Grand Master

I’ve been thrilled this week to hear it announced that I have been awarded the Grand Master Award 2020 by the Crime Writers of Canada. This is awarded to a “crime writer with a substantial body of work who has garnered national and international recognition.” There was supposed to be a gala Awards Dinner in late May, at which the winners of the Arthur Ellis awards would be announced, along with the Grand Master, but this has been cancelled. Any celebrations will have to be carried out online.

Here’s what the Crime Writes of Canada have to say:

Since Peter Robinson’s first mystery, Gallows View, appeared in 1987, his growing readership has eagerly waited for each encounter with Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. Now with twenty-seven of these moody and layered police procedurals, fans around the world have become attached to the complex, music-loving DCI Banks and his always-intriguing colleagues in the fictional town of Eastvale in North Yorkshire. They’ve followed Banks, his twisty cases, his career challenges and the ups and downs of his personal life with interest and affection. The series has also been adapted to television by ITV.

Peter has a shelf full of Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Awards for both best novel and for best short story. Internationally he’s been honoured by Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France), the Martin Beck Award (Sweden), the Palle Rosenkrantz (Denmark), the CWA Dagger in the Library (UK), and the American Macavity, Edgar and Barry awards. In 2010, he was presented with the Crime Writers of Canada Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to the crime genre.

Peter Robinson’s Many Rivers to Cross Book Tour

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Peter will be embarking on a tour to meet readers and discuss his latest novel, Many Rivers to Cross, from 16 September to 5 October. Here are the dates and venues where you can meet Peter and hear him discuss this latest book, and his Inspector Banks series.

Monday 16th September , 7pm
Peter Robinson in Conversation
Sheffield Central Library
Surrey St, Sheffield S1 1XZ
More information

Tuesday 17th September, 12.30pm
Book signing at Waterstones Leeds
93-97 Albion St, Leeds LS1 5JS
More information

Tuesday 17th September, 7.30pm
Peter Robinson in Conversation at Ripon Festival
Ripon Spa Hotel, Ripon HG4 2BU
More information

Wednesday 18th September, 12.30pm
Book signing at Waterstones Northallerton
102 High St, Northallerton DL7 8PP
More information

Wednesday 18th September, 6.30pm
Peter Robinson in Conversation
York Explore Library
Library Square, Museum Street, York YO1 7DS
More information

Thursday 19th September, 12.30pm
Book signing at Waterstones Yarm
97 High St, Yarm TS15 9BB
More information

Thursday 19th September, 7pm
Peter Robinson in Conversation at Waterstones Newcastle
Emerson Chambers, Blackett St, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7JF
More information

Friday 20th September, 12.30pm
Book signing at Waterstones Darlington
1 – 3, Cornmill Centre, Darlington DL1 1LS
More information

Saturday 21st September, 4pm
Bloody Scotland Festival
We Are Detectives with Mike Craven and Mari Hannah
Golden Lion Hotel, Stirling FK8 1BD
More information

Monday 23rd September , 12.30pm
Book signing at Waterstones Perth
King Edward Street, Perth PH1 5UK
More information

Monday 23rd September , 6.30pm
Peter Robinson in Conversation at Waterstones Aberdeen
33 Bon-Accord Centre, Aberdeen AB25 1HZ
More information

Tuesday 24th September, 12.30pm
Book signing at Waterstones Inverness
Eastgate Shopping Centre, 1 Crown Rd, Inverness IV2 3PR
More information

Tuesday 24th September, 7pm
Peter Robinson in Conversation at Elgin Library
In association with Waterstones Elgin
Elgin Library, Cooper Park, Elgin, IV30 1HS
More information

Wednesday 2nd October, 4.30pm
Wigtown Book Festival
More information

Saturday 5th October, 7.30pm
Ilkley Literature Festival
More information

Peter at Bloody Scotland

From Jack Laidlaw to John Rebus, from Jane Tennyson to Harry Bosch, the police detective has long been the dark, beating heart of the crime novel. Plain clothes, plain speaking, plain old brilliant at catching the bad guys, they are what make the genre tick.

Mike Craven’s DS Washington Poe is a relative newcomer to the ranks of fictional detectives but his appearance in Black Summer has already seen him hailed as one of the best. Mari Hannah’s DCI David Stone and DS Frankie Oliver form a dream detecting team in The Scandal. Peter Robinson’s DCI Banks may have been promoted to Superintendent in Many Rivers to Cross, but he’s lost none of the brilliance that has endeared him to legions of fans.

