Ed McBain dies

Sad news:

Ed McBain, the US writer whose gritty crime novels sold over 100m copies worldwide, has died of cancer, aged 78.

In a writing career that also produced plays and screenplays, he was best known for the 87th Precinct series, which paved the way for TV cop dramas.

Born Salvatore Lombino in New York, he first changed his name to Evan Hunter, but found fame as Ed McBain, starting with Cop Hater in 1956.

He also wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s thriller, The Birds.

In all, McBain wrote over 100 novels, plays and filmscripts in a career spanning half a century.

He was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2002 and underwent radical surgery to remove his voice-box.

But the cancer returned, and he died peacefully on Wednesday at his home in Connecticut.

I read a number of his 87th Precinct novels, and I also liked the Mathew Hope series, the eponymous Hope being a defense attorney. You can find a bibliography here.

3 thoughts on “Ed McBain dies”

  1. The most likeable things about McBain’s novels, especially the 87th Precinct series, were his quirky sense of humour, and his characters.
    He will be missed, both as a writer and an observer of the human condition!

    Ave atque Vale!

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