Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Man of Many Faces

Because I was away from my office for most of yesterday afternoon, I didn’t catch up until last night with the sad news that Robert Terrall, a hard-boiled crime writer of the mid-20th century who penned novels under several pseudonyms, died on March 27 at his home in a Connecticut retirement community. He was 94 years old.

From the 1940s through the ’80s, Terrall composed stories under his own moniker as well as pseudonyms. As “Robert Kyle,” for instance, he wrote five books featuring New York private eye Ben Gates, including Blackmail, Inc. (1958) and Kill Now, Pay Later (1960), the latter of which was reissued in late 2007 by Hard Case Crime. The Gumshoe Site’s Jiro Kimura notes that Terrall also “ghost-wrote 24 Michael Shayne novels under the ‘Brett Halliday’ house name starting with Fit to Kill (Torquil/Dodd Mead, 1958) and ending with Win Some, Lose Some (Dell, 1976).”

Blogger Sarah Weinman reports that memorial services for Terrall are scheduled to be held this coming Saturday, April 18, at the Cornwall Congregational Church in Cornwall Village, Connecticut.

If all goes as planned, The Rap Sheet will have more to say about Terrall’s demise within the next couple of weeks.

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