Peter Robinson is one of my favourite mystery authors. His Inspector Banks series now numbers 19!
The Price of Love is a collection of short stories released by McClelland and Stewart. When I started to read, I planned to read one or two, put the book down and come back to it -that's the beauty of a short story collection. Unfortunately, this book was like a bag of chips for me - I couldn't read just one or two, but had to finish it off . And it was done too quickly and I wanted more!
There are two Banks stories and a novella included. One is a great Christmas tale originally published in a small run of 350 as a gift to a publisher's friends. The novella fills in the Bank's jump from London to Eastvale. As always, the crimes are interesting and well plotted. But it is the character development that makes this series such an addicting read. Banks is human, fallible and it has been fascinating over the years to watch his life unfold.
It was intriguing to read stories told in a different voice than Banks. Many were originally published in anthologies Robinson has participated in . There are afternotes at the end explaining the origins of each tale. They range from a WWII soldier falsely accused of murder and the investigator powerless to stop the wheels of justice. Shadows on the Water has a WWII soldiers telling childhood stories while hiding in their trenches. The ending caught me completely unawares. Robinson always includes many references to music in his writing. (Check out the playlists he has compiled for the Banks books) The Magic of Your Touch is a chilling little tale dealing with the songwriting process. One of my favourites was Walking the Dog - a wronged spouse and the revenge they take. All in all, there wasn't one I didn't enjoy!
Robinson currently lives in Toronto, Canada and it's always a thrill to read of locales you've visited yourself. College Ave, Danforth and The Beaches provide some of the settings for stories.
Robinson is a consummate storyteller. Fans new and old will want to add this one to their collection.