Peter Robinson was born in Yorkshire. After getting his BA Honours Degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds, he came to Canada and took his MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, with Joyce Carol Oates as his tutor, then a PhD in English at York University. He has taught at a number of Toronto community colleges and universities and served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Windsor, 1992-93.
His first novel, Gallows View (1987), introduced Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. It was short-listed for the John Creasey Award in the UK and the Crime Writers of Canada best first novel award. A Dedicated Man followed in 1988 and was short-listed for the CWC’s Arthur Ellis Award. A Necessary End and The Hanging Valley, both Inspector Banks novels, followed in 1989, and the latter was nominated for an Arthur. Both received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly in the US. The 22nd Inspector Banks novel, Abattoir Blues, will be released soon.
Robinson has also published many short stories. “Innocence” won the CWC Best Short Story Award, 1991. “The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage,” which appeared in Malice Domestic 6, edited by Anne Perry, in April 1997, won the Macavity Award and was nominated for both the Agatha and Arthur Ellis awards. It was also performed, with music and songs by Eliza Carthy, at the Beverley Folk Festival, Yorkshire, in 2006. His first collection of short stories, Not Safe After Dark and Other Stories, was published in 1998 by Crippen & Landru. An expanded version, including the Banks novella “Going Back”, was published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and Macmillan in the UK in September, 2004. “Murder in Utopia” won Robinson his fifth Ellis Award in 2001, and the same year “Missing in Action” won the Edgar Award. In 2007, Robinson edited the The Penguin Book of Crime Stories, which was published to great critical acclaim. His most recent stories appear in The Blue Religion, a Mystery Writers of America anthology edited by Michael Connelly, and Toronto Noir, published by Akashic Books and edited by Janine Armin and Nathaniel G. Moore.
Robinson now divides his time between Toronto and Richmond, North Yorkshire. In 2006 he was invited to join The Detection Club.