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