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Page history last edited by Randal Brandt 1 month, 2 weeks ago

Babula, William.

St. John’s Baptism. Lyle Stuart Inc., 1988.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jeremiah St. John | Hubin; MRJ | find it |

Summary: San Francisco private eye Jeremiah St. John goes to the office of sleazy drug attorney Rick Silverman for a “delivery” job. When he gets there he finds Silverman murdered, an empty safe, and a garbage bag full of cash hidden under the desk. Silverman’s partner, Sam Fan, hires St. John and his two partners in the St. John Detective Agency—a Seminole Indian named Chief Moses and a beautiful ex-policewoman (she was booted off the force after posing for a “Women in Blue” spread in Playboy) from Ohio named Mickey—to find the killer. When the police discover the murder weapon in the apartment of one of Silverman’s Colombian clients, they proclaim the case closed. St. John doesn’t buy it, though, and continues his investigation. Along the way he finds plenty of people who aren’t too upset with Silverman’s death (his ex-wife, a deputy D.A. who used to lose cases to Silverman, a judge who watched Silverman’s clients go free on technicalities, and several former girlfriends) and uncovers a nasty blackmail scheme.

According to St. John. Carol Communications, 1989.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jeremiah St. John | Hubin; MRJ | find it |

Summary: San Francisco private eye Jeremiah St. John is back. This time he and his two partners in the St. John Detective Agency, Chief Moses, a larger than life Seminole Indian, and Mickey, a gorgeous ex-cop, find themselves embroiled in a case that has more bizarre turns than a Shakespearean plot. Which is exactly where it all begins. Mickey’s college roommate Denise Belknap is in town to appear in a new production of Macbeth starring the legendary Amanda Cole and invites the trio to opening night. They arrive at the theater only to learn that Amanda Cole has been brutally murdered and Denise is the prime suspect. Denise turns to St. John for help. He soon learns that nothing is what it seems to be among the theater people who surrounded Amanda Cole—prime suspects all. They practice con artistry at its highest level, creating the illusion of candor so that sifting the real from the unreal becomes St. John’s major challenge. By the time the murderer is tracked down, St. John and his partners have uncovered layers of deceit, ugly secrets from the past, skeletons in some very unlikely closets, and a mind-boggling motive.

St. John and the Seven Veils. Carol Publishing Group, 1991.

| setting: San Francisco, Reno, Northern California | series character: Jeremiah St. John | Hubin; MRJ | find it |

Summary: That savvy San Francisco private eye Jeremiah St. John is back. He and his canny cohorts in crime detection, Mickey, a sexy ex-policewoman, and Chief Moses, a larger than life Seminole Indian, are hired to track down serial killer by a woman who claims to be the killer’s mother. From the moment she enters the offices of the St. John Detective Agency, they are caught up in the most bizarre and baffling case they have ever encountered. The first killing occurs on April 1st and by the time St. John is ‘recruited’ it is mid-April and three men have been brutally murdered. Other than the modus operandi, nothing links the men together. Nothing. Until an unrelated case unearths a coincidental connection. From that point on, the two cases blend as smoothly as a pair of stretch limousines colliding. The rocky trail, more convoluted than a spider’s web, leads all the way from the infamous Seven Veils brothel in Reno, Nevada, to a Vietnamese hideout and back to one of the most desolate parts of Northern California. When finally the murderer and his motives are laid bare, St. John and his partners have learned the darkest secrets of a legendary TV evangelist, a renowned military man, a world famous doctor straight out of central casting, and a celebrated madam.

St. John’s Bestiary. Write Way, 1994.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jeremiah St. John | Hubin; MRJ | find it |

Summary: Jeremiah St. John didn’t need the money. He and his partners, Mickey Farrabaugh and Chief Moses Tamiami, had been having a pretty good run of business with their detective agency in the past few months, so when Professor Krift of a nearby San Francisco university drops into St. John’s office and asks him to find his eight missing felines, St. John could have said no, he didn’t do catnappings. But he says yes, because he’s ‘ambivalent’ about the good that animal research can do for human beings, and besides, he likes cats. Then, after rescuing the victims from a ruthless gang of animal rights activists known as the CFAF [Committee for Animal Freedom], the CFAF kidnaps the professor’s daughter and holds her for ransom in retaliation. The case grows deadly with the death of the professor’s daughter, which is followed by three other murders—including Jeremiah’s new love, Ollie Shimoda. Vowing revenge on the person or persons who have taken her life, St. John follows a trail that leads to university grant fraud, drug money, child prostitution, the porno film business, the theft of his cherished classic ‘55 T-Bird, and almost costs him his life.

St. John’s Bread. Domhan Books, 1999.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jeremiah St. John | Hubin | find it |

Summary: San Francisco private investigator Jeremiah St. John and his two intrepid partners, Michelle “Mickey” Farabaugh and Chief Moses, get caught up in a tangle of missing children’s cases after he and Mickey rescue a baby about to be kidnapped in Lafayette Park. Mickey tries to tell him that he needs the “bread” to pay for the brand new Victorian that houses their detective agency, but this case comes with a higher price tag than any of them are willing to pay.

 

Badger, Joseph E.

Prince John, Detective Special, or, Unmasking the Frisco Fire-Fiends. Beadle and Adams, August 2, 1893. (Beadle’s Dime Library no. 771).

| setting: San Francisco | Johannsen DL771; Baird & Greenwood 141 | dime novel |

Summary: In San Francisco, before the days of electric lights, the plot revolves around organized fire bugs.

The Frisco Detective’s Thug-Tangle, or, The Junk-Dealer’s Double-Deal. Beadle and Adams, January 24, 1894. (Beadle’s Dime Library no. 796).

| setting: San Francisco | Johannsen DL796; Baird & Greenwood 135 | dime novel |

Summary: A San Francisco insurance case.

 

Baer, Howard.

O, Huge Angel. Roy Publishers, 1949.

| setting: San Francisco; Panama | Baird & Greenwood 142; Herron |

Summary: The tragic story of Mark, a Negro seaman, who has the misfortune of being the first person on the scene of a brutal murder in San Francisco. On the way to his ship after a night of drinking, Mark chances upon a young boy who has been stabbed to death along the Embarcadero. Knowing that if he is found with the body he will be accused of the murder, he struggles to decide whether to call the police or to run away. Before he can decide what to do, a patrolman arrives. After a wild chase along the waterfront, Mark eludes the police and gets aboard his ship, which is bound for Panama. Once on board, Mark realizes that a fellow seaman, named Dunstan, is the actual murderer. Again fearing that no one will believe him, Mark drinks heavily and behaves erratically and violently, causing the ship’s captain to arrest him and put him in the ship’s jail. When the ship arrives in Panama, he convinces Dunstan to help him escape. Once on his own in Panama City, his nightmare continues. His paranoia and fear of being accused of a murder he did not commit leads him to more drinking, violence, and eventually—and ironically—murder. Dunstan betrays him and the police gun him down as he makes a last desperate attempt to escape.

 

Baer, Jerry.

A Foggy Death. Self-published, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo |

Summary: The fog in San Francisco in the summer can hide a lot of things, but a dead body on the first tee of the exclusive Highland Heights golf course is not one of them. When Detective Randy Berger, a full time cop and part time artist, begins his investigation, one thing becomes apparent. The murder victim, a successful interior designer, whose clients read like the Fortune 500 of the Bay Area, was hated by everyone he worked with. The list of possible suspects might even include the Mayor. When Detective Berger finds a cache of drugs hidden in the walls of the designer's Nob Hill home, the possibilities of what might have caused the death increase. They become magnified once the designer's home in Palm Springs is searched by Berger, whose life is threatened by El Salvador gangsters when they discover that he found their drugs in the home. Once the FBI and DEA get involved the case takes on an international flavor. They discover the drugs that were found both in San Francisco and around the country in major cities, are in fact fake and are extremely dangerous. Now the problem becomes larger than just finding the killer of the interior designer.

 

Baer, Will Christopher.

Hell’s Half Acre. MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2004.

 

Bailey, Annette Burget.

Postmortem. Writer's Showcase, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco (Mission District) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Will Henderson lived a lonely, dinner for one existence; a professed bachelor and twenty-five year veteran of the United States Postal Service, he faithfully weaved his way through the multi-cultural Mission District, delivering countless bank statements, credit card bills, and even an occasional love letter spattered in bright red lipstick. His love affair with the Postal Service was indeed a lasting one; longer, and by all accounts, happier than most marriages. Still, despite his passion for all things postal he rarely engaged with any one of his nameless recipients; cursory glances were somehow his specialty.However, there was one exception. Emily Everington remained somehow different; a kindly eccentric widow who formerly ran Mission Heights, the only fully renovated bed and breakfast in the district. Little did he know their lives would become forever linked that balmy, fateful July day; his so-called ordinary existence was about to take an extraordinary turn, leading him down a macabre pathway fraught with seduction, betrayal and death.

Definition Murder. iUniverse, Inc., 2004.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Meg McCafferty | tpo |

Summary: Monday morning November 12, 2001. It was cold, wet and rainy. Winter was starting to settle in. Single and nearing forty, SFPD inspector Meg McCafferty longs for a loving, committed relationship, but lately only finds temporary comfort with her "euphemistic" boyfriends, Ernest and Julio Gallo. Unfortunately, up to now McCafferty has found little or no comfort in any relationships, personal or otherwise. When the cell phone rings at 2:15 am she instinctively senses this isn't a social call; more to the point, business however macabre as usual-another routine homicide that seems anything but. San Francisco State University freshman Sarah Sinclair is found brutally murdered in her dorm room and a cold-blooded predator eludes authorities. So far the evidence remains sketchy; a torn page from an old dictionary and the name of a respected educator scribbled on a tiny sheet of paper. Short of a conviction, McCafferty hopes for a miracle. After all, it's still Monday.

 

Bailey, Melinda.

Legs and the Two-Ton Dick. Truth Serum Press, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: When Talia Green answers a Craig's List ad to work for the faux-fat former police detective, Porter Nepal, she assumes she'll be a glorified errand girl... but she soon finds her duties include making coffee, tailing suspects, and solving the biggest murder mystery San Francisco has ever seen: beloved rock star Buster Bones, found strangled in his recording studio. And the prime suspect is Buster's foul-mouthed wife-and-muse Minnie.... Throw in a two-timing three-way polygamist, a music mogul with incredible partying skills, a wild child pop star with an embarrassingly mundane secret, a gay surf gang and the Pacific Ocean, and you have a roller coaster ride guaranteed to keep you entertained from the Presidio to Daly City and back!

