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July 07, 2005


Bill Crider

I'm shocked and sorrowful. He wrote some wonderful books, starting (for me) with BLACKBOARD JUNGLE. I've been reading his novels for almost 50 years now, and I can't quite believe he's gone.


Hunter is the first big name writer who has died in my reading generation. It brings to light the fact that some of the other guys I started with like Lawrence Block and Donald Westlake are getting up there in years. (knock on wood)


Margery Flax got word to me. Somewhat to my own surprise, I broke down and cried. I didn't know Evan that well, but what I knew was sheer class. I especially valued his kindness to Paige Rose of Mystery Loves Company. And Paige told him to look after me, so when our paths crossed, he was always very solicitous.

The thing that makes me especially sad is that I don't think we'll see many more careers such as his (or Westlake's or Block's.) Very few writers can do -- or are encouraged to do -- what these men did. They wrote quickly and well, in so many styles and genres that they needed more than one name.

Just very blue.

Charles Ardai

Evan was a not just a exceptionally talented writer, he was a good man as well: generous, supportive, helpful, kind. I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to work with him over the past several months, and am really shaken by the news. (I'd just sent him e-mail yesterday.) Everyone who knew him will miss him terribly.


I'm not as poetic as some others, but this just sucks.

Ed McBain is the reason I read mystery. He was the first "adult" author I read. He was the first author I collected. Ed McBain truly is the reason I am involved with the mystery genre.

When I got to interview him a few years back he replied to my email faster than any other author. He was a complete gentleman and he treated me like a real journalist, not just some goof posting interviews on websites.

On top of being a wonderful person he was also an amazing writer. I can honestly say I never read one of his books that I did not like.

Evan Hunter wil be greatly missed.

Harry Hunsicker

What a damn shame for us all. My prayers go out to his family.

With a stack of new books demanding my attention, I re-read POISON a couple of weeks ago. Once again I was completely blown away by that man's ability to create so much with so few words. His mastery of the craft was unbelievable.

David J. Montgomery

Laura makes a great point. Evan Hunter wrote so many books over his long and rich career that I'm guessing even he wouldn't have known the number. (Surely we're talking over 100.) It really is a different era now.

Dave White

I've never read Hunter/McBain, but I've always seen his influence across the board. All of us, whether we've read him or not, have been influenced by him in some way, because our influences took pointers from him.

He will be missed.


I communicated with him once, when I asked if I could use a from his website on my own site. He replied graciously, even saying he'd always liked that picture.

Allison Brennan

My mom loved the Ed McBain books and still has dozens of them, many first editions. I read them while in high school and they greatly influenced my love of police procedurals and mysteries. He will be sorely missed. I even called my mom to tell her and she's bummed, too.

Joseph Goodrich

Giants once walked the earth, and Ed McBain was one of them.

Jeff Abbott

An incredibly sad day for readers and writers everywhere. But what a legacy he has left for the world to enjoy.


What was his problems with kids? In most of his books and stories, their always presented as hoodlums and rapists.
Ross Macdonald's books had youths too, but there was more sympathy towards them.


I can't say for sure, but his problem with kids may have been that he taught in a school he used as the basis for BLACKBOARD JUNGLE.

Jozef Imrich

Publishers Lunch On Hunter to boot mentions this vert blog ;-)

Evan Hunter, 78, best-known for his books written as Ed McBain, died yesterday at home, from cancer of the larynx. The NYT says he "virtually invented the American police procedural with his gritty 87th Precinct series featuring an entire detective squad as its hero." Agent Jane Gelfman estimates he sold over 100 million books over 50 years of writing and publishing.

Otto Penzler will published FIDDLERS, the 55th and last book in the 87th Precinct series, through his imprint at Harcourt in September.

Blogger Sarah Weinman collects remembrances from all over.
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind

jean pierre engels

He was the greatest.
There never ever will be anyone like Him.
I started reading McBain/Hunter in 1960 and have -probably-one of the greatest collections of His Work in Books, anthologies, audio, movies, articles, letters, mails and interviews.
We will miss enormously our Master El Jefe.
The world wil be different, now He's gone.
R.I.P., Dear Evan.
A pen-pal- best friend, if ever.

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