Ed McBain

Ed McBain has died of cancer at the age of 78.
I discovered his books relatively late in life, nearly 20 years ago. And then I read through them one by one, all the books of his 87th Precinct series and his Matthew Hope series and then the books he wrote under his “real” name, Evan Hunter, as well.
I don’t think there’s another author who has given me so many hours of reading pleasure.

A couple of years ago, I heard that he would be coming to London to read from his new book at the time. I found his website, emailed him, and instantly received a personal response. He told me to stop by Borders Books on Oxford Street when he was due to make an appearance, and to introduce myself.
I did so — I began by saying that he’d told me to introduce myself and he replied “Are you Eric?”
This was before his reading — he had come early, with his wife, and we sat and chatted for maybe ten minutes before he was called up to do his reading.
Ed McBain invented the police procedural. He is one of the finest writers of crime fiction who ever lived. He certainly belongs to same league as Raymond Chandler and Dashiel Hammett.
Amazingly, he had just begun writing a new series of books, and a glance at his upcoming, not yet published books at Amazon.com shows just how amazingly prolific he was, despite his throat cancer.
He will be sorely missed.
Click here to buy Ed McBain’s books

12 Comments on "Ed McBain"

  1. Phyllis L. Bell | 14/07/2005 at 00:42 |

    I have so enjoyed the “87th Precinct” series. He was a great writer and I shall miss his books. My deepest sympathy to his family and to his family of friends.

  2. Gary Roberts | 16/07/2005 at 19:42 |

    I was saddened when I read of the death of Ed McBain. He was an incredibly skilled and gifted author – his books were so smooth-flowing and easy to read, but excellently crafted all the same. His characters were quirky and memorable, and he knew exactly how to season his crime stories with just the right amounts of humour. God bless his widow and family.

  3. Mark V | 18/07/2005 at 00:10 |

    Ed McBain is a writer who never let me down. I wandered into the 87th a couple years ago and am about halfway through. I’m sad to see him go. And of course it looks like he has a few more unpublished gems to leave with us.

  4. As stated many times ….. “nobody writes better police procedural stories than Ed McBain….. nobody.” Case closed. Lets hear it for the deaf man! He will be missed.

  5. carlos | 19/07/2005 at 22:04 |

    Even hunter was the best (with Georges Simenon). Everything was simple, interesting and enjoyable. I like more Eveen Hunter, than Ed Mcbain.
    Thirty five years ago, he was very important in my life – when i discover “Mothers and daugters”, “He, who hesitates”, “Last Summer” and “Strangers When we met”. Even recently, everything of him was special.
    I read the new of his death some minutes ago…it his a very, very sad day.

  6. Dear Eric:
    Thank you for sharing your story. Evan Hunter was, indeed, a true gentleman. His death is a personal loss.
    About fifteen years ago, I wrote him a letter in care of his publisher, and was surprised to immediately receive a warm, personal response.
    I continue to be amazed by his ability to captivate readers in the first few sentences of a book.
    One my favorites is McBain’s Ladies, and the follow-up McBain’s Ladies ll.
    What’s even sadder than his death is the relatively low visibility the United States press gave it. Harry Potter must have been on everyone’s minds…

  7. Brian Higgins | 24/07/2005 at 13:45 |

    I will miss Ed immensely. Enjoyed his work for many years.
    I met him at a signing in New Jersey years ago, buying a book for my son, who enjoyed his stories also. When Ed found out that I was a policemen and both of my sons were policemen, we had a great conversation.
    From what I’ve heard, he was a real gentlemen. My condolences to his family.
    Brian Higgins

  8. Steven Peace | 27/07/2005 at 16:14 |

    Enjoyed reading many of his novels and short stories over the years.
    Ed McBain will be greatly missed.

  9. Walter Cyran | 31/07/2005 at 00:49 |

    What can i say about a man that wrote so many books i had to spend most of my life reading them. I will miss him and yet i never had the pleasure to meet him. My thoughts and prayers go with his family.

  10. Robert from Manila, Philippines | 01/08/2005 at 13:27 |

    Read about his death in the foreign news sections of the papers we have here in Manila. I share the sentiments of Roger Parker who said that US news organizations failed to give due significance to the death of someone who knew how to write.
    What I hate about Ed McBain is the fact that he’s so good at what he’s doing that you can’t stop reading. And before you know it, you’re just among the millions waiting for his next crime-procedural novel. Many a McBain novel I’ve read have been finished in just one night. That’s how utterly addicted I am.
    Although I discovered him about less than five years ago, I never really stopped reading him.

  11. John Ord | 02/08/2005 at 16:39 |

    Ed McBain was one of the lights during my dark years of work in Saudi Arabia.
    Thanks Ed, you helped keep me sane!

  12. patricia hunter | 04/08/2005 at 20:49 |

    I just want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to write such wonderful posts about my dear father-in-law, Evan Hunter. It means so much to his children. We miss him terribly.
    Patricia Hunter

Comments are closed.