Charles Williams' suicide (was RARA-AVIS: Re: On Noir)

From: Charlie Williams (
Date: 07 Oct 2005

Thanks a lot Ed. The "mystery" was whether he died off his boat or in his appartment. The end result is the same either way, but I'm glad the truth is the more romantic version, him being such a novelist of the sea.


--- In, ejgorman99@a... wrote:
> I got into this late. I'm assuming you're talking about Charles
Williams the
> suspense novelist (as opposed to the Brit lit novelist and an
adventure writer
> from the Thirties).
> For a book edited by Jon Breen called Murder off The Rack, seven or
eight of
> us took our favorite pb writer and did a piece on him. I took
Williams. I had
> two or three long discussions about Williams with his long-time
agent Don
> Congdon. Don told me that he was one of the best writers that he'd
> represented but that Williams just never got the break some of the
others did. Even
> though he did some movie work from time to time and even though he
was reviewed
> widely and well, he just never hit the big time the way John D or a
few other pb
> boys did.
> There really isn't any mystery to how Williams died. One Monday
> Condgon got a telegram (?) saying By the time you read this, Don,
I'll be dead.
> Congdon said that he'd been begging Willims to come back to the
small town
> where he'd been living. Congdon, as I recall, said that Williams
hadn't been
> writing and was deeply depressed folowing the death of his wife
from cancer. He
> stayed on his boat alone after his wife passed. So, after sending
the telegram
> to Congdon, he went over the side of the boat and drowned.
> I may have a few details wrong--our conversation were twelve
thirteen years
> ago--but that's essentially the story. No real mystery that I'm
aware of.
> Ed Gorman
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 07 Oct 2005 EDT