Peter Robinson, 1950 – 2022

The following is a press release from Peter’s UK publisher Hodder & Stoughton.

Hodder & Stoughton are sad to announce that the crime writer Peter Robinson died suddenly on 4th October after a brief illness. He was best-known for his DCI Banks novels – first published 35 years ago, and brought to television by Left Bank Productions with Stephen Tompkinson as Banks – with 8.75 million books sold by his UK publishers Hodder & Stoughton and Pan Macmillan.

A long-time Torontonian, Robinson was born in Leeds and much of his fiction was deeply rooted in a very contemporary Yorkshire, where the beauty of the Dales always co-existed with poverty and crime in his fictional town of Eastvale. Peter received the Grand Master Award from the Crime Writers of Canada in 2020, and won many prizes for his work from around the world, where his fiction has been translated and published in 20 countries and reached number one on the bestseller list numerous times.

Peter Robinson’s editor, 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.

‘Peter Robinson was an immensely talented writer over a very wide range, from poetry, to short stories, noir thrillers to more literary works. He was in fact Dr Robinson, with a PhD in literature, and we saw glimpses of that, and sometimes his poetry, in his novels – as well of course of his very eclectic love of music, shared by Banks. His novels are superbly plotted (one reviewer said he had the precision of Swiss watchmaker) and the settings are vivid and fully real, but it’s the richness and depth of his characters that keep the readers – including me – coming back for more.

‘I’ve lost track of the very many happy meals the Robinson team, his agent and old friend David Grossman, and I have shared with Peter and his wife Sheila, putting the world to rights and trying to persuade him – always unsuccessfully – to give away a little bit more about what was going to happen next in Banks’s love life. The last of those was in May this year when we met for the first time since the pandemic. With typical generosity, Peter and Sheila drove around Yorkshire to feed and entertain me. Peter promised a delivery date for his new novel, and as he always did, kept to it. Standing in the Shadows is perhaps his finest work yet, and publishing it in March next year will be a bittersweet experience for a great many of us.

‘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.’

If you wish to share your appreciation of Peter’s work, you can send an email from the Contact page.

Also, e invite you to make a gift in memory of Dr Peter Robinson to support the scholarship fund that Peter established to enable less-advantaged students to study English at Leeds.

The Peter Robinson Scholarship Fund

Peter degree

We invite you to make a gift in memory of Dr Peter Robinson to support the scholarship fund that Peter established to enable less-advantaged students to study English at Leeds.

Peter Robinson studied English at Leeds in the early 1970s, before pursuing further academic studies in Canada, with an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, and a PhD in English at York University in Toronto, the city which became his home. But Yorkshire remained a strong influence – and, of course, the setting for the fictional world he created in his DCI Banks novels and stories.

Peter’s bestselling books have received critical acclaim, won a string of international prizes, and been adapted for television. His work has brought pleasure to countless readers around the globe. In 2009 the University awarded Peter an honorary doctorate in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a writer – and we are proud to hold Peter’s literary archive in our Library’s Special Collections.

Peter, together with his wife Sheila Halladay, endowed the Peter Robinson Scholarship, to help students from less-advantaged backgrounds to study English at Leeds and take advantage of all the opportunities opened up by a rich university experience. Where possible, the scholarship is awarded to a student who also has an interest in creative writing.

Just as his own degree opened up a new world of possibility for Peter, so the Peter Robinson Scholarship passes on that gift of education and opportunity to future generations of Leeds students.

If you would like to make a donation, visit the Peter Robinson Scholarship fund page at the University of Leeds.

The Next Inspector Banks Novel – Standing in the Shadows

Standing in the shadows ukThe next Inspector Banks novel, Standing in the Shadows, will be released on March 2, 2023 in the UK, and April 11, 2023 in the US.

In November 1980, Nick Hartley returns home from a university lecture to find his house crawling with police. His ex-girlfriend, Alice Poole, has been found murdered, and her new boyfriend Mark Woodley is missing. Nick is the prime suspect. The case quickly goes cold, but Nick cannot let it go. He embarks on a career in investigative journalism, determined to find Alice’s murderer—but his obsession leads him down a dangerous path.

Decades later, in November 2019, an archaeologist unearths a skeleton that turns out to be far more contemporary than the Roman remains she is seeking. Detective Superintendent Alan Banks and his team are called in to investigate, but there is little to be gleaned from the remains themselves. Left with few clues, Banks and his team must rely on their wits to hunt down a killer.

As the two cases unfurl, the investigations twist and turn to an explosive conclusion.

Read more about Standing in the Shadows.

Mystery Writers of America Summer Giveaway

The Mystery Writers of America is holding a summer giveaway, and winners will receive copies of Mystery Writers of America’s two most recent anthologies. These collections feature some of the top names in crime fiction and are perfect summer reading!

Summer rreading graphic

When a Stranger Comes to Town, edited by Michael Koryta and featuring stories by Michael Connelly, S.A. Cosby, Lisa Unger, Joe Hill, and more!

Deadly Anniversaries: Mystery Writers of America’s 75th Anniversary Anthology, edited by Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini. Featuring stories by Peter Robinson, Sue Grafton, Lee child, Jeffery Deaver, Laurie R. King, and more!

Enter the giveaway.

Peter Robinson’s Virtual Book Tour for the New Banks Novel, Not Dark Yet

Since there are no physical events possible right now, Peter has a number of virtual events planned. When more are scheduled, they’ll be added to this list.

An evening with Peter Robinson
Harrogate International Festivals
Thursday 18th March at 7pm
Visit here to register, and to submit a question to Peter:

An evening with Peter Robinson
Hull Noir Launch Event
Friday 19th March at 7pm
Visit here to register:

An evening with Peter Robinson
Huddersfield Literature Festival
Saturday 27th March at 7pm
Booking information here:

Not Dark Yet, the new Alan Banks Novel

Not dark yet smallThe New Alan Banks novel, Not Dark Yet, is due to be published in the UK and the USA on 18th March. Here’s a description along with a first look at the cover . A list of interviews and features — mostly by Zoom or email — will follow soon.

“The investigation into the gruesome murders of Eastvale property developer Connor Clive Blaydon and his factotum Neville Roberts at Blaydon’s luxury home reveals a cache of hidden SD cards that cast the murders in an entirely different light. Instead of showing Blaydon’s murderer, the grainy and blurred footage reveals a brutal rape. If Annie and Gerry can discover the identity of the rapist and his victim, it could lead them to the whoever wanted Blaydon dead.

Meanwhile, Banks’s friend Zelda, increasingly uncertain of her future in Britain’s hostile environment, is in Chișinău looking for answers. Her search takes her back to the orphanage where her nightmare began with her abduction at the age of seventeen. A super recogniser, able to recognise and remember faces significantly better than most people, Zelda is determined to bring the men who abused her to justice. But as she stirs up the past, she and Banks soon find it has ripples that reach into the present, plunging both of them into greater danger than ever before.”