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Ed Hoch
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Mary and I were distressed to learn that mystery writer Ed Hoch died suddenly this morning. As Mary, who is better at such things than I am, says:

Ed was encouraging and supportive when Eric and I first began writing together. In fact, he listed the first John story in the honourable mentions section in one of his Year’s Best Mystery and Suspense Stories, a compliment indeed for a pair of apprentice scribblers.

We did a couple of book signings with him and had more fun than a trunk full of monkeys listening to his anecdotes about the writing life, not to mention the constant stream of plot ideas he produced merely by glancing around the area. And what's more, he purchased a copy of the anthology we were signing, or would have been signing, if anyone else had bought one!

He was a man who was interested in others and never boasted of his accomplishments, not least having a short story in every issue of Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine for some 35 consecutive years. Some time ago we attempted to have this feat recognised by the Guinness Book of Records but were unsuccessful. It's a shame, considering Ed was truly the master of short story writing and a genuinely nice person to boot.

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