On his blog just a week or so ago, mystery writer Max Allan Collins announced that he and fellow author Ellen Hart were chosen as the 2017 Grand Masters by the Mystery Writers of America. The authors will receive their awards at the 71st Annual Edgar Awards Banquet, which will be held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City on Thursday, April 27, 2017. (Above, left to right; Mr. Collins and actor Logan Marshall-Green, star of the Cinemax Quarry TV series based on the books by Collins.)
As a big fan of Collins’ work, this is great news! Having first come across his Eliot Ness novels in the 80s, I’ve gone on to enjoy his Nate Heller and Quarry novels, plus the posthumous “collaboration” Mike Hammer novels he completed from the late Mickey Spillane’s unfinished manuscripts. Recently, Mr. Collins began another series, working again from Spillane’s unpublished work, highlighting old west sleuth Caleb York (I just recently reviewed the second York novel, in fact).
Collins’ work is rich with combining sharp characterization and, depending on setting and time periods (the Heller novels cover the 30s through the 80’s; Caleb York is set sometime around the late 19th century, etc.), well researched historical backdrops that rival authors with similar approaches like the late E. L. Doctorow (who, in a way, did write historical mysteries of a sort) in storytelling. Collins’ modern day works and movie/TV adaptations also pack a punch thanks to the effort he puts in them. His total output is just as good as the works of such genre authors as the aforementioned Spillane, John D. MacDonald, Dashiell Hammett, Ed Gorman, and Ed McBain, among others. AND he wrote the Dick Tracy comic strip from 1977 to 1993 too!
Don’t take my word for it. Check out our online catalog to see what novels by Collins we carry and see (read) for yourselves. (Also check out Ms. Hart’s stuff too!) You’ll be in for a treat! Meanwhile, I’ve got to finish this new Collins novel!
(Note: I’ve been busy reading YA books and posting reviews when I can of them on this other library blog, in case people have wondered why it’s been a while between postings of book reviews at this blog. It’s just a matter of time management. As far as I’m concerned, reading is still good.)
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