Can’t Get Enough of Peter Robinson

Patrick’s latest post on Autolycus – Dank and Dreary – talks about the dark days in November in England and “drawing the curtains to cocoon with something toasted and a detective story” which reminded me that I have three more Peter Robinson detective novels on my Kindle waiting for some lazy winter afternoons.

The author Peter Robinson is originally from Yorkshire in northern England and moved to Canada after graduating from University of Leeds. He did an MA and PhD in English in Ontario. Read more about him on his website Robinson now lives in both Toronto and North Yorkshire.

Robinson has published 18 Inspector Banks mysteries in 21 years. From his bio he seems about the same age as me (mid-50s) so he has plenty of writing-years ahead of him and I am grateful for that because I can’t seem to get enough of these mysteries!

I started with #10 In A Dry Season in paperback last year. I liked the book but was not addicted yet. It usually takes me two or three books in a detective series to get addicted. I got my Kindle in the spring and saw they had all of his books starting at #11, so I bought them and worked my way to his most recent. Now some of the earlier ones are available for the Kindle, so I am going back to read Final Account (#7) and will catch up to where I started.

Right now I am reading something else and letting those three new novels mellow until I have waited long enough and just HAVE to read them (translation, wait until I finish my obsessive working on Slow Europe, launch the sucker, then can get back to more reading).

The mysteries are set in Yorkshire with the occasional trip down to London. They feel very authentic and “English” to me. The detective is your typical something of a rebel police detective with the failing marriage and failing relationships. His character is well painted and the mysteries are good and involved. I love the Yorkshire setting. The weather is frequently discussed. Once I start one of these mysteries I have to force myself to not read it in one go, to make it last over a few days.

Last winter in England we had many lazy days reading all morning, going out for a long walk in the afternoons, watching Spooks on DVD (a British TV series called MI-5 in the US) after dinner, then reading some more. Back in Santa Fe I had lazy afternoons this summer when it was too hot to go outside and way too hot in our office with one small window and no air conditioning, so I took shelter in our cave of a bedroom and spent the hottest part of the day lying in bed and reading Inspector Banks mysteries.

Thank you Peter Robinson and, please, keep on writing.

These are the Inspector Banks Mysteries in order.

1. Gallows View, 1987
2. A Dedicated Man, 1988
3. A Necessary End, 1989
4. Hanging Valley, 1989
5. Past Reason Hated, 1992
6. Wednesday’s Child, 1992
7. Final Account, 1994 (UK title: Dry Bones That Dream)
8. Innocent Graves, 1996
9. Blood at the Root, 1997 (UK title: Dead Right)
10. In a Dry Season, 1999
11. Cold Is the Grave, 2000
12. Aftermath, 2001
13. Close to Home, 2003 (UK title: The Summer that Never Was)
14. Playing with Fire, 2004
15. Strange Affair, 2005
16. Piece of My Heart, 2006
17. Friend of the Devil, 2008
18. All the Colors of Darkness, 2008 – available in the US February 2009

All except the most recent are available in paperback on Amazon. From #7 Final Cut and on are available for the Kindle. Purchase from Amazon.

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Pauline Kenny

Pauline Kenny and Steve Cohen are US expats living in Dorset. We moved to the UK in 2010. Read about our move. If you would like to talk about travel, please join us on the Slow Europe Travel Forums.

3 thoughts on “Can’t Get Enough of Peter Robinson”

  1. Have you tried any of Reginald Hill’s Dalziel and Pascoe stories? Or Peter Lovesey – there are two series set in Victorian times, one with a highly respectable police detective and one in which the detective is the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).

  2. I watched some Dalziel and Pascoe TV shows on PBS – they must have been from BBC – but have never read the books. I will try one. And I have not read Peter Lovesey – will try it too.

    In the English detective genre I have read all of Dorothy Sayers (excellent), P.D. James (really excellent), Elizabeth George (American writing as a Brit – excellent), Deborah Crombie (American writing as a Brit – not excellent, but good enough) and the first three in the new series from Kate Atkinson (really excellent).

    Any more suggestions?

  3. I found a Peter Lovesey book on my bookshelf! My friend Ann is a great mystery reader and stayed here when we were in England last winter. She left a pile of books for me and I have been making my way thru them but had not noticed the Peter Lovesey book! It is next on my list.

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