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Page history last edited by Randal Brandt 1 week, 3 days ago


Aaron, Chester.

Whispers. Zumaya Publications, 2004; Zumaya Enigma, 2009.

| setting: East Bay | tpo |

Summary: A series of brutal rapes strikes a tiny Jesuit-run college, and award-winning college journalist Eve Gallagher is shocked to discover the administration is determined to keep the matter buried in silence. As she fights to bring the crimes into the open and the perpetrator to justice, Eve is driven to solve another riddle that was buried in silence years before: the truth about what happened to her sweet, disabled sister Tessa, a secret that has haunted her for most of her life. Set on the campus of the fictional Saint Catherine’s College in an unnamed East Bay city. Rape victims are treated at Highland Hospital in Oakland.

Murder by Metaphor. Zumaya Enigma, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo |


Abbott, Jeff.

Downfall. Grand Central Publishing, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sam Capra | find it |


Abbott, Keith.

Rhino Ritz: An American Mystery. Blue Wind Press, 1979.

| setting: San Francisco; Paris | find it |


Abbott. Victoria.

The Hammett Hex. Berkley Prime Crime, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jordan Bingham (A Book Collector Mystery) | pbo | find it |

Summary: On a getaway to the City by the Bay, book collector Jordan Bingham becomes entangled in a mystery with more twists than Lombard Street.... Jordan has been able to swing a romantic trip to San Francisco with Officer Tyler "Smiley" Dekker on one condition -- she must return with a rare copy of Dashiell Hammett's Red Harvest for her irascible employer, Vera Van Alst. For his own part, Smiley is full of surprises. He's a Dashiell devotee himself -- excited to be in the city of Hammett's hard-boiled heroes like Sam Spade and the Continental Op -- and also announces he plans to visit his previously unmentioned estranged grandmother, who lives in an old Victorian on Telegraph Hill. But the trip goes downhill fast when Jordan is pushed from a cable car and barely escapes death. And when a dark sedan tries to run the couple down, it's clear someone's after them-but who? Just like in Hammett's world, nothing is quite what it seems....


Abramo, J.L.

Catching Water in a Net. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jake Diamond | find it |

Summary: Los Angeles private eye Jimmy Pigeon is murdered, and his former protégée in the shamus business, Jake Diamond, is determined to find out why. Diamond—now operating in San Francisco—soon discovers that Pigeon was in a business dispute with his partner, Harry Harding, about whether to sell their Internet bounty-hunting business, Ex-Con.com. When Harding is also murdered, Diamond becomes a suspect. Forced to solicit help from two mob bosses and his ex-wife’s family, dodge the thugs of another gangster, and keep the police at bay, Diamond goes on the lam, running between San Francisco and Los Angeles as he searches for the real murderer. This novel was the winner of the 2000 Private Eye Writers of America/St. Martin’s Press Award for Best First Private Eye Novel.

Clutching at Straws. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2003.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jake Diamond | find it |

Summary: Lefty Wright breaks into Judge Chancellor’s empty house easy as pie. He has no clue about why he is being paid such a handsome sum for doing it, but the job description didn’t mention the corpse of a prominent criminal court judge lying halfway under the bed. Charged with murder, Lefty contacts San Francisco private investigator Jake Diamond. Jake takes the case, but it soon leads down a series of side paths that sprawl out from Lefty’s prison cell like the tentacles of an octopus.

Counting to Infinity. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2004.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jake Diamond | find it |

Summary: San Francisco private investigator Jake Diamond is forcibly persuaded to meet Max Lansdale for a job he can’t refuse. Max wants Jake to find Harry Chandler who was reported dead in a shoot-out. Max says that a private investigator reported to him that he ran into Harry. The reason Jake is chosen for the job is that his mentor and associate Jimmy Pigeon reported that Harrison died. Max believes that the mantle has passed to Jake. Max wants to find Chandler because he killed Max’s brother Randolph. When Jake returns to San Francisco his trusty associate Darlene tells him that Max is connected to the mob. Jake buys time to figure out how to handle the situation because Max has threatened Darlene and his ex-wife and lover if he doesn’t get results. When he finally meets with Chandler, an unknown person kills Harry. Soon after a bomb goes off in Jake’s apartment, killing Sally and injuring Jake. When he recovers, Jake and his friends put into motion a plan to bring Max down.

Circling the Runway. Down & Out Books, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jake Diamond | tpo | find it |

Summary: Private Investigator Jacob Diamond and San Francisco Detective Sergeant Roxton Johnson are famous for not getting along. Cats and dogs. Oil and water. Liston and Ali. Jake and Rocky. When an assistant district attorney is murdered in his high-rise apartment building, and Johnson suspects his lieutenant may have something to do with it, he can think of no one else to turn to for help-no one he can trust-except Jake Diamond. If the mismatched duo can avoid stepping on each other's toes long enough-they may be able to stop circling the runway and land on the villain's doorstep. Lieutenant Laura Lopez, Detective Ray Boyle, Joey Clams, Vinnie Strings and Darlene Roman are all back in the first new Jake Diamond escapade since Counting to Infinity.