 

Bailey, Paul.

Deliver Me From Eva. Murray & Gee, 1946.

| setting: San Francisco; Pasadena | Herron | find it |

 

Bain, Donald, and Jessica Fletcher.

Martinis & Mayhem: A Murder, She Wrote Mystery. Signet, 1995.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jessica Fletcher; based on the television series Murder, She Wrote | pbo | find it |

Blood on the Vine: A Murder, She Wrote Mystery. Signet, 2001.

| setting: Napa Valley | series character: Jessica Fletcher; based on the television series Murder, She Wrote | pbo | find it |

 

Bain, Nicholas.

The Netroom Predator. AuthorHouse, 2007.

 

Baker, Dan A.

Forever and Ever. Catbird Publishing, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Dr. Jasmine Metcalf | find it |

 

Baker, Lise S.

The Losers' Club. St. Martin's Press, 1999.

| setting: San Francisco; Reno (Nev.) | find it |

Summary: Cal Brantley, a San Francisco private investigator, is dismayed when her company is sold to a Los Angeles-based firm and she is assigned a partner -- a sexist, rough-talking ex-LAPD cop who will be watching her every move. While investigating an insurance assignment involving an accidental death, Cal turns up clues that lead her down a dangerous path. From the back alleys and casinos of Reno to the graveyards and ghost town of Virginia City, Cal learns the real meaning of what membership in The Losers' Club entails -- and the knowledge could be deadly.

 

Baker, Lucinda.

Walk the Night Unseen. Putnam, 1977.

 

Baker, Marc.

The Hilltop Murders. Avalon, 1965.

 

Baker, Will. [see Webb, Victoria]

 

Banks, Jacquelline Turner.

Maid in the Shade. ReGeJe Press, 1998.

 

Barger, Ralph “Sonny.”

Dead in 5 Heartbeats. William Morrow, 2003.

 

Barish, Steven.

Reasonable Doubt. Hybar Books, 1985.

 

Barker, Wade.

Vengeance is His. Warner Books, 1981. (Ninja Master #1)

Mountain of Fear. Warner Books, 1981. (Ninja Master #2)

Borderland of Hell. Warner Books, 1982. (Ninja Master #3)

Black Magician. Warner Books, 1982. (Ninja Master #5)

Death’s Door. Warner Books, 1982. (Ninja Master #6)

 

Barlow, Linda.

Intimate Betrayal. Warner Books, 1995.

 

Barnes, B. Kim.

Murder on the 33rd Floor: A Corporate Mystery. Johari Press, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sarah Hawthorne | tpo | find it |

Summary: In this "corporate cozy" mystery, Sarah Hawthorne, an internal organizational consultant, is confronted by the murder of a senior executive. Working with an inspector from the San Francisco police department, she unravels the political issues and discovers the dark secrets that create fear and loathing in a traditional corporation.

Murder on Retreat: A Corporate Mystery. Johari Press, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sarah Hawthorne | tpo | find it |

Summary: Sarah Hawthorne is a successful organizational consultant. She has big plans to overhaul Martech Corporation’s outdated business model, so she’s surprised when the CEO hires an eccentric business guru named Scorpio who claims to be Martech’s savior. Scorpio and his cronies plan an executive retreat at a posh Napa Valley resort, and despite her misgivings, Sarah agrees to participate. The retreat is a disaster. Scorpio is more of a cult leader than a corporate consultant, and Martech’s executive team rebels against Scorpio’s intense and inflammatory tactics. They don’t realize, however, that he won’t be a problem much longer. The next morning, Scorpio is found dead in the sauna. Sarah immediately throws herself into solving the mystery of Scorpio’s murder, much to the annoyance of her husband. But soon she unlocks old employment secrets, broken promises, and shady financial alliances, all while fighting off her growing attraction to one of the murder suspects. Scorpio isn’t the only one who ends up dead, however, and Sarah’s powers of deduction eventually put her in the danger zone.

 

Barnes, Linda.

Bitter Finish. St. Martin’s Press, 1983.

| setting: Napa Valley | series character: Michael Spraggue | 1001 Midnights, p. 47-48 | find it |

Summary: Michael Spraggue, a wealthy private eye turned movie actor, is in the middle of making a trashy Hollywood movie about -- what else? -- a private eye, when he gets a phone call from Kate Holloway, his sometime lover and current business partner in a Napa Valley winery. Kate informs Michael that their winemaker, Lenny Brent, has vanished and an unidentifiable corpse has been found. Worse yet, Kate is the prime suspect. Spraggue hurries to Kate's aid, only to be met with another corpse...

 

Barry, John Byrne.

Wasted: Murder in the Recycle Berkeley Yard. self-published, 2015.

| setting: Berkeley | tpo | find it |

Summary: Recycling, once a gangly wide-eyed youth, all arms and legs, has grown up and now faces those pesky problems that come with adulthood, like making money. And the big garbage companies that once sneered at recycling, like Consolidated Scavenger, now want to take over. Berkeley reporter Brian Hunter investigates the “recycling wars,” finds the body of his friend Doug crushed in an aluminum bale, and hunts down the murderer, all while trying to win the heart of Barb, Doug’s former lover, now a suspect in his murder. 

 

Barry, Mike.

Bay Prowler. Berkley, 1973. (Lone Wolf #2)

 

Bartholomew, Cecilia.

Second Sight. Putnam, 1980.

 

Bates, Barclay.

The Last of the White Guys. Bloomsbury Press, 1999.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

 

Baty, Robert.

The Blonde in the Lotus Elite. R.J. Buckley Publishing, 2011.

| setting: Oakland, Monterey | series character: Connor (Vintage Connor 1) | tpo | find it |

 

Beal, M. F.

Angel Dance. Daughters Publishing Co., Inc., 1977.

 

Beale, Elaine.

Murder in the Castro. New Victoria, 1997.

 

Beaton, Donald A.

The Brothers' Coin. Luminare Press, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (1845; 1934) | series character: Duncan Alester (1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: A secret buried out of sight remains a secret for eternity. But a legend of a secret can grow beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. Only the discovery of this secret can turn a legend into reality. When a coin rumored to be from a long buried cache of gold appears in a Chinatown gambling parlor, private detective Duncan Alester is hired to uncover its origins. But he’s not the only one intrigued by the secret stash. Local tongs and triads pursue Alester with a vengeance, and as the mystery of how the coin appeared in that spot deepens, Alester traces a path of rumors that span decades. And when he learns that the key lies with two brothers from the previous century, piece by piece, the legend comes to life.
 This epic adventure begins in Salerno, Italy and follows two brothers as they travel to the Alta California territory, where their startling discovery paves the way to the legend of The Brothers’ Coin.

 

Beaumont, Maegan.

Carved in Darkness. Midnight Ink, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sabrina Vaughn | tpo | find it |

Sacrificial Muse. Midnight Ink, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sabrina Vaughn | tpo | find it |

Promises to Keep. Midnight Ink, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sabrina Vaughn | tpo | find it |

 

Beck, K. K.

Murder in a Mummy Case. Walker Publishing, Inc., 1986.

Young Mrs. Cavendish & the Kaiser’s Men. Walker Publishing, Inc., 1987.

Unwanted Attentions. Walker Publishing, Inc., 1988.

 

Bedford-Jones, H.

The Trail of the Shadow. Hurst, 1924.

 

Behm, Joe.

Drop Dead. Larkspurian Press, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco (1942); Marin County | series characters: Nick Sterling; Zoey Lassiter (1) | tpo |

Summary: It's the 1940s-- wartime in San Francisco. Young, beautiful, ambitious radio actress Billie Desmond is living the high life until an unplanned pregnancy casts a dark shadow on her romance with local radio personality and darling of San Francisco Café Society, Payton Powell. When her lover refuses Billie's demand they marry, she threatens to expose a secret that could land him in Federal prison for the rest of his life. Powell is not about to let that happen. Billie vanishes during a live radio broadcast, prompting the SFPD to mount a full investigation, but they fail to find any trace of the actress. The disappearance of Billie Desmond dead-ends in a cold case file-- forgotten by law enforcement until Marin County Sheriff's Inspector Nick Sterling, and his feisty wife Zoey Lassiter, begin to pick up clues.

 

Belcamino, Kristi.

Blessed Are the Dead. Witness Impulse, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gabriella Giovanni | tpo | find it |

Blessed Are the Meek. Witness Impulse, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gabriella Giovanni | tpo | find it |

Blessed Are Those Who Weep. Witness Impulse, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gabriella Giovanni (3) | tpo | find it |

Summary: San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni stumbles onto a horrific crime scene with only one survivor -- a baby girl found crawling between the dead bodies of her family members. Reeling from the slaughter, Gabriella clings to the infant. When Social Services pries the little girl from her arms, the enormity of the tragedy hits home. Diving deep into a case that brings her buried past to the forefront, Gabriella is determined to hunt down the killer who left this helpless baby an orphan. But one by one the clues all lead to a dead end, and Gabriella's obsession with finding justice pulls her into a dark, tortuous spiral that is set to destroy everything she loves ...

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn. Witness Impulse, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gabriella Giovanni (4) | tpo | find it |

Summary: San Francisco Bay Area reporter Gabriella Giovanni has finally got it all together: a devoted and loving boyfriend, Detective Sean Donovan; a beautiful little girl with him; and her dream job as the cops' reporter for the Bay Herald. But her success has been hard-won and has left her with debilitating paranoia. When a string of young co-eds starts to show up dead with suspicious Biblical verses left on their bodies -- the same verses that the man she suspects kidnapped and murdered her sister twenty years ago had sent to her -- she begins to question if the killer is trying to send her a message. It is not until evil strikes Gabriella's own family that her worst fears are confirmed. As the clock begins to tick, every passing hour means the difference between life and death to those Gabriella loves ...

Blessed Are The Peacemakers. Self-published, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco; Guatemala | series character: Gabriella Giovanni (5) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Gabriella Giovanni has it all. A stunning penthouse in San Francisco. An exciting job on the crime beat. A doting, handsome husband and a beautiful little girl. So, when she complains about all the travel her husband's new DEA job requires, Gabriella knows she has good problems. But when her husband's plane goes down in the jungles of Guatemala and she is told he is dead, Gabriella thinks things could not possibly get any worse. She is wrong. Despite the U.S. government's attempt to find the wreckage, they come up empty-handed. Gabriella heads to Guatemala to find some answers, and hopefully, some healing. In the deepest, darkest jungles, it doesn't take long for Gabriella to realize she's in over her head and putting what remains of her life -- and everything she loves -- at risk.

