Delighted that Ed McBain's novels are to be revived and that my crime novels have been likened to his writing in book reviews from the USA

The news that Amazon Publishing has bought almost 50 titles written by the late crime author Ed McBain has sent ripples of alarm through the publishing world as the retailer encroaches ever deeper into publishing, but it has no doubt delighted McBain fans.  I also read the news with a personal interest because my marine mystery police procedural crime novels featuring the rugged and flawed DI Andy Horton have been likened to the writing of the great Ed McBain, twice.

A recent review by Booklist in the USA said of the latest in the Horton series, Footsteps on the Shore:

"It deserves mention in the same breath as works in the upper echelon of American procedurals (those by Ed McBain or Joseph Wambaugh for example) and their British counterparts, including the work of Peter Robinson and John Harvey. Andy Horton is an especially good series hero, a likeable fellow with plenty of street smarts and the requisite personal baggage – an abrasive supervisor and an antagonistic soon-to-be ex-wife (like Harvey’s Frank Elder). Procedural fans who haven’t already read Rowson should be encouraged to do so in the strongest possible terms."





And of Blood on the Sand, the fifth in the DI Horton series:

'This is another solid entry in a consistently well written series. Like Ed McBain, Rowson works many subtle variations on the procedural formula (including very interesting relationships between Andy and a couple of his superiors). A definite winner in the crowded field of British procedurals.'


Amazon's Thomas and Mercer crime imprint will publish 35 titles in McBain's 87th Precinct series in print, digital and audio in autumn 2011. It is the first time the books have been available digitally.

Philip Patrick, head of rights and licensing at Amazon Publishing, said: "McBain is a master of the mystery genre and we are thrilled to be able to repackage, publish and promote his unrivalled body of work."

Evan Hunter, who died in 2005, wrote under the pseudonym Ed McBain and sold more than 100 million books worldwide. Wouldn't mind matching his sales!

Dina Hunter, Evan Hunter’s widow, said: "Evan was always an innovator and I am thrilled that these books will be available again for his countless fans as well as a new generation of readers.”

McBain won the Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement from the Mystery Writers of America in 1986 and was the first American to receive the Crime Writers Association of Great Britain's Cartier Diamond Dagger award. Wish I could have met him at a CWA gathering. Alas it's not to be but his writing and his name live on.

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