A while back I stumbled on the Inspector Lynley Mysteries. First as a TV show and then I finally got around to hunting out one of the books that show is based on. The thing that has stuck me about how the author Elizabeth George writes – from my small sampling so far – is that she does a wonderfully subtle thing with the way characters speak, so that their dialogue is quite distinct. She changes the formality, the structure and all those little things that give people regional, social and cultural signifiers when they talk.
I’ve read other authors that do this, of course, but it really stuck me in this case. Maybe because the books, being set in England (though Elizabeth George isn’t a native or a resident as far as I know) are full of voices familiar to my ear as a voracious consumer of British TV shows!