Monday, Dec. 25, 2006

Mickey Spillane

I remember when I, The Jury, Mickey Spillane's first novel, came out in 1947.I was in college, and had just come out of the service the summer before. Forceful and full of energy (it had to have been, since he wrote it in nine days), the book knocked me out. In 1995, as president of the Mystery Writers of America, I had the privilege of honoring Mickey with the title of Grand Master, despite some members' objections. Whether you liked him or not, he played a key role in the development of crime fiction — I'm not sure phrases like "Hot damn!" were ever popular before he used them, and shooting a girl in the navel in I, The Jury? That's as good as it gets.

Leonard is author of such novels as Hombre, Glitz and Get Shorty