The Peter Robinson Award for Best Crime Fiction

The Crime Writers of Canada sponsors annual Awards of Excellence. There are ten categories, the most prestigious of which is the $1,000 prize for Best Crime Novel. Hyacinthe Miller, the Chair of the CWC, announced, on 18 May, 2023, that starting in 2024, and for 5 years the, award would be renamed the Peter Robinson Award for Best Crime Novel, sponsored by Rakuten Kobo.

2023 05 18 Robinson Celebration of Life

On Thursday 18 May 2023, CWC Chair Hyacinthe Miller presented Peter Robinson’s widow, Sheila Halliday, with a picture of the future Peter Robinson Award for Best Crime Fiction sponsored by Rakuten Kobo for $1000. The renaming of the award was announced at the Celebration of life held at the Balmy Beach Club in Toronto. The response to the renaming was enthusiastic. “It was quite emotional,” said Hyacinthe.

A Tribute To Peter Robinson, Thursday 8 June 2023

Last year the crime writing world lost one of its very finest: Peter Robinson, author of the bestselling Inspector Banks series. In this special online event, three leading crime writers – Michael Connelly, Louise Penny and Ian Rankin – will pay tribute to Peter’s life and body of work, which spanned over three decades.

The event will be available to view, free of charge, from Thursday 8th June, to mark the publication day of the twenty-eighth and final book in the Banks series, Standing in the Shadows.

This is a free, online event. To attend, visit the Harrogate Festival website.

Leeds Univeristy Is Hosting A Celebration of Crime Writer Peter Robinson on Thursday 8 June 2023

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Crime writer and University of Leeds alumnus Peter Robinson died after a short illness last year. The Leeds-born novelist was well known as the author of the best-selling DCI Banks novels.

Crime writer and Leeds alumnus Peter Robinson died after a short illness last year. The Leeds-born novelist was well known as the author of the best-selling DCI Banks novel.

As the final installment in the DCI Banks series is published, we will be celebrating Peter’s work in a special event. You will hear from crime writers, academics, and students on the mastery of Peter’s work and his connection to the University, and have the chance to delve into Peter’s literary archive, housed in the University’s Brotherton Library.

You can attend the event in person, or online. For more information, visit the Leeds University School of English website.

Sheila Halladay, Peter Robinson’s Wife, Remembers Peter

Peter’s wife, Shelia Halladay, was interviewed by CrimeReads, where she told a bit about how he worked.

“Peter was a very disciplined and committed writer and he always met his deadlines. Once Peter started on a manuscript, he was pretty steady. While he was flexible and didn’t commit to a strict schedule, he would generally concentrate on writing for three to four hours in the morning. I was very lucky that he did not wake up in the middle of the night to frantically write. He would tease that if the writing was going well in the morning, he would go back to it in the afternoon and if it was not going well, he would go to the pub.

“As Peter was heading towards writing the conclusion of the book, his pace of writing would pick up. Because he did not plot out the books in advance, he had to keep all of the strands of the main plot, secondary stories etc. in his head. It was a like giant puzzle that he had to put together. The actual murderer was not particularly important to Peter and he would usually be over half way through the manuscript when he would announce that he knew ‘who did it’. He always found it amusing when people would tell him the page when they knew who the murderer was, and he would tell them that he didn’t know until much later.”

Read the entire interview on CrimeReads.

The Final Inspector Banks Novel – Standing in the Shadows

Standing in the shadows ukThe final Inspector Banks novel, Standing in the Shadows, will be released on April 11, 2023 in the US, on May 16, 2023 in Canada, and on June 8, 2023, in the UK.

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.

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

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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.

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!

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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.