Sunday, August 21, 2005

Dennis Lynds, R. I. P.

I walked in the house from ArmadilloCon, turned on the computer, and surfed to Ed Gorman's Blog, where I found this. It really took the breath out of me. I met Dennis Lynds at a Bouchercon years ago in San Francisco, where I was on a panel with him and his wife, Gayle. He signed a couple of my Belmont Shadow novels and we talked a little about his work. I'd started reading him with the publication of the first Dan Fortune novel and continued ever since. I always looked forward to seeing him at Bouchercon, and in fact I was on a panel again with him in Toronto just last year. I'm still trying to absorb the news that he's gone, and my sympathies go out to Gayle and his family.
Mystery Novelist Dennis Lynds Dies at 81

The Associated Press
Sunday, August 21, 2005; 1:36 AM

LOS ANGELES -- Dennis Lynds, whose tautly written mysteries featuring the one-armed Dan Fortune were praised for reflecting contemporary political and social issues, has died. He was 81.

Lynds, who wrote under the name Michael Collins, among others, died Friday at a San Francisco hospital from septic shock caused by bowel necrosis and multiorgan failure, Mark Powning, an investigator with the medical examiner's office, said Saturday.

Lynds collapsed Thursday in the parking lot of the University of California, San Francisco, Medical Center while trying to visit his eldest daughter, who had been hospitalized there, said Kathleen Sharp, a family friend.

He died the next day at San Francisco General Hospital, Powning said.

Sharp said the author, who lived in Santa Barbara, had been ill for some time and had undergone several surgeries for a stomach condition.

In a career spanning more than four decades, Lynds wrote more than 80 novels and short stories, according to his Web site.

The first Dan Fortune novel, "Act of Fear," was published in 1967 and won the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award for best first novel. The last novel in the series, "Fortune's World," was published in 2000.

The Fortune novels were praised for their writing and for their willingness to reflect on contemporary political and social controversies.

"I write mysteries to say something, not just for entertainment," Lynds told the Santa Barbara News-Press in 1982.

Lynds was born in New York and moved to Santa Barbara in 1965.
© 2005 The Associated Press


Anonymous said...

Bill, thanks for posting this. We were away and I hadn't heard the news. It's a shame. I like his short stories a lot.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your commentaries. As a long-time fan of Michael Collins and the publisher of Hard-Boiled Dicks ( the issue N°2 was devoted to him ), as a man who has had the privilege to meet him in Paris and to exchange letters during years, I'm upset. Dennis was not only one of the best author of roman noir, but a man who was a humanist, with an extraordinary generosity.
Next week L'Humanité will publish a long article about him and his work that I'm writing now.

Roger Martin , French fan and author of several romans noirs and investigation documents.