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. 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. 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

Avon, US - 1977

Mysterious Press, UK - 1988

Open Road Media, US - 2015