Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Thursday's Memory from Bertil Falk

The weekend before I left for Alaska this year we had a mini World Mystery event at our home. Bertil Falk, a Swedish author came for a visit. It was a great weekend. Bertil is joining everyone in Baltimore this year and I asked him for his Bouchercon Memory. Here he tells it like it is about someone who will be sadly missed at this year’s Bouchercon. Ed Hoch remains a giant and yes we know he’s still on the list of attendees. After all he’ll be there this year and forever

Ed Hoch and Bouchercon
Over the years I have been attending three big mystery conventions. One in Sweden, when Stockholm was swamped with American mystery writers. I think it was in 1980. The other two were Bouchercons, the first took place in Philadelphia in a past century, the other one in Milwaukee a couple of years ago. One thing these three conventions had in common for me was that I met Pat and Ed Hoch at all three occasions. I had known them since the beginning of the 1970's when Hans Stefan Santesson, who once upon a time was the editor of The Saint Mystery Magazine, introduced me to them. I had no idea then what a prolific and great short story writer Ed was. The fact is that it was not until the death of Hans Stefan that I began reading the Simon Ark-stories. Hooked on them I went on reading Nick Velvet-stories, Rand-stories and stories with all the other great characters Ed Hoch dreamed up. I translated a couple of them into Swedish and they were many years later published. In Philadelphia I interviewed him on camera and he told me that he always had been interested in problem solving and got his incredibly good ideas from various sources. Once he asked me what the Swedish word SLUT meant. I told him that if he saw an Ingmar Bergman movie, the word SLUT would most probably be at the end of the story. SLUT in Swedish is the same thing as THE END in English language movies. Based on the different meanings in English and Swedish, Ed created a story. I saw on the Bouchercon home page that Pat and Ed Hoch would be in Baltimore this year. I had looked forward to see them and was as so many other of his admirers shocked at the message about his unexpected demise. In my opinion, Edward D. Hoch is one of the great mystery writers, on the same level as Carr and Chesterton. And that opinion is for sure shared by many people.


Post a Comment

<< Home