Crime writer Edna Buchanan sells Venetian Islands home for $12M

She paid $495K in 1996 for the waterfront San Marino Island house built in 1950

Edna Buchanan with 400 W San Marino Drive
Edna Buchanan with 400 W San Marino Drive (Google Maps, Getty)

The woman who once reigned as “the queen of crime” sold her waterfront Venetian Islands home for $12 million in an off-market deal.

Crime journalist and mystery writer Edna Buchanan sold her house at 400 West San Marino Drive in Miami Beach to a trust named for the address, records show. Richard Wood, an attorney based in Miami, signed on behalf of the buyer.

Buchanan is a former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and novelist. She previously covered crime for the Miami Herald and wrote one of the most famous lines in journalism: “Gary Robinson died hungry.” She also authored several best-selling crime mysteries, including “Miami, It’s Murder” and her autobiography “The Corpse Had a Familiar Face.”

It was the Los Angeles Times that first crowned her “the queen of crime,” and the title stuck.

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Buchanan bought the 0.25-acre property for $495,000 in 1996, according to property records. The home, built in 1950, spans 4,400 square feet, with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, records show. The property includes a dock with a bay view.

The Venetian Islands are a wealthy enclave that experienced two years of record-breaking sales, as the pandemic spurred demand for high-end waterfront properties.

Despite a cooling market, pricing has remained strong across South Florida’s luxury market. In June, a venture capitalist flipped his waterfront Venetian Islands property for $26.3 million, or a record $4,900 per square foot. That same month a health care COO bought a waterfront Venetian Islands home for $19.5 million.

The Venetian Islands have been home to many big names, including WhatsApp investor Jim Goetz, and Gloria and Emilio Estefan, who sold a home there for $13.7 million in May.