Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Robert Barnard

PhotoBiography
Robert Barnard was born in Essex, England in 1936. His father was a writer of weekly magazines’ women’s romances. Barnard attended Oxford and studied history before changing his focus to English. He worked for five years as a lecturer in English in Australia, where he also met his wife. The couple headed next to Norway where Barnard remained for many years as a professor of English. Finally, in 1983, he gave up his dual existence as academic and mystery writer and devoted himself full-time to writing. He and his wife Louise, a librarian, now live in Leeds, England.

What he writes: A prolific writer, Barnard has produced a number of standalone mysteries, most set in England, as well as two series. One series features Charlie Peace, a black police detective whose beat is a small English parish. Satirical, often humorous, Barnard’s characters exhibit the best and worst of human nature. Barnard cites Charles Dickens as a major influence.

 

List of works (titles and dates reference U.S. publication information)

Non-Series Works
  A Little Local Murder (1976) The Skeleton in the Grass (1988)
  Death of an Old Goat (1977) At Death's Door (1988)
  Blood Brotherhood (1978) A City of Strangers (1990)
  Death on the High C's (1978) A Scandal in Belgravia (1991)
  Death of a Mystery Writer (1979) The Masters of the House (1994)
  Death of a Literary Widow (1980) A Murder in Mayfair (2000)
  Death in a Cold Climate (1981) Unholy Dying (2001)
  Death of a Perfect Mother (1981) The Mistress of Alderley (2003)
  School for Murder (1984) A Cry from the Dark (2004)
  Corpse in a Gilded Cage (1984) The Graveyard Position (2005)
  Out of the Blackout (1985) Dying Flames (2006)
  Fête Fatale (1985) A Fall from Grace (2007)
  Political Suicide (1986)  
     
Perry Trethowan Series
  Death by Sheer Torture (1982) Bodies (1986)
  Death and the Princess (1982) The Cherry Blossom Corpse (1987)
  The Case of the Missing Brontë (1983)  
     
Charlie Peace Series
  Death and the Chaste Apprentice (1989) No Place of Safety (1998)
  A Fatal Attachment (1992) The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori (1999)
  A Hovering of Vultures (1993) The Bones in the Attic (2002)
  The Bad Samaritan (1995)  
     
Under pseudonym Bernard Bastable
  To Die Like a Gentleman (1993) Too Many Notes, Mr. Mozart (1995)
  Dead, Mr. Mozart (1995) A Mansion and Its Murder (1998)
     

Awards

Edgar Award nominations for best novel, 1981, for Death of a Literary Widow, for best critical study, 1981, for A Talent to Deceive: An Appreciation of Agatha Christie, and five others, all from Mystery Writers of America; Cartier Diamond Dagger Award, Crime Writers Association lifetime achievement award, 2003; Crime Writers Association Short Story Award, 2006, for "Sins of Scarlet."

 
What the critics say
"[His] books are maliciously funny, closely plotted, acutely observed, and genuinely puzzling." - The New Republic
"One of the deftest stylists in the field (and out)." - The New York Times Book Review
He "has never allowed murder — however well-planned and executed — to interfere with his fun as a playfully irreverent observer of the human scene." - Washington Post Book World

 

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