The event takes place on Saturday 21st September from 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

For more information, visit the Bloody Scotland website.

December News

On a recent trip to the UK, I was fortunate enough to be spend a couple of days revisiting the University of Leeds. I graduated from there in 1974 with my BA in English Literature, so I’ve always felt strong ties. I was also be lucky enough to be there in the days when it was probably the best place in the entire UK to see great bands, and in my time I was able to see Cream (earlier, in 1968, before I was a student there), The Who. The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Wings, Captain Beefheart, Sandy Denny, Leonard Cohen, Roy Harper, Al Stewart, The Incredible String Band, Hawkwind, The Soft Machine and many others. I even managed to do a bit of studying, too!

I have many reasons to thank the University of Leeds in addition to the education and the music I got there, not least for taking many boxes of my manuscripts, notebooks and random scribblings and giving them a home in the special collections of the Brotherton Library. I was able to visit the stacks and see the collection on the shelves, all neatly boxed and catalogued. One of the members of the English Department was actually consulting one of my old notebooks for a paper she was working on.

A few years ago my wife and I were able to set up a scholarship at the university for students from poorer backgrounds wanting to study English, with an interest in writing. Most imaginatively, it’s called the Peter Robinson Scholarship. It’s not a lot, but I call it ‘books and beer money,’ for which I would have been most grateful in my days there. It’s a thrill to have a connection with these students, and this time we were able to have lunch with three of them, past and present, in the Great Hall. (See photograph: L to R, Georgia Hulkes, Dominick O’Key, Me, Eva Liukineviciute.) Georgia is doing her masters, Dominick his PhD, and Eva, a second year student, had just won a university poetry competition, so that was a nice little extra.

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Also, outside the hall, I got to see my Leeds Alumni banner. They’re all around the campus and feature alumni and people connected with Leeds in various walks of life. Among many others, I spotted Mark Knopfler, Mark Gattis and Tony Harrison. So I’m in good company!

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Finally, here’s wishing you all a Merry Christmas, whether you celebrate it or not, and a Happy New Year, whenever it may begin for you.

Written in Blood with Peter Robinson

Peter is guest on the CBS Reality series Written in Blood, which airs on 6 November in the UK, where he discusses the fatal stabbing of 14-year-old Elsie Frost.

In this new series of Written in Blood, some of the world’s top crime fiction writers explore the similarities between their work and the grim realities of true crime.

Here’s a trailer for the episode:

Crimes & Ballads and Written in Blood

The recent “Crimes & Ballads” evening with Martin Carthy at the Georgian Theatre in Richmond, part of the local Walking and Books Festival, was a great success. More to the point, we enjoyed ourselves! I read my short story “Enchantress,” which appeared in Martin Edwards’s CWA anthology Deadly Pleasures a couple of years ago, and Martin Carthy added a number of traditional folk songs, then did a solo set during which he performed the wonderful “new” version of “Scarborough Fair” from the latest Gift Band CD Anchor. Here’s a photo by Mark Whyman. If my expression looks odd it’s because I’m trying to smile for the camera while doing a sound check!

EE7 Crimes  Ballades

News flash: The second season of “Written in Blood” on CBS Reality (available on Freeview, Sky etc) begins on Tuesday, 16th October. There are six episodes, and in each one a crime writer discusses a true cold case with presenter Simon Toyne. My episode, talking about the 1965 Elsie Frost murder in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, airs on 6th November. Filming took place on location over two very hot days this summer, and if I look hot and sweaty it’s because I was, but notice how cool and elegant Simon looks! Here’s a trailer.

Out This Week: Careless Love, the 25th Inspector Banks Novel

Careless Love UKBanks and his team find themselves with two suspicious deaths. One involves the apparent suicide of a young local student, whose body is found in an abandoned car on a lonely country road. She didn’t own a car. Didn’t even drive. How did she get there? Where did she die? Who moved her, and why?

The other case concerns a man in his sixties found dead in a gully up on the wild moorland. He is wearing an expensive suit and carrying no identification. Post mortem findings indicate that he died from injuries sustained during the fall. But what was he doing up there? And why are there no signs of a car in the vicinity?

As the inconsistencies multiply and the mysteries proliferate, Annie’s father’s new partner, Zelda, comes up with a shocking piece of information that alerts Banks and Annie to the return of an old enemy in a new guise. This is someone who will stop at nothing, not even murder, to get what he wants, and suddenly the stakes are raised and the hunt is on.

Available 26 July, 2018 (UK), October 20018 (CA), January 22, 2019 (US). (Buy from Amazon UK)