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Edward Dentinger Hoch (February 22, 1930 – January 17, 2008) was a famous American writer of detective fiction. Although he did write several novels, he was mostly known for his short stories, which amounts for more than 900.
Hoch (pronounced hoke) was born in Rochester, New York and started writing in the 1950s. He published his first story in 1955 in Famous Detective Stories magazine and was followed by stories in The Saint Mystery Magazine. In January 1962 his stories were appearing in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. In December 1962 he kicked off his most successful collaboration with the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. In the years since, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine published over 450 of Hoch's stories, which was roughly half of his total output.
In May 1973 EQMM began publishing a new Hoch story in every monthly issue; as of May 2007 the author had gone an astonishing 34 years without missing a single issue.
Hoch was a master of the classic detective story, emphasizing mystery and deduction rather than suspense, hard boiled cops and fast action; EQMM has called him "The King of the Classical Whodunit." His stories are very well written and are usually tightly plotted puzzles, with carefully and fairly presented clues, both physical and psychological. He was particularly very fond to "impossible crime" stories, where to all appearances the crime (usually a murder) could not have been committed at all; he was the inventor of numerous variants on the locked room mystery . For instance, in "The Second Problem of the Covered Bridge", a man is shot at close range while alone on a covered bridge, while crowds of witnesses watch both ends of the bridge. Hoch also published magazine stories under the names "Stephen Dentinger", "R. L. Stevens", "Pat McMahon", "Anthony Circus", "Irwin Booth", "R. E. Porter", "Mr. X" and the House Name "Ellery Queen". In many cases he also had a story under his own name in the same magazine issue. Hoch also wrote a novel published as Ellery Queen, under the supervision and editing of Manfred Lee, half of the writing partnership known as Ellery Queen.
In 2001 Hoch was named a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America, which was the first time a Grand Master was known primarily for short fiction rather than novels. Edward D. Hoch died at home in Rochester of a heart attack. His wife, née Patricia McMahon, was his only immediate survivor.Information source: wikipedia