AP

Stuart Woods, author of Stone Barrington novels, dead at 84

Jul 27, 2022, 12:53 PM | Updated: 1:00 pm

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Stuart Woods, an author of more than 90 novels, many featuring the character of lawyer-investigator Stone Barrington, has died. He was 84.

Woods passed away in his sleep on Friday, July 22, at his home in Litchfield County, Connecticut, his publicist, Katie Grinch, said Wednesday.

Woods, a graduate of the University of Georgia in his home state, moved to New York in 1960 to pursue a career in journalism. He ended up instead with a career in advertising and eventually moved to London and then to Galway, Ireland, where he discovered sailing.

His first book, “Blue Water, Green Skipper,” was a non-fiction account of his 1976 adventure competing in the the Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race, which began in Plymouth, England, and ended in Newport, Rhode Island.

After W.W. Norton & Company acquired the American rights to the book, it also agreed to publish Woods’ first novel.

That book, 1981’s “Chiefs,” about three generations of lawmen and the murder of a teenager in a small southern town, won literary awards and was made into a CBS miniseries starring Charlton Heston, Danny Glover, Billy Dee Williams and John Goodman.

The book’s success launched Woods’ prolific career as a novelist that saw him write five books a year for G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

“I write every day from 11 a.m. to noon, about one chapter a day,” Woods told The Hartford Courant in 2015. “And I answer my emails. The other 23 hours I do anything but write — boating, lots of reading, watching old movies.”

Woods received the Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, France’s most prestigious award for crime and detective fiction, in 2010 for his novel, “Imperfect Strangers.”

Woods memoir, “An Extravagant Life,” was published in June. Putnam plans to release “Black Dog,” the 62nd book in Stone Barrington series on August 2 and “Distant Thunder,” the 63rd book in the series, on October 11.

Woods, who also had homes in New York, Florida and Maine, was a licensed pilot who flew his own private jet on his book tours.

He is survived by his wife, the former Jeanmarie Cooper of Key West, Florida.

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Stuart Woods, author of Stone Barrington novels, dead at 84