Robert L. Fish

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Robert L. Fish
Born (1912-08-21)August 21, 1912
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died February 23, 1981(1981-02-23) (aged 68)
Trumbull, Connecticut, United States
Pen name Robert L. Pike,
Lawrence Roberts
Occupation novelist
Nationality American
Period 1948–1981
Genre Crime fiction,
detective fiction

Robert Lloyd Fish (August 21, 1912 – February 23, 1981) was an American writer of crime fiction.


Early life

Fish was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and studied engineering at Case School of Applied Science, where he graduated in 1933. Thereafter, he had a successful career in engineering management and consultancy,[1] working in several countries that he later used as settings for his stories.

Writing career

In 1960, while working in Rio de Janeiro, where he had lived for the previous decade, Fish submitted his first short story to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. He subsequently wrote over 30 novels and numerous short stories.

His first novel, The Fugitive, gained him the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Allan Poe Award for best first novel in 1962, and his short story "Moonlight Gardener" was awarded the Edgar for best short story in 1972. His 1963 novel Mute Witness, written under the pseudonym Robert L. Pike, was filmed in 1968 as Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen. He also wrote the novel Pursuit (adapted to a television film entitled Twist of Fate), and the Holmes pastiche The Memoirs of Schlock Holmes.

In 1963, Fish completed Jack London's unfinished novel The Assassination Bureau, Ltd based on the unfinished manuscript with additional notes by London and an ending outline done by London's wife Charmian shortly before her death in 1955.


Fish died in February 1981 at his home in Trumbull, Connecticut.


Two other short stories, "Double Entry" (EQMM, January 1969) and "Hijack" (Playboy, August 1972), were nominated for Edgars in the "best short story" category, but did not win the award.[2]


The Robert L. Fish Memorial Award, sponsored by the author's estate, has been awarded annually since 1984 by the Mystery Writers of America for the best first short story by an American author.


  1. ^ Vizzier, Anne R, "Robert L. Fish", in Rollyson, Carl (ed) (2008). Critical Survey of Myster and Detective Fiction. Salem Press. ISBN 978-1-58765-397-1.
  2. ^ "Best Short Story Mystery Edgar Award Winners and Nominees". Archived from the original on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
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