Walter Satterthwait Dead Horse

ISBN 13: 9780939767557

Dead Horse

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9780939767557: Dead Horse
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Sheriff Tom Delgado investigates the death of Raoul Whitfield's wife Emily, and begins to believe that the coroner's ruling of suicide is wrong, and that Emily was really murdered.

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From Booklist:

The latest from one of crime fiction's most reliable publishers of edgy noir goes in a different, but delightfully entertaining, direction: a historical mystery drawing on the life of hard-boiled pulp author Raoul Whitfield, who, in the 1920s, was the most highly paid mystery writer in the country. In 1933, Whitfield married socialite Emily Davies Vanderbilt Thayer, and the pair lived the money-guzzling jazz-age life in a sumptuous home near Las Vegas, New Mexico. After a tempestuous separation in 1935, Emily died, apparently a suicide, though many thought she was murdered. Whitfield, who quit writing after the marriage, never escaped the cloud of suspicion surrounding his wife's death. Genre veteran Satterthwait offers his version of what might have happened, jumping back and forth in time to tell the story of the couple's storybook romance and its tragic denouement. The alternate history is completely credible, and the portrayal of a genre star brought down by the high life is addictively readable (especially for its links to Dashiell Hammett, who may have based Nick in The Thin Man on Whitfield). Great fun, particularly for pulp fans. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

From Publishers Weekly:

Having put a fictional spin on Lizzie Borden in Miss Lizzie and Oscar Wilde in Wilde West, Satterthwait ingeniously reimagines another real-life event-the mysterious death of Emily Davies Vanderbilt Thayer Whitfield, the socialite second wife of pulp-fiction writer Raoul Whitfield, at their desert home near Las Vegas, N.Mex., (a ranch called Dead Horse complete with polo field, tennis courts and an unused writer's studio) in the summer of 1935. By that time the couple had separated, and Raoul was living in Los Angeles. The hastily altered death scene, the coroner's verdict of suicide, and the influence of a wealthy and mysterious friend of the Whitfields make any investigation problematic, but Sheriff Tom Delgado doggedly pursues the truth. In spare but effective prose, Satterthwait depicts the Whitfields' flamboyant life together and Raoul's later life alone while raising some interesting conjectures about what was in all probability an unpunished crime.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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