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August 17, 2017

R.D. Wingfield – Inspector Frost

When it comes to crime fiction detectives, no one is quirkier than Detective Inspector Jack Frost. It is safe to say that Frost is not like most other detectives you encountered before.
He was created by the renowned English crime fiction writer and radio dramatist, Rodney David (“RD”) Wingfield.

However, before the show came to fruition, Wingfield had been a staunch dramatist at BBC Radio, his hallmark being scripts with clever twists and unexpected plot developments. In this article, we will shed some light on the rather eccentric character of Detective Inspector Jack Frost and the man who created him, RD Wingfield.

About R.D. Wingfield’s Early Life

Rodney David Wingfield was born on June 6, 1928, in Hackney, east London. He conducted his studies at the Coopers’ Company School, which was relocated from Bow to Frome, Somerset, during the time of the Second World War. After finishing his education at Coopers’ Company School, due to his poor eyesight, he was unable to carry out his services for the Armed Forces and was subsequently discharged from his National Service. In 1952, Wingfield got married to his wife  Phyllis Patten and they remained together until her death in 2004. The couple also had a son named Phillip.

Early Career

After the end of the Second World War, the future author took up various junior office posts in the East End of London before ending up at the Petrofina Oil Company at Epsom as a clerk in the sales department. It was then that the author began utilizing his spare time by writing radio plays. One such radio play, “Compensating Error”, was accepted by the BBC in 1968. The positive reception of “Compensating Error” paved the way for two more radio plays.

This prompted Wingfield to move on from his job and concentrate on his writing career. It was here that Detective Inspector Jack Frost made his first appearance.

Frost came into the scene in 1977 in the author s Radio 4 play “Three Days of Frost”. This play was conducted by Wingfield’s friend, the veteran actor Leslie Sands who also featured as Sergeant Fowler in Wingfield’s radio thriller “Outbreak of Fear”. It is also worth remembering that in those days, the radio audience for his plays ran into the millions.

Five years prior to that, in 1972, one of the editors at Macmillan Publishers had heard his latest radio thriller and was genuinely impressed by the play’s quality. Macmillan Publishers then invited the author to write a book, and that came to be the first novel in the Inspector Frost series, “Frost at Christmas”.

Surprisingly, this novel was rejected straight away. According to Macmillan Publishers, at nearly 250,000 words, the book was simply too long, and that was the primary cause of rejection. However, Wingfield’s agent was not so quick to give up on his novel. Although the book literally sat on her shelf collecting dust, it was finally published in Canada in 1984.

After the successful publication of “Frost at Christmas”, Wingfield, managed to publish “A Touch Of Frost” in 1987 and although the books had gained a lot of buzz in the late 1980s, it was only at the start of the 1990s, that Wingfield’s novels were finally published in his own country. The release of his novels in Britain led to an unprecedented level of success for the author.

See The Chronological List Of The Frost Books Here

It should be noted that Wingfield’s first love in writing was undoubtedly as a radio dramatist. In some 20 years he managed to write over 40 plays for BBC radio and only stopped for two reasons, the falling radio audiences due to other media coming onto the scene, and the fact that his book writing now took up his time. He didn’t like writing books as he found it to be arduous and time consuming but it was now paying his bills and then some.

Wingfield also was a very private man who didn’t like publicity, wasn’t interested in attending his book launches and avoided publishing parties like the plague.

About Detective Inspector Jack Frost Novels

Check Out Inspector Jack Frost Novels At Amazon

Detective Inspector Jack Frost is one of the more interesting detective characters to grace the world of crime fiction. Most detective characters are rather eccentric, but none display the quirks of Inspector Jack Frost.

Frost is popularly described as an unconventional policeman, who has a soft spot for the underdogs and also has an instinct for moral justice. However, the really interesting bit about Frost is that he is sloppy, disorganized, seemingly allergic to paperwork of any kind and disrespectful. He is also described as a chain smoker, dark-humored and very crude to the point of being offensive. Frost feels he needs to be this way to deal with the things he sees in his job.In other words, he is quite a bit different to many famous detective characters.

The series is set in the fictional South Midlands town of Denton in the general region of Wiltshire and Oxfordshire, but unlike some series such as Morse or Rebus, the location doesn’t play a prominent part.

Surprisingly, a total of only ten novels were written on Inspector Frost, and only six of these were penned by Wingfield himself. The author wrote what turned out to be his last novel, “A Killing Frost” during the time he was diagnosed with cancer. The book was finally published in 2008 after Wingfield passed away.

