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A Dedicated Man (an Inspector Banks Mystery) Hardcover – August 13, 1991


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (August 13, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684192659
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684192659
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #988,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

After the body of a well-to-do archeologist is found buried near a stone wall outside the English village of Helmthorpe, detective chief inspector Alan Banks, last encountered in Gallows View , has trouble finding anyone with motive and opportunity for murder. The main beneficiary of Harry Steadman's substantial fortune, his frowsy widow, Emma, has a solid alibi and seems to grieve genuinely for her husband. Further probing takes Banks back many years, when the Steadmans summered in the village and the archeologist formed a friendship with teenager Penny Cartwright--later a famous folksinger and object of scandal--whose boyfriend of the time, Michael Ramsden, became Steadman's publisher and good friend. When a local girl who may have learned too much about the murder disappears and is found dead, Banks must move swiftly to untangle the skein of old emotions and avert further tragedy. Robinson vividly evokes English village life and the passions animating both its residents and the police who protect them.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

After an old Yorkshire farmer discovers a half-buried body in his pasture, excitement interrupts routine in the small community of Swainsdale. Series detective Alan Banks ( Gallows View , 1990) begins investigating the habits and background of the victim, a dedicated professor who left his job upon receiving a sizeable inheritance. Suspicion falls on his charmless wife, his long-time publisher, his local drinking buddies, a younger woman, and others. Before Banks can narrow the list, the murderer strikes again. Readers of English village mysteries should enjoy Robinson's promising second step.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Dull, boring, no pace at all.
Naseberry
Look forward to reading the remainder of the series.
Mr. Mervyn J. Campbell
Good stories lines, great characters.
S Hanson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Peter Robinson is that most rare of mystery writers. He is not satisfied with a corpse, a detective and some clues. Robinson creates a complete world with three-dimensional characters who come alive for the reader. In "A Dedicated Man," the shrewd and dogged Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks investigates the death of Harry Steadman. Harry was a former university professor, a man with no enemies who studied local history for fun. Yet someone hated Harry enough to brutally murder him and dump his body in the Yorkshire dales. For quite a while, Banks is completely stymied. He questions Harry's widow and his small circle of friends, but Banks makes little progress. Only after relentless digging and after the death of a second victim does Banks come up with the solution to the crime. It turns out that Harry's life and those of his friends are not as straightforward and uncomplicated as they had at first seemed. What is wonderful about Robinson is that he makes police work look as tedious and difficult as it really is. It is clear that without relentless and time-consuming detective work on the part of Banks and his colleagues, they would solve few crimes. Robinson, along with Rendell and James, is a superb writer of novels that also happen to be first-rate mysteries.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By RachelWalker on February 25, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When the body of local historian Harry Steadman is found buried beneath a dry-stone wall near the village of Helmthorpe, Chief Inspector Alan Banks finds himself presented with a extremely puzzling case. And why is it puzzling? Because, aside from a minor disagreement with his friend and local farmer over his selling of some lad, Harry was invariably liked y everybody, ad even that minor inconsequential argument was no reason to kill somebody. Harry was a kind, thoughtful, and respected man, whom everyone liked and about whom no one can find a bad word to say. There seems to be absolutely no motive for his murder. And yet, buried somewhere, there must be one�
Then, Sally Lumb, a local teenager whom Banks suspects of knowing more than she is telling, alarmingly disappears�
Very much an English �cosy� in the tradition of writers like Ann Granger, this is another success for Peter Robinson. There seems to be nothing exceptionally challenging in these early novels, but they�re very enjoyable reads. Robinson writes good prose, and structures his mysteries excellently. He develops his characters well, even if they themselves are nothing out of the ordinary. Banks is an excellent lead, very real and with a dry humour there is definitely something of Morse in him. But, it would be nice if we got to meet his family a bit more pretty soon�
Anyone who likes a nice, traditional, well-crafted and satisfying British mystery is guaranteed to like the books of Peter Robinson.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peterson Hennekens on June 18, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Second books are often a bit like second musical albums after big debuts. Good, but somehow lacking the magic of the first effort. That's how I feel about "A Dedicated Man". I really debated between giving it three or four stars.
It easily earns three stars as an least average British police procedural. The writing is competent. The clues (or lack thereof) all make sense in in the end. It gets another half star for its many thoughtful observations of the Yorkshire environment - both the landscape and the mentality of the people. I'm pretty much rounding up the score after that. I like Banks and plan to keep reading the series which has received considerable praise in recent years. Still, I haven't found anything so fascinating that I'm going to recommending the book or series to friends---yet.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Alicia K. Ahlvers on July 22, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Harry Steadman is murdered, Inspector Alan Banks and his officers are called in to find the killer. Because the murdered man was a genial professor, Banks has a great deal of difficulty finding anyone who might be a suspect. Everyone seemed to genuinely like Harry Steadman. When a young girl is murdered because of what she knows, the search intensifies and when the murderer is unmasked, everyone is stunned. The second mystery in Peter Robinson's series features an interesting mystery and an appealing main character.
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on August 21, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I was scouting around for a new British crime series to start and heard good things about Peter Robinson. So, when I came across this second in the Inspector Banks series, it seemed like fate was telling me to dive in. However, I and my wife both found it a severely disappointing, utterly unimpressive procedural. I can only surmise the series gets better over subsequent volumes, because this is utterly average stuff.

Inspector Banks has recently relocated form London to sleepy rural Yorkshire and is still getting a feel for the lay of the land (following his first case in Gallows View). One day a retired historian turns up dead in a field near the village of Helmthorpe, leaving Banks with an old-fashioned whodunit. Pretty quickly, the stable of suspects is established: his widow (who inherits a nice legacy), his old friend and publisher, his mystery-writing drinking pal, his local GP and drinking pal, a local entrepreneur developer drinking pal, or the local folk singer he may have had a fling with a decade ago?

Like a latter-day Miss Marple, Banks and his plod underlings go back and forth from house to house, interviewing suspects and trying to tease a semblance of motive and opportunity from their statements. Of course, like the old-fashioned constructions of Christie, we are left with lots of semi-plausible motives and seemingly few opportunities. Banks is convinced the answer lies in a fateful summer ten years ago. Meanwhile, a local teenage girl brags about seeing something the night of the murder, placing herself in danger. Will Banks be able to get to the bottom of things before the killer strikes again?!?!?

It's all pretty bland stuff, and gimmick by which the murderer masks themselves is a bit of a groaner.
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More About the Author

Peter Robinson's award-winning novels have been named a Best-Book-of-the-Year by Publishers Weekly, a Notable Book by the New York Times, and a Page-Turner-of-the-Week by People magazine. Robinson was born and raised in Yorkshire but has lived in North America for over twenty-five years. He now divides his time between North America and the U.K.

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