When Ernie Bulow, in his CONVERSATIONS WITH WALTER SATTERTHWAIT, asked Walter what he’d like written on his gravestone, Walter suggested maybe

Wit’s End

On February 26th, 2020, Walter Satterthwait died of complications from COPD and congestive heart failure. He was 73. Walter was as wickedly clever, smoothly charming, inveterately curious and dashingly adventurous as his unforgettable characters. 

Satterthwait authored fifteen novels, including the Joshua Croft series featuring a Santa Fe P.I., the first of which garnered a nomination for a Shamus Award for Best First Novel of 1989.  He also wrote mysteries starring historical figures, including two featuring Lizzie Borden; Wilde West, in which Oscar Wilde plays detective on his tour of the American West; and three Pinkerton mysteries set in the first half of the 20th century featuring detectives Phil Beaumont and Jane Turner and such real-life historical figures as Harry Houdini, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Hemingway, and Gertrude Stein.  Escapade, the first in the Pinkerton series earned Satterthwait a nomination for an Agatha Award for best novel of 1995, and a Prix du Roman d’Aventures in France.  

Also a master of the short story, his work was included in a variety of anthologies as well as three collections.  His most recent short story was published in Down and Out Magazine in 2019.  

A complete bibliography can be found here and the start of his final, unfinished, novel, BLOOD IMPERATIVE, can be read here.

Walter was born March 23, 1946 in Pennsylvania, but lived in and traveled to New York, Santa Fe, Greece, Africa, Thailand, and Europe, developing warm friendships around the world.

A passionate Buddhist,  raconteur, and bon vivant, Satterthwait knew how to both seize the moment and let it go. As his friend Tilo Eckardt said, he found a way over or around any setback “like water floating around rocks.” We are glad to have had the chance to float along with him for part of his journey, and wish he could have stayed with us longer. But his words, in books and our conversations, live on.


To read the tributes others have offered, click on the links at right, or read through the comments sequentially, newest first.