Final Chapter for Mystery Writer Westlake

Donald E. Westlake dies of heart attack
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2009 3:57 AM CST
Donald E. Westlake poses in his home in New York's Greenwich Village.   (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano, file)
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(Newser) – Prolific mystery writer Donald E. Westlake, who wrote hundreds of novels, stories and screenplays under his own name and a posse of pseudonyms, died from a heart attack on New Year's Eve while vacationing in Mexico. He was 75. One of his characters, downsized executive turned killer Burke Devore, stands among the most emblematic figures in American literature, notes the New York Times.

Westlake worked only on manual typewriters, resisting computers and even electric typewriters throughout his 50-year career. One of the most successful US mystery writers, he was nominated for an Academy Award for a screenplay, won three Edgar Awards and the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America in 1993.