The author of the popular Lovejoy novels is selling his extensive library of reference books used to research the stories about the roguish antiques dealer.

Dr John Grant, who lived in Coggeshall and is now in Colchester, has given several hundred volumes including historical encyclopedias and dialect dictionaries to Bonham Books to auction.

They will be sold in 27 individual lots, with a combined upper estimate of £15,000, at Bonhams Books, Maps and Photography sale in Oxford next Tuesday.

Dr Grant, a pathologist, was head of bacteriology at the University of London’s School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene between 1971 and 1988 and began writing the Lovejoy novels to while away the commute.

The BBC television series, also penned by Dr Grant and featuring Ian McShane, was filmed in local towns and villages including Coggeshall, Finchingfield, Great Bardfield, Halstead, Castle Hedingham and Thaxted.