Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lionel Davidson: RIP

I was very sorry to read that Lionel Davidson died on October 21 at the age of 87, I was so sad that I didn't post anything. Last night in my mystery bookgroup we read a book set in Tibet by another author, and I couldn't help comparing it to The Rose of Tibet by Lionel Davidson. Davidson was a remarkable writer.

My favorite mysteries by him were The Rose of Tibet, The Night of Wenceslas, and The Menorah Men (A Long Way to Shiloh-UK), but I enjoyed all of his 'thrillers.' It's interesting to me that I often meet avid mystery readers who have not read his books. I think it's because his books are hard to categorize. Some readers want a certain type of book. His books range from history, adventure, mystery, and espionage. His writing style is superb, and his books are all very different, even in style. His characters are well drawn, his plotting great and his description of locale rich.

Davidson won the CWA Debut Dagger for Night of Wenceslas which was later made into the 1964 film Hot Enough for June. He was also a three time CWA Gold Dagger winner and in 2001 he won the Cartier Diamond Dagger for Lifetime Achievement.

The good news is that all eight of his adult novels will be reissued in the U.K and the U.S. by Faber and Faber. The bad news, of course, is that there will be no more.

Rest in Peace, Lionel Davidson

Read the obits: Guardian obit NY Times Obit

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