Fictitious detective Roy Grace has made his long-awaited return to the small screen, and his creator could not be happier with the reception.

International bestselling Sussex author Peter James said the ITV crime drama has received great reviews from fans and critics alike.

The feature was based on Peter’s novel Looking Good Dead.

The Argus: John Simm and Richie Campbell star in ITV's GraceJohn Simm and Richie Campbell star in ITV's Grace

Most of the filming was completed between late 2020 and early 2021, with sweeping shots of the two piers, Hove beach huts and the South Downs delighting Sussex viewers.

Peter said: “I think the way they are filming the series is just sensational. The drone shots over the city and some of the landscapes are just incredible.

“I love that it really does show the beauty of Brighton but also its ugly parts too, but they somehow look quite beautiful too.”

The Argus: Peter James said he has been thrilled with the reaction to the new series of Grace on ITVPeter James said he has been thrilled with the reaction to the new series of Grace on ITV

The second series of Grace returned to screens on Sunday, with three more feature-length episodes to follow.

John Simm, who now lives in Brighton, returned as troubled detective Roy Grace and Richie Campbell reprised his role as DS Glenn Branson.

Line of Duty star Craig Parkinson made his debut in the series, playing unconventional police officer Norman Potting.

The Argus: Craig Parkinson filming Grace at Shoreham PortCraig Parkinson filming Grace at Shoreham Port

Peter praised the cast for their performances and said they were a “joy to be around” during filming.

He told The Argus: “I think the cast got a lot more into their acting groove in this one. I thought John and Richie were excellent.

“In the next episode we are going to meet Cleo for the first time, played by Zoe Tapper, and I can’t tell you how brilliant she is.

“I was always worried about casting Cleo because of the chemistry you need between a couple who are supposed to be falling in love.

“But it is just palpable between John and Zoe – it’s electric. You really believe that they are attracted to each other and that’s exciting.

“We have also had a lot of comments about Craig Parkinson.

“He is so brilliant, and people say they want more of him on the screen. What he does so well is being able to convey how unconventional he is, and he brings a humour.

“You just have to look at him and you smile.”