Mickey Spillane Dead at 88

What else can you add to the headline except that a crime writing legend has passed on? And so, I’ll repost the obit printed in today’s Myrtle Beach Sun:

Legendary mystery novelist and local resident Frank “Mickey” Spillane died Monday at his Murrells Inlet home. He was 88.

Spillane is best known for his chain-smoking, sharp-shooting,

womanizing detective character Mike Hammer. Spillane introduced Hammer

in 1947 in “I, the Jury,” his first detective novel.

Spillane was born March 9, 1918, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He

discovered Murrells Inlet during World War II, when he was an Army Air

Force flying instructor at Myrtle Beach Air Force Base.

Perhaps because of his experience with the Sun Fun Festival,

Spillane liked to be involved in

community affairs, especially in

Murrells Inlet.

He was the informal host of

the old Murrells Inlet Arts and

Crafts Festival that ran in the

village from 1972 to 1985. He

walked around the festival

greeting people, signing autographs, hugging fans and

having his picture taken with


In 1986, he agreed to requests

from boosters looking for a new

way to bring in tourists to

spearhead Mickey Spillane’s

Fishing Festival and Tournament.

The event appealed to his

own love of the water and fishing. The festival lasted only a

few years, blown away by

Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

The hurricane also blew away

his beloved creek house that he

bought sight unseen in the 1950s

when he was looking for property in the area.

Spillane built a grander

house, a stronger one, in the

same spot at Jordan’s Landing

on the inlet. But he lost forever

his collection of first editions of

his books in many languages,

along with posters of the films

made from many of the books.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Goldfinch Funeral Home, Beach Chapel.

There will be extensive coverage in tomorrow’s Sun (with a guestbook for condolences) and here on the blog as well. The backblog’s open too for anyone wanting to share thoughts, memories and anecdotes.