"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Dorothy Uhnak

I just read on Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind that author and former transit cop Dorothy Uhnak died of a deliberate drug overdose, aka suicide, at 76. She was the author of police procedural crime novels that predated today's current crop of similar authors.

I didn't read many of her books, and I didn't even know she had a short-lived series, but her books I did were excellent, notably Law and Order (which I read in 1977) and The Investigation (which I read in 1978). The latter was inspired by a true life story, that of Alice Crimmins who was convicted of killing her 2 children. The crime was committed in Queens, NY, not far from where I grew up, so the case, which was sensationalized and major news at the time, was hard to miss. Uhnak was not the only writer inspired by the case.

If you haven't read her books, you might want to try them. I'd imagine they're a bit dated now, but her storytelling is solid.