Friday, February 16, 2007

Richard S. Prather, R. I. P.

I just heard from Art Scott that Richard S. Prather has passed away. Another of the greats is gone. It's nice that he was around to see the Hard Case Crime reprint of The Peddler, but it's too bad none of his other books was in print. The Shell Scott books make up one of the most entertaining p.i. series ever written. The one pictured here is the one signed for me by Prather at the Baltimore Bouchercon in 1986. Getting to attend his session and meet him afterward was the highlight of the convention for me. We're all poorer for his passing, but he left a great legacy behind.


Anonymous said...

Oh what a shame. I love the Shell Scott series and really wish there were some back in print as they are really hard to find and I've only read a handful. I would LOVE to find more. How great that you met Mr Prather.

Anonymous said...

Among mainstay of my youth gone. Sigh.

Jerry House

Richard Heft said...

I saw Prather at a Paperback Convention in Mission Hills about 8 or ten years ago, still looking very fit and dapper with his pencil-thin mustache. Although the typical Shell Scott adventure follows a fairly unyielding formula, complete with Scott's ah-ooga-ah-ooga response when he first espies the voluptuous heroine, PATTERN FOR PANIC is a surprising feral departure into John D. MacDonald territory, with a genuinely brutal climactic fight to the death with the villain.

Sigh. What did he sell, 100 million copies, and now only a few of us remember his name?

Bill Crider said...

One of my favorite is Double in Trouble, the one for which Prather and Stephen Marlowe wrote alternating chapters with Scott and Chester Drum.

Glen said...

Sad, Sad news. I kept waiting for him to finish that last Shell Scott book he'd been working on, but I guess he never will.