Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin, creator of the acclaimed Inspector Rebus series, said on Monday (28th My) his hard-drinking detective hero must retire this year but might well be back to tackle unsolved cases.
Rankin told an audience at the literary Hay Festival that Edinburgh-based Rebus, who first appeared 20 years ago, would reach 60, the mandatory retirement age for Scottish detectives, in the next novel, due out in September.
"There is every possibility that Rebus could be brought back to investigate cases that have not been cleared up," Rankin said. "I don't get the sense yet that the Rebus books are running out of steam."
The Rebus stories have been adapted for television but Rankin said he did not watch them as he did not want the actors' voices to interfere with the characters' voices in his head.
The books are set in Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, and have given rise to Rebus walking tours and made the pubs in which the detective drinks famous.
But Rankin said the city had changed over the past two decades, during which Scotland has acquired its own parliament.
"Edinburgh is again buzzing culturally and a lot of it is down to having the parliament there and a new sense of self-confidence," he said.