William L. DeAndrea Biography


(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

William Louis DeAndrea was born on July 1, 1952, in Port Chester in affluent Westchester County along Long Island just outside Manhattan. His father was an engineer and his mother a nurse. DeAndrea grew up in a period of prosperity, happily discovering the new medium of television. After working briefly as a journalist for a Westchester County newspaper (1969-1970), a job that trained him in diligent observation and the importance of fact gathering, DeAndrea graduated with a bachelor of science degree from Syracuse University in 1974 and worked for a time with Electrolux. Finding himself restless within a scientific-technological environment, bored by the relentless routine of factory work, and drawn by his own love of mysteries, DeAndrea quit his job to pursue writing.

DeAndrea’s first mystery, Killed in the Ratings (1978), which introduced Matt Cobb, drew on his childhood love of television (although DeAndrea himself had never worked in the medium). The book found immediate success. DeAndrea was hailed as a promising new voice and earned an Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America for outstanding first novel. The urban-cool network vice president Matt Cobb proved particularly resilient; the series came to include eight titles.

In 1979, before beginning a second Cobb title, DeAndrea introduced another signature detective: the formidably cerebral Professor Niccolo Benedetti. In contrast to the breezy postmodern feel...

(The entire section is 508 words.)