Reviewed by Craig Sisterson
Although he is best known for his Yorkshire-set Inspector Banks mystery novels, Peter Robinson has been writing acclaimed short stories for twenty years. The Price of Love brings together ten such stories, along with a brand-new 110-page DCI Banks novella.
Many of the short stories have been published in prior ‘themed’ crime anthologies edited by the likes of Michael Connelly, Karin Slaughter, Anne Perry and Otto Penzler, and they veer from the First World War to present day, from police procedural to noir to touches of horror, and from Robinson’s childhood home of Yorkshire to his modern-day abode in Toronto (and several places in between).
In “Cornelius Jubb” a black US soldier is accused of rape while stationed in WWII Yorkshire; in “The Magic of Your Touch” a jazz musician pays a heavy price for unearned success; in “Blue Christmas” Banks investigates a crime other than murder.
Despite the range, and the way in which Robinson ‘experiments’ with different things in some of the stories (as he explains in the afternotes), The Price of Love is a cohesive collection with few weak points. Readers will prefer different stories depending on their own tastes, rather for any glaring quality reasons. An enjoyable read that you can dip into, story by story, at your leisure.