Reginald Hill, the author of the Dalziel and Pascoe crime novels, has died aged 75.
His agent said: "Reginald died peacefully at home after a year's battle with cancer and is survived by his wife of 51 years, Pat, and two brothers, David and Desmond."
Hill, who died yesterday, was born in Hartlepool in 1936 where his father was playing professional football for the town's team.
He moved to Cumbria with his family aged three, studied at Oxford University and worked as a teacher but kept writing and eventually saw his first book, A Clubbable Woman, published in 1970.
The books found a larger audience when they were turned into a successful BBC television series featuring Warren Clarke and Colin Buchanan.
The author of more than 40 books, Hill won the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger in 1995 for his lifetime contribution to crime writing.
Ian Rankin, the author of the Rebus books, paid tribute to Hill.
Writing on Twitter, he said Hill was: "A lovely man, fine writer, great wit. Great intelligence, humour and plotting; Falstaffian main character; literary sensibility - all found in Reginald Hill's Dalziel books."
Fellow crime writer Mark Billingham wrote: "Terrible to hear about the death of Reginald Hill. A wonderful writer and the loveliest of men. One of a kind."