The final four books were penned and released years after Wingfield’s death, with the approval of the Wingfield family.
The first of these novels, “First Frost,” which followed “A Killing Frost, was published in 2011 under the pseudonym of James Henry, with the approval of the Wingfield family. This was followed by three more novels, namely, “Fatal Frost”, “Morning Frost” and “Frost at Midnight”.

A Touch Of Frost – The TV series

Although this site is primarily about books, there are instances where more than a passing mention of the TV series is warranted. “A Touch Of Frost” is definitely one of them.

Wingfield’s detective novels were so popular that they were later adapted for a TV show named “A Touch of Frost” which originally aired in 1992.

The release of the novels in his native Britain introduced Frost to a much wider audience. The famous and renowned actor, Sir David Jason, was looking for another project, apparently something along the lines of a detective show, which was very much the rage at the time. He read one of the novels while on vacation and was immediately hooked. Upon learning that the TV rights were available, a TV institution was born.

The show ran uninterrupted for over eighteen years, spanning fifteen seasons and forty-two episodes! Although the TV adaptation was a big success, Wingfield was not too thrilled about it. He even stated that he had never watched a single episode of his own show. However, his lukewarm reception of the TV adaptation was not because of David Jason’s portrayal of Frost. When asked to elaborate on the statement, Wingfield said: “He just isn’t my Frost.”

For the TV adaption, Frost’s character was “toned down” slightly by getting rid of the chain smoking and very slightly lightening up his moods, but generally it was felt by most readers that it was a good portrayal.

Later Years

In 2002, Wingfield was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Despite his diagnosis, he continued writing what turned out to be his final novel, “A Killing Frost”. Soon after his diagnosis, his beloved wife of over fifty years, Phyllis Patten, passed away in 2004. Finally on 31 July 2007, the author passed away from cancer.
Following his death, Wingfield’s final novel, “A Killing Frost” was published on 7 April 2008.

August 16, 2017

Inspector Banks Books In Order

Author: Peter Robinson

 

Gallows View (1987)

A Dedicated Man (1988)

A Necessary End (1989)

The Hanging Valley (1989)

Past Reason Hated (1991)

Wednesday’s Child (1992)

Dry Bones That Dream (1994)

Innocent Graves (1996)

Dead Right (1997)

In a Dry Season (1999)

Cold is the Grave (2000)

Aftermath (2001)

The Summer That Never Was (2003)

Playing with Fire (2004)

Strange Affair (2005)

Piece of My Heart (2006)

Friend of the Devil (2007)

All the Colours of Darkness (2008)

Bad Boy (2010)

Watching the Dark (2013)

Children of the Revolution (2013)

Abattoir Blues (2014)

No Cure for Love (2015)

When the Music’s Over (2016)

Sleeping In The Ground (2017)

Careless Love (2018)

Many Rivers To Cross (2019)

 

 

Check Out The Inspector Banks Books Here

August 16, 2017

Peter Robinson – Inspector Banks

Peter Robinson is an accomplished and highly acclaimed British-Canadian author known for the popular series of Inspector Alan Banks novels.

Ripon, Yorkshire

This series of crime novels is set in the fictional town of Eastvale, Yorkshire which is based on several towns in the county, principally Ripon and Richmond. The surrounding towns and villages used in the novels are also based on actual places with fictional names being substituted.

His first novel, titled Gallows View, which introduced DCI Alan Banks to the world was published in 1987 bringing the author immediate recognition and garnering much praise from readers and critics alike. It was shortlisted for several prestigious awards, including the Crime Writers of Canada best first novel award and the John Creasey award in the United Kingdom.

Since then, 30 years and counting, Peter Robinson and his books have gone from strength to strength.

In my very humble opinion, Peter Robinson is one of the finest crime writers of our time.

About Peter Robinson’s Early Life

Peter Robinson was born in March 17, 1950 in Yorkshire, England. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds before moving to Canada in 1974. There he obtained a Masters of Arts degree in English and Creative Writing, with the renowned American novelist Joyce -Carol Oates as his tutor, at the University of Windsor, Ontario. Afterwards, he successfully completed his Doctorate of Philosophy in English at York University in Toronto.

yorkshire-dales-inspector-banks

Yorkshire Dales, North Yorkshire

In a recent interview, Peter said he began his work out of passion for writing crime fiction, and by setting his books in his native Yorkshire, apart from it being an area he knew well, it helped him deal with homesickness. At the time he started working on his novels, Peter was still writing his PhD dissertation at York University during the day while writing his crime stories at night.

