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Not Safe After Dark, and Other Stories [Paperback]

Peter Robinson
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 13 2010
Peter Robinson’s first collection of short crime fiction to be published in Canada spans his writing career and reveals his impeccable grasp of both mystery and suspense writing. The sixteen stories are set in places as far flung as Inspector Alan Banks’s turf in Yorkshire, Robinson’s own neighbourhood in Toronto, and in Los Angeles and Florida. They also reach back in time: to 1873 to an utopian milltown in northern England in 1873, to Thomas Hardy country in 1939, and to a small Yorkshire town during the Second World War.

The collection also includes a novella, featuring Robinson’s celebrated sleuth Inspector Banks. Going Home is a chilling yet profoundly moving tale of just how hard it can be to visit one’s elderly parents, even for only a few days.

Four of the stories have won awards: ‘Innocence” won the Crime Writers of Canada Best Short Story Award in 1991, and “The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage” won the Mystery Readers International’s Macavity Award in 1998 and wasnominated for both the Agatha and Arthur Ellis awards. “Murder in Utopia” won Robinson his fifth Arthur Ellis Award in 2001, the same year that “Missing in Action” won the Edgar Award.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Peter Robinson is an English-born Canadian mystery writer whose work has been popular on both sides of the Atlantic. His novels featuring Yorkshire policeman Alan Banks include Gallow's View, Wednesday's Child, Blood at the Root, and, most recently, In a Dry Season. Like many of the genre's most accomplished practitioners, he is also an excellent short story writer, and, thanks to the special mission of the small Norfolk, Virginia, publishing house, Crippen & Landru, nearly all of Robinson's story output to date has been collected in this splendidly readable, highly intelligent volume of 13 tales. Not Safe After Dark contains three Inspector Banks stories that, like the longer works featuring that character, are contemporary plots with that Golden Age feel so cherished by many readers. There is also Robinson's first private-eye story, "Some Land in Florida," and his first historically set tale, "The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage" (inspired, he says, by his interest in Thomas Hardy), which was good enough to be selected for the prestigious annual volume of The Best American Mystery Stories.

