We have sad news to report this morning: Donald J. Sobol, the author of that beloved young adult book series Encyclopedia Brown has died at the age of 87. Publisher's Weekly first reported Sobol's death via Twitter. Sobol's son told The Washington Post his father died of natural causes in Miami on July 11. The prolific young-person's mystery writer, a New York native, penned 28 Encyclopedia Brown books in all, in which his 10-year-old detective hero Leroy Brown outsmarted crooks on the schoolyard and in the adult world as well. The first book was published in 1963 while the most recent, Encyclopedia Brown and the Case of the Carnival Crime, came out just last year. Before Brown, Sobol wrote a series called Two-Minute Mysteries, another bite-sized bit of detective fiction. The Atlantic Wire's Jen Doll called Brown a "viable male counterpart to Harriet the Spy," and many of us grew up pondering the mysteries he solved in his myriad adventures. There's a certain feeling of satisfaction in solving Brown's mystery ahead of him, and Sobol had a knack for making them just hard enough that young readers had to give them lots of thought, but not so hard that you couldn't often solve them, eventually. He will be missed.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.