 

Belldene, Amber.

All Things. Self-published, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco (Mission District) | series character: Alma Lee (A Reverend Alma Lee Mystery 1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: A priest and a rabbi walk into a lesbian bar... If something is unjust in San Francisco's Mission District, the Reverend Alma Lee will face it down. She leads her vibrant church of St. Giles with compassion and sass. Her busy days involve match-making, meddling, and saving the city's beloved lesbian landmark, The Carlos Club. Alma meets the intriguing Rabbi Naomi Cohen there, and she's smitten. Death comes to the church's door... When the proprietor of The Carlos Club turns up dead on the steps of St. Giles, Naomi's brother is the number one suspect. She needs help exonerating him, and Alma's knowledge of the neighborhood makes her the perfect priest to solve the case. If only Alma's ex-boyfriend, homicide detective Cesar Garza will accept her help. She still feels the pull of their old connection, but she's convinced the sexy-smart rabbi is her perfect mate. Too bad Naomi is playing by different rules. Can Alma solve the case before the murderer silences her forever?

Bright & Beautiful. Self-published, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco (Mission District; Grace Cathedral) | series character: Alma Lee (A Reverend Alma Lee Mystery 2) | tpo |

Summary: When the brilliant and beautiful poet laureate of California turns up dead on the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral, Alma thrills to receive a license to meddle. The bishop appoints her as his police liaison and introduces her to the victim's family. The Goughs are a big name in San Francisco with strong ties to the church Alma serves. As Alma tracks the culprit through San Francisco's organized crime scene, posh private schools, and the British aristocracy's Instagram accounts, Naomi, Damien-- the charming Dean of the Cathedral, and Alma's ex-boyfriend Cesar Garza all scramble to be her Dr. Watson. But ultimately, Alma must trust her own instincts to find the killer. Can she solve the case before more lives are lost at Grace Cathedral?

 

Benét, James.

A Private Killing. Harper & Brothers, 1949.

The Knife Behind You. Harper & Brothers, 1950.

 

Bennett, Dorothy.

Murder Unleashed. Published for the Crime Club, Inc. by Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1935.

Come and Be Killed. Select Publications, 1942.

 

Berger, Arthur Asa.

Postmortem for a Postmodernist. AltaMira Press, 1997.

Murder Ad Nauseum. Writers Club Press, 2000.

The Hamlet Case: The Murders at the MLA. Writers Club Press, 2000.

The Kabbalah Killings: A Murder Mystery Introduction to Jewish Mysticism. PulpLit, 2004.

 

Beringela, Robert. [pseud.]

Dead Meat. Modern Luxury, 2008-2009.

| setting: San Francisco | published serially in San Francisco magazine, August 2008-April 2009: chap. 1, chap. 2, chap. 3, chap. 4, chap. 5, chap. 6, chap. 7, chap. 8, conclusion |

 

Berlinski, David.

A Clean Aweep. St. Martin’s Press, 1993.

Less Than Meets the Eye. St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

The Body Shop. St. Martin’s Press, 1996.

 

Berndt, Holger.

Hedge Fund. Unfungible Books, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco; Silicon Valley | find it |

 

Bertman, Jennifer Chambliss.

Book Scavenger. Henry Holt and Company, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series: Book Scavenger 1 | bibliomystery | juvenile | find it |

The Unbreakable Code. Henry Holt and Company, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series: Book Scavenger 2 | bibliomystery | juvenile | find it |

Summary: Could the Mark Twain books hidden through Book Scavenger contain clues about the string of recent arson fires plaguing the city? And will Emily and James uncover the mystery before the arsonist comes after them?

The Alcatraz Escape. Henry Holt and Company, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series: Book Scavenger 3 | bibliomystery | juvenile | find it |

Summary: Legendary literary game-maker Garrison Griswold is back in action, this time with "Unlock the Rock." For his latest game, Griswold has partnered with the famous -- and famously reclusive -- mystery writer Errol Roy to plan an epic escape room challenge on Alcatraz Island. Emily and James are eager to participate, but the wave of fame they are riding from their recent book-hunting adventures makes them a target. Threatening notes, missing items, and an accident that might not have been an accident have the duo worried that someone is trying to get them out of the game at any cost. When Emily's brother is caught red-handed and blamed for all the wrong doings, Emily is certain Matthew is being framed. With Matthew's record on the line, Emily and James can't afford to leave this mystery uncracked.

 

Bethancourt, T. Ernesto.

Doris Fein: Phantom of the Casino. Holiday House, 1981.

 

Bezzerides, A. I.

Thieves’ Market. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1949.

 

Bianchi, Eugene C., with James L. Hickey.

The Bishop of San Francisco: Romance, Intrigue and Religion. AuthorHouse, 2005.

 

Bickford, Susan Alice.

A Short Time to Die. Kensington Books, 2017.

| setting: Santa Clara County; New York | tpo | find it |

Summary: Walking home on a foggy night, Marly Shaw stops in the glare of approaching headlights. Two men step out of a pickup truck. One of them is her stepfather. A sudden, desperate chase erupts in gunshots. Both men are left dead. And a terrified girl is on the run for the rest of her life... Thirteen years later, human bones discovered in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California are linked to a mother and son from Central New York. Santa Clara County Sheriff's Detective Vanessa Alba and her partner, Jack Wong, dive into an investigation that lures them deep into the Finger Lakes. They find a community silenced by the brutal grip of a powerful family bound by a twisted sense of blood and honor, whose dark secrets still haunt the one family member who thought she got away...

 

Bicos, Olga.

Shattered. MIRA, 2003.

 

Biderman , Bob.

The Genesis Files. Gollancz, 1988; Walker and Company, 1991.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Joseph Radkin | Hubin | find it | 

 

Biederman, Marcia.

The Makeover. Academy Chicago Publishers, 1984.

 

Biggers, Earl Derr. [see also Davis, Robert Hart]

The House Without a Key. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1925.

The Chinese Parrot. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1926.

| setting: San Francisco, Southern California (Mojave Desert) | series character: Charlie Chan | find it |

Fifty Candles. The Bobbs Merrill Company, 1926.

Behind That Curtain. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1928.

Charlie Chan Carries On. Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1930.

 

Black, Campbell.

The Wanting. McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1986.

 

Black, Saul. (pseud. of Glen Duncan) 

The Killing Lessons. Orion, 2015 ; St. Martin's Press, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco; Colorado | series character: Valerie Hart (1) | find it |

Summary: When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper's isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it's the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it's just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done. For San Francisco homicide detective Valerie Hart, their trail of victims -- women abducted, tortured and left with a seemingly random series of objects inside them -- has brought her from obsession to the edge of physical and psychological destruction. And she's losing hope of making a breakthrough before that happens. But the murders at the Cooper farmhouse didn't quite go according to plan. There was a survivor, Rowena's ten-year-old daughter Nell, who now holds the key to the killings. Injured, half-frozen, terrified, Nell has only one place to go. And that place could be even more dangerous than what she's running from. In this extraordinary, pulse-pounding debut, Saul Black takes us deep into the mind of a psychopath, and into the troubled heart of the woman determined to stop him.

LoveMurder. Orion, 2016 ; St. Martin's Press, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Valerie Hart (2) | find it |

Summary: When she's called to the murder scene, the last thing San Francisco Homicide Detective Valerie Hart is expecting is for Katherine Glass to walk back into her life. Six years earlier, revulsion and fascination had gripped the nation in equal measure, as beautiful, intelligent, charming -- and utterly evil -- Katherine Glass had been convicted on six counts of Murder One. But the freshly-mutilated corpse in the ground-floor apartment bears all the hallmarks of Katherine's victims. And then there's the note, with its chilling implications. Addressed to Valerie. To stop the slaughter, Valerie has no choice. She must ask Katherine Glass to help her decipher the killer's twisted message. But that means re-entering the pitch-black labyrinth that is Katherine's mind, and this time Valerie isn't so sure which one of them will survive.

 

Blackwell, Juliet. [Julie Goodson-Lawes; see also Lind, Hailey]

Secondhand Spirits. Obsidian, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) | series character: Lily Ivory (A Witchcraft Mystery 1) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

A Cast-Off Coven. Obsidian, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) | series character: Lily Ivory (A Witchcraft Mystery 2) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: Lily Ivory, a witch who can sense vibrations of the past from vintage clothing and jewelry, is called to investigate possible paranormal activity at the San Francisco School of Fine Arts. Instead she discovers the body of a wealthy patron of the school and must use her magical skills to try to solve the murder.

If Walls Could Talk. Obsidian, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco (Pacific Heights) | series character: Mel Turner (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 1) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: Melanie Turner has made quite a name for herself remodeling historic houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. But now her reputation may be on the line. At her newest project, a run-down Pacific Heights mansion, Mel is visited by the ghost of a colleague who recently met a bad end with power tools. Mel hopes that by nailing the killer, she can rid herself of the ghostly presence of the murdered man and not end up a construction casualty herself.

Hexes and Hemlines. Obsidian, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) | series character: Lily Ivory (A Witchcraft Mystery 3) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Dead Bolt. Obsidian, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco (Cow Hollow) | series character: Mel Turner (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 2) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: General Contractor Melanie Turner’s latest restoration is a historic Queen Anne Victorian in San Francisco’s Cow Hollow neighborhood. Trouble is, she’ll have to work around the owners, the Daley family, who refuse to leave during the construction. But when eerie things start happening around the site, the Daleys threaten to call off the renovation for fear the work is disrupting ghosts who live on the property. But the ghosts aren’t the only ones getting in the way of the renovation. The Daleys’ neighbors aren’t exactly thrilled by the muss and fuss of the construction project. When Mel’s father finds a dead body, Mel must tack on one more task to her growing to-do list. She has to finish the job, bring the house back from the brink, and complete her greatest renovation project yet: restoring her reputation.

In a Witch’s Wardrobe. Obsidian, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) | series character: Lily Ivory (A Witchcraft Mystery 4) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Murder on the House. Obsidian, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro District) | series character: Mel Turner (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 3) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: Bed-and-breakfast -- with a side of ghosts. Word has spread that contractor Mel Turner can communicate with the spirits of the dead, and she’s having a hard time maintaining a low profile. She decides to embrace her reputation for the chance to restore a historic house [in San Francisco’s Castro District] that calls to her. The new owners, who hope to run a haunted bed-and-breakfast, want Mel to encourage the ghosts that supposedly roam the halls to enhance the house’s paranormal charm. The catch: Mel has to spend one night in the house to win the project. During the spine-chilling sleepover, the estate gains another supernatural occupant when someone doesn’t survive the night. As Mel tries to coax the resident spirits into revealing the identity of the killer, she risks becoming the next casualty of this dangerous renovation.

