Home CELEBS Stuart Woods, author of Stone Barrington novels, dies at 84

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

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Hartford, Conn. — 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 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 nonfiction account of his 1976 adventure competing in the Observer Single-handed Trans-Atlantic Race, which began in Plymouth, England, and ended in Newport, Rhode Island.

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After WW 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 GP Putnam’s Sons.

“I write every day from 11 am 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.”

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The 2021 Stone Barrington novel “Criminal Mischief,” by Stuart Woods, finds the lawyer on an international chase after the mastermind of a Ponzi scheme.

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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 the 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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