By BRIAN BURNES
William Diehl, the Georgia author of several mysteries, among them “Sharky’s Machine” and “Primal Fear,” died in 2006. He left about 400 manuscript pages of a final mystery, along with detailed notes.
With the blessing of his widow, Virginia Gunn Diehl, a film producer named Michael A. Simpson gave the manuscript to friend Ken Atchity, a former Kansas Citian who is also an author and film producer.
The book, “Seven Ways to Die,” now has been published. It was based in part on a coroner’s handbook given to Diehl by an Illinois medical examiner.
“I went into it in a kind of forensic way, seeing what was there and the outline Bill had done,” said Atchity, who grew up in part in Kansas City and graduated from Rockhurst High School.
“I spent two years putting this jigsaw puzzle together, reading Bill’s work over and over again.”
The response from Diehl’s fans has been gratifying, Atchity said. “A lot of them think it is really Bill’s work,” he said.