Edna Buchanan

Edna Buchanan (née Rydzik, born March 16, 1939)[1][2] is an American journalist and writer best known for her crime mystery novels. She won the 1986 Pulitzer Prize for General News Reporting "for her versatile and consistently excellent police beat reporting."[3]

Edna Buchanan
BornEdna Rydzik
(1939-03-16) March 16, 1939 (age 81)
Paterson, New Jersey , United States
OccupationNovelist, non-fiction writer, journalist
Alma materMontclair State University
GenreMemoir, true crime, mystery fiction

Early lifeEdit

Buchanan was born in Paterson, New Jersey.[4] In high school she worked in a coat factory and after graduating she worked, along with her mother, at a Western Electric plant.[5] She attended Montclair State College,[6] where she took a creative writing course and was encouraged to become a writer. She and her mother took a vacation to Miami Beach and, according to Buchanan, she knew as soon as she walked off the plane that she wanted to leave Paterson.[5]


Buchanan began her career writing for the Miami Beach Sun, covering crime, local politics, society, celebrity interviews and occasionally letters to the editor. In 1973, she began working as a police beat reporter for the Miami Herald.[5] In 1986 she won the Pulitzer Prize in General News Reporting.[3]

Her book Miami, It's Murder was nominated for an Edgar Award in 1995.[2]

Buchanan's autobiographical book The Corpse Had A Familiar Face inspired two TV movies starring Elizabeth Montgomery: The Corpse Had a Familiar Face (1994) and Deadline for Murder: From the Files of Edna Buchanan (1995). Her novel Nobody Lives Forever was made into a TV movie in 1998.

Buchanan was embarrassed in 1990 when she was quoted extensively in the book Blue Thunder: How the Mafia Owned and Finally Murdered Cigarette Boat King Donald Aronow, by Thomas Burdick and Charlene Mitchell.

Burdick ... led her to believe that he was seeking only background information, never used a tape recorder or took notes, asked her to hypothesize about people and situations, then quoted her as if she were stating fact.

According to Buchanan, she tried to have her name and the quotes removed from the book after she read the galley proofs, but she was told by the publisher that it was too late.[7]

Buchanan is featured in the 2018 documentary film The Last Resort.[8][9]



  • Nobody Lives Forever (1990)
  • Naked Came the Manatee (Putnam, 1996), by Buchanan and 12 others[a]
  • Pulse (1998)
  • Legally Dead (2008)
  • A Dark and Lonely Place (2011)

Britt Montero SeriesEdit

  • Contents Under Pressure (1992)
  • Miami, It's Murder (1994)
  • Suitable for Framing (1995)
  • Act of Betrayal (1996)
  • Margin of Error (1997)
  • Garden of Evil (1999)
  • You Only Die Twice (2001)
  • The Ice Maiden (2002)
  • Love Kills (2007)

Craig Burch SeriesEdit

  • Cold Case Squad (2004)
  • Shadows (2005)


  • Carr, Five Years of Rape and Murder: from the personal account of Robert Frederick Carr III, 1979
  • The Corpse Had a Familiar Face: Covering Miami, America's Hottest Beat, 1987
  • Never Let Them See You Cry: More from Miami, America's Hottest Beat, 1992
  • Vice: Life and Death on the Streets of Miami, 1992

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Naked Came the Manatee (Putnam, 1996) is a "mystery thriller parody novel" and a serial novel comprising thirteen chapters by 13 South Florida contributors. Buchanan wrote chapter four.


  1. ^ Great Women Mystery Writers, 2nd Ed. by Elizabeth Blakesley Lindsay, 2007, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-33428-5, page 30.
  2. ^ a b About Edna Buchanan, Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved December 27, 2008.
  3. ^ a b "The 1986 Pulitzer Prize Winner in General News Reporting," Pulitzer.org, retrieved August 12, 2019.
  4. ^ Edna Buchanan. Biography (biography.com). Archived 2018-03-23 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ a b c Calvin Trillin, "Covering The Cops," The New Yorker, February 17, 1986.
  6. ^ Edna Buchanan. Mystery Authors Online. Archived May 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Jerry Bledsoe, The Washington Post, January 18, 1991.
  8. ^ Kenny, Glenn (20 December 2018). "'The Last Resort' Review: A Photographer's Paradise Lost". New York Times. Retrieved 26 December 2018.
  9. ^ Scheck, Frank (21 December 2018). "'The Last Resort': Film Review". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 26 December 2018.

External linksEdit