FFB: The Mankiller of Poojegai by Walter Satterthwait

this is the 103rd in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

The Mankiller of Poojegai by Walter Satterthwait © 2007, Crippen & Landru 2007 hardcover – mystery short story collection

the-mankiller-of-poojegai-and-other-stoiriesThis is one of the many fine mystery short story collections published by Crippen & Landru in their two series. The first series is new collections, the second is the Lost Classics books. This is one of the new collections.

I’ve enjoyed many books by Satterthwait over the years, but had not read any of his short stories until this collection until now. This collection has 11 stories and an introduction by the author. Here are stories about the Neanderthal sleuth, Berthold the Mead Master (narrated by his companion Doder); Lord Byron and his days at Missolonghi; Sergeant Andrew Mbutu in modern Africa (particularly good); and contemporary investigators Grober and Joshua Croft. Also a gentle satire on the Golden Age of fictional detecting with an unexpected sleuth, and other stories.

Collections are often up-and-down things, with some very good stories and some not so good ones. Not this one. I liked all but one of these (probably just me) and liked them quite a lot. Satterthwait is an accomplished story teller, and in the short form he manages to create character, setting and a well developed plot in a few pages, not an easy task.

There are only two stories here that feature the same characters, the first, “Murder One” and the final story in the book, “The Mankiller of Poojegai”. The rest are about various other characters. This a fine collection, highly recommended.

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The rest of this week’s Friday Forgotten Book posts
can be found at Evan Lewis’ blog HERE

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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15 Responses to FFB: The Mankiller of Poojegai by Walter Satterthwait

  1. macavityabc says:

    I agree, Rick. We could use some new books by W.S., too.

  2. Richard says:

    Amen to that, Bill. I’d love to get my hands on a new book of his. I hope he’s writing it right now.

  3. cgramlich says:

    Another writer I’m not familiar with. I will have to check it out.

  4. There are plenty of Walter Satterthwait’s works available online. This collection looks good (as are most of volumes publshed by Crippen & Landru). I’ll pick up a copy. Good review!

  5. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Good one. I gave it a very positive review when I read it too. I got a big kick out of those Berthold stories when I first read them (in the CRIME THROUGH TIME anthologies) and have enjoyed all the Satterthwait books I’ve read.

  6. Richard says:

    Walter is a very good writer, my only gripe is that there aren’t enough of his books! I especially like the Beaumont & Turner books, but the Joshua Croft mysteries are great too.

  7. Richard says:

    George, there is even a copy of this book on BookSwap.

  8. John says:

    I am only familiar with WS as a novelist. He wrote a clever one about a Houdini and Conan Doyle. These short stories are tantalizing. Is Berthold the Mead Master a caveman detective? Or are you using Neanderthal in the perjorative sense? And since when did cavemen drink mead? I thought it was a beverage first concocted in the medieval days of the Anglo Saxons.

  9. Richard says:

    John, Berthold is a caveman detective. The drink is mead-like, and that’s his name. The stories are good so just enjoy. The Houdini & Doyle book is Escapade featuring the Pinkerton detectives Beaumont & Turner. Then comes Masquerade and Calalcade, as Jeff notes below.

  10. Jeff Meyerson says:

    ESCAPADE was the first Beaumont book, the locked room mystery with Houdini and Doyle. I read that one. According to Amazon, CAVALCADE is set in 1923 Germany.

  11. Jeff Meyerson says:

    In between the two came MASQUERADE, with Hemingway in 1920’s Paris.

  12. Richard says:

    Ah, you’re right Jeff, I read them in the wrong order so that’s how I remembered it…

  13. Evan Lewis says:

    You had me at “Neanderthal sleuth.”

  14. A new author for me. Since he comes with a high recommendation from you, I am going to check out his books. Thanks, Richard.

  15. Carl V. says:

    That is quite the title. Gotta tell you that this one does sound like a lot of fun just based on your descriptions of some of the characters.

    Its really nice to find a collection where you actually enjoy every story.

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