Personal blog - and temporary home page until new website is finished - of writer, editor and graphic artist Christopher Mills

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Stephen Marlowe, R.I.P.

Another great Gold Medal paperback crime fiction writer has passed away. Stephen Marlowe, author of the Chester Drum private eye mystery series died last Friday.

I haven't read as many Marlowe books as I'd like – I've never been able to find very many copies in readable condition – but I've enjoyed the few I've found. I particularly liked the international scope of the series.
WILLIAMSBURG, Va.—Novelist Stephen Marlowe, best known for a series of books featuring private detective Chester Drum, died Friday at a hospital after a long illness, his family said in a statement. He was 79.

Marlowe began his career as a writer of pulp and science fiction and wrote more than 50 novels. His series featuring Chester Drum began with The Second Longest Night in 1955 and concluded with Drumbeat Marianne in 1968. His more recent work included fictionalized biographies, including The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus in 1987, The Lighthouse at the End of the World in 1995 and The Death and Life of Miguel de Cervantes in 1996.

Marlowe was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1949 with a degree in philosophy before serving two years in the Army. He spent decades of his working life overseas, mostly in France and Spain, and founded a writer-in-residence program at his alma mater in 1974.

Marlowe received France's Prix Gutenberg du Livre in 1988 and the Life Achievement Award of the Private Eye Writers of America in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, Ann, and two daughters.
R.I.P. Mister Marlowe.


Glen said...

I'm saddened by this news. I was still hoping against hope he'd trot out Chet Drum one more time for Hard Case Crime.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've not read any of his stuff but I have heard of him. I'm always sorry to hear such news.

Anonymous said...

I'm SO sorry to learn the bad news regarding Marlowe! He was really a brilliant writer. I profoundly respect his detective and sci-fi fiction, and firmly believe that his historical novels should be placed, considered, and studied among the best of US literature. I hope he is in a very sunny, happy place now. Thank you for all your novels, Mr. Marlowe.