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    Walking In The Steps of Ian Rankin’s Famous Inspector Rebus

    Knotts And Crosses - Inspector Rebus series - Ian Rankin

    Knotts And Crosses - Inspector Rebus series - Ian Rankin

    Touring the beautiful city of Edinburgh has never been so easy since the implementation of various thematic guided tours catering to the visitors flowing in all year round. Be it ghost walks, history, architecture, cycling or literary tours or even a tour of the most famous taverns and pubs, there is something for everyone.

    Ian Rankin & Colin Brown - Rebus Tours

    Ian Rankin & Colin Brown - Rebus Tours

    Amongst all those tours, there is one Mairiuna that we shall absolutely take upon our next visit to Edinburgh, and that is the literary tour of Ian Rankin’s famous fictional detective, the Rebus Tours.

    Imagine strolling along the streets of Edinburgh and stopping by the places we came to know through our readings as if we had lived there and have those literary scenes taking shape and form in front of our eyes? What a thrilling perspective…


    Starting in the Rebus pub The Royal Oak, this two hour walking tour features the first Royal High School, the historic Flodden Wall, the grey Carnegie Housing Scheme and a stunning view of the imposing Salisbury Craggs, before reaching the arresting Saint Leonard’s Police Station. The tour then sidles through busy Newington and into the bustling Meadows before arriving at the historic George Square, on to lively Middle Meadows Walk, along Forest Road and outside the impressive Sheriff Court in Chambers Street. Readings from Set in Darkness‚ Dead Souls and Question of Blood are augmented by other readings to present a rounded picture of old and new Edinburgh.


    Starting in the Rebus Royal Oak pub, this two-hour walking tour presents the secret City Mortuary, the grim Cowgate and the dour Dumbiedykes, before ascending past the Poetry Library onto the High Street and into the fascinating Canongate Cemetery. A wander up the Royal Mile, with several intriguing stories of Edinburgh’s former mysteries, is completed with a reading in/from Fleshmarket Close. Other Rebus readings are used in order to show the darkness in this most ancient and modern of European capitals.

    Ian Rankin wrote seventeen detective novels in the Inspector Rebus mystery series. The first , Knots & Crosses was published in 1987 , and the last one Exit Music, in 2007.

    Unlike Conan Doyle with his famous Sherlock Holmes character, Ian Rankin did not announced the death of the well known and acclaimed Inspector Rebus, but instead had him retire in the last novel of the series.

    Having started the series in ’87, when he was 40, in 2007 he must be 60. In Scotland, if you’re a cop, if you’re a detective, you’ve got to retire at 60. So I was sort of forced into it. If they changed the law, then he would happily come back and be a cop again.

    Ian Rankin -CBC Interview – 2007

    Exit Music - Inspector Rebus series - Ian Rankin

    Exit Music-Inspector Rebus series-Ian Rankin

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) held a great interview with Ian Rankin in which he talks about the end of his best-selling detective series. Click the link above to access the interview and read all about it.

    Colin Brown - Guide on Rebus Tours

    Colin Brown - Guide on Rebus Tours

    Surfing the Internet, I came across  several comments from people who took the Tour, and they are all praise for the guides of the Rebus Tours. And it doesn’t matter if it rains or not, because the guides are so enthusiastic in their presentation that you become unaware of the climate and don’t even care about it anymore. What a testimonial!

    When we come to think about it, it’s truly a benefit to take a guided tour because the guides can share with us local legends and anecdotes that are not published in the written documentation freely distributed.  And you and I love to hear those stories!

    Can’t wait to take the tour. Don’t forget Mairiuna to write it down on our itinerary.  🙂


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    1 comment to Walking In The Steps of Ian Rankin’s Famous Inspector Rebus

    • Carol

      We are a mystery book club in Waterford, Maine, USA, and have read a bunch of Scottish writers recently and had the crazy idea of taking a Club trip to Scotland and doing tours based around the authors characters. The Rebus tour looks like a great one for Ian Rankin. Perhaps one for Peter May’s novels in the Hebrides and others like McCall Smith’s Edinburgh cozy mystery series (another side of the city.

      Any other suggestions or thoughts. We do have time to read some more authors. We read Brookmyre, and will read Tom Rob Smith and Anne Cleaves. Thanks.

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