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Richard Stark (aka Donald E. Westlake) is dead
I should have posted about this when I first heard, a few days ago but I didn't. I've never been fond of Westlake's novels (the one he wrote about publishing actually offended me, as a young editor) but his Richard Stark novels about the professional criminal Parker just blew me away! Wowza! I only read a handful of the original twenty written between 1962-1974 but my favorites of that bunch were Slayground and Butcher's Moon, the latter, if I remember correctly, a payback related to earlier events in the series and very satisfying.

Westlake left Parker for almost twenty five years but started writing more in the series in 1997, producing almost one a year. If I ever have time, that's the series I want to read completely. That and Ed McBain's (Evan Hunter) 87th Precinct mysteries.

It's been noted that the mystery field lost three prominent writers in 08: James Crumley(another of my favorites), Tony Hillerman, and Donald E. Westlake.

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You don't like the Dortmunder books he wrote under his own name? I think those are pretty great too.

I only read one I think --I know a LOT of readers love them. But I've always preferred the hard boiled.

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