Laura Winslow

Created by David Cole (1936-2015)

LAURA WINSLOW is a rather unique addition to he growing field of Native-American sleuths. She's a pill-popping, bed-hopping Hopi high-tech private detective who has some real hang-ups and doubts about her heritage. She specializes in hacking onto the electronic trail of people who want to stay lost, a sort of cyber version of Thomas Perry's Jane Whitefield, but in reverse.

Laura's a modern girl, for better or worse, and she doesn't put much stock in the old ways, and would rather not hear about visions of Powakas or Navajo skinwalkers-- or anything else that will kick up memories of her old life as "Kauwanyauma" back on the "rez" in Arizona.

In her powerful debut, Butterfly Lost (2000), she finds herself confronting both her past and the macho world of the rodeo circuit while trying to track down an elderly Hopi's granddaughter. The final book in the series, Falling Down (2005), was a Shamus Award finalist.

A graduate of Michigan Technological University with a degree in electrical engineering, the author also had degrees in English and Creative Writing from San Diego State University and was a doctoral student of Drama at Stanford University. He lived in Syracuse, New York, but according to his obituarry "he had a deep love of the Southwest, where his seven novels were set. Tucson [Arizona] was his second home. David lived his life to the fullest, he was a multi-dimensional man. He was a trained engineer, an actor, a technical writer, a teacher of computer software, a musician, as well as a published author."

The author worked for several years for NativeWeb, Inc., a non-profit corporation offering Internet services and information to Native and Indigenous peoples of the world. He was one of the founding members of the collective, which was chosen as one of the top twenty Humanities sites on the Internet by the National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) EDSitement website.


  • "My writing has always been politically motivated. Quite frankly, I chose the mystery format because it was a good-selling market, and I could wrap my politics around the plot. And in a very real sense, mysteries are one of the last remaining genres where morality plays a central role. I want "good" to triumph. As much as I admire Elmore Leonard's talent, I often have difficulty separating the moral centers of his characters who survive from those who don't."

-- David Cole


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith. Thanks, Jan, as always.

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