Joshua Croft

Created by Walter Satterthwait

Affable JOSHUA CROFT and his boss RITA MONDRAGON live, love, and work together as P.I’s in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

There’s some great local colour, plenty of engaging, slightly off-kilter characters and an “appealingly sensitive, slightly cynical series hero” (according to Publishers Weekly) that go a long way towards making this sun-bleached series one of the more satisfying ones of the early nineties.

An added plus is that Joshua seems to have a refreshing moral quirkiness about his cases, taking on some rather hinky assignments, from fencing stolen gems to tracking down the remains of a Navajo Indian who died over fifty years earlier.

Philadelphia-born Walter Satterthwait has lived in New York and Portland, Oregon, as well as Africa, Thailand, Greece, the Netherlands, England, and France, and claimed to have worked at everything from “restaurant manager and bartender to encyclopedia salesman.” The author of numerous acclaimed works of fiction, he wrote a historical mystery series featuring  Pinkerton ops Phil Beaumont & Jane Tanner, a couple of historical whodunits about Lizzie Borden (Miss Lizzie and New York Nocturne), and–of particular interest to fans of this site, Dead Horse (2006), which speculated on the suicide (or possible murder) of pulp writer Raoul Whitfield‘s wife, socialite Emily Davies Vanderbilt Thayer Whitfield, who was found dead of a gunshot wound in 1935, and whose death has never really been fully explained. At the time of his death in 2020, Satterthwait was working on Blood Imperative, a novel about vampires, of all things.

I liked Walter.  He was a pretty cool guy, a shaggy-haired, easy-going dude who definitely marched to his own drum. We met (briefly) at a convention or a book signing or something), but we shared a few friends, and did the email thing, discussing Raoul Whitfield, Dashiell Hammett, and Montreal smoked meat, among other topics.  I’ve always felt that it was a pity that we never actually sat down and had a beer.


Report respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. |

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