Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Donald Edwin Westlake Dies At 75

Mystery writer Donald Edwin Westlake, lauded as "master of comic capers" by The New York Times, died on New Year’s Eve at the age of 75. This successful author, specializing in crime fiction, has written over 100 books, five screenplays, and was the recipient of three Edgar Awards, the most prestigious award in the genre. In 1993, he was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He won an Academy Award for a screenplay adaptation of The Grifters. Interestingly and surprisingly, these works were completed on manual typewriters.

Donald Westlake was an American novelist, and was born on July 12, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. He has written over 100 novels and non-fiction books during his career that lasted more than half a century.

His books were characterized by quick dialogue, humor and fast-paced plots. He wrote under such pseudonyms as Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt and Edwin West. His first novel, The Mercenaries, appeared in 1960. His most famous characters include Park, written under the pseudonym, Richard Stark, as well as the criminal character, John Dortmunder, appearing in the 1972 novel, Bank Shot. He produced five novels featuring Mitch Tobin, the unhappy investigator, under the pseudonym Tucker Coe. These books include Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death, Murder Among Children, Wax Apple, A Jade in Aries and Don't Lie To Me. He published 20 novels from 1962-1974 under his best known pseudonym Richard Stark, featuring the unrelenting thief, Parker. The majority of Westlake's novels were set in New York City.

He will be greatly missed. His latest novel , Get Real , will be published in April 2009.

For more information, please visit the following website:

Official Site of Donald Westlake

If you are unable to find any of these books in the Jefferson County Public Library Catalog, you may be able to obtain them through Interlibrary Loan. Please visit the site for more information.

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