Word came while Bouchercon was under way last week that the English mystery writer Robert Barnard has died. Perhaps the timing was ironic, as Barnard had graced several previous Bouchercons as well as Malice Domestic. If you enjoy the traditional British mystery, you will most certainly enjoy Barnard's books, for he was one of the finest modern practitioners of the classic puzzle-oriented mystery. He also had a knack for writing humor; some of his mysteries, especially the early ones, are an absolute delight.
I find that I have reviewed three Barnard books over the years, on this blog and on the podcast: Death and the Chaste Apprentice, Corpse in a Gilded Cage and Death on the High C's. You can't go wrong with any of them.
Curiously enough, the only obituary I can find on Google News is in a British publication, the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, which remembers Barnard not so much for his mysteries as for his expertise in scholarship about the Bronte family - the headline says "Former chairman of the Bronte Society has died aged 76." I think you'll find a great deal more in the personal reminiscences of some of the people in the crime fiction community who knew him well: the editor/publisher at Felony & Mayhem Press, which has republished several of his books; Janet Rudolph, of the Mystery Fanfare newsletter; and Mike Ripley, the columnist for the British ezine Shots. They are all tributes to the unique and memorable voice of Robert Barnard.