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Page history last edited by Randal Brandt 1 week, 4 days ago

Fahnestock, Jackson.

Shu Wei's Revenge. Bayside Press, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown : 1888); China | juvenile | tpo | find it |

Summary: This is a story about strength of family and friendships, heartbreak, perseverance, and personal tragedy. The setting is 1898 in the sleepy village of Sanhou, China. Seventeen-year-old Shu Wei, in his role as Town Scribe, makes a disastrous mistake, raising the ire of some crooked town counselors. His father's business is burned to the ground by one of the villainous counselors in retaliation. To make matters worse, a tribunal of these counselors is called that summarily banishes his family from the town, including his father and sister. Sensing their lives are at risk, they decide to emigrate to San Francisco's Chinatown. On the trip over, Shu Wei encounters the counselor-arsonist on board the ship who threatens his life if he doesn't meet his demands to investigate his suspicions about his co-leader of a Tong in San Francisco. The intrigue, mystery, and tension that follow grow deeper as Shu Wei wrestles with a hostile world. Meanwhile, various members of the community rally by Shu Wei's side, trying to stabilize the fragile remnants of his confidence and honor.

 

Fahy, Thomas.

Night Visions. Perennial Dark Alley, 2004.

Summary: San Francisco lawyer Samantha Ranvali hasn’t slept in months. Haunted by memories of a brutal attack, she seeks an experimental cure. Doctors call her treatment a success—until she begins having nightmares of a violent murder strikingly similar to her own assault. The line between sleeping and waking blurs even further when she discovers the body of a friend in a scene that seems to have come straight from her dreams. A recording of Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variations’ plays nearby—a sinister calling-card for a mystery that Samantha soon discovers spans more than two hundred years. As the killings continue, Samantha and her former lover start tracking down clues to these ritualistic crimes, digging deeper into Sam’s past. Every murder reveals that an age-old curse has taken hold of her world. And every clue brings her closer to the revelation that she may be the next victim.

 

Fair, A. A. [see also Gardner, Erle Stanley]

Top of the Heap. William Morrow and Company, 1952.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Donald Lam, Bertha Cool | Hubin; Herron | find it |

Summary: Private investigator Donald Lam, of the Los Angeles agency of Cool & Lam, is hired—at a hefty fee—by John Carver Billings the Second to establish an alibi. Billings was the last man to be seen with Maurine Auburn, the moll of a notorious gangster who is recovering from an assassination attempt. Maurine has now vanished and Billings, who is drawing the attention of the local cops, claims that she ditched him and he ended up sharing the evening with two other girls from San Francisco who were in town on holiday. Lam locates the girls and verifies Billings’ version of the story. But, it all seems too easy. Refusing to just take Billings’ money and keep his mouth shut, Lam goes to San Francisco and digs up a mining scam, an illegal casino, and a couple of murders. In the process, he manages to earn the wrath of his senior partner Bertha Cool—before turning a cool profit on mining stocks.

Some Slips Don’t Show. William Morrow and Company, 1957.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Donald Lam, Bertha Cool | Hubin | find it |

 

Fairbanks, Nancy.

Chocolate Quake. Berkley Prime Crime, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Carolyn Blue (Culinary Mystery with Recipes) | culinary | pbo | find it |

Summary: Food columnist Carolyn Blue and her husband Jason are in San Francisco where he is attending a convention. Carolyn has tagged along so that she can sample (and write about) the local fare. San Francisco is also the home of Carolyn’s radical feminist mother-in-law, Vera. When Carolyn calls Vera, she learns that she is in the San Francisco Jail on a charge of first-degree murder. Vera, who has been working at the Union Street Women’s Center, is accused of stabbing the center’s accountant to death. Although the evidence is purely circumstantial, the police believe that they have their murderer and have stopped investigating. Exasperated that her husband and his mother won’t take the situation seriously—Vera has been jailed plenty of times before—Carolyn decides to take matters into her own hands and solve the crime herself. Before she unravels the mystery, Carolyn meets a surplus of suspects who wanted the victim dead, gets herself shot at, and visits some of the most popular restaurants in San Francisco.

