Nebraska Authors

Thomas L. Sterling

Born 1921-01-11 Lincoln, NE (USA)

Died 2006-01-16

A low level American diplomat and one-time Embassy Press-Attaché, Sterling became a popular crime writer in the 1950s. He lived in Rome, Italy for a number of years. The 1967 crime comedy-drama "The Honey Pot" was based on Sterling's 1955 novel The Evil of the Day, by way of a play adaptation of the novel "Mr. Fox of Venice," by Frederick Knott. The Evil of the Day was itself a meditation on Ben Johnson's 1606 play Volpone. The film version was directed by Joseph Mankiewicz and starred Rex Harrison, Susan Hayward, Cliff Robertson, Edie Adams, and Maggie Smith.

Sterling was especially popular in France, and a number of his books such as his police procedurals, but also some of his travel books as well, appeared in French translation. The Evil of the Day published as Le Tricheur de Venise received France's grand prix de littérature policière for foreign authors in 1960. In the United States, his The House without a Door received a 1951 Edgar nomination.

Places Lived

Lincoln, NE
Denver, CO
New York

Author Of

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction


Mystery Novels; Police Procedurals; Travel History




Married American writer and right wing journalist Claire Sterling (1919-1995) in 1951


The House without a Door. 1950.
Strangers and Afraid. 1952.
The Cold Light. 1952.
The Evil of the Day. 1955. (Rizzi series)
The Silent Siren. 1958. (Rizzi series)
Unity's Children. 1962.

Nonfiction works:
Stanley’s Way: A Sentimental Journey through Central Africa. 1960.
Exploration of Africa. 1963.
The Amazon. 1973.

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Thomas L. Sterling

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