Tarnished and Torn. Obsidian, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) | series character: Lily Ivory (A Witchcraft Mystery 5) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Home for the Haunting. Obsidian, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco (Castro District) | series character: Mel Turner (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 4) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: San Francisco contractor Mel Turner is leading a volunteer home renovation project, and while she expects lots of questions from her inexperienced crew, she can’t help asking a few of her own -- especially about the haunted house next door, the place local kids call the Murder House. But when volunteers discover a body while cleaning out a shed, questions pile up faster than discarded lumber. Mel notices signs of ghostly activity next door and she wonders: Are the Murder House ghosts reaching out to her for help, or has the house claimed another victim?

A Vision in Velvet. Obsidian, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) | series character: Lily Ivory (A Witchcraft Mystery 6) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Keeper of the Castle. Obsidian, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco; Marin County | series character: Mel Turner (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 5) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Spellcasting in Silk. Obsidian, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco (Mission District) | series character: Lily Ivory (A Witchcraft Mystery 7) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Give Up the Ghost. Obsidian, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco (Pacific Heights) | series character: Mel Turner (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 6) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

A Toxic Trousseau. Obsidian, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Lily Ivory (Witchcraft Mystery 8) | pbo | find it |

Summary: Even the most skilled sorceress can't ward off a lawsuit, and Lily is not at her enchanting best with her hands full as the temporary leader of San Francisco's magical community. So after her potbellied pig Oscar head-butts rival clothier Autumn Jennings, Lily tries to make peace without a costly personal injury case. But any hope of a quiet resolution is shattered when Autumn turns up dead. As one of the prime suspects, Lily searches for a way to clear her name and discovers a cursed trousseau among Autumn’s recently acquired inventory. Lily must deal with a mysterious dogwalker and spend the night in a haunted house as she delves into the trunk's treacherous past. She’s got to figure out who wanted to harm Autumn fast, before the curse claims another victim.

A Ghostly Light. Berkley Prime Crime, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco; Marin County | series character: Mel Turner (A Haunted Home Renovation Mystery 7) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: When her friend Alicia hires Turner Construction to renovate a historic lighthouse in the San Francisco Bay, Mel Turner can’t wait to get her hands dirty. Alicia plans to transform the island property into a welcoming inn, and while Mel has never attempted a project so ambitious -- or so tall -- before, she’s definitely up for the challenge. But trouble soon arises when Alicia’s abusive ex-husband shows up to threaten both her and Mel, and later turns up dead at the base of the lighthouse stairs. With no other suspects in sight, things start looking choppy for Alicia. Now, if Mel wants to clear her friend’s name, she’ll need the help of the lighthouse’s resident ghosts to shine a light on the real culprit....

A Magical Match. Berkley Prime Crime, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Lily Ivory (Witchcraft Mystery 9) | pbo | find it |

Summary: While planning a 1950s-themed brunch to benefit the local women's shelter, witch and vintage-store owner Lily Ivory, after her fiancé stands accused of murder, begins to suspect that one of her magical enemies is targeting her loved ones in an attempt to weaken her.

Bewitched and Betrothed. Berkley Prime Crime, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Lily Ivory (Witchcraft Mystery 10) | pbo | find it |

Summary: A supernatural force on the loose in San Francisco and a family reunion keeps witch and vintage storeowner Lily Ivory on her toes as she prepares to walk down the aisle...

 

Blair, Marcia.

The Final Ring. Kensington Pub. Corp., 1978.

 

Blanchard, Richard.

Mounted in the City by the Bay. Forever Fine Art, 1998.

Summary: Golden Gate Park -- San Franciscso’s 1,000-acre green treasure, and a society within a society. Patrolled by the San Francisco Police Department’s mounted unit, it is home to beauty, romance, and intrigue. Step into the lives of officers Rennie Rensford and Tim Collar and meet the colorful pallet of colleagues, criminals, citizens, and characters that inhabit their everyday patrols. Experience the partners’ anxiety and determination as they race time to identify, and bring to justice, the predators who have been haunting the park. Share their pleasure as they find love and comfort in the arms of fascinating society ladies. A different story of police work, romance, and crime.

 

Blaney, Charles E., and Charles A. Taylor.

The King of the Opium Ring. J.S. Ogilvie Pub. Co., 1905. (Play Book Series ; no. 66)

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown) | Hubin | find it |

Summary: A novelization of the play of the same name. The play was set in the year 1890 and billed as the inside story of San Francisco's Chinatown. The climax features a "police raid on an opium joint."

 

Blankenship, William D.

The Ghost of Silicon Valley. Writer's Showcase, 2000.

| setting: Silicon Valley; San Francisco | paranormal | tpo | find it |

Summary: Can one of Silicon Valley's premier software companies be haunted? Impossible, says Bobby Race, CEO of the company and a powerful force in the information industry. Don't be so sure, counters Kevin Pierce, a talented but down-at-the-heels portrait artist who knows too well that supernatural life does exist. Kevin has been saddled for ten years with his own personal ghost, Sport Sullivan, a cynical, street-wise gambler murdered in 1920. Desperate to save his company from the embarrassment of a haunting, Bobby Race hires Kevin to rid the company of its ghost under the guise of painting Bobby's portrait. The ghost appears to be Cynthia Gooding, a company employee who died in a suspicious accident at company headquarters. Along the way Kevin becomes involved with two very sharp, quite different career women. Dorothy Lake is an emotionally buttoned down genius programmer who wants Kevin more than she will admit. Jenny Hartson, executive secretary to the CEO, is a health and exercise fanatic who wants to break Kevin of his dependency on Carta Blanca beer. Throw in Izzy Valentine, a gangster trying to buy (or threaten) his way onto Bobby's board of directors; Big Sam Cody, the best car thief in San Francisco; and Pure John Braggia, a thug with excellent manners. With the help of Sport Sullivan (an ethereal cousin to Dr. Watson), Kevin must walk through a mine field of these dangerous characters to uncover the reason Cynthia Gooding's ghost is haunting the executive suites of Silicon Valley.

 

Blanton-Stroud, Shelley.

Copy Boy. She Writes Press, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco (1930s) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Jane's a very brave boy. And a very difficult girl. She'll become a remarkable woman, an icon of her century, but that's a long way off. Not my fault, she thinks, dropping a bloody crowbar in the irrigation ditch after Daddy. She steals Momma's Ford and escapes to Depression-era San Francisco, where she fakes her way into work as a newspaper copy boy. Everything's looking up. She's climbing the ladder at the paper, winning validation, skill, and connections with the artists and thinkers of her day. But then Daddy reappears on the paper's front page, his arm around a girl who's just been beaten into a coma one block from Jane's newspaper hit in the head with a crowbar. Jane's got to find Daddy before he finds her, and before everyone else finds her out. She's got to protect her invented identity. This is what she thinks she wants. It's definitely what her dead brother wants.

 

Blevins, Meredith.

The Hummingbird Wizard. Forge, 2003.

Summary: Annie Szabo has done her best keeping her life on track after the sudden death of her husband. She has also kept herself away from her late husband’s family, a strong-willed clan of Gypsies that swirl around her stubborn and forceful mother-in-law, Madame Mina. (Mina tells fortunes in Chinatown and operates a successful café on Haight St. and is seemingly irresistible to men.) When Annie’s oldest friend, Jerry, is found dead she is forced back into the family. Jerry had been married to her husband’s sister and had served as the family lawyer. Suspecting that Jerry has been murdered, Annie and Madame Mina join forces to find out what Jerry had been involved in that someone would kill him over. They are helped -- and hindered -- by a large and eccentric cast of characters, including a Gypsy PI, a SFPD detective who wants to solve this one last case before his retirement, Jerry’s circus performer ex-wife, Annie’s free-spirit daughter, and the Hummingbird Wizard, a mysterious young man (who also happens to be her husband’s half-brother) with mystical powers. The action alternates between various San Francisco locales and Annie’s home in rural Sonoma County.

The Vanished Priestess. Forge, 2005.

Summary: The indomitable Annie Szabo has lost too many friends and loved ones, so the death of Margo Spanger hits hard. Margo, Annie’s neighbor, was a cultural icon with money and fame. Maybe too much. She used one of her projects, a New Age circus, to fund a women’s shelter. When Margo’s partner, Lili, goes missing the day of Margo’s death, the circus and shelter fall into disarray. It turns Annie’s world upside down, too. Her daughter is a resident of the women’s shelter and could become the next victim. More trouble: Annie’s mother-in-law, the Gypsy fortune-teller Madame Mina, plants her trailer in Annie's yard with a vengeance, right next to Annie's pet giraffes. Aided by an ex-cop and Mina’s plant medicine, Annie uncovers Margo’s past. She’d rattled the power elite, a trapeze flier, one jealous lover, a captain of industry, a long-lost son, and an ice-blond philanthropist. As Annie delves into their surprisingly tangled lives, one thing becomes clear -- the killer is a master of disguises, and time is running out. However, when Annie and Madame Mina stop arguing long enough to put their heads together, the truth can’t hide. [The Vanished Priestess] continues the tale of the juicy Szabo family women. They learn that, under or outside the big top, anything and everything may be an illusion. Engaging and exotic, sexy and fun … an unforgettable mystery featuring a heroine who must walk a treacherous tightrope to save a new lover, her home, and her life.

The Red Hot Empress. Forge, 2005.

Summary: By this time, Annie Szabo should know that when she goes along with one of her mother-in-law’s [a Gypsy fortune-teller who operates in San Francisco’s Chinatown] plans, trouble follows. Mina wants Jimmy’s picture in The Eye, the tabloid where Annie works. Jimmy’s a toner, a person who heals illness and cures them through chanting. If he can’t cure a person, he is able to give them peace. The picture and the story attract too many people who want to use the twelve-year-old boy for their own selfish purposes. Flora, an Evangelical preacher, wants to use Jimmy to heal the sick in her congregation so she can collect a fee. The CDC wants him when he is older to help discover cures for diseases even though his method is outside the box. The FBI wants him because they believe he can create biological weapons. The Tongs want him to keep them in good health. When Jimmy’s uncle is murdered, Mina kidnaps him and hands him over to Annie to protect, a dangerous job because some assailants will kill to control Jimmy. Annie devises a diabolical plan to make everyone think they are dead so she can figure who the real villain of the piece is.