Abramson, Mark

Beach Reading. Lethe Press, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro) | series character: Tim Snow (Beach reading series 1) | tpo | find it |

Cold Serial Murder. Lethe Press, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro) | series character: Tim Snow (Beach reading series 2) | tpo | find it |

Russian River Rat. Lethe Press, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro), Russian River Region | series character: Tim Snow (Beach reading series 3) | tpo | find it |

Snowman. Lethe Press, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro) | series character: Tim Snow (Beach reading series 4) | tpo | find it |

Wedding Season. Lethe Press, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro) | series character: Tim Snow (Beach reading series 5) | tpo | find it |

Summary: When San Francisco’s cattiest television personality Rosa Rivera sponsors a gay wedding contest, Tim Snow’s boyfriend begins pressuring him to get hitched. Life for his friends in the Castro becomes comic and chaotic as the lavish ceremony is promised to be held at the restaurant where Tim works. Meanwhile, his beloved Aunt Ruth has been harboring a homeless woman. Is she protecting her nephew from some family secret? As the city’s golden boys walk about shirtless in dapper collar n’ cuffs with the annual Gay Pride Parade, the drama and the laughs intensify. Will Rosa’s meltdown bring the parade to a standstill? Who is being sent to a ritzy detox center?

California Dreamers. Lethe Press, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro) | series character: Tim Snow (Beach reading series 6) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Tim Snow is recruited along with other HIV patients for an experiment with Neutriva, an AIDS drug with the peculiar side effects of enhancing dreams and expanding latent psychic abilities. The team enters a trance-like state ostensibly in order to predict and prevent suicides from the Golden Gate Bridge. But is something sinister going on with these trials? Warnings come from all directions, including from an elderly fortune teller named Malvina who has been plying her trade from a storefront in the Mission District for decades. And who is the mysterious young man who saves the life of Tim’s employer?

Love Rules. Lethe Press, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro) | series character: Tim Snow (Beach reading series 7) | tpo | find it |


Acker, Rick

The Lost Treasure of Fernando Montoya. Kregel Publications, 2003.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Arthur and Kristin Davis (The Davis Detective Mysteries 2) | juvenile | find it |

Summary: While on vacation in San Francisco, sibling sleuths Arthur and Kirstin Davis are hired by Michael Franklin, a friend of their Uncle Connie, to investigate a lost treasure, putting at risk Franklin’s family business and, perhaps, Kirstin’s life.


Adams, Alina.

Murder on Ice. Berkley Prime Crime, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Bex Levy (A figure skating mystery 1) | pbo | find it |

Summary: Since starting her research job at Network 24/7, Bex Levy has had to learn everything there was to know about figure skating. That way when TV commentators Francis and Diana Howarth are commenting on a live show they have all the needed material at their fingertips. At the World Figure Skating Championship in San Francisco, everyone expects cute Erin Simpson to take the gold. When the final results are tabulated, the Russian girl Xenia Trubin wins the top prize. The fans, the TV commentators and Erin’s mother all say that Erin was cheated out of the gold. The four Russian judges voted for Xenia and the four western judges voted for Erin. The tie-breaker vote was cast by Italian Judge Silvana Potenza who later was found murdered in the refrigerator room of the ice skating rink. The director of 24/7 tells Bex that if she wants a job next year she has to figure out who the killer is, which leaves her skating on thin ice.


Adams, Chandra.

Shades of Retribution. Adrolite Press, 2004.

| setting: Oakland | tpo | find it |


Adams, Cleve F.

Up Jumped the Devil. Reynal & Hitchcock, 1943.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Rex McBride | Baird & Greenwood 13; Hubin; Herron | find it |

Summary: Los Angeles private eye Rex McBride is in San Francisco on the trail of a stolen diamond necklace. Shortly after checking in to his Market Street hotel, McBride returns to his room to find a dead man in residence. The cops think he knows more about the killing than he is letting on and McBride tangles with ex-cons, mob thugs, gamblers, high society dames, government agents, and Nazi spies before uncovering the killer (and recovering the necklace). Along the way, he reveals a distinct love-hate relationship with the city of San Francisco: “McBride got to his feet … ‘Listen, you bastard! I had the misfortune to be born in Los Angeles, but I’m getting tired of paying for it every time I land in this lousy town of yours. Even your cab drivers take it as a personal affront if I inadvertently say Frisco instead of San Francisco. You are so smug you still think this is the only city on the Pacific Coast, and you’re too dumb to look in the census books and find out different … And, since you ask me, I will tell you the God’s truth about your conventions, your bridges and your town. I don’t like them.’ (p. 17)”; “McBride looked out at the slowly darkening sky. Lights were beginning to come on all around the bay; over in Oakland and Alameda across the Bay Bridge; over in Sausalito across the Golden Gate. Out in the middle, Alcatraz Island was a sour note, as gloomy and forbidding as ever. The rest of it was pretty beautiful, and McBride was a little regretful of some of the unpleasant things he had said about San Francisco. (p. 93)”


Addonizio, Kim.

