Strange Brouhaha

Thursday, July 07, 2005

R.I.P. Evan Hunter

Evan Hunter, Ed McBain, the single best writer of mysteries--yes, better than Hammett and Chandler--died yesterday. (That's an NYT link. Free registration etc. etc.)

When I first started seriously reading mysteries, his were the books that really got the ball rolling for me. His mastery of the form was obvious, his style extremely elevated and literary for all that he was writing about grisly crimes and tough people. If you read the obit I linked, you'll see that he was rightly proud of his ability.

It is entirely too bad that there has never been a really good 87th Precinct film or TV show, but there really doesn't need to be. In the end, we have his words, and the words are what matter.


  • (Ham) I must agree. Ed McBain is what got me into reading fairly early on (though Stephen King helped). What I always found fairly amazing is that you could read straight through one of his books in one sitting in about four hours or so, never feel like it was even the slightest bit of effort to get through, and yet still feel as though you had read something of substance.

    Knowing that you had a copy of his latest book waiting for you at home to read that evening to the exclusion of everything else was always something to look forward to. I'll miss it.

    I'll recommend Dan Mahoney and, especially, Lawrence Block's Matt Scudder series of books to those who enjoyed Ed McBain.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:35 PM  

  • Nice way to put it, "something of substance". At least there's one more 87th Precinct book coming out.

    By Blogger Robert, at 7:10 PM  

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