Sandy Moffett, "The Ghost of Craven Snuggs: A Midwestern Murder Mystery" (Ice Cube Press, 2022)


Today I talked to the wonderful Sandy Moffett. Sandy joined the Grinnell faculty in 1971 and teaches Acting, Directing and American Theatre. Although now Emeritus, he continues to teach and direct when called upon. He is also devoted to conservation and prairie restoration and has been responsible for the restoration and preservation of nearly 900 acres of native grassland and woodland in Poweshiek and Mahaska Counties. Sandy writes short stories and songs and performs with the Too Many String Band.

We talked about how Sandy got to Grinnell, his many years experience directing Grinnell students in many, many productions, and his extensive work preserving Iowa's tall grass prairie. We also discuss his new book The Ghost of Craven Snuggs: A Midwestern Murder Mystery (Ice Cube Press, 2022). Here's a short description of the book: "Early one November, portraits of the Chief Executives of three major midwestern meat-producing corporations and the governor of Iowa go missing. These incidents seem minor until the dead bodies of the three CEOs are discovered in the hog lots and chicken factories that they own. The governor remains alive but terrified. He immediately orders the state department of criminal investigation to drop all other duties to protect him. The job of investigating the thefts and murders falls to the small, understaffed, sheriff’s department. Initial suspects—a disgruntled young biology professor who has resigned to protest the state university’s support of large-scale meat production, the widows of the deceased who seem a bit too delighted to be rid of their husbands, and an 80-year-old army
veteran who is valiantly fighting the proliferation of CAFOs in her township. The sheriff and his deputies are left with a single clue: an ancient pickup truck that belonged to Craven Snuggs, a fierce opponent of large-scale industrial agriculture, who died in a mysterious fire years earlier. The investigation takes a makeshift posse through the woods, prairies, and crop fields of Nachawinga County." 

Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at

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Marshall Poe

Marshall Poe is the founder and editor of the New Books Network. He can be reached at

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