CyberGumshoe's Mumblings in November/December 2013

Robert Reginald Dies

Robert Reginald (one of the pseudonyms of Michael Burgess) died of heart failure on November 20 in San Bernadino, California. He was a prolific author and editor. The Japanese-born publisher of Borgo Press was mainly famous in the science fiction field, but he was involved with several important mystery reference books such as JOHN D. MacDONALD AND THE COLORFUL WORLD OF TRAVIS McGEE (by Frank D. Campbell, Jr; Borgo Press, 1977), THE PAPERBACK PRICE GUIDE (by Kevin B. Hancer and the pseudonymous R. Reginald, Overstreet, 1980, 1982 and 1990), MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE FICTION IN THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CLASSIFICATION SCHEME (by Michael Burgess; Borgo Press, 1987). He also wrote crime novels such as THE PHANTOM'S PHANTOM (2007), THE NASTY GNOMES (2008) and THE PAPERBACK MURDERS (2011; all from Wildside/Borgo). He was 65. (December 10, 2013)

Colin Wilson Dies

Colin Wilson died on December 05 at a hospital in Cornwall, UK after a lengthy illness. He became famous at 26 when his first book THE OUTSIDER (Gollancz, 1956) hit the street, and he was regarded as one of the Angry Young Men in England during the 1950's. He was a prolific writer of philosophy, literature, history, and the occult. He also wrote science fiction as well as crime fiction, including RITUAL IN THE DARK (Gollancz, 1960), THE GLASS CAGE (Barker 1966), and THE SCHOOLGIRL MURDER CASE (Hart-Davis, 1974) which is the first of the Inspector Gregory Saltfleet series. In addition, he authored true crime books including ENCLYCLOPAEDIA OF MURDER (1961; with patricia Pitman), ORDER OF ASSASINS (1972) and UNSOLVED MYSTERIES PAST AND PRESENT (1993; with Damon Wilson). THE OUTSIDER made a strong impression on me when I was young. He was 82. (December 07, 2013; Revised, December 09)

Crais, Hart To Receive Grand Master Awards

The Mystery Writers of America has announced that Robert Crais and Carolyn Hart have been chosen as the 2014 Grand Masters.

Aunt Agatha's, an independent mystery bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan owned by Robin and Jamie Agnew, will be awarded the 2014 Raven Award for outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing.

Crais and Hart and Aunt Agatha's will receive their awards at the Edgar Awards Banquet to be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on May 1, 2014. (December 05, 2013)

Joel Lane Dies

Joel Lane died in his sleep possibly of diabetes on November 25 in Birmingham, West Midlands, UK. The British writer of fantasy, horror, mainstream works and poetry was also a critic and anthology editor and won two British Fantasy Awards and one World Fantasy Award. He co-edited (with Steve Bishop) BIRMINGHAM NOIR (Tindal Street Press, 2002) with his story, "This Night Last Woman" in it, and published DO NOT PASS GO (Nine Arches Press pamphlet, 2011) with five crime stories, now in e-book format). He finished his third novel, MIDNIGHT BLUE in 2011 and was looking for a publisher. He was 50. (November 28, 2013)

Gerard de Villiers Dies

Gerard de Villiers died of pancreatic cancer on October 31 in Paris, France. The ex-journalist wrote 200 spy novels featuring an Austrian prince called Malko Linge who worked as a freelance CIA agent, starting with SAS IN ISTANBUL in 1965 (SAS stants for Son Altesse Serenissime, meaning His Most Serene Highness), and ending with SAS: THE KREMLIN REVENGE, his last and 200th, in 2012. He was almost unknown in the USA and UK, but "the Frence's answer to James Bond" sold about 100 million copies worldwide. Less than 20 SAS titles in English have been published in the US but Vintage Books will start publishing SAS novels in the US and Canada in 2014. He was 83. (November 02, 2013)

Michael Palmer Dies

Michael Palmer died of complications from a heart attack and stroke on October 30 at Jamaica Hospital in Queens, NY on his way home to Swampscott, Massachusetts from an African safari vacation. He began writing while he was a practising internal medicine, starting THE SISTERHOOD (Bantam, 1982). EXTREME MEASURES (Bantam, 1991) was turned into the 1996 film of the same name, starring Hugh Grant, Genen Hackman and Sarah Jessica Parker. He published 18 medical thrillers so far and the last two, OATH OF OFFICE (2012) and POLITICAL SUICIDE (2013, both from St. Martin's), featured Dr. Lou Welcome, a physician in Washington, DC. His last (20th?) novel, RESISTANT, will be out posthumously in May 2014 from St. Martin's. He was 71. (October 31, 2013; Revised November 01 and 08)