William John Burley (1 August 1914 - 15 November 2002) was a British crime writer, best known for his books featuring the detective Charles Wycliffe, who became the basis of the popular Wycliffe television series throughout the mid 1990s.
Burley was born in Falmouth, Cornwall. Before he began writing, he was employed in senior management with various gas companies, before giving it up after the Second World War when he obtained a scholarship to study zoology at Balliol College, Oxford. After obtaining an honours degree he became a teacher. Appointed head of biology at Newquay Grammar School in 1955, he was well established as a writer by the time he retired at the age of 60 in 1974.