'Encyclopedia Brown' Author Dies At 87
RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:
Let's take a moment to remember mystery writer Donald Sobol who died last week in Miami. He was a man who wrote his mysteries short. In the 1950s, he succeeded with syndicated column, "Two-Minute Mysteries."
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
But Sobol is most remembered for his "Encyclopedia Brown" kids' books, books that Don Weisberg knew well as both a publisher and a reader. Weisberg is currently the president of the children' book division of Penguin Books.
MONTAGNE: He came to Sobol's books as a kid when he picked up the first one, "Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective," shortly after it came out in 1963.
DON WEISBERG: I then met Donald at a librarian convention in 1980, so not only did I read him, but then in my career I sold him. And now, coincidentally or whatever, I'm publishing him with great satisfaction. He was an incredible guy and an incredible writer.
INSKEEP: The hero of Sobol's books was Leroy Brown, called Encyclopedia because he was so darn smart; a 10-year-old who solved mysteries that even his father - the local police chief - could not.
MONTAGNE: Each story provided clues to help young readers sharpen their detective skills.
WEISBERG: They had the ability to really discover what solving a mystery was like - and it was great fun. I speak to that personally.
MONTAGNE: Donald Sobol wrote 28 "Encyclopedia Brown" books, including one that will come out next fall. The books have been translated into 12 languages and are all still in print.
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