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Robert Barnard, who currently makes his home with his wife Louise in Yorkshire, was born in Essex on 23 November, 1936. Educated at the Royal Grammar School in Colchester and at Balliol College, Oxford, taking his Ph.D. from the University of Bergen, Norway, in 1972, he spent many years as a distinguished academic while establishing himself as one of todayâ€™s most distinguished crime novelists. His fascination with the pure detective story is evident in his many novels and short stories, as is his remarkable catholicity of tastes. Always one to follow his muse, heâ€™s explored a wide range of characters and locations, viewing them
meticulously with a keen and often satirical eye. His lead detectives include the Yardâ€™s Perry Trethowan and Yorkshire policeman Charlie Peace.
The Guest of Honor at 1998â€™s Malice Domestic mystery conference, recipient of the CWAâ€™s Golden Handcuffs Award, several times nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, Barnard maintains he writes only to entertain. Although one can scarcely imagine one of his books without humor, he increasingly departs from the comic detective novel to explore family relationships and social themes. These often look towards the past. Carrying that further, under the pseudonym Bernard Bastable, he writes historical crime novels, three featuring as sleuth Wolfgang Gottlieb Mozart. As a literary critic, Barnard is perhaps best known for his critical study of Agatha Christie in A Talent to Deceive.
It is hardly fair that a man so gifted as a writer
should be equally skilled as a speaker, but so it is. Barnard
has graced many literary events, delivered many fine lectures,
and generously boosted the works of writers he admires.