Reginald Hill, the author of the Dalziel and Pascoe detective books, which were turned into a popular television series, has died, aged 75.
Hill took up writing full-time in 1980 and was last night hailed as a "fine writer and a great wit" by fellow crime author Ian Rankin.
Crime writer Mark Billingham also paid tribute to Hill, a writer he said he admired and looked up to. He described him as "one of the most lovely men you could ever meet" and "an amazing writer" still at the height of his powers.
Hill wrote more than 40 books, with more than 20 about Andrew Dalziel and Peter Pascoe. They were televised from 1996 and starred Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan.
Hill's first book, A Clubable Woman, was published in 1970 and in 2010 it was shortlisted for the Lost Man Booker Prize.
Hill was a teacher before giving it up in 1980 to be a full-time writer.
He won the Crime Writers Association''s Golden Dagger in 1990 for Bones and Silence, and five years later the Diamond Dagger for the series.
The son of a professional footballer, he died at home in Cumbria on Thursday and is survived by his wife, Pat.