RARA-AVIS: Daly & McGivern

From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 16 Mar 2003

In a message dated 3/13/03 4:05:03 AM Eastern Standard Time, owner-rara-avis@icomm.ca writes:

 Date: Wed, 12 Mar 2003 23:52:22 -0500 (EST)
 From: William Denton < buff@pobox.com>
 Subject: RARA-AVIS: Maureen Daly, Mrs. William McGivern
 I have an etiquette book by Maureen Daly (THE PERFECT HOSTESS, 1950),
 which is dedicated to Bill, her husband William McGivern. The other day I
 was in the children's section of a library and saw SEVENTEENTH SUMMER
 (1942), a 1965 edition that was the 41st printing of the book. It says it
 had sold over 250,000 copies, which is huge (and the number would be much
 higher now--it's still in print). On the dust jacket it says,
 | Although Maureen Daly is a busy and successful career woman, she also
 | has a full home life with her husband, the well-known mystery story
 | writer, William McGivern, their daughter Megan and their young son
 | Patrick. They divide their time between their country home in
 | southern Pennsylvania and visits to far places and distant lands.
 Daly was born in 1921, and I think she's still alive. William McGivern
 just a bit older, born late in 1918. They met when he went to an book
 signing she was doing. They did two books together, MENTION MY NAME IN
 and THE SEEING (1980). He died in 1984, and she completed A MATTER OF
 HONOR (1984).
 I've always liked McGivern's writing, especially THE BIG HEAT (1953) and
 books like ROGUE COP (1954). Good solid stuff. I didn't know he'd had
 such a literary marriage, though, to a very popular author.
 - -- >>

Daly also, as I recall, edited a mystery anthology the paperback of which I see all the time in used bookstores.

I went to a few of the Mystery Writers of America awards dinners in the early 1980s. One year, McGivern there with his wife accepting congratulations for his success with SOLDIERS OF '44. My memory is that he died within the following year but I could be off by a year. I was very familiar with McGivern's background in the old Ziff-Davis pulps and it was warming to see him basking in the glow of deserved praise. But also I remember being struck by how evident was the affection between McGivern and Daly, always holding hands and sneaking private looks and smiles. You don't always see that in long-married couples but boy they certainly looked like they had something special.

Richard Moore

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