Friday, September 04, 2015

Warren Murphy, R. I. P.

It's been announced on Facebook that Warren Murphy, famed for The Destroyer series, and many others, has passed away.  I read and enjoyed many of his books, and just this afternoon was looking at a copy of Leonardo's Law.  I was lucky enough to meet him and talk to him at a few conventions, and he never forgot that I was one of the first reviewers (40 or so years ago now) to heap praise on The Destroyer series.  He'll be greatly missed.


Cap'n Bob said...

I knew he was ill and had been for some time, but I'm still gobsmacked by the news.

Mark Murphy said...

I'm very sorry to hear this, but thanks for letting us know, sir.

Many years ago I attended my first mystery conference, Love Is Murder, and Mr. Murphy was the guest of honor. I hadn't known much about him, but a few days beforehand I read "Leonardo's Law" and really liked it. It's too bad he never did a sequel.

I also remember being touched by the brief speech he gave after getting the award. He said that after all these years he was still learning, still reading Writer's Digest, The Writer, whatever he could find that would help him. "I'm just one of you," he said to the rest of us, and I couldn't detect any trace of false modesty in that statement.

He also said he always kept a list of the five senses by his computer, to remind him to try to make his readers really experience the scene he was writing.

Also, I don't know whether it's still there, but his website at least used to have a series of writing lessons on it, things he'd learned through years of writing. They were valuable lessons, too, as I remember, and he just gave them away.

He was also very supportive of a magazine I'd been writing for -- the first magazine to publish my crime fiction -- Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine, which featured a lot of newbie writers.

He was a unique personality, and though I'm sorry I never got to see him again, I'll always treasure my memory of him, and of course we still have his books.

Max Allan Collins said...

Warren was a great guy, and a real pro, kind of an old-fashioned one. I saw quite of bit of him in the late '80s and early '90s, when he was fairly active with PWA. My wife Barb and I went on a mystery-writer cruise he and Bob Randisi organized. Fun and funny and generous, Warren deserved more attention from the mystery community in recent years.

Jeff Meyerson said...

That's a real shame. I was a fan of the Destroyer series too, along with the Digger/Trace books and the goofy Razoni & Jackson series. He got my Poisoned Pen back in the '80s and wrote me a few times about it.



Anonymous said...

I can only echo what Max Allan Collins said. Especially the part about deserving more attention from the mystery community. I very much enjoyed Warren Murphy, both in person and in print. Damn sad news.


lastromantic49 said...

One of my favorite writers as well. I read everything I can find of his.

George said...

Like William, I read a ton of Warren Murphy's work over the years. Great Stuff! His work will live on.

Ed Gorman said...

I got to know Warren through Mystery Scene and later on through e mail correspondence. He was a pro's pro and a great entertainer. I have at least twenty of his novels on my shelves. Though his fame's tied to The Destroyer he wrote a number of thrillers at least as good as many on the NY Times list. He'd been involved in politics in his early life as had I so we swapped a lot of wise ass pol tales about some of the less inspiring candidates we'd worked for. We also had in common alcoholism. We talked on the phone about that a few times. I was many years in recovery and that was his goal too. There were sad times in his life. He was one of the funniest, most decent people I was privileged to know in my life.

Max Allan Collins said...

Lovely tribute, Ed. Right on the money.