 

Bodman, Karna Small.

Trust But Verify. Regnery Fiction, 2018.

| setting: Washington, D.C.; Florida; San Francisco | series character: Samantha Reid | find it |

Summary: Samantha Reid, the brilliant Director of the White House Office of Homeland Security, is enjoying a rare evening away from Washington at a Florida charity ball when a bomb sends the well-heeled attendees stampeding into the night. Narrowly escaping the blast, Reid returns to the White House, where she has been trailing the massacres and illicit arms sales of a shadowy group of Russian oligarchs... all of whom want her dead. Caught in an ever-tightening spiral of lies and ruthless hitmen, Reid must race the clock against her assassins. But she's not alone. When FBI special agent Brett Keating discovers Samantha was the target of the Florida bomb, he resolves to protect her, while also unraveling a brazen plot that threatens the lives of international financial leaders and stock markets worldwide.

 

Bogar, Jeff. [Harry Hossent, Ronald Wills Thomas, Leslie T. Barnard]

Confessions of a Chinatown Moll. Universal, [195-?].

 

Bolton, Denniger.

Honk If You're Jesus: Murder by the Bay. Javelina Books, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown) | series character: B.B. Rivers | tpo |

Summary: Austin private eye, former cop and rodeo cowboy, B.B. (Bilbo Baggins) Rivers is summoned to San Francisco to look for a missing person, O.C. Flowers. O.C. is his best friend and the front man in a popular, irreverent rock and roll band called Honk If You’re Jesus. He has gone missing two weeks before the band's break-through concert in Los Angeles, an event he would never miss if he were alive and free. The only clue is that he told the band he was headed to Chinatown on personal business. Following the clues leads B.B. into the world of Chinatown gangs, drugs, and martial arts and involves beautiful con artists, gay policemen, and the wives of other missing persons. The world B.B. has to deal with as he searches to learn his friend’s fate is nothing like his native Texas. (P.B.)

 

Bond, Bruce Lee.

The Broken Coast. Montag Press, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown; 1906) | tpo | find it |

 

Booth, Charles G.

Those Seven Alibis. William Morrow, 1932.

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 295; Hubin | find it |

Summary: Dr. Martinez has dug up an ancient Greek marble head with an angelic face, but a demonic smile. Sebastien Durand, a San Francisco antiques dealer with a shop near Union Square, has used his contacts and money to get the head out of Greece and into the country as if it were a modern piece. The head is worth hundreds of thousands of 1932 dollars to a collector willing to overlook clear title. Dr. Martinez and M. Durand end up in bitter litigation when Mr. Durand claims 100% ownership of the head. Complicating the ownership battle are a romance between M. Durand’s granddaughter Sally and Dr. Martinez’ son Ted, two other San Francisco collectors who are scheming to acquire the head, the intrigues of Quon Lee, a Chinese gift shop merchant intensely loyal to M. Durand, and Lee’s wife Yu Hong, who is a modern woman with a yen for adventure. On the day the court decides in favor of Dr. Martinez, M. Durand is found shot to death in his office, which shows the signs of a duel between the dead man and Dr. Martinez. The original head has vanished and has been replaced with a clever, but obvious, copy. Everyone has a seemingly unshakeable alibi for the time of death. Ted is convinced his father could not have been the culprit and enlists Sally in an effort to prove Quon Lee is hiding his complicity with M. Durand in a suicide designed to implicate Dr. Martinez. Police Inspector O’Todd is focusing his suspicion on Dr. Martinez, given his view that the simplest solution is the most likely. Sally, Ted, and Inspector O’Todd have to begin unraveling the alibis to find the truth before anyone else falls victim—and before the family feud drives a wedge between the young lovers. (P.B.)

 

Booth, Edwin.

The Broken Window. Arcadia House, 1960.

 

Boray, Paul. [Jerry Kennealy]

Cash Out. Onyx, 2002.

 

Borof, Irwin.

Evidence of Prejudice. Eloquent Books, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco (1945) | tpo | find it |

 

Bosse, M. J.

The Man Who Loved Zoos. Putnam, 1974.

 

Bostwick, James S.

Acts of Omission. Post Hill Press, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Matt Taylor | find it |

Summary: A brilliant and dogged young trial lawyer in San Francisco risks everything he holds dear to bring the most dangerous legal adversary in town to justice. Down on his luck after a string of lost cases and a recent divorce, personal injury lawyer Matt Taylor hopes his next trial will be an easy win. But when he meets a devastatingly injured young man desperate for help, Matt finds himself embroiled in an impossible lawsuit against Salvatore Conte, a powerful lawyer with sinister connections. Despite all warnings, Matt courageously pulls out all the stops to uncover the truth and right a horrific legal wrong. What follows is an epic multi-million-dollar battle of wills, intrigue, and outright violence that could cost Matt everything he cares about-his career, his family, his heart....and his life.

 

Boucher, Anthony. [William Anthony Parker White]

The Case of the Seven of Calvary. Simon and Schuster, 1937.

| setting: Berkeley (University of California) | Baird & Greenwood 2598; Hubin | find it |

Summary: After Dr. Hugo Schaedel, an unofficial ambassador of the Swiss Republic, who is also the uncle of a University of California student, is murdered in the Berkeley Hills, Professor Ashwin, with the help of Martin Lamb, another student, evaluates the lives and loves of a group of students living in International House to discover the mystery behind the murder. The characters of the amateur detectives Ashwin and Lamb are fairly obvious stand-ins for UC Berkeley professor Arthur William Ryder (1877-1938) and Boucher, himself. Ashwin, like Ryder, is a professor of Sanskrit, and his name means “rider” in Sanskrit. Boucher studied with Ryder when he was a student at Berkeley and spent frequent evenings drinking Scotch in the professor’s company. (M.B.)

The Compleat Werewolf and Other Stories of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Simon and Schuster, 1969.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Fergus O'Breen | novella and short stories; science fiction | find it |

Summary: This book is included here because of the title story, which combines a traditional detective yarn with elements of the supernatural. Originally published in Unknown Worlds in April 1942, "The Compleat Werewolf" is the tale of Wolfe Wolf, professor of German at UC Berkeley. Dejected after his proposal to Gloria Garton (a former student, now a successful Hollywood actress) is refused, Wolf seeks out the nearest bar. After consuming several "zombies" Wolf meets a strange little man calling himself Ozymandias the Great, who claims to be a magician. Ozymandias tells him that he, Wolf, is in fact werewolf and teaches him a pair of magic words that he can use to change from human form to wolf and back again. Wolf's new powers soon result in the loss of his teaching position. In order to make a living by being a wolf, Wolf decides to audition for a canine starring role in a film opposite, you guessed it, Gloria Garton. Fortunately, the auditions are being held in Berkeley. He easily passes the audition, but before he can get too excited about his budding film career, he becomes involved with Los Angeles private eye Fergus O'Breen, who is in town on the trail of a sinister spy ring operating in Berkeley. After taking several bullets -- none of them silver, fortunately -- Wolf succeeds in rounding up the spies, including his beloved Gloria. O'Breen is a recurring character in several of Boucher's straight mysteries novels and stories.

 

Boucher, Anthony, and Denis Green.

The Casebook of Gregory Hood: Radio Plays. Crippen & Landru Publishers, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gregory Hood | find it |

 

Bowen, Rhys.

Time of Fog and Fire. Minotaur Books, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco (1906) | series character: Molly Murphy | find it |

Summary: Molly Murphy Sullivan's husband Daniel, a police captain in turn-of-the-century New York City, is in a precarious position. The new police commissioner wants him off the force altogether. So when Daniel's offered an assignment from John Wilkie, head of the secret service, he's eager to accept. Molly can't draw any details of the assignment out of him, even where he'll be working. But when she spots him in San Francisco during a movie news segment, she starts to wonder if he's in even more danger than she had first believed. And then she receives a strange and cryptic letter from him, leading her to conclude that he wants her to join him in San Francisco. Molly knows that if Daniel's turning to her rather than John Wilkie or his contacts in the police force, something must have gone terribly wrong. What can she do for him that the police can't? Especially when she doesn't even know what his assignment is? Embarking on a cross-country journey with her young son, Molly can't fathom what's in store for her, but she knows it might be dangerous in fact, it might put all of their lives at risk.

 

Bowman, Robert J.

The House of Blue Lights. St. Martin’s Press, 1987.

| setting: San Francisco (South of Market) | series character: Cassandra Thorpe | Hubin | find it |

Summary: South of Market is San Francisco’s sleazy underside, populated by winos and derelicts, drug dealers and an occasional advocate for the poor and dispossessed. Cassandra Thorpe is one of these. A burned-out public defender, she is about to leave for the quiet rewards of a law practice in Santa Rosa when a charming old gent walks into her office with a briefcase full of coded, multicolored graphs and intimations that the owner of a shelter for the homeless is less philanthropic than he appears. Cass is drawn into a vortex of events involving a land-development scheme, two fires (one the possible arson of a local bar and the other the midnight torching of the bar’s now-homeless owner in a park), a persistent myth about treasure buried under the demolished bar’s parking lot and the city’s organized crime network. Besides the redoubtable and compassionate Cass, who fixes old jukeboxes as a hobby, characters include her weak, opportunistic former husband, her mother (who runs a local diner), a spaced-out blond giant with an urge to violence and the large, ever-varied cast of San Francisco’s indigent. Editor’s note: Intended as the first in a series. Alas, Cassandra Thorpe was a one-hit wonder.

The Screaming Buddha. St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

| setting: San Francisco ("Our Fair City") | Hubin | find it |

Summary: Jack Squire is a petty criminal, scam artist, parolee, and erstwhile cab driver who drives around the city in an old Checker, looking less for fares than for free meals. He lives in the garage of a mansion in the “Heights,” collects comic books, and has a wacky assortment of friends, including the teenage son of his landlord (whom he has nicknamed “Putz”) and photographer girlfriend with a foul mouth. While sneaking his way around a toy and novelty convention, Jack learns about an abandoned container on the waterfront, just waiting for someone to pick it up. So he borrows a truck from his buddy, Jerry Mack (so named because he drives a Mack truck) and claims the container -- getting much than he bargained for in the process. Not only is it filled with seemingly useless rubber Buddha dolls that shriek when you press their bellies, but he attracts the unwanted attention of a U.S. Customs clerk. When the clerk, who turns out to be a pretty decent sort of fellow, is gruesomely murdered, Jack becomes the prime suspect -- something that will definitely not sit well with his pretty parole officer if she should find out. In order to prevent that from happening, Jack determines to find the killer himself -- and hopefully find a way to unload the Buddhas and turn a profit for himself. He becomes a messenger for a mysterious customs broker, gets himself beaten up (more than once), puts his breaking and entering skills to good use, and nearly gets himself killed before unraveling the mystery. Editor’s note: Interestingly, although the dust jacket illustration includes an image of the Golden Gate Bridge, the publisher’s copy on the inside flap identifies San Francisco by name, and the Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data includes San Francisco subject headings, the author never identifies the city by name, persisting in referring to “Our Fair City” and deliberately obscuring street names and neighborhoods.

