Arts Literature

Book Feature: The Last of the Swindlers

Peter Loewer, Author

Jean Loewer, artist

Writer, graphic artist, photographer and botanical illustrator Peter Loewer has written his first novel: a mystery set in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains in 1978. Until now, his published books have focused on natural history and gardening, including books on the gardens of Thomas Jefferson and Henry David Thoreau. “I’ve been reading mysteries for relaxation since working in Manhattan 35 years ago and riding a bus once a week from Lake Huntington, NY to Port Authority, NYC, and at day’s end all the way back,” Loewer says. “I started this story after being unable to teach at A-B Tech for over a year. I had to do something to keep my mind alive.”

Loewer once worked as the editor of a small-town newspaper and drew upon that background for The Last of the Swindlers. Despite his many years of experience with writing nonfiction, he found writing fiction more enjoyable for the freedom it allowed. “Hopefully, nobody will notice any difference in the writing,” he says, “except that the characters have morphed from people like Jefferson and Thoreau into questionable religious leaders, dishonest bank presidents and morally uncertain hotel owners, to mention but a few.”

The book’s cover is the work of Loewer’s wife Jean, who also illustrated the three children’s books the couple has published. Loewer has already begun work on another mystery involving his detective Oliver Swindler.

The Last of the Swindlers, May, 2021, mystery, softcover, $17.95, by Peter Loewer, and published by Pisgah Press, LLC, Asheville. Find the book at regional bookstores, including Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café.

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