Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Well Worth Remembering

Back in the old days, before there were quite so many insistent calls upon my time, I used to find some free hours at the end of each year in which to compile short obituaries of people—linked to crime, mystery, and thriller fiction—who had expired during the previous 12 months. Nowadays, I’m lucky to mention such deaths in my irregular “Bullet Points” news wrap-ups.

Before we leave 2019 behind, though, I want to draw your attention to four recent passings that deserve mention on this page. I didn’t know any of these people, as I suspect most of you did not, but that doesn’t reduce the significance of their departures from this world.

• M.C. Beaton, whose real name was Marion Chesney Gibbons, died on December 30, 2019, at age 83. She was the Scottish author of the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth mystery series, both of which have been adapted for television. Britain’s Guardian newspaper featured two fine remembrances of Beaton and her various fictions, the first by Alison Flood, the second by sometime Rap Sheet contributor Mike Ripley. Lists of Beaton’s numerous works can be found in Wikipedia.

• P.J. Nunn was a “former college instructor and freelance writer [who] founded a public relations firm named BreakThrough Promotions, mostly for mystery authors, in 1998,” The Gumshoe Site recalls. “She released her first novel, Angel Killer (Dark Oak Mystery, 2013) and followed it with Shadow in the Pines (Tidal Wave, 2013).” Nunn was just 63 when she perished from a heart attack on December 19.

• Earl Staggs, who passed away on January 3, “earned a long list of five-star reviews for his novels Memory of a Murder and Justified Action, and twice received a Derringer Award for Best Short Story of the Year,” explains Mystery Fanfare. “He served as managing editor of Futures Mystery Magazine [and] president of the Short Mystery Fiction Society, [and] is a contributing blog member of Murderous Musings and Make Mine Mystery …” A remembrance of Staggs can be found in the blog Meanderings and Musings.

• Steven Kerry Brown, an FBI agent turned private investigator, died in Florida on Christmas Day, aged 72 years. Again according to Jiro Kimura’s Gumshoe Site, Brown “wrote three books: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating (Alpha, 1st ed. 2002; 2nd ed. 2007; 3rd ed. 2013); 5 Things Women Need to Know About the Men They Date (Hard Row, 2013); and Redeeming the Dead, a novel (Hard Row, 2014). The novel features Mormon private investigator Winchester Young, with a sequel to come.”

1 comment:

Kevin R. Tipple said...

I knew PJ and Earl and am immensely saddened by their loss. Life really sucks.