Santa Teresa (fictional city)

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Santa Teresa has been used by several authors as the name of an invented city.

Ross Macdonald[edit]

Santa Teresa was created by Ross Macdonald as a fictionalised version of Santa Barbara, California in his mystery The Moving Target (1949).[1] He used it again in The Galton Case (1959) and in The Underground Man (1971).

Sue Grafton[edit]

In the 1980s, the writer Sue Grafton began using a fictional Santa Teresa as the setting for her novels featuring her lead character Kinsey Millhone, a fictional female private investigator.[2] Millhone is the protagonist of Grafton's "alphabet mysteries" series of novels.[3][4] Grafton chose the setting as a tribute to Macdonald, an acknowledged influence.[5] In the Kinsey Millhone version, the town has a population of 85,000 and has a small airport.

Nearby, Grafton describes a fictional “luxury residential development” laid out on a sprawling expanse of land called Horton Ravine, which “once belonged to one family, but is now divided into million-dollar parcels”. Although the fictional private investigator Kinsey Millhone acknowledges that “rich is rich”, she contrasts “‘new’ money” Horton Ravine to the “‘old’ money” graciousness of nearby Montebello, a thinly-disguised tribute to real-life Montecito, California.[6]

Roberto Bolaño[edit]

Roberto Bolaño set his novel 2666 (2004) in a northern Mexican city called Santa Teresa.[7] The novel features female homicides as central theme, inspired largely by female homicides in Ciudad Juárez. This fictional city had already appeared in his earlier novel The Savage Detectives.[8]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Priestman, Martin (2003). The Cambridge Companion to Crime Fiction. Cambridge University Press. 
  2. ^ Everett, Todd (1991-05-23). "Mystery Town: Whodunit author Sue Grafton lives in Santa Barbara and sets her tales in Santa Teresa". Los Angeles Times. p. J15. 
  3. ^ Hawkes, Ellen (1990-02-18). "G IS FOR GRAFTON Instead of Killing Her Ex-Husband, Sue Grafton Created a Smart-Mouthed, Hard-Boiled (and Incidentally Female) Detective Named Kinsey Millhone". Los Angeles Times Magazine. p. 20. 
  4. ^ Natalie Hevener Kaufman, Carol McGinnis Kay (1997). "G" Is for Grafton: The World of Kinsey Millhone (Hardcover ed.). Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5446-4. 
  5. ^ Nolan, Tom. "Ross Macdonald". BookSense. Archived from the original on May 18, 2008. Retrieved August 5, 2017. 
  6. ^ Grafton, Sue (1982). “A” is for Alibi. Thorndike Press Large Print Famous Authors, 2008, in arrangement with Henry Holt & Company. p. 374-375. ISBN 9781410406811. 
  7. ^ Kirsch, Adam (November 3, 2008). "Slouching Towards Santa Teresa". Slate. 
  8. ^ Zalewski, Daniel (March 26, 2007). "Vagabonds". The New Yorker.