Tuesday, December 15, 2020


This is an obit I hoped wouldn't need to be posted. Parnell Hall, the mystery community's funny, supportive, musical, generous, and all around good guy, passed away Tuesday. He'd been very ill, but we all thought and hoped he'd pull through. He even posted a very funny song and dance 'marketing' video two weeks ago from the hospital. Always the showman!

I will miss chatting with and 'listening' to Parnell at conventions and meetings. He always cracked us up. In honor of Parnell, I'm buying a copy of Chasing Jack, his latest book. You should, too!

Parnell Hall was born on October 31, 1944. His works include the Puzzle Lady and the Stanley Hastings series, as well as the screenplay to the 1984 cult classic C.H.U.D. Parnell collaborated with Manny Nosowsky for crossword puzzles and with Will Shortz for sudoku puzzles incorporated in Puzzle Lady stories. He also has written under the pen name J.P. Hailey, under which he wrote the Steve Winslow series. He co-authored Smooth Operator with Stuart Woods. But Parnell was so much more. 

This is my favorite Parnell Hall video. Everyone loved him. We will miss him.

And, the video of his famous song, Signing in the Waldenbooks.


Matt Coyle said...

Lovely. I miss him already.

gm malliet said...

What terrible news. He was a fixture at Malice Domestic every year.

Katherine Hall Page said...

A friend of 30+ years and our joke was that we were cousins, all Halls being related,
And always addressed each other as Cuz. Dear, very funny, sweet, talented man. Tragic news.

Unknown said...

I first met Parny back in the 80s when I was working at Murder Ink. He'd come into the store with his boys in strollers. The big thing we had in common was that we were both actors-turned-mystery writers. And Parnell remained a great showman until the day he died. We'll never see his like again. In loving memory - Jane Dentinger

Peggy said...

I just read about his passing. So sad. I loved his puzzle lady series.
RIP. You will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Woke up today thinking about him and his wife Lynn- was trying to find an address. He was my math teacher in highschool at Windsor Mt in Lenox,Ma. and a friend. He wrote hysterical math problems.. "If Joe Postel had an ounce of pot, etc.." Guess I'll have to read one of his books. Great guy. Hello Lynn.

Anonymous said...

My memories of Parny are from the 1960s when we were students at Marlboro College. The clearest one is when he torpedoed himself through an open window - from outdoors to indoors.