Friday, April 13, 2007

The Passing of Jill McGown

British mystery writer Jill McGown, who turned out 13 police procedurals starring Chief Inspector Danny Lloyd and Sergeant (later also Chief Inspector, and Lloyd’s wife) Judy Hill, died last Friday, April 6, “after a long period of illness,” according to her Web site. She was 59 years old.

The Lloyd-Hill series started in 1992 with A Perfect Match. Unlucky for Some (2005) was its most recent installment. The Mammoth Encyclopedia of Modern Crime Fiction, edited by Mike Ashley, says of McGown’s books:
Hill is the intuitive one of the partnership, though her insights arise from a logical assessment. Lloyd can be overly dramatic and infuriatingly smug, but his determination and insusceptibility allows him to see beyond the simple solution. The plots of the series are in the traditional English mode but [McGown] accords them a modern treatment and perspective without overt sensationalism. A Shred of Evidence was dramatized for TV as Lloyd and Hill (2001) with Philip Glenister and Michelle Collins.
In addition to this series, McGown penned four standalone novels, in which the viewpoint was usually the victim’s. “These novels,” explains Ashley, “place greater emphasis on suspense and [McGown] has moved back once into that field with the pseudonymous Hostage to Fortune [1992], about a disintegrating marriage sparked by a pools win.”

In what is now a bittersweet line, Ashley concludes his entry about McGown by saying her work “deserves to be better known.” The likelihood of that now seems seriously reduced.

(Hat tip to Euro Crime.)

READ MORE:Obituary: Jill McGown (1947-2007),” by Steve Lewis (Mystery*File); “In Tribute to Jill McGown,” by Julia Buckley (Poe’s Deadly Daughters).

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