I posted some Christina Rossetti on Friday, including "Who has seen the wind", which reminded me of two fine books of crime short stories by Michael Gilbert - Young Petrella, in which Patrick Petrella is a police constable, then sergeant, and Petrella at Q, when he has achieved much greater seniority in the (mythical) Q division of London's Metropolitan Police.
Michael Gilbert is an able writer, and his stories have a pleasantly old-fashioned feel about them, from the London of the 1960s-1980s, and I commend any of his thrillers to you. But the two Petrella books are especially engaging, being short stories with a wry humour and a warm humanity as well as the normal ingredients of realistic police work, a good story, and plenty of thrills. And the Rossetti strikes a chord because it is a clue which Petrella uses in one of the earliest stories, when he notices the quiet of an alleyway normally alive with noisy children, and makes the correct deduction that they are kept indoors by the presence of a dangerous and unpleasant escaped convict who normally lives there.
Petrella is half English and half Spanish, so the stories are not confined to London - there is one in Paris, one in Spain (as a child), and one in Pauillac. Entertaining, plausible, a very pleasant read, and realistic without gratuitous violence. Look them up in the library, you won't regret it!
There was a radio drama with Philip Jackson as Petrella a few years ago, but I never heard any of the episodes, which look to be "based on" rather than faithful realisations.