My Dreams Out in the Street. Simon & Schuster, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Summary: Rita Jackson is a young woman on the skids, spending her time in shelters and on the dot-com-drunk streets of late 1990s San Francisco. She’s a young woman haunted by the murder of her mother when she was thirteen, and a young bride haunted by the disappearance of her husband, Jimmy, who split after a nasty argument more than a year earlier. Together Jimmy and Rita were slipping into drugs and hard times. Rita is filled with feelings of guilt and failure, and the hope that she will one day find Jimmy. She doesn’t know that he is still in the city, still in love with her, waiting tables in an expensive restaurant while trying to get a foothold in the straight life. When Rita witnesses the aftermath of a murder, her own life is endangered. She becomes involved with Gary Shepard, a married criminal investigator drawn to the dark side of this young woman. What unfolds is a story of three flawed people struggling with themselves as much as with their circumstances, as each of them is pulled more deeply and dangerously into the consequences of their decisions. When a drunken night leads Jimmy to jeopardize his second and last chance, it seems unlikely that these sweet, damaged people will ever come to anything, let alone find and—miracle of miracles—save one another.


Aden, Elizabeth Reed.

The Goldilocks Genome. SparkPress, 2024.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: When San Francisco-based FDA epidemiologist Dr. Carrie Hediger uncovers a rash of unexplained deaths while investigating the suspiciously convenient death of her best friend, she becomes determined to find answers -- even if it leads her to a murderer, and even if confronting authority, using her wiles, and bending the rules to get justice risks her future in the FDA. To unravel the puzzle, Carrie assembles a team: some talented post-doctoral fellows, a quirky pharmacologist, an unctuous chemist, and a skeptical FBI agent that she can't help her attraction for. Together, they follow the data through the twists and turns, eventually uncovering that the Goldilocks effect in prescription drugs -- the premise that people are inclined to seek 'just the right amount' of something -- is central to understanding these mysterious deaths. Through the twists and turns, Carrie and her team enter a race to uncover the truth... and catch a killer.


Adler, Elizabeth.

The Secret of the Villa Mimosa. Delacorte Press, 1995.


Adler, M. A.

In the Shadow of Lies. She Writes Press, 2014.

| setting: Richmond (1940s) | series character: Oliver Wright | tpo | find it |


Ahern, June.

City of Remption. Self-published, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (1967) | tpo |

Summary: Flower power ignites into fire power when Liz MacKay, a lonely young woman, entangles herself in a treacherous plot and murder during the Summer of Love. City of Redemption tells of the dark underbelly of the '60's. It is a vividly recounted suspenseful story where lies, betrayal, sex, drugs and murder lead to a woman's imprisonment.


Aiken, Albert W.

The Frisco Detective, or, The Golden Gate Find: A Story of Five Millions of Dollars. Banner Weekly, nos. 163-175, 1885-1886.

| setting: San Francisco | Johannsen BW163; Baird & Greenwood 25; Herron | dime novel | re-issued as a trade paperback: Dark Lantern Tales, 2018 |

Summary: San Francisco, California, 1873: Andrew De Lormé is a young attorney with more education than wealth, and he interrupts his Bohemian way of life to become involved with an alluring stage actress. Then a British gentleman arrives in San Francisco trying to find his dead brother's long lost child. This child, who would now be a young adult, is in line to inherit $5,000,000. Of course, several parties are all too ready to help find the missing heir! De Lormé is soon deeply involved in searching through the seamiest parts of San Francisco and the Flats of the Stanislaus, where gold was still being mined. He meets challenges with fists and firearms, but no one is prepared for the shocking results of his search! Originally published serially in thirteen consecutive issues of The Banner Weekly (formerly Beadle’s Weekly) published between December 26, 1885 and March 20, 1886.


Aiken, Ednah.

If Today Be Sweet. Dodd, Mead and Company, 1923.

Love and I. Dodd, Mead and Company, 1928.

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 35; Hubin | find it |

Summary: Marcia Robbins receives a message that her husband Howard is setting up an apartment in San Francisco. His business frequently keeps him overnight in the city, away from their Woodside home. When Warren Gaunt, a “bachelor lawyer” who represents the family, learns that Marcia has gone to surprise her husband at the new apartment, he knows immediately what Marcia does not—the apartment is not for her; it is a love-nest for Robbins (the “love-pirate”) and his latest mistress. Shortly after she enters the apartment, shots are fired. When Gaunt reaches the bedroom he finds Robbins dead, a girl on the bed, Marcia in shock, and an automatic on the floor. Not knowing who pulled the trigger, but seeking to protect Marcia at all costs, Gaunt quickly positions the gun to suggest suicide and convinces the women to concoct a story that the girl is the new governess. After installing everyone—the girl included—back at the Woodside home, Gaunt launches an investigation into the girl’s background that takes him to San Diego, Pasadena, and Santa Barbara, and uncovers some unsavory family secrets along the way.


Alameddine, Rabih.

