Peter Robinson Books In Order – Complete List of Novels

Last Updated on April 3, 2023  The Peter Robinson books in order are mostly about the popular Inspector Banks series, which currently includes 28 books with the latest one published in 2023 titled Standing in the Shadows.

Here are the Peter Robinson Inspector Banks books in order of publication (the reading order is the same with the publication order). The series is set in the fictional English town called Eastvale.

New Peter Robinson Book

Standing in the Shadows
Standing in the Shadows, (Inspector Banks #28) 2023

Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks Books in Publication Order

  1. Gallows View , 1987
  2. A Dedicated Man, 1988
  3. A Necessary End, 1989
  4. The Hanging Valley, 1989
  5. Past Reason Hated, 1991
  6. Wednesday’s Child, 1992
  7. Dry Bones That Dream, 1994
  8. Innocent Graves , 1996
  9. Dead Right aka Blood at the Root, 1997
  10. In A Dry Season, 1999
  11. Cold is the Grave, 2000
  12. Aftermath, 2001
  13. The Summer That Never Was, 2003
  14. Playing With Fire, 2004
  15. Strange Affair, 2005
  16. Piece of My Heart, 2006
  17. Friend of the Devil, 2007
  18. All the Colours of Darkness, 2008
  19. Bad Boy, 2010
  20. Watching the Dark, 2012
  21. Children of the Revolution, 2013
  22. Abattoir Blues, 2014 (new publication title: In the Dark Places)
  23. When the Music’s Over, 2016
  24. Sleeping in the Ground, 2017
  25. Careless Love, 2019
  26. Many Rivers to Cross, 2019
  27. Not Dark Yet, 2021
  28. Standing in the Shadows, 2023

Other Peter Robinson Books in Publication Order

Collections of Short Stories in Publication Order

Short Stories and Novellas in Publication Order

Who is Inspector Banks?

Banks is a Detective Chief Inspector with the Eastvale police department, a fictional town located in Yorkshire, England. He is described as a thoughtful and intelligent man who is dedicated to his job and has a deep love for music.

He was born and raised in London, where he developed a love for jazz music. He later attended the University of Leeds, where he studied English literature and became interested in poetry. After graduating, he joined the police force and worked his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming a detective.

Inspector Banks has a complex personal life, having been married twice and having two children. His first marriage ended in divorce, and his second wife Sandra died of cancer. Banks has a strained relationship with his brother, Roy, who is a successful businessman. Banks remains committed to his job and solving crimes despite these personal struggles.

Banks is portrayed throughout the series as a skilled detective with a keen intuition. He often relies on his instincts to solve crimes but uses his intelligence and analytical skills to gather evidence and build a case. Banks is also known for his empathy and his ability to connect with victims and witnesses.

Why Should We Read the Peter Robinson Inspector Alan Banks Series?

Peter Robinson’s Inspector Bank series is a collection of crime novels that follows the life and work of Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks in the fictional town of Eastvale, Yorkshire. Here are some reasons why reading the Alan Banks series by Peter Robinson is worth your time:

  1. Engaging and Complex Characters: One of the series’ strengths is its characters’ depth and complexity. Robinson has crafted characters that are relatable and engaging, with their own unique backstories and personalities. Banks himself is a flawed but dedicated detective who struggles with personal demons, making him a compelling protagonist to follow.
  2. Gripping Storylines: Each book in the series is well-plotted and full of suspense, making them page-turners that are hard to put down. Robinson’s attention to detail and intricate storytelling keeps readers engaged and guessing until the very end.
  3. Realistic and Well-Researched: Robinson’s background as a former teacher and academic is reflected in his meticulous research and attention to detail. The series is set in the fictional town of Eastvale, but Robinson’s descriptions of the area and its residents are so vivid that readers feel as though they are right there alongside the characters.
  4. Social Commentary: The series often explores social issues such as racism, homophobia, and poverty, giving readers a glimpse into the complex issues that exist in contemporary British society. Robinson does not shy away from difficult topics and tackles them with sensitivity and nuance.
  5. Exploration of Human Nature: The Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks series is not just a collection of crime stories, but also a study of human nature. Robinson’s characters are flawed and complex, and he explores their motivations and desires with depth and nuance. This exploration of human nature makes the series more than just a simple whodunit and gives readers plenty to ponder after finishing each book.
  6. Long-Running Series: With close to 30 books, readers have plenty of material to delve into and get lost in. Robinson’s ability to consistently deliver gripping storylines and complex characters over such a long time is a testament to his writing skill.