His first published novel, Gallows View, was in fact the second Inspector Banks book that Peter had written; what became the second of the series, A Dedicated Man, was actually the first novel he had penned. However, by the time that Peter finally managed to secure a book deal, he had these two novels ready and at his own suggestion, Gallows View was released first as he felt it had more going for it to grab the audience.

About DCI Alan Banks

The main character in his novel is Alan Banks, who brings his crime solving skills to Eastvale, Yorkshire after serving as an Inspector with the London Metropolitan Police. He had become jaded with London life and the crime that surrounded it and, perhaps was seeking to live in a more “realistic world” by moving to Yorkshire. He was married, had two children and the usual problems of balancing police work and family life are laid out for all to see by the author as the series progresses.

Check Out The Inspector Banks Books At Amazon

Richmond, Yorkshire – Along with Ripon, a town that Eastvale is based on.

Banks, as with so many fictional detectives, likes to solve crimes his own way and doesn’t respond well to senior authority unless it is someone he holds in high regard. His love life is often a disaster, usually of his own making and booze comes into it now and again. He comes across, as the British would say, like a real bloke. He also loves to listen to a wide variety of music, ranging from rock to jazz to classical and opera. This is a very personal touch from the author as it reflects his own tastes in music.

As great authors do, Robinson brings the character to life to the extent that even when he does something stupid or terrible, the reader sympathizes with Banks and cheers him on until he puts things right again. In many ways, Banks reminds me of Ian Rankin’s John Rebus character, who also was introduced to us in 1987. I can’t think of a finer tribute than that.

Here is the list of Inspector Banks books in chronological order.

Other Works

Since he started writing his DCI Alan Banks series in 1987, Peter Robinson has written 25 books, with the latest book titled “ Sleeping In The Ground” published in 2017. Although Robinson is popularly known for his work in the Inspector Banks series, he has also written other unrelated works. One such novel was “Caedmon’s Song” which he wrote in 1990. The book was later published in the US as “The First Cut” in 2004. In this book, it features the main character named Kristen, who was brutally attacked by a killer and serial rapist who came back for her, fearing she could identify the culprit.

He also published two collections of Inspector Banks novellas and short stories, “Not Safe After Dark” in 1998, and “The Price Of Love” in 2009.

Awards and Recognition

Robinson’s novels have won awards in numerous countries around the world, including such prestigious awards as the Arthur Ellis Award (numerous times), The Macavity Award, The Anthony Award, Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France), The Palle Rosenkrantz Award (Denmark), The Martin Beck Award (Sweden),  Crime Writers Association (UK) Dagger in The Library Award, among others. He has also won awards in Canada, Germany, Australia, Brazil and Sweden.

To date, the Inspector Alan Banks series has been translated into 19 different languages.

Today

Peter Robinson divides his time between his homes in Toronto and Richmond, Yorkshire. At the time of writing this, he is on an “Inspector Banks 30th Anniversary Tour” which makes me feel old as I remember Gallows View showing up in my local bookstore as a new release!

For more information on Peter’s tour and other interesting stuff, visit his website at http://www.inspectorbanks.com/

 

August 10, 2017

Inspector Rutledge Books In Order

rutledg- charles todd

Author: Charles Todd

 

A Test of Wills (1996)

Wings of Fire (1998)

Search the Dark (1999)

Legacy of the Dead (2000)

Watchers of Time (2001)

A Fearsome Doubt (2002)

A Cold Treachery (2005)

A Long Shadow (2006)

A False Mirror (2007)

A Pale Horse (2008)

A Matter of Justice (2009)

The Red Door (2010)

The Kidnapping (2010)

A Lonely Death (2011)

The Confession (2011)

Proof of Guilt (2013)

Cold Comfort (2013)

Hunting Shadows (2014)

A Fine Summer’s Day (2015)

No Shred of Evidence (2016)

Racing the Devil (2017)

The Gatekeeper (2018)

The Black Ascot (2019)

 

Check out the Inspector Rutledge books here

August 7, 2017

Inspector Poirot Books In Order

Author: Agatha Christie

 

