguise creates a colourful picture of Rhea's foray into detective work in North Yorkshire.
Constable in Disguise was first published by Robert Hale in 1989; the Áccent Press edition was published on February 2nd 2009, and is now out of print. There have also been Large Print and audio editions.
Go to the full list of Constable books or to the Books main page