The Angel of History. Atlantic Monthly Press, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Summary: Yemeni-born poet Jacob revisits the events of his life, from his maternal upbringing in an Egyptian whorehouse to his adolescence under the aegis of his wealthy father and his life as a gay Arab man in San Francisco at the height of AIDS. Hovered over by the presence of alluring, sassy Satan who taunts Jacob to remember his painful past and dour, frigid Death who urges him to forget and give up on life, Jacob is also attended to by 14 saints.


Alexander, Brandon.

Kiss of Darkness. Pocket Pulse, 2000.

| setting: San Francisco | based on the television series Charmed, created by Constance M. Burge | pbo |


Alexander, Jan.

The Jade Figurines. Curtis Books, 1973. [pbo]


Alexander, Karl.

Time After Time. Delacorte Press, 1979.

| setting: San Francisco, London | science fiction (time travel) | Hubin | find it |


Alexander, Susan.

Red Diana. Self-published, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo |

Summary: When 8-year-old Davi is abducted on Market Street in San Francisco, her mother, lawyer Karen Clark, is gripped by fear. Karen has moved to the city from Chicago hoping to make a fresh start after the death of her husband. The abductor, disguising his voice, calls Karen and reveals where he's left Davi. Karen and her friend Abby rush to find Davi, cruelly left alone in a barren parking lot -- but unharmed. Karen's panic subsides until she finds a crude note pinned to Davi's shirt: "You're next, Karen." Haunted by the note naming her as the next victim, Karen begins working with SFPD Detective Greg Chan to discover who abducted her daughter -- and why. Their only clues are Davi's recall of a brown sofa and the words "RED DIANA".


Allan, Joan.

Who’s on First? Kensington Publishing Corp., 1979. [pbo]


Allende, Isabel.

Ripper. Harper, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |


Allison, Jennifer.

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator. Sleuth/Dutton, 2005.

| setting: San Francisco | juvenile | find it |

Summary: During the summer before ninth grade, intrepid Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter and his thirteen-year-old daughter, where she uses her purported psychic abilities and detective skills to solve the mystery of the mansion’s boarded-up tower.


Altstatt, Susan.

Belshangles. Fithian Press, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco; Sierra Nevada | tpo | find it |

Summary: The day after his concert tour closes in San Francisco, Tommi Rhymer, frontman of the English band Belshangles, comes to in a wilderness cabin. He has no clue where he is, or how he got there. In the loft above him lies fifteen-year-old Miranda "Andy" Falconer. Her perfect day at the Belshangles concert went horribly wrong when her idol passed out in the alley behind his San Francisco hotel, in a state of undress with two under-age girls. But she knows rescuing him to her parents' Sierra cabin was the right thing to do. What she doesn't know are the physical and emotional effects of cold turkey withdrawal. Now Andy's on her own in the deep woods, faced with a sick, furious, potentially violent man. She'll need physical and spiritual resources she never knew she had to care for, outwit, and eventually outrun Tommi, before sanity and sense of humor return, and he recognizes the chance she's offered him to put his life in order.


Alverson, Charles.

Goodey’s Last Stand. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1975.

| setting: San Francisco (North Beach, Chinatown) | series character: Joe Goodey | Hubin; Herron; 1001 Midnights p. 17-18 | find it |

Summary: After accidentally mistaking the mayor’s cousin for a gunman and shooting him, Joe Goodey’s career as a San Francisco police detective is over. But, his boss offers him a deal that he cannot refuse: resign from the force and get out of town, preferably go to Mexico for six months, then, after things cool down, return and start his second career as a private detective. But Goodey’s exile from San Francisco is short-lived. He is summoned back to the city to investigate the death of Tina D’Oro, San Francisco’s most popular topless dancer. Joe knew Tina slightly, but the mayor, Sanford F. Kolchick, was a much more intimate friend of the stripper. Kolchick wants the murder solved quickly and with his name left out of the investigation. As he uncovers Tina’s mysterious past, Goodey’s investigation takes him from the strip clubs of North Beach to the alleys of Chinatown; from a night in jail to a nursing home to interview an aging gangster; from the office of an unscrupulous plastic surgeon to the mayor’s luxurious home (inexplicably located in Tiburon in Marin County—doesn’t San Francisco have residency requirements for elected officials?). Along the way, Joe discovers that a girl like Tina can never truly escape her past … and that he’s a pretty good private eye.

Not Sleeping, Just Dead. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1977.

| setting: San Francisco, Monterey County | series character: Joe Goodey | Herron | find it |

Summary: San Francisco private eye Joe Goodey is hired to investigate the mysterious death of a young woman, Katie Pierce, at a commune, called The Institute, near Big Sur, in Monterey County. Katie’s grandfather, Frederick Melhuish Crenshaw, is not satisfied when his granddaughter’s death is ruled an accident—she fell from the roof of a building on The Institute’s property—and he asks Goodey to prove that someone gave her a push. The Institute is presided over by the charismatic Hugo Fischer, who has seemingly absolute power over The Institute’s residents. When J.B. Carter, the eccentric millionaire who owns the property, is found dead at the bottom of a cliff, Carter’s widow, Emma, hires Goodey to investigate her husband’s death. Are the two deaths connected? Are the residents of The Institute all nuts? Will Goodey allow himself to be seduced by a frustrated young bride? Will he even get out of The Institute alive?


