The Canada Question, redux

There are certain questions that authors get asked over, and over, and over again. Where do you get your ideas. Who would play your protagonist in a movie. Who would win in a fight, protag X or Y. But Peter Robinson gets a most frequently asked one for his very own: why doesn’t he set his books in Canada, where he’s lived for over 30 years? The Toronto Star’s Bruce Demara asks it again:

“For some reason Toronto — because of its very diverse neighbourhoods — is sort of an unknowable city,” he said.“And

I don’t particularly want to write a Beaches mystery. I’d rather go for

some mean streets (story), but I don’t really know the mean streets and

I don’t intend to hang out on them either,” said the mid-50ish

Robinson, a long-time resident of the east-end neighbourhood.

Okay, how about … Banks, originally from Peterborough, England,

arrives in Toronto escorting an extradited criminal. Impulsively, he

decides to visit Peterborough, Ont. (founded by an Irish settler also

named Peter Robinson). A snowstorm traps him and others in a remote

house with no hope of rescue for days. A killer strikes …“That sounds original,” Robinson replies with a touch of archness and exasperation.

And that is why the question should be retired.