A closer look at Yorkshire, where Robin was born.
Masham, North Yorkshire, is the small market town several miles from Harrogate where Robin grew up, surrounded by the bucolic moors and dales of North Yorkshire.
Masham is a retreat – to her parents, her brothers and the chocolate labrador, Rowntree -but at times it’s cosy to the point of being claustrophobic. Robin recalls the night, aged seventeen, when she ran up the road from her parents’ house, excited to go on her very first date with the handsome Matthew Cunliffe. When trouble is brewing with Matthew it doesn’t help that it’s his home town, too, and that half the neighbours know the ins and outs of her personal life. Sometimes it’s the return to London that feels like an escape.
When Robin first arrives in London the city feels vast, complex and impenetrable. She tries to follow her fiance’s advice not to walk around with her head in a map, looking like a tourist, but she needs a guide. London couldn’t be more different from her where she comes from.
Robin becomes used to London and can’t imagine leaving it, or her work, but she’s proud of her Yorkshire background. She knows her manner, and even her accent, make her more approachable. When in disguise she sometimes poses as a southerner, but when the time’s right she leans heavily on Yorkshire phrases and idioms. In Lethal White when she poses as a socialist protester, Bobbi, she uses broad Yorkshire dialect – it charms her targets and puts them at ease.
Strike’s a great fan of Robin’s Yorkshire roots, particularly when her accent is in full bloom. He’s never been to Masham, until Career of Evil, when he makes a last-minute (and expensive) decision to hire a driver for the long journey up North. He’s a fish out of water in a pretty rural village, but it’s important to be there, for his partner and his closest friend.