Review: Satin Pumps: the Moonlit Murder that Mesmerized a Nation by Steve Kosareff

Posted February 5, 2021 by Stephanie in Nonfiction, Reviews / 9 Comments

Title: Satin Pumps: the Moonlit Murder that Mesmerized a Nation
Author: Steve Kosareff
Publication: February 2nd 2021 by WildBlue Press
Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime
Find it on: Amazon
Rating: 3/5★


It was the midcentury murder that fascinated a nation and kept it glued for two years to radio, television and newspapers through three trials.

Did the handsome, wealthy doctor and his beautiful young paramour plan to kill his glamorous socialite wife?

Or did the gun accidentally discharge as he claimed?

Early in the evening on July 18, 1959, Dr. Bernard Finch and his girlfriend, Carole Ann Tregoff, drove from their Las Vegas love-nest to the Finch home in the Los Angeles suburb of West Covina to speak to his wife Barbara about obtaining a speedy divorce in Nevada. But the plan went awry and the conversation turned deadly with Barbara’s lifeless body ending up in her in-laws’ backyard next door.

After a high-speed chase with police, Finch was arrested the next morning in Las Vegas and charged with Barbara’s murder. Then, during his court hearing in West Covina, Carole was arrested on the witness stand and charged as his accomplice.

Soon others were named as part of a larger conspiracy. But who were they and what parts did they play in these deadly events?

Set against the midcentury CinemaScope glamour of Hollywood, Las Vegas and Palm Springs, “Satin Pumps: The Moonlit Murder That Mesmerized The Nation”​ is a true crime memoir written by former Finch patient, screenwriter and author Steve Kosareff.

First of all before I properly start this review, I’m not gonna reiterate what excactly happened in the true crime case that’s being covered in this book since you can read all about that in the synopsis above but I’ve got to say that even though it was a completely unknown case to me I still think it was highly fascinating.

So this book is written by an author named Steve Kosareff that actually had Bernard Finch as his doctor when he was little so that alone gives this book a unique angle as it is sort of a memoir. I actually really liked this particular aspect of the book and I also enjoyed the author’s sense of humor that at times came up and lightened the mood a little.

Now the reason why I didn’t give this a higher rating was that it did take me a couple of chapters to really get in the book. I just had to get used to the writing style and the way the author suddenly wrote about his own memories, although I came to like that more later on. I also thought that even though it isn’t a super long book that towards the end it became long-winded and even bothering on being a little tedious even.

But to end this review on a more positive note, I thought that although a bit long in the end, Satin Pumps: the Moonlit Murder that Mesmerized a Nation was a very well-written and obviously extensively researched true crime book.

9 responses to “Review: Satin Pumps: the Moonlit Murder that Mesmerized a Nation by Steve Kosareff

  1. The author’s memories and connection to the case are an interesting addition, and even though it wasn’t a perfect read, I’m glad you found things to enjoy!

  2. verushka

    The name of the book makes me want to laugh and makes me want to read it at the same time. What an interesting premise!

  3. Honestly, that book title wins the day! I’m just wondering whether that specific title + specific book cover is going to appeal to fans for crime memoirs or not. Haha. I badly need you to drop some spoilers now — does the author figure out the murderer or not? Or is it, perhaps it was A but can’t prove it beyond reasonable doubt.

  4. I don’t think I could really read too much true crime because while horror fiction works for me, true horrors scare me far too much. But this could be a maybe read because it if is framed as a memoir maybe I could fool myself into being less scared by it all.

    Olivia Roach recently posted: January Wrap Up [2021]
  5. Ladies, thanks for your interest in SATIN PUMPS. You might also be interested in seeing the short promotional film I created for the book which includes clips from my family’s home movies and photos of the Finch-Tregoff case at:

    View by copying and pasting the link above in your browser.


    Steve Kosareff

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