 

Boyd, Lynn.

Dead Language. Writer’s Showcase presented by Writer’s Digest, 2000.

 

Boyle, Jack.

Boston Blackie. The H.K. Fly Company, 1919.

| setting: San Francisco and other California locales | Baird & Greenwood 307; Hubin; Herron; 1001 Midnights, p. 79-80 | find it |

Summary: The adventures of “safe-cracker de luxe” Boston Blackie, a career criminal who is also a devoted husband, “university graduate, scholar, and gentleman.” Blackie lives in a “cozy apartment in San Francisco” with Mary, his wife, “best loved pal and sole confidant.” Blackie is a criminal mastermind who has a very strong moral code that he lives by. He does not use a gun in the commission of his crimes. He is loyal to his friends and merciless to his enemies. He has a soft spot for children. In the forward, the author recounts his first meeting with Boston Blackie, in Golden Gate Park four days after the great earthquake. Blackie is caring for a group of orphaned children. The stories in this volume originally appeared in Redbook magazine between 1917 and 1919 and have been slightly revised by Boyle into chapters to take on the appearance of a novel. It is the only Boston Blackie “novel” or collection to be published. Reprinted in 1920 by A.L. Burt Co. and in a semi-facsimile edition in 1979 by Gregg Press, New York.

 

Bradford, Kelly.

Footprints. Crossing Press, 1988.

 

Bradley, Marion Zimmer.

The Inheritor. Tor, 1984.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: Leslie Barnes has just bought her first home, overlooking San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. It seems the perfect place for Leslie and her sister, a brilliant young musician. But, as soon as they move in, a plague of dark events begin, unsettling both women. To her horror, Leslie realizes that she is living in a vortex of magickal power. She must become the guardian of that power and protect it from those who seek to use it for evil. Trained as a psychologist, Leslie is in over her head when dealing with the occult -- until she meets Claire Moffatt, a charming medium, and Claire’s mentor, Colin MacLaren, world-famous psychic investigator. Together they stand against evil and enable Leslie to claim her full inheritance.

 

Braly, Malcolm.

Shake Him Till He Rattles. Gold Medal Books, 1963.

On the Yard. Little, Brown and Company, 1967.

 

Brandin, David H.

The Lodge. iUniverse, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco; Central California coast |

Summary: The Los Osos Stags Lodge, a charitable fraternal order, is selling prime beachfront property along the central California coast. Harry Warrener's best friend, Randy Lismore, dies in a bizarre incident. At the inquest into the death, an FBI agent reveals startling connections to organized crime. Harry begins an investigation and joins the Stags. He meets and falls in love with Janet Zimmer. Together with Thor, Harry's German shepherd, they uncover corruption that has spread from a mansion in San Francisco to the Stags' officers, county officials, and construction executives. The corrupt, inept Stags have exploited archaic rules and weaknesses in the management of charities. Kickbacks have been demanded and millions of dollars skimmed through a mobbed-up agent. As the investigation unfolds, Harry, an ex-Navy SEAL, who panicked in his first and only combat experience in Vietnam, is forced to confront the fears and insecurities that have haunted him for over thirty years.

 

Brasse, William.

The Sound of Sirens. Rough Magic Press, 1998.

 

Brautigan, Richard.

Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery. Simon & Schuster, 1975.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin, Herron | find it |

Dreaming of Babylon: A Private Eye Novel, 1942. Delacorte Press/Seymour Lawrence, 1977.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin, Herron, 1001 Midnights | find it |

 

Brenner, Summer.

I-5: A Novel of Crime, Transport, and Sex. PM Press, 2009.

| setting: Oakland; Los Angeles | tpo | find it |

 

Bretnor, Reginald.

A Killing in Swords. Pocket Books, 1978.

 

Brewer, Steve.

Whipsaw. Intrigue Press, 2006.

Cutthroat. Bleak House Books, 2007.

 

Brezenoff, Steven.

The Crook Who Crossed the Golden Gate Bridge. Stone Arch Books, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco (Golden Gate Bridge) | series: Field Trip Mysteries | juvenile | find it |

 

Bridges, Ann.

Private Offerings: A Silicon Valley Novel. Balcony 7 Media and Publishing, 2014.

| setting: Silicon Valley | find it |

Summary: Struggling public relations consultant Lynn Baker lands a much-needed contract with a dynamic technology firm in Silicon Valley, just in time to help launch its highly anticipated initial public offering. She soon finds herself drawn into a web of intrigue as competing interests from China begin a ruthless game of chess, each vying for the top-secret technology developed by the enigmatic company founder, Eric Coleman. The already-frenetic IPO schedule is disrupted by a vicious vortex of turmoil, including deep-rooted power plays from company insiders, each holding surprising secrets....

Rare Mettle: A Silicon Valley Novel. Balcony 7 Media and Publishing, 2016.

| setting: Silicon Valley | find it |

Summary: The reality that American military strength and technology prowess could come under attack if China decides to flex its political muscle, limiting exports of rare components vital to Silicon Valley and defense contractors, is brought to life through Ms. Bridges' exhaustive research, finessed with input from government insiders. In Rare Mettle, politicians and CEOs busily protect their careers, while special agent Paul Freeman fights to rescue his assigned operative in China, who possesses inside intelligence vital to America. Unexpected alliances bulldoze the status quo with courage and conviction, leveraging state-of-the-art surveillance technology in a breakneck effort to defend and protect all they hold dear: their national pride, their families... and their futures.

 

Bright, John.

It's Cleaner on the Inside. N. Spearman, 1961.

Summary: Peter Jameson, son of a Philistine family, a natural rebel against convention, aggressive, hating hypocrisy as personified by his banker father and grandfather, a preacher, he is catapulted by his mother’s suicide into flight from home, holding only one thing precious, the kindness he received from a colored servant girl, Tilly Washburn. He enters the raucous world of San Francisco as bell boy in a luxury hotel given over to spectacular vice. From there he graduates to Morgan Hall until, under the beneficent eye of arch-racketeer Tony Crapiola, he is installed in the high places of the underworld. Needless to say, crime, mistresses, narcotics and prostitution flourish for only so long. Then tragedy, horror and disintegration, ending in an indeterminate sentence in San Quentin prison....

 

Brody, Irene.

Winners Bitch. Malpensa Press, 2001.

 

Brooks, Ann.

One Enchanted Summer. Arcadia House, 1958.

 

Brown, Carter. [Alan Geoffrey Yates]

Murder in the Family Way. Signet, 1971.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Randy Roberts | pbo | find it |

The Seven Sirens. Signet, 1972.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Randy Roberts | pbo | find it |

The Angry Amazons. Signet, 1972.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Randy Roberts | pbo | find it |

 

Brown, Janelle.

Watch Me Disappear. Spiegel & Grau, 2017.

| setting: Berkeley, Northern California | find it |

Summary: Billie is a beautiful Berkeley mom with a radical past -- a teenage runaway from Northern California who took up with a group of environmental activists wanted by the FBI, lived dangerously, but when she meets Jonathan, a tech magazine editor and all around good guy, she settles easily into the life of an eco-conscious, stay-at-home suburban yoga mom. Their daughter Olive, under her mother's watchful gaze, becomes a lovely, introverted, slightly eccentric girl. As she reaches adolescence and needs Billie's full-time attention less, Billie throws herself into extreme sports -- marathons, scuba diving, rock climbs, solo hikes. On one of these expeditions, Billie vanishes from the trail -- only a hiking boot is found. The family is devastated -- a year of intense mourning passes in which they await the closure that a body and a death certificate will bring. Jonathan drinks; Olive grows remote. But then she starts having waking dreams -- hallucinations? -- in which her very vibrant mother urges the girl to look for her, and Olive begins to believe her mother is still alive and in trouble. Jonathan believes the trauma and anxiety of losing her mother is making Olive ill, until he uncovers a secret that compels him to consider that Billie may not be dead after all and sends him on his own quest for the truth -- about Billie, their marriage, and the things people do in the name of love.

 

Browne, Gerald A.

18mm Blues. Warner Books, 1993.

| setting: San Francisco (Potrero Hill), Southeast Asia | series character: Grady Bowman | find it |

Summary: Pearls. Cleopatra gave them to Marc Antony in the most expensive meal in history. Hindus place them in the mouths of the dead. And every year, from the Far East to New York’s diamond district, they bring billions of dollars on the open and not-so-open market. Grady Bowman is a creature of that market. But Grady Bowman is not the man he used to be. He’s out of a job and out of a marriage, and he’s madly in love with a beautiful, eccentric San Francisco artist who has just tried to kill herself. Julia Elkins is a changed person, too. Saved from years of loneliness and her own despair, she accompanies Grady to Rangoon and the annual Gem Emporium to help him set up his own gem business. Neither Grady nor Julia can guess that their long journey has become intertwined with a bloody incident carried out decades before. Off the coast of Burma a remarkable discovery was made. Two Japanese amas -- women pearl divers -- retrieved a handful of unheard-of blue pearls, 18 millimeters in diameter. As a reward, they were savagely murdered by the ship’s captain, whose only regret was that one person -- the young Amerasian son of one of the divers -- escaped the massacre. In Thailand, Grady and Julia come upon a gifted gem cutter and an odd series of events drive them closer to their fate and a fearful day of reckoning. For just beyond the last step in their quest lie the blue waters of the Adaman, and within them, waiting to be uncovered, the truth surrounding a bed of oysters guarding the most extraordinary blue pearls… Set against the backdrop of the secretive, highly lucrative international gem market, an elegant mystery of murder and revenge that reaches from San Francisco’s Potrero Hill to the jasmine-scented coast of Burma.

 

Browne, S. G.

