Thursday, January 17, 2008

Edward D. Hoch Dies

Bill Crider brings word this morning that prolific American crime writer Edward D. Hoch--the creator of series characters Nick Velvet, Sam Hawthorne, and others--has died. He was 77, and had never ceased turning out fine new tales. Crider’s remembrance of Hoch pulls at the heart strings:
I have several very nice memories of him at various Bouchercons, including the time in Denver when his wife got a great laugh out of the fact that he and I had both sold stories to an anthology that wanted material that was heavy on the sex angle. And in Austin, when he was highly pleased with the duck-call he received when taking a tour of the city. ... I can’t imagine opening up an issue of EQMM without one of his stories in it. I can’t imagine not seeing him at Bouchercon.
At least readers of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine won’t have to be without Hoch’s contributions in the short term. He has a Sherlock Holmes short story in the February 2008 issue, in which, according to the editors, “Holmes finds himself again coming to the aid of Irene Adler--and her university-age son.”

AFTERNOON UPDATE: Ed Hoch’s death is bringing out the Web tributes, Sarah Weinman has a compilation of them here. Especially interesting is Steve Lewis’ interview with the now late author, which appeared originally in a 2004 issue of Mystery*File. I also want to quote Jiro Kimura’s brief synopsis, at The Gumshoe Site, of Hoch’s career, since many younger readers might be unfamiliar with this author’s vast body of work:
Edward D. Hoch died on January 17. He was a prolific short story writer of mystery fiction. He had [a] story in every issue of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine since May 1973. His first published story was “Village of the Dead” in the December 1955 issue of Famous Detective Stories, and it features Simon Ark, the occult detective. He [has] had almost 1,000 stories published since then. [He] has a lot of series characters, such as Nick Velvet, the thief, who steal only valueless thing; Captain Jules Leopold; [and] Sam Hawthorne, the doctor-detective of Northmont. He had pseudonyms such as Anthony Circus, Stephen Dentinger, R.L. Stevens, Mr. X, Pat McMahon, Irwin Booth, R.E. Porter, and “Ellery Queen.” I first met him in the mid-70’s in the MWA [Mystery Writers of America] gathering at its old headquarters on East 19th Street. We exchanged a lot of letters before the Internet Revolution, and a lot of e-mails after that. I translated a lot of his short stories and I am still translating his stories and have many things to ask of him. The last time I met him was at the Las Vegas Bouchercon in 2003 and I took this photo of him. He was 77.
Let us know in the Comments section of this post if you spot any additional Hoch tributes.

READ MORE:Ed Hoch,” by Ed Gorman; “Ed Hoch,” by Martin Edwards (‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’); “12 Questions for Edward D. Hoch” (Ellery Queen: A Web Site on Deduction).

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