All of his friends must be devastated to hear of the death of Noah Stewart, one of the leading members of our loose group of fans of Golden Age detective stories.
His family announced this week that he had died of lung cancer – he was diagnosed in August.
He was one of the kindest, funniest and most knowledgeable people on the Internet. I never met him IRL, but he was very much a friend. We both contributed to the Curtis-Evans-edited Murder in the Closet, and I tried hard to persuade him to come to the Edgar Awards ceremony this year when the book was nominated – I so hoped to have the chance to meet him and take him out to lunch. But it didn’t happen.
But we continued to exchange messages till quite recently: he always had something cheering to say, and we shared an unlikely interest in Patricia Wentworth – he wrote the most perceptive piece ever about her. And he let me have Miss Silver when a group of us chose our favourite detectives to write about – this is what I said then:
And first I need to say a big thank you to Noah Stewart of Noah’s Archives, because he claimed Miss Silver for his list, then generously said that I could have her. That was particularly good of him because he has written brilliantly on Wentworth’s Silver books before now, and even did a marvellous post on her clothes (!of all things – but I don’t claim copyright on that particular subject). I strongly recommend reading both these posts before I move in to trivialize the subject of Miss S, by comparing her with Miss Marple.
He kindly once told me that he always knew when I had given a plug for that Wentworth piece, because he would see a spike in the viewing figures.
The only thing wrong with Noah’s Archives, his wonderful blog, was that he didn’t post often enough: I’m sure all of us were the same, rushing over there to read whenever he did come up with something.
I will miss him so much: no more helpful comments and links and messages and files turning up in dropbox, no more tipoffs to great clothes scenes in books, no more of our discussions on what (I think he invented this phrase) he called ‘brownstone mysteries’, those New York stories we both liked to read.
I know all our group will feel the same. He will not be forgotten. Condolences to his family and friends.