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Kenneth Cameron: Farewell to a true gentleman

It's with great sadness that I have to report the death of Kenneth Cameron, author of the astonishingly good Denton series, and of many, many more books besides. The sadness is genuine, rather than a corporate simulacrum: I can't claim to have known Mr. Cameron well, but he delighted me in the few email exchanges we had. He was witty, gracious, deeply intelligent, and (and this really blew my mind) entirely willing to collaborate with a woman young enough to be his daughter. I made the very difficult decision to pass on the novel—his final novel—that I had been given: His ear for an exquisite sentence remained gloriously in evidence, but age had stolen his knack for plotting. I believe he could have worked with me to craft a great story, but to tell you the truth, I was so cowed at the idea of editing this man, for whose work I have so much respect, that...that I didn't think I could work well with him. I do not regret the decision except that it prevented me from getting to know Mr. Cameron better.

If you have not yet met Denton, I urge you to run to your local bookstore. My associate Jo likes to call him a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Doc Holliday, and that's a fine description, though I would add that he is also an irresistible romantic hero: A man who truly likes intelligent women. The first in the series is The Frightened Man. You can thank me later.

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