Inspector Rebus is coming out of retirement again – to solve one more crime.
Ian Rankin has put pen to paper and is writing his 23rd novel about the fictional detective.
The 59-year-old author – whose reissued Westwind is topping the Christmas book charts – has revealed the return of his most famous creation.
But no title has been revealed for the novel, which is just a few pages long, so far.
The Inspector Rebus series accounts for an estimated 10% of all crime book sales in the UK, routinely selling half a million copies each, and have been translated into 26 languages.
But fans will have a year’s wait as the author – who earns around £250,000 a year – is hard at work to meet his publishing deadline.
Rankin said: “I’ve started a new novel. Started it last week in fact. Early days, so I’ve no idea if it’s any good or where it’s heading.
“All I can really tell you at this stage is: Rebus is coming back. Hopefully in the autumn of next year, by which time I’ll be 60 and the owner of a free bus pass.
“Unlike Rebus, I’ll almost certainly claim mine and use it.”
The author also revealed he has plans for a follow up to the hit Rebus stage play Long Shadows.