One of the features that most interested me about this collection is how comfortable Robinson is in the different settings he selects. Whether it's the British Midlands or the condo coasts of Florida, Peter Robinson is such a keen observer of human nature that he keeps readers satisfied wherever he takes them. It is worth noting that in "Some Land in Florida," his private investigator, Jack Erwin, is given to sitting under the palm trees, smoking a cigar, nursing a whiskey and reading Robertson Davies! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The hero of Robinson's novels (Wednesday's Child, etc.), Yorkshire Chief Inspector Alan Banks, appears in three of this collection's 13 stories, and one of the 13, "Innocence," won the Canadian Crime Writers Award for best short story. That tale displays well Robinson's gift for turning a familiar plot inside-out as strange circumstances overwhelm his characters. A man waits outside a school to meet a teacher friend, draws the suspicion of parents and finds himself charged with the murder of a schoolgirl. What happens after his trial is shocking but, in Robinson's hands, perfectly believable. There's a similar twist in the title story, wherein an out-of-town visitor ventures nervously into an urban park often described as unsafe at night. There's danger, all right, but not what the reader expects. In "Fan Mail," a mystery novelist agrees to advise a Walter Mitty-like husband on innovative ways to murder his wife; an old secret leads to a perverse result. The plots of the stories are mostly solid and the characters are always vivid. U.S. readers may particularly enjoy Robinson's take on his fellow Canadians coping with Florida and southern California.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging Sept. 22 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I still like his novels best. The short stories were diverse and entertaining although I thought one or two slightly weak.
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By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
"Not Safe After Dark and Other Works" is a collection of short stories and one novella by Peter Robinson, best known for his Inspector Alan Banks series. This collection, from 2004, includes 3 Banks short stories and a final, 100-page novella featuring that character; the other 16 stories are stand-alone ones. There is a lot of variety here, from a 19th-Century duchess in Vienna to an unlikely romance in 1968 Paris, to a private eye working during his vacation in Florida, to WWII London, among many other locales and characters. All except the final novella have been published before in various magazines and anthologies, but it's nice to have the whole collection (well, up to 2004, which is when this was published) in one place. Robinson is a fine writer, with a good sense of pacing and characterization; I enjoyed each of these stories in its own way, and will happily try a novel in the future. Note: This is not to be confused with an earlier collection, from 1998, entitled "Not Safe After Dark and Other Stories." Recommended.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Safe After Dark April 8 2001
By riza p gross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If one were to have a serious complaint to put forth about this good anthology by Petewr Robinson it would be that the marvelous Inspector Alan Banks is present in only three of the stories herein. Nothing futher need be said to the growing number of Banks devotees in the U.S. but the uninitiated may wish to know more. The stories which feature Robinson's compassionate'music-loving and ultimately very tough British policeman are just interesting enough to whet the appetites of those who love P.D> James's Dalgleish and Ruth Rendell's Wexford. They are well worth the reading of them but Robinson reveals himself to be far more than a one-trick pony as he ranges beyond his stellar creation to construct short gems that are often as lyrical as they are true to the protocols of his genre.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended Aug. 1 2007
By Galina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I've been waiting for every new Peter Robinson's book for over ten years now after I read his award winning short story "Innocence" back in 1991. "Innocence" is a fascinating harrowing story about a man whose life was ruined only because he happened to be in the wrong place in the wrong time. The subject is not new or original but if you read the story, you will never forget it. "Innocence" was published in the collection of the best mystery short stories of 1989, I believe. The book consisted of about fifty first class works but "Innocence" was the only one that has stayed with me for all these years." "Innocence" is a shining star of the excellent collection "Not Safe After Dark And Other Stories" that is a great introduction to Mr. Robinson's writings and consists of thirteen short stories. In addition to "Innocence", my favorites are "The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage" which was inspired by Robinson's interest in Thomas Hardy's writings, "Fan Mail"- darkly hilarious with a wonderful twist, and short but outstanding with the completely unexpected and fascinating end, "Carrion".

Robinson is the author of 16 novels with the main character, Yorkshire Chief Inspector Alan Banks who is a successful and shrewd investigator but also a very intelligent man, the great fan of good music and English literature. All novels are not only the first -rate crime stories but also very well written works of literature with the interesting characters. Alan Banks appears in three of this collection's 13 stories.

That's what Stephen King has said of Peter Robinson's books: "The Alan Banks mystery-suspense novels are, simply put, the best series now on the market. In fact, this may be the best series of British novels since the novels of Patrick O'Brian. Try one and tell me I'm wrong." I can only say to that: "Tell me something I don't know already".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Collection of Short Stories April 26 2007
By J. Chippindale - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Peter Robinson grew up in Yorkshire, and is the author of a number of previous novels featuring Inspector Banks. He is the winner of numerous awards in the United States, Britain and Canada, and in 2002 he won the CWA Dagger in the Library. As I also come from Leeds the background to his stories is something that I have experienced first hand and because of this I have a special affection for his books. However they would be first class crime fiction wherever they were based.

This is Peter Robinson's first collection of short stories. As rule I am not a lover of short stories, preferring something I can get my "teeth into." But on this occasion I was pleasantly surprised. I found the book to be full of good and interesting stories.
5.0 out of 5 stars Not safe after dark March 3 2014
By M W H Cloete - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great short stories by Peter Robinson who has proved himself to be a gripping author! He also includes some DCI Banks short stories and they are great.
5.0 out of 5 stars Peter Robinson is an amazing story teller. Highly recommend. Nov. 15 2013
By Adrian Kennedy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anything that Peter Robinson writes is great. I have his whole series of Inspector Banks and love them. A thrill ride for sure.
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