Martin Edwards appears to have broken the news on the internet; it doesn't seem to be in any online news sources, perhaps an indication of Barnard's somewhat diminished fame over the last dozen years or so.
When I started reading mysteries again back in the 1990s, Robert Barnard, along with Reginald Hill and Peter Lovesey (with whom he shared the same birth year) and of course P. D. James and Ruth Rendell, seemed to me like one of the bigger English names in the genre, with many of his titles being reprinted in paperback by Penguin.
Barnard always enjoyed a following among Anglophile American mystery fans and his American publisher, Scribner, stayed with him for thirty-five years, from Death of a Mystery Writer (1978) (Unruly Son in England) to his last novel, A Charitable Body (2012) (in England in the last dozen years, however, he went from HarperCollins to Allison & Busby, who did not publish his last novel).
Death of an Old Goat (1974), a wicked satire of academia and the entire country of Australia, Blood Brotherhood (1977), a satire of modern English religion, and such excursions into period mystery as Out of the Blackout (1984), The Skeleton in the Grass (1987) and A Scandal in Belgravia (1991).
All the above books were standalones, but I also enjoyed the Perry Trethowan series, five books published between 1981 and 1987. The fourth of these PT novels, Bodies (about murder in the milieus of bodybuilding contests and skin mags), introduced a new series character, a black cop names Charlie Peace. He would appear in, I believe, thirteen more novels (though no website seems to get this right):
Death and the Chaste Apprentice 1989
A Fatal Attachment 1992
A Hovering of Vultures 1993
The Bad Samaritan 1995
No Place of Safety 1997
The Corpse at the Haworth Tandoori 1998
Unholy Dying 2000
The Bones in the Attic 2001
The Mistress of Alderley 2002
The Graveyard Position 2004
A Fall from Grace 2006
The Killings on Jubilee Terrace 2009
A Charitable Body (2012)
Back in the 1990s I read and enjoyed the first four novels in this series, but then fell away for some reason. I am reacquainting myself with this series now and will have more to say about it on Friday. Meanwhile, see my reviews of two other Barnard novels and a short story collection.
Also coming up soon, I hope, my review of a novel by Sophie Hannah, the new chronicler of Hercule Poirot.