• Posted on: 1 February 2008
  • By: mysterylovescompany

Mysteryland lost three dear souls in January, Margaret Truman, Ed Hoch and Virginia author Benjamin Schutz.
Margaret Truman may or may not have written her Capital Crimes novels. Expert Jon Breen says it was Donald Bain. But she is credited with loving mysteries, as was her mother, the First Lady, Bess Truman. We'll see if Margaret left a "trunk of manuscripts" as Elliott Roosevelt did. You can read Mr. Breen's thoughts on the Truman and Roosevelt matters @

Ed Hoch was a giant in the field of the mystery short story with close to one-thousand written. With his white tuft of hair, and beaming face, he was easily spotted at mystery conventions and equally revered by mystery writers and readers. I last saw him at the Edgars Banquet in 2007. I remember sitting next to Stephen Saylor at an earlier Edgars Banquet in 1993 when Stephen won the Robert L. Fish Award for short story writing. I asked him if all novelists could write a short story. Stephen thought that short stories were another genre entirely, and not easily written by every novelist. Edward Hoch surely knew his craft. Enjoy yourself with an Edward Hoch story today.

Finally, we come to Ben Schutz, a member of the local DC metro writers scene for many years, and the Shamus and Edgar winner for his DC mysteries featuring P.I. Leo Haggerty. The reason I was in New York in 1993 at all was that Ben invited Paige Rose and me to sit at his table at the Edgars. That night his short story "Mary, Mary, Shut The Door" won the Edgar. A forensic psychologist, Schutz was very much at home in the criminal mind. His books were riveting and sometimes disturbing. His recent lecture at The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of MWA was thought-provoking and insightful. His was a great talent and it was a even greater pleasure to have known him.

Mysteriously yours,

Question: Do you read (buy) mystery anthologies? What do you like about the medium of the short story. What is your favorite short story?