The Gnome would like to wish a belated farewell to one of his favourite authors. Since his father introduced him over 20 years ago to the world of Ed McBain and his hard working detectives of the 87th Precinct, the Gnome has looked forward to each and every new chapter in their lives. Evan Hunter - Ed McBain was one of many pseudonyms - was amazingly prolific. One 87th Precinct book a year for over 50 years, not to mention all the other titles produced under different names.
Although he died last year, it was only last week when reading the back cover blurb about the author that the Gnome realised it had occurred. It made the pleasure of reading that final book all the more poignant, knowing he will never again be party to the lives of the characters whose ups and downs, romantic loves and losses, professional successes and failures he has followed over the years.
Ed McBain's death is obviously felt deeply by his family and friends, but to the Gnome, it is the death by proxy of Steve Carella, Ollie Weeks, The Deaf Man and the other characters he feels the greatest loss for. Incidentally, Ed McBain had a wonderful knack of finishing each section of the story with a pithy, ironic, funny one-sentence paragraph.
I wish I could do the same.