Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tributes: Ann Rule, E.L. Doctorow, Terry Pratchett, Colleen McCullough, Jackie Collins, Ruth Rendell

It's that sad time of the year again--saying goodbye to the authors whom I've read and have left us in 2015. For some of these authors I have read only one of their books: The Thorn Birds by the Australian author Colleen McCullough, Loon Lake by E.L. Doctorow and Mort by Terry Pratchett. 

I'm not sure how many of Ann Rule's books I read but I was always intrigued by her research into real life crimes and how she told those stories. Because I'm a fan of the mystery genre, I found her books fascinating in how they related to fictional mystery.

I read Jackie Collins many years ago and was impressed by her knowledge of celebrity lives. She went to California from England to live with her older sister Joan Collins but, after trying acting, she found her calling in writing scandalous, steamy romance novels, which were great fun to read. 

I read McCullough's The Thorn Birds and then watched the mini-series on television, which became the second most watched mini-series (behind Roots). She went on to write more novels.

Doctorow's tale is from the Great Depression when a young man finds himself alone and cold by a railroad track and sees a train go by with intriguing people inside two of the cars. He follows the track to an estate at Loon Lake. 

Terry Pratchett suffered from early onset Alzheimer's Disease, which eventually took his life. Mort, the novel that I read, was a rip-roaring ride of satire through an imaginary flat discworld. In fact, he wrote an entire series titled Discworld. 

Ruth Rendell was or still is one of my favorite authors. I have read quite a few of her Inspector Wexford mysteries. There was only one of her books, Master of the Moor, that I disliked intensely. That one was a standalone, which did not include Wexford. But at least I can look forward to reading many more of her Wexford novels.