Crime author Peter Robinson dies aged 72

Robinson was best known for his DCI Banks series.

07 October 2022

Crime author Peter Robinson has died at the age of 72, his publisher has announced.

The Leeds-born novelist was best known for his crime novels set in Yorkshire, featuring Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks.

In an announcement on Friday, Robinson’s publishing house Hodder & Stoughton said he had died on Tuesday after a brief illness.

Robinson published his first DCI Banks novel in 1987 and wrote a number of other novels, short stories and poems throughout his career.

ITV adapted the series for a drama, airing between 2011 and 2017 and starring Stephen Tompkinson.

After studying English literature at the University of Leeds, Robinson emigrated to Canada where he lived in the The Beaches area of Toronto with his wife Sheila Halladay.

Despite leaving Yorkshire behind, much of Robinson’s writing was deeply rooted in a contemporary Yorkshire where the natural beauty of the Dales co-existed with poverty and crime in the fictional town of Eastvale.

In 2020 Robinson received the Grand Master Award from the Crime Writers of Canada, having previously received their Derrick Murdoch Award in 2010.

Robinson’s editor and Hodder managing director Carolyn Mays said: “Peter was a combination of all the best bits of his detective Alan Banks – thoughtful and passionate about justice, he had fine taste and a totally down-to-earth view of the world.

“His humour was wry and very dry. He was a Yorkshireman to the core; much that he did was done without fanfare, like the scholarship he created at the University of Leeds, where he himself took his first degree, to sponsor students through an English literature and creative writing course.

“Our hearts are with his family and friends, his agents David Grossman and Dominick Abel, the many thousands of fans who will miss his work so much, and most of all with his beloved wife Sheila, to whom he dedicated every single book he wrote.”

Ms Mays described Robinson’s latest work, Standing In The Shadows as “perhaps his finest work yet”.

The novel is set to be published in March, an event that Mays said will be “a bittersweet experience”.

Tributes have been paid to Robinson online, including from fellow crime writers Val McDermid and Ian Rankin.

McDermid wrote on Twitter: “Sad to hear of the death of @Inspector_Banks.

“We were both first published in 1987, and our paths often crossed, (usually accompanied by beer) in Canada and his beloved Yorkshire. Condolences to Sheila.”

Rankin added: “Hellish news about my dear friend Peter Robinson. Spent many a wonderful evening in the company of him and his partner Sheila.”

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