Amo, Thomas.

An Apple for Zoë. Book I, The Forsaken. Gothic Twist Publishing, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Thomas James | paranormal | tpo | find it |

Summary: The City of San Francisco is locked in a grip of fear. A series of occult murders has led, Inspector Thomas James, to a crime scene similar to a murder committed 90 years ago in the once grand Aleris Hotel. A place where power barons of the early 20th century engaged in witchcraft. And silent film stars indulged in the most wicked of sins. A place where no one questions the black smoke that rises from the hotel’s incinerators in the middle of the night.


Anderson, Clay.

The Black Rose Murder and Other Cases. Black Galaxy Publications, 2006.

| San Francisco | series character: Jason Justice | tpo |

Summary: Jason Justice, a sophisticated private investigator in San Francisco, is searching for the answers to several exciting mysteries. Will JJ catch the fat man who escaped after embezzling millions of dollars from a city construction project? Did the millionaire playboy rape the party girl or was she lying about the attack? Did the redheaded clown in a black tuxedo really deliver a bomb in a flower bouquet to a federal office? Did the high-powered politician that loves to dress in women’s clothes have his wife killed, so that he could be with his bisexual female lover? The Black Rose Murder has the answers to all these questions, plus violence, car chases, shoot-outs and of course, plenty of sex.


Anderson, Jack Albin.

The Society Ball Murders. Walker and Company, 1990.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |

Summary: San Francisco Journal society columnist Patty Nottingham investigates the murders of several scions of San Francisco's social elite. Wealthy women—with names like Binky, Neenie, and Buffy—are dying under suspicious circumstances during benefit events. At first the deaths are attributed to botched cosmetic surgeries—all of the victims had been patients of the same pair of doctors, who have now vanished from the city. When Patty discovers a mysterious substance at the bottom of a champagne flute, she is able to prove that the women are being poisoned. With the help of her lover, piano player Rex Murphy, she uses her social connections to expose the killer. This comic novel features several thinly disguised San Francisco public personalities and institutions.


Anderson, Kent.

Green Sun. Mulholland Books, 2018.

| setting: Oakland (1983) | find it |

Summary: Oakland, California, 1983: a city churning with violent crime and racial conflict. Officer Hanson, a Vietnam veteran, has abandoned academia for the life-and-death clarity of police work, a way to live with the demons that followed him home from the war. But Hanson knows that justice requires more than simply enforcing the penal code. He believes in becoming a part of the community he serves -- which is why, unlike most officers, he chooses to live in the same town where he works. This strategy serves him well...to a point. He forges a precarious friendship with Felix Maxwell, the drug king of East Oakland, based on their shared sense of fairness and honor. He falls in love with Libya the moment he sees her, a confident and outspoken black woman. He is befriended by Weegee, a streetwise eleven-year-old who is primed to become a dope dealer. Every day, every shift, tests a cop's boundaries between the man he wants to be and the officer of the law he's required to be. At last an off-duty shooting forces Hanson to finally face who he is, and which side of the law he belongs on.


Anderson, Poul.

Perish by the Sword. The Macmillan Company, 1959.

| setting: Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley | series character: Trygve Yamamura | Baird & Greenwood 61 | find it |

Summary: The murder weapon is a Samurai sword and the suspect is a physicist at the University of California.

Murder in Black Letter. The Macmillan Company, 1960.

| setting: Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley | series character: Trygve Yamamura | Baird & Greenwood 60 | find it |

Summary: Trygve Yamamura and a young history professor at the University of California cope with the modern repercussions of a book on witchcraft dating from the Renaissance

Murder Bound. The Macmillan Company, 1962.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Trygve Yamamura | Baird & Greenwood 59 | find it |

Summary: Trygve Yamamura investigates a Norwegian freighter docked in port at San Francisco.


Anderson-Minshall, Diane, and Jacob Anderson-Minshall.

Blind Curves. Bold Strokes Books, 2007.

| setting: Woodside (San Mateo County) | series character: Yoshi Yakamota | tpo |

Summary: The murdered body of lesbian publisher Rosemary Finney is found on a remote hiking path south of San Francisco. Local police of the wealthy Woodside enclave quickly focus on a prime suspect: Investigative Reporter Velvet Erickson. Velvet appeals to her friend and former lover—private eye Yoshi Yakamota, whose detective skills more than make up for her failing eyesight—for help. Yoshi dedicates the resources of her firm, Blind Eye Detective Agency, to proving her friend’s innocence. But every time the investigators rule out one suspect, another takes their place. What has Rosemary Finney done to make so many enemies? And which one did it?

