Re: RARA-AVIS: Benjamin Schutz, RIP

Date: 20 Jan 2008

That's a damn shame. He visited here some time ago during DC month. I had been a big fan of his great Leo Haggerty series, as were some others here, so I decided to contact him out of the blue to see if he'd be our guest. I found his office address in the phone book and sent him a letter. He called me to get the details. He seemed a bit surprised by the interest in him, since it had been some time since his last novel. He didn't even have an email address at the time, so he used his wife's to drop in.

I'm probably greatly flattering us, but I like to think the interested and knowledgable fans he found here might have played some small role in his getting back into fiction writing.

Turns out he kept my number. A few years later, his office manager called to get my address so he could send me an ARC of Mary, Mary, Shut the Door, an anthology of his short stories. I sent him a thank you email along with a copy of the rave about the book I posted here. I mentioned in passing that the stories had whet my appetite for a novel about the Ellis Brothers. He responded:

"I'm delighted that you enjoyed the stories.Thank you for the very nice review.I have on the boards an Ellis Brothers novel, a serial killer/forensic science book and a terrorist novel. I hope these will slake your thirst for more of these characters. Ben"

It's a shame he's now gone, but here's hoping some of this work was completed so we'll have just a bit more to remember him by.


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