The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920)
The Murder on the Links (1923)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926)
The Big Four (1927)
The Mystery of the Blue Train (1928)
Peril at End House (1932)
Lord Edgware Dies (1933)
Murder on the Orient Express (1934)
Three Act Tragedy (1935)
Death in the Clouds (1935)
The A.B.C. Murders (1936)
Murder in Mesopotamia (1936)
Cards on the Table (1936)
Dumb Witness (1937)
Death on the Nile (1937)
Appointment with Death (1938)
Hercule Poirot’s Christmas (1938)
One, Two, Buckle My Shoe (1940)
Evil Under the Sun (1941)
Five Little Pigs (1942)

The Hollow (1946)
Taken at the Flood (1948)
Mrs. McGinty’s Dead (1952)
After the Funeral (1953)
Hickory Dickory Dock (1955)
Dead Man’s Folly (1956)
Cat Among the Pigeons (1959)
The Clocks (1963)
Third Girl (1966)
Hallowe’en Party (1969)
Elephants Can Remember (1972)
Curtain (1975)

Check out the Poirot books here

 

August 7, 2017

Inspector Dalgleish Books in Order

Author: P D James

 

Cover Her Face (1962)
A Mind to Murder (1963)
Unnatural Causes (1967)
Shroud for a Nightingale (1971)
The Black Tower (1975)
Death of an Expert Witness (1977)
A Taste for Death (1986)
Devices and Desires (1989)
Original Sin (1994)
A Certain Justice (1997)
Death in Holy Orders (2001)
The Murder Room (2003)
The Lighthouse (2005)
The Private Patient (2008)

 

Check out the Dalgliesh novels here

August 7, 2017

Inspector Diamond Books In Order

Author: Peter Lovesey

 

The Last Detective (1991)

Diamond Solitaire (1992)

The Summons (1995)

Bloodhounds (1996)

Upon a Dark Night (1997)

The Vault (1999)

Diamond Dust (2002)

The House Sitter (2003)

The Secret Hangman (2007)

Skeleton Hill (2009)

Stagestruck (2011)

Cop to Corpse (2012)

The Tooth Tattoo (2013)

The Stone Wife (2014)

Down Among the Dead Men (2015)

Another One Goes Tonight (2016)

Beau Death (2017)

 

 

Check out the Inspector Diamond Books here…

August 7, 2017

Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James Books in Order

Author: Deborah Crombie

 

A Share in Death (1993)
All Shall Be Well (1994)
Leave the Grave Green (1995)
Mourn Not Your Dead (1996)
Dreaming of the Bones (1997)
Kissed a Sad Goodbye (1999)
A Finer End (2001)
And Justice There Is None (2002)
Now May You Weep (2003)
In a Dark House (2005)
Water Like a Stone (2007)
Where Memories Lie (2008)
Necessary as Blood (2009)
Nocturne (2012)
No Mark Upon Her (2012)
The Sound of Breaking Glass (2013)
To Dwell in Darkness (2014)
The Garden of Lamentations (2017)

 

Check out the Duncan Kincaid/Gemma James books here

August 7, 2017

Inspectors Dalziel & Pascoe Books In Order

Author: Reginald Hill

 

A Clubbable Woman (1970)

An Advancement of Learning (1971)

Ruling Passion (1973)

An April Shroud (1975)

A Pinch of Snuff (1978)

A Killing Kindness (1980)

Deadheads (1983)

Exit Lines (1984)

Child’s Play (1986)

Under World (1988)

Bones and Silence (1990)

One Small Step (novella) (1990)

Recalled to Life (1992)

Pictures of Perfection (1994)

The Wood Beyond (1995)

On Beulah Height (1998)

Asking For The Moon (short stories) (1996)

Arms and the Women (1999)

Dialogues of the Dead (2001)

Death’s Jest-Book (2002)

Good Morning, Midnight (2004)

Death Comes for the Fat Man (2007)

A Cure for All Diseases (2008)

Midnight Fugue (2009)

 

Check out the Dalziel & Pascoe books here

August 7, 2017

Inspector Morse Books In Order

british detective oxford

Author: Colin Dexter

 

Last Bus to Woodstock (1975)
Last Seen Wearing (1976)
The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn (1977)
Service of All the Dead (1979)
The Dead of Jericho (1981)
The Riddle of the Third Mile (1983)
The Secret of Annexe 3 (1986)
The Wench is Dead (1989)
The Jewel That Was Ours (1989)
The Way Through the Woods (1992)
The Daughters of Cain (1994)
Death is Now My Neighbour (1996)
The Remorseful Day (1999)

 

Check out the Inspector Morse books here..