Blind Leap. Bold Strokes Books, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco; Golden Gate Bridge | series character: Yoshi Yakamota | tpo |

Summary: The camera doesn’t lie, but sometimes it captures a story worth killing for. When Jeff Conant, the new executive director of San Francisco’s Frameline Film Festival, takes a header off the Golden Gate Bridge, he is considered just another statistic—one of the thousands who’ve leapt from the landmark to commit suicide—until an independent filmmaker’s camera on the bridge reveals that Jeff’s death was neither accident nor suicide. Yoshi Yakamota and the investigators at Blind Eye Detective Agency uncover evidence suggesting that Jeff was murdered because he’d viewed a film that someone didn’t want to see the light of day. But what was on the film? It’s missing from Jeff’s office, and the Blind Eye team soon discovers that the person that sent it has also turned up dead in suspicious circumstances. Clearly someone has a secret they’re willing to kill for, and a Blind Eye team member is getting dangerously close to exposing it.

Blind Faith. Bold Strokes Books, 2008. [tpo]


Andreopoulos, Spyros. (see Dong, Eugene)


Andrews, Brian T.

Knife Under Fire. Caduceus Press/Custom & Ltd. Editions, 1993.


Andrews, Sarah.

Mother Nature. St. Martin's Press, 1997.

| setting: Santa Rosa | series character: Em Hansen (3) | find it |
Summary: Against her better judgment, Em Hansen -- broke, unemployed, and desperate for something to take her mind off her father's recent death -- accepts this less-than-ideal job: A U.S. senator sends her to Santa Rosa, California, to investigate his daughter Janet's death. He thinks something Janet uncovered at her job as a geologist for an environmental consulting firm got her killed, and he wants Em to find out what it was. What at first seems like a straightforward case gets more confusing and more dangerous as Em deals with the employees at Janet's old job, Janet's close-mouthed friends, and the increasingly hard-to-get-ahold-of senator. Not to mention the rain, which never seems to stop, or Em's mixed-up family, which is often on her mind when she should be worried about herself. It's enough to make her crazy -- if the case doesn't kill her first.



Belfry Murders of San Francisco, or, The Strangest Crime of a Century. Munro, July 20, 1895. (Old Cap Collier Dime Novel No. 606).

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 214; Herron | dime novel |
Summary: Old Cap Collier fails to solve the mystery surrounding the discovery of two bodies in a San Francisco church belfry. Based on the Theodore Durrant case. Another version of this crime was published in 1957 in a true-crime paperback edition entitled The Girl in the Belfry (Gold Medal Series of Classic Murder Trials), by Joseph Henry Jackson and Lenore Glen Offord.


Anonymous (“A Californian”).

The Mysteries and Miseries of San Francisco. Garrett & Co., Publishers, 1853.

| setting: San Francisco | Wright, L.H.  Amer. fiction, 1851-1875, 1776; Baird & Greenwood 1838; Herron | Available in full text online: http://www.letrs.indiana.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=wright2;idno=wright2-1776 |

Summary: A sprawling account “by a Californian” “showing up all the various characters and notabilities, (both in high and low life) that have figured in San Francisco since its settlement.” The San Francisco Committee of Vigilance and the Sydney Ducks play a prominent role in this tale, the earliest known San Francisco crime novel.


Anonymous (Rev. P. Shelden Drury, editor).

The Startling and Thrilling Narrative of the Dark and Terrible Deeds of Henry Madison, and his Associate and Accomplice, Miss Ella Stevens, Who Was Executed by the Vigilance Committee of San Francisco, on the 20th September Last. Barclay & Co., 1857. [dime novel]

| setting: San Francisco | Wright, L.H. Amer. fiction, 1851-1875, 793; Baird & Greenwood 696 | dime novel | Available in full text online: http://www.letrs.indiana.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=wright2;idno=wright2-0793

Summary: A highly improbable, fictional account. No such woman as Ellen Stevens was executed by the Vigilance Committee (see Baird & Greenwood). 



3,000 Miles by Freight, or, The Mystery of a Piano Box. Street & Smith, [undated] (Nick Carter Dime Library No. 13).

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 2420 | dime novel |
Summary: In 1880s San Francisco, Nick Carter pursues the elusive villain, Dr. Quartz.


Antoncich, Betty.

The Mystery of the Chinatown Pearls. D. McKay, 1965.


Archer, Frank. (pseud. Richard O’Connor)

The Malabang Pearl. Published for the Crime Club by Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1964.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Joe Delaney | Baird & Greenwood 1931; Hubin |

Summary: Robert Morland, principal owner of Oriental Hardwoods, Inc. (a family company that imports teak and mahogany from the Philippines, where Morland was born and raised), returns home to San Francisco from a business trip to discover that his sister, Laura, is missing. She worked for an escort company and had been in a Telegraph Hill nightclub that had burned down after an explosion. The police, led by Inspector Joe Delaney, are not overly concerned about the missing woman—Laura had a reputation as a good-time girl and was working as a paid escort, after all—but Morland and his sister’s roommate, Grace McCooney, are convinced that something sinister must have happened to her. When he discovers that his sister ’s “date” that evening was a businessman from the Philippines who had specifically requested Laura’s services, he begins to suspect that her disappearance is connected to something from their past, a suspicion that is strengthened when his uncle shows up to tell him a fantastic story of the Malabang Pearl, a fabled lost gold mine that had cursed his family for generations. The story gets more believable when Morland discovers part of a map among his mother’s papers, which the kidnappers subsequently demand as ransom. Then Grace is also kidnapped and it is up to Morland and Jimmy Phelan—a reporter for the Examiner, who was Laura’s latest boyfriend—with the help of Inspector Delaney and the SFPD, to get the girls back.

