Stephen Marlowe, 79, Detective Novelist, Dies
By MARGALIT FOX
Published: February 26, 2008
Stephen Marlowe, a prolific writer of popular fiction best known for his crime novels featuring the globe-trotting private eye Chester Drum, died on Friday in Williamsburg, Va. He was 79 and lived in Williamsburg.
The cause was myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone-marrow disorder, his wife, Ann, said.
Mr. Marlowe wrote more than 50 novels in a range of genres, from crime to science fiction to historical fiction. The Chester Drum books combined elements of the hard-boiled detective story and the international espionage thriller.
Drum made his first appearance in 1955 in “The Second Longest Night.” Known familiarly as Chet, he was a tough unmarried ex-cop who kept a bottle in his office and a .357 Magnum at his side. Based in Washington, he took on cases involving international intrigue that in nearly two dozen novels took him to exotic locales around the globe.
Other titles in the series, all published by Fawcett, include “Mecca for Murder” (1956), “Murder Is My Dish” (1957), “Killers Are My Meat” (1957), “Drum Beat — Berlin” (1964) and “Drum Beat — Marianne” (1968).
With Richard S. Prather, Mr. Marlowe wrote “Double in Trouble” (Fawcett, 1959), in which Drum joins forces with Mr. Prather’s series sleuth, Shell Scott.
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