Marlowe, Stephen 1928-2008 (Adam Chase, Andrew Frazer, Darius John Granger, Milton Lesser, Ellery Queen, a house pseudonym, Jason Ridgway, C.H. Thames, Stephen Wilder)

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Marlowe, Stephen 1928-2008 (Adam Chase, Andrew Frazer, Darius John Granger, Milton Lesser, Ellery Queen, a house pseudonym, Jason Ridgway, C.H. Thames, Stephen Wilder)

OBITUARY NOTICE—

See index for CA sketch: Born August 7, 1928, in Brooklyn, NY; died of myelodysplastic syndrome, February 22, 2008, in Williamsburg, VA. Novelist and short-story writer. Marlowe spent his entire career as a novelist and short-story writer, though his early novels appeared under his birth name, Milton Lesser. He used several pseudonyms over the years, producing dozens of suspense novels and contributing to several other genres as well. At least twenty of Marlowe's novels featured tough-guy private detective Chester Drum, whose international exploits took him to one exotic location after another. Drum's character, introduced in The Second Longest Night (1955), has been compared to Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, with the added value of an espionage connection. The Drum novels probably represent the works for which Marlowe is best known, but he also wrote science fiction, historical fiction, and even some titles that bordered on romance. Science fiction often appeared under his own name. The alter ego Jason Ridgway produced the "Brian Guy" series and other titles; he also wrote under the house pseudonym Ellery Queen. Over a fifty-year career, Marlowe wrote more than fifty books. His earlier action and suspense novels depended substantially on his own travels, which he once described to CA as "essential" to his writing. His later novels seem to reflect a more thoughtful preoccupation with historical figures: Colossus: A Novel about Goya and a World Gone Mad (1972), The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus (1987), The Death and Life of Miguel de Cervantes: A Novel (1991), and The Lighthouse at the End of the World: A Tale of Edgar Allan Poe (1996). Marlowe told CA that he did not believe creative writing could be taught in the classroom, but he felt an obligation to encourage would-be writers with an occasional visiting position, notably at the College of William and Mary near his home in Virginia. Marlowe received a lifetime achievement award from the Private Eye Writers of America in 1997.

OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:

BOOKS

St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

St. James Guide to Science Fiction Writers, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 1996.

St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000.

PERIODICALS

New York Times, February 26, 2008, p. C11.