 

Falk, Lee. [Leon Harrison Gross]

The Hydra Monster. Avon Books, 1973.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: The Phantom (The Story of the Phantom 8) | pbo | Hubin | find it |

Summary: What is the meaning of Hydra—a mysterious evil that spans oceans and continents? Who are the black clad men—with V’s tattooed on shaven skulls—who appear in the wake of wars, earthquakes, fires and other catastrophes? The final mumbled words of a dying man draw the Phantom into an amazing web of violence, crime and murder—the web of the Hydra monster. Editor's note: Story adapted by Frank S. Shawn (pseudonym of Ron Goulart).

 

Farquhar, Steven.

The Spaniard’s Dagger. Aragon Publishing, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

 

Farquhar, Wayne.

Blood Over Badge. 3L Publishing, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: The murder of the Mayor of San Francisco’s daughter sets the stage for this intriguing and spell-binding crime thriller. Two police detectives, Jack Paige and Casey Ford are assigned to catch a cold-blooded rapist and killer. In this gritty, realistic tale of homicide, unrelated mysteries of two murderers seem to come together and make little sense. What does a man rotting away behind the stench-enclosed walls of Angola Penitentiary have to do with an evil and cruel rapist and killer now on the run from California to Texas? What is the relationship to the killing of the Mayor’s daughter? Editor’s note: Originally self-published in 2008.

 

Fawcette, Steve.

Time Runs Out at the Democratic Convention. HC Pub. Co., 1984.

 

Feehan, Christine.

Street Game. Jove Books, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Mack McKinley (Ghostwalkers 8) | paranormal romantic suspense | pbo | find it |

 

Feeney, David.

A Skeleton in the Closet. 1stBooks Library, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Dr. Declan Connor | find it |

 

Feinman, Jeffrey.

Black Narc. Manor Books, 1977.

| setting: San Francisco | pbo | find it |

Summary: Taking a week of vacation, Jimmie Jacobs, an undercover detective in the Narcotics division of the San Francisco Police Department, meets a beautiful, red-headed, aspiring actress named Jenna Zail in Union Square. Jenna has been receiving unwanted telephone calls from August Haupmann, a German pornographic filmmaker, who has been trying to convince her to work with him. She has also been contacted by Billy Washington, a former Narcotics detective who was mysteriously pensioned off the force a year ago. Washington, trying to track down the drug smugglers who ruined his career and threatened his family, has connected the gangsters to Haupmann and is trying to use Jenna to get close to him. Jacobs, Washington, and Jenna team up to take the bad guys down and Washington goes undercover, wired for sound. When he gets caught and subsequently killed—his death recorded on tape—Jacobs enlists the help of Washington’s sons, one of whom is also a cop in Oakland, to finish the job and avenge their father’s death.

 

Felder, Louis.

Rocky Libido in San Francisco. Contact Editions, 1962.

 

Feliz, Mary.

Address to Die For. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2016.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Maggie McDonald (1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Maggie McDonald has a penchant for order that isn't confined to her clients' closets, kitchens, and sock drawers. As she lays out her plan to transfer her family to the hundred-year-old house her husband, Max, has inherited in the hills above Silicon Valley, she has every expectation for their new life to fall neatly into place. But as the family bounces up the driveway of their new home, she's shocked to discover the house's dilapidated condition. When her husband finds the caretaker face-down in their new basement, it's the detectives who end up moving in. What a mess! While the investigation unravels and the family camps out in a barn, a killer remains at large -- exactly the sort of loose end Maggie can't help but clean up...

Scheduled to Death. Lyrical Underground : Kensington Publishing Corp., 2017.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Maggie McDonald (2) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Maggie McDonald is hoping to raise the profile of her new Orchard View organizing business via her first high-profile client. Professor Lincoln Sinclair may be up for a Nobel Prize, but he’s hopeless when it comes to organizing anything other than his thoughts. For an academic, he’s also amassed more than his share of enemies. When Sinclair’s fiancée is found dead on the floor of his home laboratory -- electrocuted in a puddle of water -- Maggie takes on the added task of finding the woman’s murderer. To do so, she'll have to outmaneuver the suspicious, obnoxious police investigator she’s nicknamed “Detective Awful” before a shadowy figure can check off the first item on their personal to-do list -- Kill Maggie McDonald.

Dead Storage. Lyrical Underground : Kensington Publishing Corp., 2017.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Maggie McDonald (3) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Despite a looming deadline, Maggie thinks she has what it takes to help friends Jason and Stephen unclutter their large Victorian in time for its scheduled renovation. But before she can fill a single bin with unused junk, Jason leaves for Texas on an emergency business trip, Stephen's injured mastiff limps home -- and Stephen himself lands in jail for murder. Someone killed the owner of a local Chinese restaurant and stuffed him in the freezer. Stephen, caught at the crime scene covered in blood, is the number one suspect. Now Maggie must devise a strategy to sort through secrets and set him free -- before she's tossed into permanent storage next.

