Josh Pachter was born in 1951 in New York. He earned a BA and an MA, both in Speech, at the University of Michigan. After teaching high school for three years in Michigan and college for two years in Pennsylvania, he moved overseas in 1979 and began offering a wide range of courses for the University of Maryland’s European Division on American Army, Navy and Air Force bases in England, Germany, Holland, Greece, Spain, Bahrain and Pakistan. He moved back to the US in 1991, and taught at Cuyahoga Community College (where he also advised the student newspaper) and Ashland University, both in northeast Ohio, until the spring of 2006. That fall, he took a full-time position in the communication department at the Prince Frederick campus of the College of Southern Maryland. In March of 2007, the campus’ student association named him one of the two winners of its “Peace Prize” for innovative teaching and dedication to education. In the fall of 2011, he accepted a full-time position as a member of the Communication Studies and Theater faculty at Northern Virginia Community College's Loudoun Campus, a position from which he retired after eleven years, in 2022. He still teaches, though, volunteering at the Lifelong Learning Institute of Chesterfield and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, where he teaches classes in film, literature, and communication.
The beautiful and brilliant brunette you see in the photo on this website’s home page is Josh’s daughter Rebecca. Photos from her early years have been magneted to Josh’s Digital Fridge (and there are other family pictures here). In 1989, artist Frank Hamilton did a touching pen-and-ink portrait of Josh and Becca. In 1994, father and daughter were featured on the cover of the Ohio State University Extension’s annual report. For Father’s Day 2000, Becca drew a lovely reproduction of a painting by Henri Matisse. In 2022, Becca's first novel, Steadying the Ark, was published to excellent reviews.
The beautiful and brilliant blonde you see on the home page is Josh's wife Laurie. Laurie earned her BA and MA at the University of Iowa, spent 10 years as a successful freelance writer/editor, and now works as a communication analyst for a government agency in Washington, DC. Their dog Tessa, a collie/terrier mix, was the only dog Josh has ever not been allergic to in his life; she died peacefully on September 25, 2017, at the age of sixteen and a half, having brought an incredible amount of joy into Josh and Laurie's lives.
Josh is also a writer, editor, and translator.
His first short story, written when he was 16, appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine in 1968. Since then, he has published more than a hundred crime stories in magazines and anthologies in the US and around the world. "History on the Bedroom Wall," which Josh and Becca co-authored, appeared in the September/October 2009 issue of EQMM. Six years later, "Coffee Date," which Josh and Laurie co-authored, appeared in the October 9, 2015, issue of The Saturday Evening Post. The Tree of Life, a collection of all 10 of his Mahboob Chaudri stories, was published by Wildside Press in 2015 and is available from Amazon in paperback and as an e-book. His 2018 story "50" won second place in the EQMM Reader Award competition, and another 2018 story, "If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Murder," was a finalist for the Short Mystery Fiction Society's Derringer Award in the Best Short Story category. In 2020, "The Two-Body Problem" won the Derringer in the Best Flash Story category and Josh was awarded the Edward D. Hoch Memorial Golden Derringer for Lifetime Achievement, making him the first person to receive that award and win a competitive Derringer in the same year. In 2022, Crippen and Landru published "The Adventures of the Puzzle Club and Other Stories", which collected for the first time anywhere the original five Puzzle Club stories by Ellery Queen and Josh's five Puzzle Club pastiches, plus the four stories featuring Josh's Griffen family.
He has edited and/or co-edited a dozen anthologies (for publishers in the US, England, Holland, Germany, France, Finland, and Brazil), including the popular Authors’ Choice series. His most recent editorial projects include The Misadventures of Ellery Queen (Wildside Press, 2018), The Man Who Read Mysteries: The Short Fiction of William Brittain (Crippen & Landru, 2018), Amsterdam Noir (Akashic Books, 2019), The Beat of Black Wings: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Joni Mitchell (Untreed Reads, 2020), The Misadventures of Nero Wolfe (Mysterious Press, 2020), The Great Filling Station Holdup: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Jimmy Buffett (Down and Out Books, 2021), Only the Good Die Young: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Billy Joel (Untreed Reads, 2021), Monkey Business: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Films of the Marx Brothers (Untreed Reads, 2021), The Man Who Solved Mysteries: More Short Fiction by William Brittain (Crippen & Landru, 2022), and Paranoia Blues: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Paul Simon (Down and Out Books, 2022).
Finally, he’s translated both fiction and nonfiction from a number of languages (primarily Dutch) into English. His translation of Janwillem van de Wetering’s short story, “There Goes Ravelaar,” won a special award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1986 and his translation of Hilde Vandermeeren's “The Lighthouse” was a Derringer finalist in 2017.
See Bibliography for a complete listing of Josh's publications. And, if you want to know about his interests outside publishing, the classroom and his family, visit his Links page.
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