About Me

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Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada
I am a lawyer in Melfort, Saskatchewan, Canada who enjoys reading, especially mysteries. Since 2000 I have been writing personal book reviews. This blog includes my reviews, information on and interviews with authors and descriptions of mystery bookstores I have visited. I strive to review all Saskatchewan mysteries. Other Canadian mysteries are listed under the Rest of Canada. As a lawyer I am always interested in legal mysteries. I have a separate page for legal mysteries. Occasionally my reviews of legal mysteries comment on the legal reality of the mystery. You can follow the progression of my favourite authors with up to 15 reviews. Each year I select my favourites in "Bill's Best of ----". As well as current reviews I am posting reviews from 2000 to 2011. Below my most recent couple of posts are the posts of Saskatchewan mysteries I have reviewed alphabetically by author. If you only want a sentence or two description of the book and my recommendation when deciding whether to read the book look at the bold portion of the review. If you would like to email me the link to my email is on the profile page.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Who is Susan Wolfe?

My last post was a review of The Last Billable Hour by Susan Wolfe. After reading the book I was interested in reading more mysteries by Ms. Wolfe. It has proven impossible. My search across the internet found The Last Billable Hour was the only mystery written by her. 

Her name is common enough that searches pull up lots of Susan Wolfe's with several of them being authors. 

On goodreads.com there are The Last Billable Hour, Promised Hand, The Deer from Ponchatoula and From the Ground Up: Building Silicon Valley. Only The Last Billable Hour is a mystery. The Promised Hand is a “turn of the century” story about an arranged marriage. The Deer from Ponchatoula is a children’s story. From the Ground Up: Building Silicon Valley is essentially the story of the primary author and architect, Goodwin Steinberg. 

There are also numerous books by Susan J. Wolfe and then there is Australian author, Sue Wolfe. 

On Amazon the Susan Wolfe who wrote The Promised Hand is set out: 

Susan Wolfe, an award-winning author and community leader, is a graduate of Stanford University and the prestigious Wexner Heritage Foundation Seminar in Jewish studies. Her professional honors include the Kathryn D. Hansen Publication Award for 1994. The author of three previous works, Ms. Wolfe and her family live in Palo Alto, CA

On alibris.com Susan Wolfe is described as: 

Wolfe is an award winning author and community leader, and is a graduate of Stanford University and the prestigious Wexner Heritage Foundation program in Jewish studies.

The Susan Wolfe who is listed as writing From the Ground Up: Building Silicon Valley with Steinberg is reported to have been born in 1950.

Google has the Susan Wolfe who wrote The Last Billable Hour and The Promised Hand to also be born in 1950.

At the same time on Linkedin the Susan Wolfe who was a co-author on From the Ground Up: Building Silicon Valley it states:

Susan holds a degree in communication from Stanford University and was selected in the first cohort of the esteemed Wexner Heritage Foundation program in the Bay Area. After a career in newspaper and television reporting, Susan served as assistant director of the Stanford Centennial Celebration, responsible for marketing and communications. Her professional honors include an award for her television public service campaign for the Stanford Centennial and, for one of her books, the national Kathryn D. Hansen Publication Award. Among her other published books, From the Ground Up: Building Silicon Valley, co-authored with the late Goodwin Steinberg, FAIA, was published in 2002 by Stanford University Press.

No degree as a lawyer is mentioned.

Her work history states:

Susan Wolfe, an award-winning author and community leader, began her tenure as an Associate Director at the Hoover Institution in January of 2011. Previously, she served the Koret Foundation since 2003, most recently as Director of Grantmaking Programs and Communications.

In a short line of posts on a discussion on Amazon the participants say that Susan Wolfe worked in law and business, did not write a sequel, retired in 2007 and is working on another book.

The last post from Hermia this past summer states:

Susan is working on another novel. It's not a continuation of this series, but it is, so far, very enjoyable. Not quite ready for market yet.

I am not really sure if I have been describing the same Susan Wolfe or two different Susan Wolfes. Maybe a reader can help me. It is surprising to me that it is so difficult to be clear on the author who won the Edgar in 1990 for best new mystery novel.

I hope she does write another mystery shortly so that the mystery of the real Susan Wolfe can be solved.


  1. What an interesting mystery, Bill! To be honest, I hadn't really been familiar with her before reading your blog post, so I can't be of help. As you say, though it's hard to believe that there's not more on her given today's Internet. I'd be really interested if you do find out more.

  2. I wouldn't use Goodreads as a source for ANYTHING. That website is rife with bibliographic errors and is notorious for borrowing everything from author bios to photos and scans of books without attribution. I have found combined bibliographies of two different people who share the same name at both Goodreads and amazon.com. Happens a lot. Amazon owns Goodreads. Enough said.

    You ought to write to the original publisher St. Martin's Press and see if they can put you in touch with the author herself. That's the route I'd take. Reference books are what I always turn to first for author bibliographies, but Wolfe's book published in 1989 falls outside the date range of my prime reference book. My interest you know is in vintage and not contemporary crime fiction. I did, however, check worldcat.org (an international library database) and found only one novel written by Susan Wolfe between 1989 and 2000. My guess is though she most likely did write that non-fiction work about Silicon Valley she probably never wrote another novel.

    1. John: Thanks for the comment and your advice. I think your guess is most likely correct.

  3. I am very intrigued by your detective work Bill. I think I remember trying to find more by her when I'd read Billable Hour, but failed at the first fence - you are more tenacious. Keep us informed if you find out more!

    1. Moira: Thanks for the comment. I will post more if I find more. At the moment I am out of search ideas.

  4. I would call or email Felony and Mayhem Press, which published The Last Billable Hour in paperback in 2005, and ask about Susan Wolfe.

    I checked paperback swap which lists three books written by Susan Wolfe: The Last Billable Hour, The Promised Hand and From the Ground Up.

    At a website about Susan Wolfe who wrote From the Ground Up, it says she is an archiect and founded an architectural firm. At Amazon, the blurb with The Last Billable Hour says she is a lawyer.

    It sounds like this is a case of two Susan Wolfes (Or "Wolves"?) but I'd try Felony and Mayhem Press.

  5. Kathy D.: Thanks for the comment. I looked Felony and Mayhem Press online and they had neither Susan Wolfe nor The Last Billable Hour listed. I will think about emailing them.

  6. Hi guys! I'm happy to tell you that Susan is indeed coming out with another book. She returned to her law career after *The Last Billable Hour*, but now she has another mystery ready to go. (You're right that she's not the same Susan Wolfe who is an architect, or the other books listed above.) I had the delightful privilege of reading the mss, and it's a treat. Look for *Escape Velocity* this spring!

    1. Leslie: Thank you for the information. I look forward to Escape Velocity.