Tough Cop Writes About Teddy Bears

As a cop, John Lamb admits he had a reputation for being “the coldest human being on the planet.”

Then he met his future wife Joyce, who said to him, “You’re nothing but a big teddy bear.”

John Lamb is a tough cop who writes a teddy bear mystery series. (Photo by Cynthia Price)

Teddy bears would become a key character in a series of mysteries he would write. Lamb is the author of the “Bear Collector” mystery series. He also is a retired cop with 22 years of service with a Southern California police department. During his career he served as a patrol officer, hostage negotiator, homicide investigator and patrol sergeant.

The first gift he gave his future wife, naturally, was a teddy bear. The two started collecting handmade bears. “They are original, and they’re amazing,” Lamb said.

As a cop, Lamb said he often held a dim view of the human race. The beauty of teddy bear collecting is “There aren’t any teddy bear jerks.”

After retiring to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, Lamb’s publisher told him they were looking for a new line of cozies – mysteries in which there is no blood and no guts. Lamb realized, “I’m living a cozy” as he sat on his front porch and thought about the hundreds of teddy bears he and his wife had collected and their comfortable home with six cats and two golden retrievers.

He wrote the first few chapters of the first book, The Mournful Teddy, and within 24 hours had a three-book deal.

He would go on to write four more books in the series, all with the word “teddy” in the title. “You have to have a word you can hang your series on,” Lamb said.

His most recent work is a suspense thriller, which he is working to get published. The publishing world is much more challenging today, Lamb said. “We no longer build or grow an audience,” Lamb said. “If it’s not a homerun, they don’t sell them.”

Despite such obstacles, Lamb said, “I love writing. I’m going to keep writing.”