Lucky Bastard. Gallery Books, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nick Monday | find it |

Summary: Meet Nick Monday: a private detective who’s more Columbo than Sam Spade, more Magnum P.I. than Philip Marlowe. As San Francisco’s infamous luck poacher, Nick doesn’t know whether his ability to swipe other people’s fortunes with a simple handshake is a blessing or a curse. Ever since his youth, Nick has swallowed more than a few bitter truths when it comes to wheeling and dealing in destinies. Because whether the highest bidders of Nick’s serendipitous booty are celebrities, yuppies, or douche bag vegans, the unsavory fact remains: luck is the most powerful, addictive, and dangerous drug of them all. And no amount of cappuccinos, Lucky Charms, or apple fritters can sweeten the notion that Nick might be exactly what his father once claimed—as ambitious as a fart. That is, until Tuesday Knight, the curvy brunette who also happens to be the mayor’s daughter, approaches Nick with an irresistible offer: $100,000 to retrieve her father’s stolen luck. Could this high-stakes deal let Nick do right? Or will kowtowing to another greedmonger’s demands simply fund Nick’s addiction to corporate coffee bars while his morality drains down the toilet? Before he downs his next mocha, Nick finds himself at the mercy of a Chinese mafia kingpin and with no choice but to scour the city for the purest kind of luck, a hunt more titillating than softcore porn. All he has to do to stay ahead of the game is remember that you can’t take something from someone without eventually paying like hell for it....

 

Brownlow, Marie.

The Grinder. iUniverse, 2007.

 

Brubaker, Ed, and Sean Phillips.

Fatale. Book 1, Death Chases Me. Image Comics, Inc., 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (1950s) | series characters: Nicholas Lash, Dominic “Hank” Raines | graphic novel | tpo | find it |

 

Bruno, Anthony.

Hot Fudge. Forge, 2000.

 

Brush, Carl R.

The Second Vendetta. Solstice Publishing, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (1910s) | series characters: Andy Maxwell | tpo | find it |

Summary: Not again. It’s taken Andy Maxwell two years—1908-1910—to help his family recover from the vendetta that nearly killed his mother, burned their Sierra Nevada ranch house, and exhumed some long-buried family secrets—including the fact that his father was black. At last, Andy thinks, he can return to University of California and pursue his history doctorate in peace. Not so. First of all, it turns out they don’t want a miscegenated mongrel in the Ph.D. program. Just when he’s enlisted the eminent San Francisco journalist, Ambrose Bierce, to help him attack that problem, it turns out that marauder who started all the trouble in the first place didn’t stay Shanghaied. Michael Yellow Squirrel is back for another try at eliminating every last Maxwell on earth. So much for school. And then there’s the election. Reform gubernatorial candidate Hiram Johnson wants Andy to run for the California legislature and help foil the railroad barons. And then there are the women—the debutante beauty and the Arapaho princess....

The Maxwell Vendetta. Solstice Publishing, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco (1908) | series characters: Andy Maxwell | tpo |

Summary: In 1908, Andy Maxwell sets out to solve the mystery surrounding the stabbing death of his younger brother outside a San Francisco bar. He’s certain the murder is part of a vendetta against his family, but frustration and suspense mount as he fails to convince authorities that the killing is anything more than the sad consequence of a brawl between a pair of drunks. The police, the U.S. Army, even his mother refuse to entertain the possibility that the killer, Michael Yellow Squirrel, is one of a clan who intends to wipe out the Maxwells and their California Sierra Nevada ranch. Andy’s quest for the motives and perpetrators behind the scheme carries him from California to Wyoming and deep into his family’s pioneer past and psyche, where he unearths disturbing secrets about, among other matters, his own racial heritage. It also plunges him into a romantic dilemma involving a blonde debutante and an Arapaho princess. Although Andy’s initial purpose is to foil a conspiracy against his family, his journey eventually leads him to question not only his own values, but also those of the frontier that spawned and nourished them. Editor’s note: A prequel to Brush’s The Second Vendetta (2012).

 

Bryan, Kate.

A Record of Death. Berkley Prime Crime, 1998.

Murder on the Barbary Coast. Berkley Prime Crime, 1999.

 

Bryant, Dorothy.

Killing Wonder. Ata Books, 1981.

 

Brykczynski, Terry.

Caged. Crown, 1980.

 

Buckler, Stephen M.

The HMO: Murder by Referral. Fifth Estate, 2006.

 

Budd, Carol.

Scarlet Scandals. Pocket Books, 1990.

 

Buettner, Robert.

The Golden Gate. Baen Books, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | science fiction | find it |

Summary: Reclusive San Francisco worker Emmanuel Colibri built the world's most valuable and admired company by making dreams come true, like phones and cars that were smarter than their owners. Now rumor has it he's about to make the dream that people alive today can live to be one thousand come true, too. Then he is assassinated, his car literally blown off the Golden Gate Bridge. When cultural opposites Ben and Kate race through the Bay Area chasing clues Colibri left behind, they discover not only each other but a cosmic secret that can change human history -- and may cost them their lives.

 

Buffa, D. W.

The Legacy. Warner Books, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Joseph Antonelli | find it |

Summary: When a senator with his eye on the presidency is shot in San Francisco, the only person willing to defend the young African American man caught fleeing the scene is Joseph Antonelli, who finds himself in a corrupt web of backroom politics and old money.

Trial by Fire. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005.

          | setting: San Francisco | series character: Joseph Antonelli | find it |

Summary: Famous defense attorney Joseph Antonelli and Berkeley law professor Justin Sinclair meet on the talk show “The Bryan Allen Show,” with lawyer Paula Constable and San Francisco assistant district attorney Daphne McMillan. There is a rapport between Antonelli and Justin from the start. Joseph represents all the goodness humanity has to offer while Justin admires the defense attorney and thinks of him as a defender of truth. It is to Joseph that Justin turns when he gets in legal trouble. Justin calls Joseph early one morning and asks him to come over to his house. When he arrives, he sees the butchered up body of Daphne there. Justin admits she spent the night in his house but he never killed her or heard any intruder in the house. Joseph knows Justin is innocent and agrees to be his lawyer, but before the case can go to trial it is played out in the media. Justin is found guilty and is sentenced to life without parole, but Joseph is determined to prove that Daphne’s abusive husband killed her and he goes to amazing lengths to see that justice prevails.

The Swindlers. Blue Zephyr, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Andrew Morrison | find it |

Summary: They had everything anyone could want -- money, power, fame and influence -- but none of it was enough. They had to have more. Nelson St. James, one of the world's richest men, is accused of a massive fraud, stealing billions from innocent investors. Before he can be brought to justice he is murdered on his yacht. His young wife, Danielle, whose face has been on the cover of every major fashion magazine, is charged with the crime. One of the best known lawyers in the country, Andrew Morrison, agrees to defend her, but only after she reminds him of certain things she knows about him, things that had happened between them a long time before. Morrison agrees to take the case, but when she tells him what happened the night her husband died he does not believe her. So she tells him something else instead. The story keeps changing, and the more it changes, the more entangled Morrison becomes. The trial comes to a stunning conclusion, and it is only then that the real story unravels and Andrew Morrison comes face to face not just with the truth but with himself. Three people, brought together in a fatal triangle of murder and deception; three people who swindle each other, and then swindle themselves.

Necessity. Polis Books, 2018.

          | setting: San Francisco | series character: Joseph Antonelli | find it |

Summary: When renowned lawyer Joseph Antonelli -- the defense attorney who has never lost a case -- takes on the most shocking and controversial case of his storied career, he has no idea of the depths of trouble he's about to get into. A man has murdered the President of the United States, but has invoked the "Law of Necessity," which states that a crime is justified if it serves the greater good and thus prevents a greater harm from occurring.

 

Bunting, Eve.

Someone is Hiding on Alcatraz Island. Clarion Books, 1984.

| setting: Alcatraz Island, San Francisco | juvenile | MRJ | find it |

Summary: When Danny Sullivan saves an old woman from being mugged on a San Francisco street, he doesn’t know that the mugger is Priest’s brother. Priest is a member of the Outlaws, the toughest gang in Danny’s school. Now the Outlaws want revenge. Danny tries to escape by jumping on an excursion boat that’s leaving for Alcatraz Island where the old abandoned prison still stands. But the island doesn’t hold safety for Danny. It only holds terror since the Outlaws follow.

The Hideout. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991.

| setting: San Francisco | juvenile | MRJ | find it |

Summary: Feeling unloved by his mother and new stepfather, twelve-year-old Andy hides out in a luxurious San Francisco hotel and stages his own kidnapping in order to obtain ransom money to pay for a trip to England to see his father. The plan backfires when someone decides to make the kidnapping a reality.

 

Burcell, Robin.

Every Move She Makes. HarperPaperbacks, 1999.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kate Gillespie | Hubin | pbo | find it |

Summary: Kate Gillespie, the first female homicide detective in the San Francisco Police Department, and her partner, Sam Scolari, are investigating the discovery of a frozen body in pharmaceutical company’s warehouse. When Sam’s wife, the coroner on the case, is murdered it looks as if the SoMa Slasher, a serial killer who has been terrorizing the city, has struck again. However, Sam’s sudden disappearance leads everyone to think he is the murderer. Kate sets out to solve the mystery and prove his innocence. Complicating the situation are three men competing for her attention: Mike Torrance, the Internal Affairs investigator following Kate in the hope that she’ll lead him to Sam; her ex-husband, DA Investigator Reid Bettencourt; and Nicholas Paolini, a local crime boss against whom Kate is about to testify and who has been making threats on her life.

Fatal Truth. Avon Books, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kate Gillespie | pbo | find it |

Summary: On the way to meet with a snitch, San Francisco homicide inspector Kate Gillespie witnesses his murder—by another cop. Then the shooter, a corrupt narcotics investigator, turns up dead several hours later. Unsure of whom she can trust, Kate turns to her ex-partner Sam Scolari, who is now making a living as a PI, and Mike Torrance, an Internal Affairs detective and former romantic flame. Both men assist Kate as she investigates the two killings and discovers some disturbing connections to a 12-year-old scandal involving her dead brother, his wife and their young son.

Deadly Legacy. Avon Books, 2003.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kate Gillespie | pbo | find it |

Summary: In San Francisco, Homicide Detectives Kate Gillespie and Rocky Markowski investigate what appears is a murder/suicide with two corpses inside a car. When Kate sees the female victim, she realizes she was her estranged best friend Eve Tremayne. Kate cut off her relationship with Eve because the latter was into kinky S&M. Kate and Rocky explores Eve’s residence, where they find a sex room containing adult toys and an album filled with pictures of the deceased’s clients. Kate sees a picture of her dead father and absconds with it. In its place she leaves behind a picture of her ex-husband. As Rocky takes over the lead with another cop, Kate is relegated to providing support. The SFPD digs into a violent underworld filled with treachery, duplicity and selfish cover-ups by individuals who will not lose a minute of sleep if three cops must die.

