Edinburgh author Ian Rankin donates £200,000 in Inspector Rebus crime novel royalties to charity

Capital crime-writer Ian Rankin has handed over a six-figure sum from his whodunnit detective books to a charity he set up with his wife.

Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 5:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st January 2020, 5:47 pm
Ian Rankin

The money was given to a charitable trust which he and Miranda Harvey set up 12 years ago to fund good causes at home and abroad.

The trust has helped health, art and educational charities in the past with Rankin regularly handing over lump sum payments.

His bequest was revealed in the annual accounts for his personal company, which handles income from his writing career.

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New figures from John Rebus Limited, named in honour of his famous creation, show it boosted its value to £2.8 million in 2019 - almost £400,000 up on the previous year.

The company had assets include a property and investment portfolio valued at almost £1.8 million.

Rankin, 59, who lives in Edinburgh, set up John Rebus Limited in 2001 to channel his earnings from his books. The Fife-born author is a director of the company along with his wife.

An entry in the accounts, which have just been filed at Companies House, states: “During the year charitable donations of £200,000 were paid to a charitable trust whose trustees include directors of the company.”

Over the last five years Rankin has donated around £1 million of his company earnings to the trust.

The author, who has sold more than 20 million books, delighted fans last month when he revealed he is working on his 23rd Rebus novel.

He 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.”

The Rebus series accounts for an estimated 10 per cent of all crime book sales in the UK and have been translated into 26 languages.

The 22nd Rebus novel, In A House of Lies, was published last year and went to the top of the bestseller charts.

A new television series featuring the detective is also being planned.

Gregory Burke, the playwright who wrote Black Watch, the much-lauded National Theatre of Scotland play, is working on the script for the new television version of Rankin’s famous character.

Rankin has also donated an archive of his work, letters, and papers to the National Library of Scotland. He had gathered the material into 19 boxes while preparing to move house.