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!

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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)

Peter Robinson’s 2018 Book Tour, Celebrating the 25th Inspector Banks Novel

Peter will be starting his tour to support the 25th Inspector Banks novel Careless Love in a few weeks. Here’s the current schedule; more dates may be added, so check back.

Friday 20 July
12.00pm: Harrogate Crime Festival Chairing of There’s no Place Like, with Luca Veste (Merseyside), AA Dhand (Bradford), Leye Adenle (Lagos) and Susie Steiner (Cambridge).

Saturday 21 July
11.00am: Signing at Castle Hill books, 1B Castle Hill, Richmond, DL10 4QP.

7.00pm: White Rose books event, 78-81 Market Pl, Thirsk, YO7 1ET.

Sunday 22 July
12.30pm Signing at The Little Ripon Bookshop, 13 Westgate, Ripon, HG4 2AT.

3.00pm: Signing at Waterstones York, 15 Coney Street, York, YO1 9QL.

Monday 23 July
1.00pm: Signing at Waterstones Wakefield, 2 Kirkgate, Wakefield, WF1 1SP.

6.30pm: In Conversation Event at Waterstones Manchester Deansgate, 91 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 2BW.

Tuesday 24 July
1.00pm: Signing at Simply Books, 228 Moss Ln, Bramhall, Stockport SK7 1BD.

7.00pm: In Conversation event at Waterstones Leeds, 93-97 Albion St, Leeds, LS1 5JS.

Wednesday July 25
12.30pm: Literary Lunch, Venue: Gusto, Dicconson Terrace, Lytham Saint Anne FY8 5JY. Contact: Alison Plackitt, Plackitt & Booth Booksellers

Monday August 6
12.30pm: Signing at Waterstones, 78-80 St Peters Street, Derby DE1 1SR.

7.00pm: Event with Waterstones Nottingham, 1-5 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2GR.

Tuesday August 7
1.00pm: In Conversation with Catherine for Browsers Books at Woodbridge Library, New Street, Woodbridge IP12 1DT.

7.30pm: Event in the Big Barn, Manor Farm Site, Bury St, Ruislip HA4 7SU.

Wednesday August 8
12.30pm: Signing at Waterstones Reading, 89 Broad Street, Reading RG1 2AP.

7.00pm: Event at Waterstones,77 High Street, Staines TW18 4PQ.

Thursday August 9
1.00pm: Signing at Waterstones Guildford, 71-73 High St, Guildford, GU1 3DY.

7.00pm: Tonbridge Library, Avebury Avenue, Tonbridge, TN9 1TGp

Saturday August 11
12.00pm Signing at Waterstones, 102 High Street, Northallerton.

Wednesday September 26
Time TBC: Events for the Richmond Festival.

Saturday September 29
4.45pm: Solo event at the Morecambe and Vice Festival, Morecambe Winter Gardens.

Sleeping in the Ground Wins Arthur Ellis Prize for Best Crime Novel

Arthur ellis awardSleeping in the Ground has been awarded the 2018 Arthur Ellis Prize for Best Crime Novel. This award, given by the Crime Writers of Canada, is for excellence in Canadian Crime Writing.

This is not the first time that Peter has won this award, and it’s iconic wooden trophy of a hanging man. In 2012, he won Best Crime Novel for Before the Poison; in 2011 he won Best Novel for Cold is the Grave; in 1997, he won Best Novel for Innocent Graves; and in 1992 he won Best Novel for Past Reason Hated.

The award is named after the pseudonym used by Canada’s last hangman.

News for May, 2018

The good news is that Sleeping in the Ground has been nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award for best novel. The bad news is that I won’t be in Toronto to attend the awards banquet on 24 May. But that’s not really bad news as, instead, I will be in the midst of a library tour of Vancouver Island and the British Columbia coast from 21-28 May. It’s going to be tough travel, with a lot of ferry deadlines and long drives, but I’m looking forward to meeting the readers out there, and the scenery is spectacular. Here’s the schedule. Do come if you get the chance!

  • Tuesday, May 22, 7.00pm. Greater Victoria Public Library, 735 Broughton Steet, Victoria. 250-940-4875 ext. 809.
  • Wednesday, May 23, 7:00pm. Salt Spring Island Public Library, 129 McPhillips Ave, Salt Spring Island. 250-537-4666 ext. 225.
  • Thursday, May 24, 6:30pm. Courtenay Library Branch, 300 6th St, Courtenay. 250-334-3369 ext. 3.
  • Friday, May 25, 7:00pm. Powell River Public Library, 100-6975 Alberni St, Powell River.604-485-4796.
  • Saturday, May 26, 7:00pm. Cook Shack Hall, 20 Maple Rd, Alert Bay. 250-974-5721.
  • Sunday, May 27, 2:00pm. Campbell River Branch Library, 1240 Shoppers Row, Campbell River. 250-287-3655.

There are a number of other forthcoming events over the next few months, both in the UK and in Canada, and I’ll write more about these later. Some of the highlights are as follows:

  • Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Festival, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK, Friday, July 20 at 12 noon.
  • Port Medway Readers Festival, Port Medway, Nova Scotia, Canada, Saturday, August 25, 7:00pm.
  • Eden Mills Writers Festival, Ontario, Canada, Sunday, September 9.
  • Richmond Walking & Books Festival, Richmond, North Yorkshire, UK, Wednesday, September 26. With Martin Carthy.
  • Morecambe & Vice Festival, Morecambe, Lancs, UK. Saturday, September 29.

The new Banks book, Careless Love comes out in the UK on July 26 and in Canada in late October. US publication is not until January, 2019.

And here’s a photo of me in Hiroshima, during a recent visit to Japan.