The Widow Watchers. Published for the Crime Club by Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1965.

The Turquoise Spike. New York: Fawcett Gold Medal, 1967. [pbo]


Archer, Miles. (pseud. Richard Posner)

Too Many Spies Spoil a Case. Clocktower Books, 2000.

| setting: San Francisco (1970s) | series character: Doug McCool | tpo |

The Emerald Triangle. NovelBooks, Inc., 2003.

| setting: San Francisco (1974) | series character: Doug McCool | tpo |


Aresbys, The. (joint pseud. Helen R. Bamberger and Raymond S. Bamberger)

Who Killed Coralie? Ives Washburn, 1927.

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown) | series character: Parrish Darby | Hubin | find it |

Summary: On a foggy night in Chinatown, San Francisco reporter Parrish Darby witnesses the mysterious death of a young shop owner named Coralie Henderson. Darby, who works for The Blade and is a self-avowed “crime-hound,” was watching the young woman through the window of her tourist shop. As the church bells tolled ten-o’clock, the woman pitched forward, dead. The cops and coroner proclaim her death due to heart-failure. But Darby recognizes a small lump on the back of her neck as being the same as he found on the corpse of a Chinese beggar weeks earlier—another death the cops didn’t want to investigate. With the help of Coralie’s business partner, the young, beautiful, and naïve Elizabeth May, Darby investigates the death on his own—and falls in love with Elizabeth in the process. The investigation leads Darby into the dark corners of Chinatown as he uncovers Coralie’s secrets—secrets involving interracial relationships, drug smuggling, and a dead baby—and could cost him his job, the woman he loves, and possibly even his life before he is able to sniff out the killer....


Armstrong, Campbell. [Campbell Black]

Concert of Ghosts. Hodder & Stoughton, 1992; HarperCollins, 1993.

| setting: San Francisco, upstate New York | find it |

Summary: Harry Tennant has been trying to forget for more than twenty years—to forget the bitter feud with his father, the wild days of the ‘60s, the years of drugs, protests, sit-ins, happenings, and demonstrations. His memory is murky, his past all but completely lost to him, as he lives on the fringe of society far from Haight-Ashbury’s radical hippie culture. Suddenly, though, Tennant’s tenuous existence is threatened by his brutal arrest by local authorities for growing marijuana. Before he can make sense of his new problems, Harry is visited by a young reporter, Alison Seagrove, who is investigating the whereabouts of the subjects of a famous photograph taken in San Francisco in the spring of 1968. Alison is convinced that Harry knows, or can help her find out, the reasons behind the disappearances and mysterious deaths of the people in the photo. When Harry’s decades-old paranoia overtakes him, he flees to upstate New York with Alison in order to avoid prosecution and joins her on a trek across the United States to San Francisco, reluctantly trying to remember why this seemingly innocent picture of a bunch of hippies holds political implications on a worldwide scale. The trail of missing persons is riddled with murders, malevolent CIA operatives, and the half-hidden truths behind the pages of history. As the line between the past and the present blurs, Harry and Alison realize that Tennant’s lost memory holds the key to how his long-standing disagreement with his own father came head to head with events that rocked the turbulent decade of the ‘60s and defined an era. Back in San Francisco, Harry’s inevitable confrontation with his father brings the drama full circle. Tennant’s old terrors are brought to life as he struggles to reclaim the horrifying memories that were taken from him, memories that explain how the estrangement between father and son once stood in the shadow of the tragedy of a whole nation.


Ashe, Gordon. (pseud. John Creasey)

A Rabble of Rebels. Popular Dogs Publishing Co., 1971; Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1972.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area (“Mid-Cal University”) | series character: Patrick Dawlish | find it |

Summary: This potboiler begins with a student protest at “Mid-Cal University” in “Santa Margarita,” California. Although the geography is fuzzy, it is near San Francisco (but it is definitely not a fictionalization of UC Berkeley). As the protest starts turning violent, students Catherine Lee and her brother Gerald come upon three young women who are being accosted by four male students. When Gerald tries to intervene, he is attacked and kicked to death. The protest turns into a riot and the students take over the administration building. Then, an undercover FBI agent who witnessed the riot is murdered on board his plane flight from San Francisco to New York. Enter Deputy Assistant Commissioner Patrick Dawlish of New Scotland Yard and director of the International Police Conference (aka the “Crime Hater”), who is charged with investigating criminal incidents that have international ramifications. Student unrest has been accelerating around the world and Dawlish is convinced that it is being orchestrated by professionals. With the help of his assistant, Gordon Scott, Dawlish investigates the situation at Mid-Cal, thwarts an assassination attempt on Catherine, and proceeds to convene the Crime Hater conference in the emerging African nation of “Golana.” But, can he uncover the mastermind providing the organization to the rebels and marshal the world's police forces against them in time to prevent a world-wide student takeover?


