RARA-AVIS: Welcome to Dennis Lynds

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 01 May 2005

Now that May is here, it's another exciting month on the list: Dennis Lynds is the guest of honour! It's a great pleasure to have him here and I thank him for spending the time with us.

His entry in Hubin's CRIME FICTION seems, at first, very short. It says:
"LYNDS, DENNIS. 1924- . Pseydonyms: William Arden, Michael Collins, John Crowe, Carl Dekker, Maxwell Grant, Sheila McErlean, Mark Sadler, qq.v. See also: Nick Carter; Don(ald Eugene) Pendleton." However, following up on the pseudonyms shows the enormous number of crime and mystery books and short stories he's written over the last forty or so years. The series about Dan Fortune, the one-armed New York private detective, written under the name Michael Collins, are the most discussed of his books on this list. I know they're special favourites of several people here.

If you want to do some background reading, start here:


and don't miss the introductory "Dear fellow readers and writers:"


Have a look at his bibliography:


It doesn't include some of his work under house names like Nick Carter, Don Pendleton, and Brett Halliday, which are listed here, along with another biographical sketch, and a list of the awards he's won (including an Edgar for best first novel and the lifetime achievement award from the Private Eye Writers of America):


His wife Gayle is also a writer, and has a web site with lots of interesting stuff:


Dennis Lynds has several connections to list members. Kevin Burton Smith
(who runs the Thrilling Detective web site) introduced me to him at Bouchercon last year. James Reasoner is another writer who's been Brett Halliday and written some Mike Shayne stories, and Bill Crider is another writer who's been Nick Carter. Juha Lindroos at Point Blank Press is planning a Dennis Lynds reader. Doug Greene at Crippen and Landru is doing a collection of all the Slot-Machine Kelly short stories, and has done a collection of Dan Fortune stories. MYSTERY*FILE #47 (the latest issue), edited by Steve Lewis, has an article about the Dan Fortune novels, a bibliography of all the Fortune stories, and an interview with Dennis Lynds, all by Ed Lynskey. Those are just the ones I know about and can recall off the top of my head, but there must be more.

I didn't know it until a few years ago, but I've been reading Dennis Lynds's work since I was about 11, when I found the Three Investigators series. I loved them, and reread THE MYSTERY OF THE LAUGHING SHADOW
(1969), as by William Arden, a few days ago. It has all the things that made the series so enjoyable--the limousine, no school, thrills and danger, mysterious strangers, kids outwitting adults, possible ghosts or monsters--and works in Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," too. That's the kind of detail that can lead a kid to a whole new world of mystery reading.

Welcome, Dennis Lynds! RARA-AVIS members, please make him feel at home.



William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/

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