Peter Robinson

Peter Robinson is a prolific mystery thriller write who lives in Canada, but writes about characters in his homeland of England. Although the author of several short stories, novels, poems, and essays, Robinson is best known for his Inspector Alan Banks series. This creative string of novels has been adapted into several riveting television shows, and has been translated into over fifteen (15) different languages.

Early Life

Peter Robinson was born in Britain on March 17, 1950 in Armley, Leeds. Like many great British authors before him, robinson attended the prestigious University of Leeds. Here he received his bachelors of art in English Literature. After college, he emigrated to Canada in 1974, where he attended the prestigious University of Windsor. There he attained a master’s degree in Creative Writing and English and was fortunate enough to have writer, Joyce Carol Oates has his mentor. After graduation, Robinson headed to Toronto and received from York University his PhD in English. He served as a professor in multiple colleges in Toronto and served as a Writer-in-Residence for the University-of-Windsor from the year 1992 to 1993. Although a successful author, Robinson still occasionally teaches crime-writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.

Peter Robinson’s Career

Peter Robinson is most known for his Inspector Banks series, set in Yorkshire town of Eastvale. His very first-novel, Gallows-View premiered in the year 1987, and introduced the world to Detective-Chief-Inspector-Alan Banks. The novel was a hit, and was one of the nominees for the John-Creasey-Award in the United Kingdom. It has also been nominated as best first-novel award for the Crime-Writers-of-Canada. A Dedicated Man written in the year 1988 was the next novel in the series and is also nominated for the Crime-Writers-of-Canada award. The next two Inspector Banks novels both received critical acclaim and star rankings in Publishers-Weekly in the United States. The fourth novel in the series, The Hanging Valley, was one of the nominees for an Arthur.

Peter Robinson’s fifth novel, Past-Reason-Hated, won the Arthur-Ellis Award in the Best Novel category in 1992. The sixth book, Wednesday’s Child, was nominated for the Edgar Award, and Final Account (the seventh novel) won an Author’s Award in 1994. Innocent Graves (1996) was selected by Publishers Weekly as one of the best-mysteries of 1996, and was called the “page-turner of the week” by People Magazine. The tenth novel, In-a-Dry-Season, won the Anthony-and-Barry awards for best-novel. In the year 2001, it won the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere award of France, along with Sweden’s Martin-Beck-Award.

Cold-is-the-Grave, marked a turning point in Robinson’s career. The eleventh novel in the series not only won the Arthur-Ellis Award, it has been nominated for the L.A. Times Book Award. The twelfth book, Aftermath which was published in the year 2002, ranked in the top ten of the bestsellers lists in both the United Kingdom and Canada. It then moved to number one. Though Peter Robinson is known for his fantastic serial writing, Robinson was also able to published numerous short stories. His short story, “Innocence”, published in the year 1991 won the CWC-Best Short Story Award. In April 1997, Robinson’s “The Two-Ladies of Rose-Cottage,” appeared in Malice-Domestic-6, and was edited by Anne-Perry. It also garnered the Macavity-Award.

In the year 1998, Peter Robinson published his first-collection of short-stories, Not-Safe-After-Dark and Other Stories. The nineteenth (19th) Inspector-Banks-novel, All the Colors of the Darkness, appeared in Canada in October of 2008, in the United Kingdom in August of 2008, and in the United States in February of 2009. In 2006, Peter Robinson was invited to be a part of the elite organization, The Detection Club in the year 2006. Robinson now spends his days teaching and living in Toronto, Richmond, and North Yorkshire.

The Inspector Banks Series

The series is set in the fictional town of Eastvale in Yorkshire, England. Alan Banks is a former member of the London Metro Police. Detective Inspector Alan Banks leaves London for a more peaceful existence in the Dales. Most of the first twelve (12) novels of the Inspector-Banks-series revolves around crime investigation conducted by Banks. In the year 1999, Robinson shocked fans with novel, In-a-Dry-Season that focused on the Inspector’s divorce from his wife Sandra, once their children leave the family home. Later novels in the Inspector-Banks-series focus on his romance with Detective Sergeant Annie Cabbot. Her first appearance is in the same novel where Inspector-Banks and hi- wife get divorced. She meets him while investigating an accusation of murder by someone in Banks’ team. She later joins his team and the two have an off and on relationship.

Gallows View

Readers are introduced to Inspector Alan Banks. Fresh from the London Metropolitan Police force, DCI Banks investigates a series of incidences in the small town of Eastvale including: a peeping tom, and a possible murder of an elderly woman. In addition to this, Banks has to wrestle with his attraction to young-psychologist, Jenny-Fuller. As tensions mount, the cases come closer and closer to Banks’ family.

A Dedicated Man

The second novel in the Inspector-Banks-series finds Banks investigating the death of a beloved local historian found buried in a wall. He has several suspects, all of whom have their own reasons for wanting the thoughtful historian dead. Meanwhile a young girl, Sally Lumb, is in grave danger because she knows more than what she claims.

Television Adaptations

ITV commissioned the television rights of the novel Aftermath in July of the year 2010. Playing Inspector Banks was the British actor Stephen Tompkinson. On September 27 and October 4 of 2010, the adaptation aired as a two part series. The ratings were very high. As a result, ITV commissioned three more novels: Playing With Fire, Cold-is-the-Grave, and Friend-of-the-Devil. ITV chose to air the three novels as a group of six one hour episodes. The episodes began airing on September 16, 2011.

Peter Robinson is a prolific writer, whose mystery novels have shocked and thrilled reader for decades. Though a Canadian, Robinson is schooled in the English tradition of creative writing. His vivid descriptions, lively characters, and intricate story lines, have made his works a permanent fixture of the English, Canadian, and American literary world. The character of Inspector Banks will be a contribution to the mystery genre for all time.

Books in order of publication by series:

Inspector Banks Books

Gallows View(1987) 
A Dedicated Man(1988) 
A Necessary End(1989) 
The Hanging Valley(1989) 
Past Reason Hated(1991) 
Wednesday’s Child(1992) 
Dry Bones That Dream / Final Account(1994) 
Innocent Graves(1996) 
Dead Right / Blood At The Root(1997) 
In a Dry Season(1999) 
Cold is the Grave(2000) 
The Summer That Never Was / Close to Home(2003) 
Playing with Fire(2004) 
Strange Affair(2005) 
Piece of My Heart(2006) 
Friend of the Devil(2007) 
All the Colours of Darkness(2008) 
Bad Boy(2010) 
Watching the Dark(2013) 
Children of the Revolution(2013) 
Abattoir Blues / In the Dark Places(2014) 
When the Music’s Over(2016) 
Sleeping in the Ground(2017) 
Careless Love(2018) 
Many Rivers to Cross(2019) 

Inspector Banks Short Stories

Going Back(2009) 

Standalone Novels

Caedmon’s Song(1990) 
No Cure For Love(1995) 
Before the Poison(2011) 

Short Stories

Birthday Dance(2009) 
Blue Christmas(2009) 
The Cherub Affair(2009) 
Cornelius Jubb(2009) 
The Eastvale Ladies’ Poker Circle(2009) 
The Ferryman’s Beautiful Daughter(2009) 
The Magic of Your Touch(2009) 

Short Story Collections

Not Safe After Dark and Other Stories(1998) 
The Price of Love and Other Stories(2009) 
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