Hoch created many series characters, Among them were Dr. Sam Hawthorne, Jeffery Rand, Nick Velvet, Simon Ark, and Alexander Swift. Several series feature women sleuths. Hoch’s ladies were often faced with seemingly impossible crimes – throat cutting in a locked room, shooting of giant cacti, murder in a giant hot air balloon, stabbing in a shower with no one present, poisoning of Chinese food as a last meal of a murderer, and more ingenious methods that will keep the reader guessing.
As John Dickson Carr remarked, “Satan himself would be proud of his ingenuity.”
The introduction is by Michael Dirda, a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic for The Washington Post and the author of several books about books, including On Conan Doyle, which received a 2012 Edgar Award from The Mystery Writers of America.