The Inspector Alan Banks series by Peter Robinson is a must-read for fans of crime fiction. With engaging characters, gripping storylines, and a realistic and well-researched setting, these books are sure to keep readers on the edge of their seats. Additionally, Robinson’s exploration of social issues and human nature makes the series more than just a simple whodunit and gives readers plenty to ponder long after finishing each book.

Should We Read the Chief Inspector Alan Banks Books in Order?

  1. Character Development: Reading the series in order allows readers to see the development of the characters over time. Inspector Alan Banks and his team evolve as the series progresses, with their personal and professional lives changing in response to the cases they investigate. By starting with the first book in the series and working through them in order, readers can gain a better understanding of the characters and their motivations.
  2. Narrative Continuity: Each book in the series builds upon the previous one, with references and connections to earlier cases and events. Reading the books out of order can lead to confusion and a lack of understanding of the narrative arc. Starting with the first book and reading them in order ensures that readers have a clear understanding of the series’ overarching storyline.
  3. Spoiler Avoidance: Each book in the Banks series contains spoilers for the previous books, particularly in regard to ongoing character arcs and relationships. Reading the books out of order can spoil major plot points and diminish the impact of earlier books in the series.
  4. Series-specific Terminology: The Banks novels contain their own terminology, including acronyms and nicknames for characters and locations. Starting with the first book and reading the series in order allows readers to become familiar with these terms and avoid confusion.
  5. Authorial Intent: Peter Robinson wrote the DCI Banks series to be read in order. By following the intended order of the books, readers can fully appreciate Robinson’s narrative choices and the overarching themes and motifs he weaves throughout the series.

Reading the Chief Inspector Alan Banks series by Peter Robinson in order allows readers to fully appreciate the character development, narrative continuity, and authorial intent of the series. It also helps avoid spoilers and confusion and allows readers to become familiar with the series-specific terminology.

Peter Robinson Biography – About the Author

Peter Robinson author

Canadian-British author Peter Robinsons was born in Armley, Leeds, England in 1950. He grew up in Yorkshire, where his Inspector Banks series is also set. After getting his BA in English Literature at the University of Leeds, in 1974 he moved to Canada, where he got his master’s degree in English and Creative writing from the University of Windsor.

Next, he moved back to the UK but couldn’t find a teaching job, so he returned to Canada and got a Ph.D. in English at York University in Toronto. It was much easier to find jobs in Canada, so the author would go back and forth between the two countries until he eventually fully settled in Canada.

Before writing his Banks series, he wrote poems and published his own work. When, one summer, he went back to Yorkshire, he found his father reading a Raymond Chandler book. Next, he picked up many different British crime books by various authors and was hooked. He started writing as well, but the first three books were duds. Then he wrote A Dedicated Man (a book that became book #2 in the Inspector Banks series), and soon Penguin in Canada picked it up, along with the rest of the series.

Inspector Banks was born through Peter Robinson reading many crime novels set in England in the 1980s with detectives working cases at the police station. Thus, he figured that a new crime mystery series set in Yorkshire, where he grew up, would be enjoyable to British crime mystery readers.

When he started the series, the author was already living in Canada. However, he was still nostalgic for the UK of his past. He also knew his home country much better than his new uprooted country.

Several books in the Inspector Banks series take their plots from real-life crimes reported in newspapers but are incomplete in their storylines. The author takes the stories and through his creativity, takes the plots to new interesting directions.

In an interview, Peter Robinson mentioned that in order to write successful crime mystery novels, you need to have a morbid imagination that leaves no space for squeamishness.

The Price of Love, the collection of short stories, includes several about Inspector Banks. In addition, Not Safe After Dark is all about Inspector Alan Banks.

Besides writing his Inspector Banks series, standalone novels, and short stories, he is also teaching crime writing at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. The author currently lives in Toronto with his wife.

Peter Robinson Awards

Several of his Inspector Banks novels have been nominated for and won awards, including the Anthony Award, the Arthur Ellis Award, the TORGI Talking Book Award, the Macavity Award for Best Short Story, the Barry Award, the Swedish Martin Beck Award, Spoken Word Bronze Award, CWA (UK) Dagger in The Library Award, and have been nominated for the Agatha Award. The book In a Dry Season has been a New York TimesNotable Book. The author was shortlisted for the John Creasey Award, among others. Here is the full list of awards won:

  • Innocence – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story in 1990
  • Innocence – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Short Story in 1991
  • Past Reason Hated – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 1991
  • Past Reason Hated – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in 1992
  • Innocent Graves – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 1997
  • The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage – Macavity Award for Best Short Story in 1998
  • In a Dry Season  Anthony Award for Best Novel in 2000
  • In a Dry Season – Barry Award for Best Novel in 2000
  • Missing in Action – Edgar Award for Best Short Story in 2000
  • Cold is the Grave – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in 2001
  • Murder in Utopia – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Short Story in 2001
  • Before the Poison – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in 2012
  • Before the Poison – Martin Beck Award in 2012
  • Sleeping in the Ground – Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel in 2018

TV Adaptations vs the Book Series

The ITV DCI Banks TV series includes 5 seasons. While the show follows the general plotlines and characters of the books, there are some differences between the two.

