Wednesday, February 26, 2020


Mystery author Walter Satterthwait passed away on Sunday after a battle with COPD and congestive heart failure. He was 73. Besides being one helluva writer, Walter was a clever, funny, and quirky guy. I always enjoyed talking with him at conferences. He also contributed to Mystery Readers Journal. Although it's been awhile since I've seen him, he'll always have a place in my heart. I'll miss him.

On January 9 Walter wrote: My new (and last) short story is now available on Amazon. DOWN AND OUT THE MAGAZINE. If you'd like a signed copy, then send the thing to me (with return postage, unfortunately, and an envelope) and I'll sign it and shoot it back to you.

Thank you all again for all the help you've given me. May you be well, may you be safe, may you be happy, may you be enlightened.

You can read it, but sadly Walter won't be around to sign it for you.

I know I'll be reading and re-reading many of his books now.

Walter Satterthwait wrote mysteries and historical fiction. A fan of mystery novels from a young age, he spent high school immersed in the works of Dashiell Hammett and Mickey Spillane. While working as a bartender in New York in the late 1970s, he wrote his first book: an adventure novel, Cocaine Blues (1979), about a drug dealer on the run from a pair of killers.

After his second thriller, The Aegean Affair (1982), Satterthwait created his best-known character, Santa Fe private detective Joshua Croft. Beginning with Wall of Glass (1988), Satterthwait wrote six Croft novels, concluding the series with 1996’s Accustomed to the Dark. In between Croft books, he wrote mysteries starring historical figures, including Miss Lizzie (1989), a novel about Lizzie Borden, and Wilde West (1991), a western mystery starring Oscar Wilde.

Joshua Croft  (P.I. in Santa Fe, NM)
1. Wall of Glass (1988)
2. At Ease With the Dead (1990)
3. A Flower in the Desert (1992)
4. The Hanged Man (1993) 
5. Accustomed to the Dark (1996)

Miss Lizzie  (Lizzie Borden)
1. Miss Lizzie (1989)
2. New York Nocturne (2016)

Escapade  (Pinkerston Agents Phil Beaumont & Jane Turner)
1. Escapade (1995)
2. Masquerade (1998)
3. Cavalcade (2005)

Non Series
Cocaine Blues (1979)
The Aegean Affair (1982)
Wilde West (1991)
Perfection (2006)
Dead Horse (2007)

The Gold of Mayani (1995)
The Mankiller of Poojegai and Other Stories (2007)
The Sunken Sailor (2004) (with Simon Brett, Jan Burke, Dorothy Cannell, Margaret Coel, Deborah Crombie, Eileen Dreyer, Carolyn Hart, Edward Marston, Francine Mathews, Sharan Newman, Alexandra Ripley, Sarah Smith and Carolyn Wheat) 

Anthologies (Editor)
Tis the Season for Murder (1998) (with Fred Hunter and Barbara Burnett Smith)

Non fiction 
Sleight of Hand (1993) (with Ernie Bulow)

Agatha Award: Best Novel nominee (1995): Escapade


Sad news. Clive Cussler: R.I.P.

Clive Cussler, the best-selling author behind the popular adventure novels about the heroic Dirk Pitt, has died. He was 88.

From the Daily News:

Cussler died Monday, his wife wrote in a statement on the author’s official Twitter page Wednesday.
“It has been a privilege to share in his life. I want to thank you his fans & friends for all the support,” the post from Janet Horvath reads. “He was the kindest most gentle man I ever met.I know, his adventures will continue.”

Cussler, who kicked off his writing career in 1965, published dozens of books that spanned numerous genres and included both fictional and non-fiction subject matter.

He introduced the multi-talented Pitt to the world during the mid-1970s with “The Mediterranean Caper” and went on to feature the quick-thinking protagonist in 25 books over the years.

The fictional book series included the popular “Raise the Titanic!” and “Sahara,” both of which were adapted into movies.

The Raise the Titanic film came out in 1980 and starred Richard Jordan as Pitt, while Matthew McConaughey played the character in the 2005′s film version of Sahara.

Cussler’s most recent book in that series, Celtic Empire, was published in 2019.

Beyond his writing career, Cussler was the founder of the nonprofit National Underwater and Marine Agency (NUMA), which strives to discover and conserve the findings of shipwrecks. The NUMA team has come across more than 60 wreck sites.

Cussler’s first non-fiction release, The Sea Hunters, came out in 1996 and chronicles his experiences looking for shipwrecks.
The author was granted a doctorate in 1997 from the SUNY Maritime College’s board of governors in recognition of his findings in “The Sea Hunters,” with the book serving in place of a thesis.

A TV series, also called “The Sea Hunters,” was inspired by the book and premiered on National Geographic in 2002.

Cussler was born in Aurora, Ill., and grew up in Alhambra, Calif. He and his first wife, Barbara Knight, were parents to three children: Teri, Dirk and Dayna. Years after Barbara died in 2003, Cussler married Horvath.

Dirk, co-authored his father’s final three books.