OT: Donald Westlake is dead at 75

This is way off topic for PT, but Donald E. Westlake was one of my favorite ‘light’ fiction authors so I’m going to indulge myself for a moment. He wrote under a number of pseudonyms, but a series under his real name, the Dortmunder books, are my favorites. John Archibald Dortmunder was an orphan raised by the Bleeding Heart Sisters of Eternal Misery (or perhaps the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Misery - I’ve forgotten) in Dead Indian, Illinois. He grew up to be a criminal mastermind in New York City whose plans, with one shining exception, never turned out quite the way they were supposed to. Dortmunder’s gang fumbled their way through New York for decades. Among other feats, Dortmunder, along with Andy Kelp (car thief and general handyman), Tiny Bulcher (strong arm man), Stan Murch (driver) and an assortment of lockmen, stole the same ruby emerald 5 times, stole a whole bank and then lost it in Long Island Sound, and (their one shining success) knocked over a major Las Vegas casino. His faithful companion May, a cashier at a supermarket, supported Dortmunder in the lean times between jobs. I’ll miss them and their meetings in the back room of the O.J.

Westlake died in Mexico (sub probably required) on New Year’s Eve.