Atherton, Gertrude.

The Avalanche: A Mystery Story. Frederick A. Stokes Company, Publishers, 1919.

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 99; Hubin; Herron | find it |

Summary: The mystery in this story is more genealogical than criminal. In San Francisco, in the years immediately following the 1906 earthquake, Price Ruyler has firmly established himself in business and society. He is married to a beautiful young French woman—who was actually born in San Francisco—named Hélène Delano. After he chances to overhear an exchange between his mother-in-law and a man known to have made his living as a pimp and a gambler before the earthquake and fire, he begins to suspect that his wife’s past might not be as innocent as he was led to believe. He hires a private detective named Jake Spaulding to investigate and uncovers a plot involving blackmail and betrayal.

The Foghorn: Stories. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1934.

| setting: San Francisco (Nob Hill; Lone Mountain) | short stories | Baird & Greenwood 106 | find it |

Summary: A collection of two novellas and two short stories, two of which are set in San Francisco. The title story, while not technically a mystery, concerns the tragic and mysterious results of an illicit love affair. “The Sacrificial Altar” (pp. [123]-181), a novella written in 1916, tells the tale of Louis Bac, a French expatriate living in San Francisco attempting to make his living as an author of crime novels. So devoted to his craft is he, that Louis rejects all of his friends’ attempts to set him up with eligible young ladies (“the young artist ... would have been a monk in the Middle Ages and left to his monastery a precious heritage of illuminated manuscripts”). Finally, his mentor and confidant, M. César Dupont, makes one last attempt to get him to fall in love. He introduces Louis to his niece, Berthe, a beautiful, 20-year old girl just arrived from France. Although he tries, Louis finds himself incapable of feeling passion for Berthe. In a final attempt to make himself fall in love with her, Louis decides to steal into her room at night and observe her sleeping. When this still does not work, he decides to “give her a fright” and “make her believe she was being murdered, then get out while she was still too terrified and breathless to cry for help.” But, he gets a little carried away. Three months later, after completing his final, most triumphant, novel, Louis emerges from seclusion to learn that Berthe’s “killer” had been apprehended and executed for the crime. Overcome with remorse, mostly for the death of the innocent tramp, Louis visits his parents’ tombs on Lone Mountain and commits suicide.


Atkins, Ace.

Devil’s Garden. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009.


Atkins, Darrin.

The Money You Took From Me. Writers Club Press, 2002. [tpo]

Away from Lisa Larkin. Writers Club Press, 2002. [tpo]

The Bad Side of San Francisco. iUniverse.com, 2003. [tpo]

The Famous Liar. iUniverse, Inc., 2003. [tpo]


Atkinson, Bevan.

The Fool Card. Electra Enterprises of San Francisco, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Xana Bard (Tarot Mystery 1) | pbo | 

The Magician Card. Electra Enterprises of San Francisco, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Xana Bard (Tarot Mystery 2) | pbo | 

The High Priestess Card. Electra Enterprises of San Francisco, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Xana Bard (Tarot Mystery 3) | pbo | 

The Empress Card. Electra Enterprises of San Francisco, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Xana Bard (Tarot Mystery 4) | pbo | 

The Emperor Card. Electra Enterprises of San Francisco, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Xana Bard (Tarot Mystery 5) | pbo | 


Atkinson, Russell.

Held for Ransom. Self-published, 2012.

| setting: Silicon Valley (1990s) | series character: Cliff Knowles (1) | tpo | find it |

Cached Out. Self-published, 2012.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Cliff Knowles (2) | tpo | find it |

Fatal Dose. Self-published, 2013.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Cliff Knowles (3) | tpo | find it |

Death Row. Self-published, 2014.

| setting: Silicon Valley; San Quentin Prison | series character: Cliff Knowles (4) | tpo | find it |

Gut Shot. Self-published, 2015.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Cliff Knowles (5) | tpo | find it |

Behead Me. Self-published, 2015.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Cliff Knowles (6) | tpo |


Atkins, Peter.

Morningstar. HarperPaperbacks, 1992.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Donovan Moon | horror | Hubin | pbo | find it |


Avallone, Michael.

Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen. Pinnacle Books, 1981.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Charlie Chan | movie novelization | pbo | find it |


Averbeck, Jim.

A Hitch at the Fairmont. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco (Fairmont Hotel; 1956) | juvenile | find it |

Summary: After the mysterious death of his mother, eleven-year-old Jack Fair is whisked away to San Francisco“s swanky Fairmont Hotel by his wicked Aunt Edith. There, he seems doomed to a life of fetching chocolates for his aunt and her pet chinchilla. Until one night, when Aunt Edith disappears, and the only clue is a ransom note written...in chocolate? Suddenly, Jack finds himself all alone on a quest to discover who kidnapped Aunt Edith and what happened to his mother. Alone, that is, until he meets an unlikely accomplice—Alfred Hitchcock himself! The two embark on a madcap journey full of hidden doorways, secret societies, cryptic clues, sinister villains, and cinematic flair.



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