Peter Dickinson was an exceptional writer of mysteries, with the weirdest mind producing the weirdest plots in the business. He started at the top, with his first two mysteries winning the Gold Dagger, the British best mystery award. In 1974 he produced The Poison Oracle, a candidate for best mystery ever, solved by a chimpanzee taught to use blocks as language. Yes, really. That was a time when genre books didn’t have to fit into tiny niches and glorious eccentricity was celebrated. That time quickly passed, so Dickinson turned to writing children’s books, naturally winning another slew of awards.
He died on December 16, aged 88, looking like a character from a Harry Potter movie. His second wife, the famous fantasy writer Robin McKinley, survives him.
H.R.F. Keating wrote a fine appreciation of his for Mystery Scene. Dickinson is a bit of an acquired taste, but if you acquire it a lot of great reading will come your way.