Friday, January 18, 2008

Ed Hoch

I am deeply saddened by the news (learned on Sarah Weinman's blog) that Edward D. Hoch, MWA Grand Master and undoubtedly the leading mystery short story writer of our time, has passed away. Ed's name is well-known to readers of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine — the most recent issue features one of his stories on the cover, and no other contributor could have been so integral a part of the magazine as Ed was over so many years.

He was incredibly imaginative. In addition to being extremely well-written, his stories often contained intriguing information, culled from research over a wide range of subjects. He respected his readers — I can't remember reading a story of his that wasn't expertly crafted.

I was lucky enough to be able to spend time talking with Ed and his lovely wife, Patricia, in recent years, and I treasure the memory of those talks. I consider the time I spend with Ed to be one of the great privileges that have come my way in my years as a writer.

Ed had a wonderful sense of humor. He was a genuinely good man, a generous and kind person. His example of giving back to the mystery community with his time and effort is one that we would all do well to emulate.

He will be greatly missed.

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