RARA-AVIS: Dennis Lynds

From: Bill Crider ( bcrider@houston.rr.com)
Date: 16 May 2005

I figured it was about time for me to chime in with a few comments, but I got the jump on Dennis Lynds Month with this post to my blog back in August of last year: http://billcrider.blogspot.com/2004/08/dennis-lynds.html.

I decided the other day to re-read ACT OF FEAR. My copy is a Bantam paperback from 1969. It has a nice Mitchell Hooks cover. I have some more of the Dan Fortune series in Bantam paperbacks, and then I think it jumped to Playboy Press. I have those, too.

On October 8, 1982, I was on a panel at the Bouchercon in San Francisco with Dennis Lynds, his wife, Gayle, and one other guy. I think it was Ray Obstfeld, but I'm not sure. I'm sure of the date, though, because Dennis signed and dated my copy of ACT OF FEAR after we finished the panel. The topic was something like "writing house-name books," and I was pretty intimidated to be up there with Gayle, Dennis, and Ray. I'd written exactly one house-name novel at the time, whereas they were all old pros. Ironically, Dennis and I were on a panel last year in Toronto, and the topic was "prolific writers." I've done a lot of books since 1982.

One thing that bothers me is that Dennis and Gayle still look exactly the same as they did in 1982, whereas, in the words of Jamie Lee Curtis, "I'm the Crypt Keeper!"

The inscription in my copy of ACT OF FEAR says, "Still one of my favorites." It's still one of mine, too, since it's the book that introduced me to Dan Fortune, and I wrote the entry for it in Pronzini and Muller's 1001 MIDNIGHTS. Check it out.

Bill Crider

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