Cold Case. Avon Books, 2004.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kate Gillespie | pbo | find it |

Summary: Three years ago SFPD Homicide Investigator Kate Gillespie was in pursuit of a suspect who murdered a hooker in a sleazy motel, and she nearly lost her own life in the process. The shooter escaped into the San Francisco shadows and the trail went colder than the grave. Now Kate’s appearance on a Bay Area “crime stoppers” TV show produces new leads that carry her back into the sordid world of drugs and prostitution—and point her toward a local crime boss whose missing wife is possibly linked to multiple men and multiple murders. But when a dangerous knot of betrayals, secrets, and criminal cover-ups starts unraveling, Kate can only hope she’ll be as lucky as she was on that black night at the Twin Palms Motel. Because the only way to the truth leads directly into the line of fire....

Face of a Killer. Poisoned Pen Press, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sydney Fitzpatrick | Simultaneously published as a mass-market paperback: Avon Books, 2008 | find it |

Summary: FBI Special Agent Sydney Fitzpatrick—a forensic artist working out of the San Francisco field office—has long wondered about the truth of her father’s murder twenty years earlier. Johnnie Wheeler, the man convicted of the crime, is scheduled to be executed at San Quentin Prison in a few days. Against her family’s wishes and her own better judgment, Sydney goes to the prison to visit Wheeler, who has steadfastly maintained his innocence. After the interview, Sydney is convinced that there is more to the case and that key evidence has been suppressed. As she races against the impending execution, she uncovers secrets about her father’s military past—secrets with international implications that some people in very high places will stop at nothing to keep buried.

The Last Good Place. Brash Books, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Al Krug and Casey Kellog | tpo | find it |

Summary: Sgt. Al Krug and his younger, college-educated partner Casey Kellog are investigating a string of strangulation killings when another victim is found at the Presidio but a surprising, violent incident at the crime scene makes them wonder if everything is what it seems. The two mismatched cops, with sharply conflicting approaches to detective work, are under intense pressure to get results. It's a race-against-the-clock investigation that propels them into the deadly intersection of politics, real estate, media and vice... the fertile, fog-shrouded killing field of a ruthless murderer. Continues Carolyn Weston's series of books published in the 1970s, which were the basis for the hit TV show "The Streets of San Francisco."

 

Burchfield, Thomas.

Butchertown. Ambler House Publishing, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (1920s) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Paul Bacon, ex-Navy boxer and fun-loving, Jazz-Age fashion plate, moved to 1920s California for the endless sunshine, oranges, and bright, white beaches. But all he finds is loneliness and misery in the chilly, fog-choked canyons of San Francisco. One night, homesick and miserable, he meets, and falls for, Molly Carver, a mysterious beauty who lures him on a romantic weekend escapade across the Bay to her hometown of Evansville. There, she promises, he will find the California promised by the travel brochures. Molly's promise turns out to be camouflage for a dangerous game. Evansville is no paradise but a whirling sewer of slaughterhouses, oil refineries, factories and dens of Prohibition iniquity. After stumbling across the brutal murder of Molly's brother, Paul must fight for his life while caught in the crossfire of a bloody gang war over the town's teeming vice rackets. and playing diplomat-at-gunpoint between the two warring factions. If he wants to get out alive, he'd better find the path to peace between two groups who know little of it. They don't call it "Butchertown" for nothing.

 

Burge, Constance M. [see Alexander, Brandon; Burns, Laura J.; Ciencin, Scott; Dokey, Cameron; Elliot, Greg; Gallagher, Diana G.; Goldsborough, F.; Harrison, Emma; Jablonski, Carla; Lenhard, Elizabeth; Mariotte, Jeff; Noonan, Rosalind; Ostow, Micol; Ruditis, Paul; Viguié, Debbie; Willard, Eliza]

 

Burgess, Gelett, and Will Irwin.

The Picaroons: A San Francisco Night's Entertainment. McClure, Phillips & Company, 1904.

| setting: San Francisco (including Chinatown) | Baird & Greenwood 354; Hubin; Herron | find it |

Summary: On the thirteenth of October, three men, down on their luck in San Francisco, meet by chance at Coffee John’s restaurant. After feeding the men a hearty meal, Coffee John, who speaks with a heavy Cockney accent, tells them the story of a man whose luck had changed from bad to good in that very room. He then gives them each a dime and challenges them to turn it into a fortune in twenty-four hours. After they leave the restaurant, the men fall into a variety of adventures including gambling, fraud, opium smuggling, and murder. A “picaroon,” as explained in a prefatory note, is “a petty rascal, one who lives by his wits, an adventurer. The Picaresque tales, in Spanish literature of the beginning of the seventeenth century, dealt with the fortunes of beggars, imposters, thieves, etc., and chronicled the Romance of Roguery. Such stories were the precursors of the modern novel. The San Francisco Night’s Entertainment is an attempt to render similar subjects with an essentially modern setting.” Originally published serially in Pearson’s Magazine in 1903.

 

Burke, Zoe.

Jump the Gun. Poisoned Pen Press, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco; Las Vegas | series character: Annabelle Starkey | find it |

Summary: Meet Annabelle Starkey. A shrewd, sweet, and sexy Stephanie Plum without the Jersey girl attitude. She’s a one-man kind of girl who loves hats and shoes. Annabelle also loves movies. She can’t help but wonder why her own life doesn’t match her favorite silver-screen scenarios. Then, one day she meets the charming, slightly mysterious, and definitely magnetic Mickey Paxton and decides it’s time to live one of those Cary Grant films. She accepts Mickey’s invitation to fly to Las Vegas for a holiday and a test flight for romance. The script takes a surprising turn when they arrive in Sin City. Suddenly Annabelle and Mickey are on the run, but from what? And why? Did Mickey lead Annabelle into this mess? Then a murder in Annabelle’s San Francisco apartment sends the couple winging west to that city where, once again, criminals and cops pursue them. In two frenetic days of fast driving, fast talking, and fast thinking, Annabelle discovers several truths by learning to trust her own instincts. No matter what the danger, Annabelle’s fresh and funny voice is her best weapon.

 

Burnham, Helen.

The Telltale Telegram. R.M. McBride, 1932.

 

Burns, Laura J.

Inherit the Witch. Simon Spotlight, 2004. [based on the television series Charmed, created by Constance M. Burge]

Sweet Talkin' Demon. Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2006. [based on the television series Charmed, created by Constance M. Burge]

 

Burns, Mary F.

The Lucky Dog Lottery: A West Portal Mystery. Xlibris Corporation, 2006.

| setting: San Francisco (West Portal) | series character: Cynthia Montrose | find it |

Summary: A mysterious death...a statue with a secret...a $60 million lottery...hi-tech intrigue...and a battle with the elusive master criminal Meringue all add up to adventure, danger and excitement for Cynthia Montrose, her English bulldogs Roscoe and Kiwi, and her best friends Maureen and Henry. In this first of a new series, The West Portal Mysteries, criminals meet their doom in the otherwise friendly San Francisco neighborhood of West Portal, nestled between Twin Peaks and the Pacific Ocean, only a decade or two behind the high-speed downtown city life. Cynthia is a veterinarian’s assistant at a local animal hospital, and much of her life revolves around Roscoe and Kiwi, but she somehow manages to always land in the middle of things criminal! And, when the detective who shows up with the police turns out to be her high school boyfriend from Chicago, romance is in the air. Ride along with Cynthia and her friends as they unravel a hi-tech mystery that takes them through the futurist laboratories of Silicon Valley to the excitement of the Big Jackpot Lottery drawing.

The Tarot Card Murders: The Second West Portal Mystery. Xlibris Corporation, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco (West Portal) | series character: Cynthia Montrose | find it |

Summary: A mysterious secret from twenty years ago...Tarot cards left on the doorstep...and murder all add up to new excitement and challenge at Halloween for Cynthia Montrose and her two lovable English bulldogs Roscoe and Kiwi. And Cynthia continues to get crosswise with her ex-high school boyfriend, Detective Leonard Vlainich, because she’s always in the middle of whatever criminal activity happens to land in the otherwise peaceful neighborhood of West Portal, just west of Twin Peaks in San Francisco.

 

Burton, Robert A.

Final Therapy. Jove Books, 1994.

| setting: San Francisco | pbo | find it |

Summary: Dr. Alan Forester is one of San Francisco’s most prominent psychiatrists. His patients are driven to self-destructive games of power and humiliation. His job takes him into the darkest, most dangerous realms of human desire. But Dr. Forester understands that the relationship between doctor and patient is as delicate as the line between fantasy and reality. And he knows at least one colleague who has crossed that line. Now one of Dr. Forester’s patients is dead. The police are investigating a series of sadomasochistic murders. And someone is playing games with Dr. Forester. Mind games that kill....

Cellmates. Russian Hill Press, 1997.

 

Bushell, Agnes.

The Enumerator. Serpent’s Tail, 1997.

 

Butcher, Amy.

Paws for Consideration. Got G’nads Press, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (Mission District; Castro District) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Daisy -- frumpy, wheelchair-bound, self-appointed mayor of her San Francisco neighborhood -- likes dogs a little bit more than people. But when she discovers Skittles, a terrified Boston Terrier, still leashed to his very dead owner’s arm, she must roll into action. Careening through the Castro and the Mission, past upscale restaurants and low-down dungeons, Daisy and Skittles brave gentrification, gay-bashing, and homelessness to paw and sniff their way deep into that most dangerous of all relationships: neighbor.

 

Buzbee, Lewis.

Bridge of Time. Feiwel & Friends, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (1864) | juvenile | find it |

 

Byrd, Max.

California Thriller. Bantam Books, 1981.

Finders Weepers. New York: Bantam Books, 1983.

 

Byrne, Robert.

Mannequin. Atheneum, 1988.

Thrill. Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1995.

Summary: After a girl falls to her death during a roller coaster ride in an amusement park near San Francisco, the owners redesign the ride and prepare an official reopening. But it’s not the machinery that is the cause of the problem; it is a human killer.

 

Byrnes, W. P.

The Marvelous Crucifixion on Twin Peaks. Xlibris Corporation, 2000.

Summary: San Francisco in the 70’s with local and imported predators, forgers, bumblers, and thieves, gay and straight, trying confidently to outwit each other and providing a hilariously ramified story of fast-moving skullduggery.

 

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