Friday, January 11, 2013


Sad news. Gwendolyn Butler passed away a few days ago at the age of 90. I met Gwendolyn Butler only once at a CWA Conference. She was so gracious and charming. We had quite a lively conversation.

Information from her publisher on her two personnae:

Gwendoline Butler was born and brought up in south London. She wrote under both her own name and the pseudonym Jennie Melville, and wrote over fifty novels in all. Her many awards included the Crime Writers' Association's Silver Dagger,  and she was also selected as being one of the top two hundred crime writers in the world by The Times.

Jennie Melville is the pseudonym of Gwendoline Butler. A winner of the CWA's Silver Dagger, the Romantic Novelists' Association's Silver Rose Bowl and the Ellery Queen Short Story Award, she is one of Britain's most versatile and prolific writers, having written more than fifty books. A former committee member of the CWA, she also chaired the Committee for the CWA Gold Dagger Awards for Fiction.

HT: Dean James who posted this on dorothyl:

British crime writer Gwendoline Butler passed away a few days ago at the age of 90. She wrote many novels featuring Inspector John Coffin, and as Jennie Melville she created Charmian Daniels, one of the first truly professional female police officers in crime fiction. In response to a fan letter I wrote her some years ago, she sent me a signed copy of one of her books. Later on I met her at the St. Hilda's Crime Weekend in Oxford, and she was gracious and down to earth. She deserves to be much better known these days; her style is inimitable and immediately recognizable.


vallery said...

I was introduced to the Coffin books when they were part of the Mystery Ink series, years ago. Maybe we could find one for a forgotten books theme.

The Passing Tramp said...

Sorry to hear this, will try to do a piece on her.

Jake said...

Not aware of her passing. Thank you for reminding us of another great writer.

Marja said...

So sad, but she left a great legacy.