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Walter Satterthwait (1946–2020)

Author of Escapade

22+ Works 920 Members 23 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Walter Satterthwait

Series

Works by Walter Satterthwait

Associated Works

Crime Through Time II (1998) — Contributor — 79 copies
The Sunken Sailor (2004) — Contributor — 31 copies
Murder Intercontinental (1996) — Contributor — 30 copies
Murder Most Delectable: Savory Tales of Culinary Crimes (2000) — Contributor — 26 copies
Crime After Crime (1998) — Contributor — 12 copies

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Reviews

A few years back, I stumbled across a mystery, Miss Lizzie, in which Satterthwait made Lizzie Borden one half of a detective duo. I loved the story, and I loved Satterthwait's poetic writing style. I went looking for more written by him and came across his first Joshua Croft mystery, Wall of Glass. Since the series is set in Santa Fe and I'd fallen in love with the place after a visit, I read it and knew I'd be back for more. I really enjoy Satterthwait's descriptions of the New Mexican landscape, how he develops his characters, and his stories.

Croft works for (and loves) wheelchair-bound Rita Mondragon, an intelligent, beautiful, and stubborn woman who states, "I'll leave this house when I can walk out of it." Croft feels she's making a mistake, but he's willing to accept Rita on her own terms.

The mystery in At Ease With the Dead (the title taken from a quote by Geronimo) is filled with danger, archaeology, oil prospecting, and humor. It's a "buddy movie" in which Croft often finds himself paired with the elderly Navajo, Daniel Begay. The old man has so many tricks up his sleeve that one day Croft looks at him and asks, "Are you really Batman?" This pairing provides much-needed levity in what could have been a very dark story.

Croft has a smart-alecky wit that I really appreciate. Satterthwait has developed a strong cast of characters, and he certainly knows how to construct a mystery that keeps readers guessing as well as bringing his setting to life. He also has the knack of including sentences that can make you stop and think. "Guilt is sometimes a secret sort of self-esteem" or "If you see the world as an organism, a single entity, which of course it is, then you can't help but see the human race as a kind of virus on its surface, actively engaged in killing off the host."

Story, setting, language, characters, Satterthwait's Joshua Croft is an often thought-provoking mystery series that I will certainly be returning to.
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cathyskye | Sep 18, 2021 |
“Cavalcade” is the third and last volume in Walter Satterthwait’s trilogy about Pinkerton agents Phil Beaumont and Jane Turner in 1920s Europe, and once again they meet with genuine historical figures in the course of their investigation. Unfortunately, in this case they have arrived in Germany, where they are looking into a mysterious incident in which an unknown person apparently fired a gun at Hitler. The cast of characters that they meet, both real and fictional, are by and large horrible anti-semites, or else they’re once middle class people (especially women) who are now prostitutes because of the hyper-inflation in Germany since the end of WWI. And while our two are investigating, other unsavory characters are keeping an eye on them, to make sure they don’t get too close to the truth…. Honestly, I enjoyed this book less than the other two in the series, simply because of the ubiquitous presence of Nazis throughout. This is set in the Spring of 1923, so after Hitler started his National Socialist party but before he came into power; the people around him at this stage are largely the people who figured highly in later years, and it all just leaves a rather bitter taste in my mouth. Don’t get me wrong - the story is well-told and the two leads remain likeable, but the subject matter is a very large turn-off. A pity.… (more)
 
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thefirstalicat | Aug 26, 2020 |
In May 1923, Pinkerton agent Phil Beaumont and his newly-minted colleague Jane Turner are assigned to investigate the death of a man and his mistress in Paris. The police think it was a double suicide, and indeed the dilettante man, Richard Forsythe, was known to have often mused about wanting to commit suicide, and in fact the room in which the deaths occurred was locked at the time. But Beaumont and Turner think there’s something not quite right about that conclusion, and they look to others to find out the truth, including run-ins with Hemingway, Picasso, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas, to name just a few….”Masquerade” is the second in the Pinkerton Pair trilogy; I read it some years ago and did not give it a very high rating, but now that I’ve read the first book I understand it more and like it better. Beaumont and Turner are shaping up into a good investigative team, and I’m fairly sure that it’s only a matter of time before they become a couple as well. I’m looking forward to the third and final book in the series!… (more)
 
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thefirstalicat | 3 other reviews | Aug 22, 2020 |
In the summer of 1921, Lord Purleigh of Devon hosts a house party at his country estate, with guests including Conan Doyle, Harry Houdini and a slew of titled (and entitled) lords and ladies. Houdini has Phil Beaumont, a “secretary,” with him, who is actually a Pinkerton detective assigned to protect the Great Man from a rival; and one of the titled guests has Miss Jane Turner as her companion, although Jane is more interested in the wilder aspects of life than of being entirely devoted and demure. When the father of the Lord is killed in a locked room, Beaumont and Jane employ their complementary skills to solve the murder….This is the first in a trilogy featuring “the Pinkerton Pair,” as the series is called; I had picked up the second book many years ago at a fabulous mystery bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but I only recently learned of the first and third in the series. There’s nothing too complex here, just an enjoyable historical mystery, set in a very frivolous time. Which is to say, perfect summer reading; recommended.… (more)
½
 
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thefirstalicat | 3 other reviews | Aug 12, 2020 |

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Works
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9
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Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
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ISBNs
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