Mystery Authors You May Have Missed
Eliot Pattison

Photo of Eliot Pattison

Pattison was born in 1951 in Philadelphia, one of three children. He attended Indiana University and then received a law degree from Boston University. He is married with three children and lives in Pennsylvania. A world traveler, he has visited every continent except Antarctica, going often to China and its neighboring countries.

What he writes: Pattison began writing when he was an international lawyer, first covering business and legal topics, but then changed to fiction in the 1990s. In fiction, he was able to express his interest in Tibet and China. His Inspector Shan mysteries revolve around the political situation in Tibet and the harsh treatment many Tibetans have received at the hands of the Chinese. Inspector Shan is a Chinese official encarcerated among many Tibetan policital prisoners. Pattison’s second series takes place in 18th century America and involves the clash between the European colonists, the Native American tribes, and the Scottish prisoners transported by the British. Both series are filled with details and delve deep into the characters’ motivations and spiritual beliefs. The plots are complex and readers must pay attention to fully appreciate what is occurring.


List of works
Inspector Shan series
  The Skull Mantra (1999)  
  Water Touching Stone (2001)  
  Bone Mountain (2002)  
  Beautiful Ghosts (2004)  
  Prayer of the Dragon (2007)  
  The Lord of Death (2009)  
Bone Rattler series
  Bone Rattler (2008)  
  Eye of the Raven (2009)  


Edgar Award for Best First Novel, for The Skull Mantra; Poe First Novel Award, 2000, for The Skull Mantra; finalist: Golden Dagger Award (England); IMPAC DUBLIN literary award (Ireland).

What the critics say
"Pattison writes with confident knowledge and spare, graceful prose." - Library Journal
"Another relentlessly tense and convoluted adventure of tyranny, crime, and spirituality." - Booklist
" "Stories wrapped around other stories brocaded with abundant local color and told with leisure and elegance form a heady literary tapestry." - Kirkus Reviews


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