The books take place in the fictional Yorkshire town of Eastvale, while the TV show is set in the real town of Leeds. The show also features more modern technology, such as smartphones and computers, than books.

Another difference is the portrayal of the main character, DCI Alan Banks. While the series maintains Banks’ integrity and dedication to his job, the show portrays him as more of a lone wolf, often working alone rather than with a team. On the other hand, the books depict Banks as more of a team player, working closely with his colleagues to solve cases.

Additionally, the TV version often adds subplots and characters not present in the books while omitting or changing certain plot points from the novels. Despite these differences, it remains faithful to the overall tone and spirit of the book series and has been well-received by fans of the books.

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  1. Love, love, love the Alan Banks novels. The plots are intriguing, the characterization is brilliant and I literally cannot put one of these books down until I’ve finished it.

  2. Just started reading about DCI Banks. I was never a great mystery novel reader, but I have not been able to put these books down. Guess it’s Covid-19 binge reading.

    Also watching “The Wire” a police drama from early 2000’s in Baltimore (HBO).

  3. I have just finished all 26 of the DCI Banks books and I really hope there are going to be more. I have watched some of the TV shows but since they are different from the books it was to confusing so I stopped watching the TV. Now that I have finished the books I will go back and watch the TV series and just consider them different stories. DCI Banks reminds me of Harry Bosch from the Michael Connelly books.

  4. I have read all the Peter Robinson books Banks series and his other books. If you didn’t know he lived in Toronto Canada, you would think he lived in Leeds England. His style of writing reminds me of the many English crime writers who I have enjoyed. He makes his characters real, flawed, unsure, determined, principled and committed to their duty. The hero has a history has personal issues but is someone you could trust. I hope Peter continues his work as he has brought a lot of wonderful reading into my life. For Canadian readers I suggest they they try Linwood Barkley as another excellent Canadian crime writer

  5. I just finished “In a dry season” and thought it was the first. Now I find it wasn’t.
    it is where he meets Annie.
    I’ve seen many of the TV series and it doesn’t seem to be the Banks in the “dry season”.
    Should I go to the beginning ?

  6. Just finished Before the Poison. Loved it. A great mystery. Grace is such an intriguing character and Chris is too. The descriptions of the Yorkshire area make me want to go for a visit and a cup of tea. 🙂

  7. I read one of his DCI Banks novels that starts in Yorkshire but then Banks travels to Toronto On to follow a lead. I can not remember the name of this particular novel. Would anyone advise me of it’s title? I thoroughly enjoy these novels and wish to read this particular one again. deskinner5.

  8. I to love Peter Robinsons books and I am working my way through them.
    I quite like the TV series and think some of you are being a bit hard on the TV production.
    For those of you living in the USA, a few books are available from your public library service as kindle books and perhaps as physical books too. If you live in Australia, most (about twenty) are available as E-Pub books to read on your tablet.
    If you live in England, one of England’s best authors is only available as audio book and then there are only FOUR. Life’s tough if you are English looking for English authors in the English library!

  9. I saw the TV series here in the States before I began to read the books. I can see the actors who play DCI Banks (Stephen Tompkinson) and Annie (Andrea Lowe) perfectly in my mind as I read the books.

  10. Robinson’s talent is just short of awesome….almost in a league with james lee Burke….each have provided many days and and nights of extraordinary pleasure.

  11. Just watched the final episode of series 5. Annie gets stabbed. Does this happen in any of the books?

  12. I am from the states and love the tv series and the characters that portray them. Just started reading the books and am having trouble with the character descriptions. But I do love the books. They are very different from one another. I am hooked on British crime series. Much better than the states.

  13. As a long time reader/observer of Alan Banks, I feel that he has paid his dues. He has repented of all and everything. Now, as retirement rears, could he please find a woman companions/lover? Preferably a woman a bit softer than he has seen before.

    1. Love the series on tv here in the states. Have not read any of the books but they are on my list and I hope to start soon. Is there a “DCI Banks forum? I’d love to find one and discuss books/tv. TKS

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