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Acclaimed and prolific mystery novelist Donald E. Westlake died from an apparent heart attack on New Years Eve, his wife Abigail told the New York Times.
Westlake penned more than 90 books over the course of his nearly 50-year career, during which he garnered three Edgar Awards, the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America in 1993 and an Oscar nomination for his screenplay for The Grifters.
Westlake often wrote under pseudonyms such as Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt or Edwin West, partially because his audience didn't believe he could write so many books in so little time. In his later years, however, Westlake stuck to his name and Richard Stark, who is credited with a dark series about Parker, a one-named sociopath.
Over 15 of his books were adapted for the big screen, including The Busy Body and Bank Shot. He also dabbled in screenplays; in addition to his script for The Grifters, he wrote Hot Stuff and the Terry O'Quinn-starring horror film, The Stepfather, which is being remade with Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley.
Westlake's last book, Get Real, will be released in April.