Crime Fiction Alphabet - Ed McBain

Friday, June 22, 2012

This is week 'E’ in the Crime Fiction Alphabet. The idea behind this meme is to write something related to crime fiction that’s based on the letter of the week. This can be an author, the name of a book or something to do with writing crime fiction. The post should be up by the end of each week. See the rules for the Alphabet in Crime Fiction here. This Meme is run by Kerrie at Mysteries in Paradise.

In doing a bit of research for this post, I found out that Ed McBain is the king of pen names. Of course, he’s best known for writing police procedurals under the McBain name, but he also wrote under the names Evan Hunter and Hunt Collins. 

His given name was Salvatore Albert Lombino, which he changed to Evan Hunter via legal channels. He reportedly did this after a comment from an editor that he’d sell more books under his pen name rather than under S.A. Lombino.

Ed McBain 1926-2005
Being a prolific writer, McBain/Hunter found it advantageous to use other pseudonyms - Curt Cannon, Hunt Collins, and Richard Marsten. He also wrote science fiction and these stories and novels were published under the names D.A. Addams, Evan Hunter , S.A. Lombino, Richard Marsten and Ted Taine.

There’s an interesting article credited to Evan Hunter here on starting and getting to the end of a novel, as well as finding your voice. It’s kind of a huge crush as is, but nothing a copy, paste and print out won’t cure. You can find that here.

He was certainly a writer's writer, who had an impressive list of books to his credit. I’d definitely like to read more McBain.


  1. Wow- that's a lot of pen names. I learn something new everyday.

  2. I thought so too, but then he's written a LOT of books. Guess he also had more than enough names to go around.

  3. I didn't know he wrote so many books and under so many different names. I thought I was bad because I have two.

    1. That made me smile, Clarissa. I have two as well, but it's been a disservice. The book with the pen name gets no attention. Of course, I'm to blame.


Don't be shy, I'd love to hear what you think.