Disorderly Conduct. Lyrical Press : Kensington Publishing Corp., 2018.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: Maggie McDonald (4) | tpo | find it |

Summary: With a devastating wildfire spreading to Silicon Valley, Maggie preps her family for a rapid evacuation. The heat rises when firefighters discover the body of her best friend Tess Olmos's athletic husband, whose untimely death was anything but accidental. And as Tess agonizes over the whereabouts of her spouse's drop-dead gorgeous running mate, she becomes the prime suspect in what's shaping up to become a double murder case. Determined to set the record straight, Maggie sorts through clues in an investigation more dangerous than the flames approaching her home. But when her own loved ones are threatened, can she catch the meticulous killer before everything falls apart?

 

Ferguson, Tom, and Joe Graedon.

No Deadly Drug. Pocket Books, 1992.

 

Fernald, Chester B.

The Cat and the Cherub and Other Stories. The Century Co., 1896.

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

Summary: A series of short stories set in San Francisco’s Chinatown, some of which involve crime. In “The Gentleman in the Barrel,” wise, old Dr. Wing Shee (with the assistance of American Snubby Taggerty) gets revenge on his greedy landlord by infiltrating his tong and breaking up a counterfeiting operation. In “The Man Who Lost His Head,” a poor laundryman plots to murder a wealthy merchant and steal his wives; things do not go as planned. And, in “The Pot of Frightful Doom,” Dr. Wing Shee rescues a young man, Sum Chow, who has been kidnapped by the evil Sing Song Tong.

 

Fessier, Michael.

Fully Dressed and In His Right Mind. Alfred A. Knopf, 1935.

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 797; Hubin | find it |

Summary: John Price, an ordinary man in San Francisco, witnesses the shooting death of a local newspaper publisher on a crowded city street. The killer, an enigmatic little old man with strange powers and an evil eye, approaches John, confesses the crime, and insinuates himself into his life. Unable to convince the police of the little old man’s guilt, John tries to put it out of his mind. The little old man has other ideas, however, and proceeds to torment John and his friends. One night, John meets a naive young woman named Trelia swimming naked in a lake in Golden Gate Park, whom he befriends. After John is accused of murdering one of his acquaintances, he realizes that the little old man has framed him. Trelia and Dorgan, an artist, are the only ones who know John is innocent and they have to uncover the little old man’s mysterious secret in order to save him from hanging for a crime he did not commit.

 

Fickling, G. G. [Forrest E. “Skip” Fickling and Gloria (Gautraud) Fickling]

Stiff as a Broad. Pyramid Books, 1972.

 

Field, Simon Quellen.

Six Bullets, One Chamber. Kinetic MicroScience, LLC, 2011.

| setting: San Jose; Sacramento; Las Vegas | tpo |

Summary: Sandra is in the business of finding people. It turns out she can even find people in the federal witness protection program. Unfortunately, the man she found was murdered shortly after being found. Her partner is not answering his phone. Only he knew who had hired them. She is on the run, hiding from her murderous client, and now from the police, who think she is killing people. But Sandra is in the business of finding people. She knows how to hide. And she knows that she must find her murderous client in order to get her life back. Or just save it.

 

Figoni, Mel.

Solution from a Dead Man. Dog Ear Publishing, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco; Sacramento; Northern California | find it |

Summary: Retired after thirty-plus years in law enforcement, Tony DiGiusto, newly licensed private investigator, was looking forward to a quiet and uneventful retirement investigating simple everyday civil cases for local attorneys from an office in the sleepy and affluent hamlet of Sausalito, just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. Little did Tony know that his first major clients -- a pair of twins who had hired his uncle, a well-known San Francisco attorney, to investigate a property ownership dispute -- would lead him to investigate the sudden and unexplained death of his uncle in a small Northern California town. Tony becomes entangled in a complex and horrendous investigation that will lead him from San Francisco to the charming and picturesque towns of the Sierra Gold Rush areas. The investigation into his uncle's death leads Tony and his live-in girlfriend, Gina Rosetti, into a nightmarish web of terror and murder involving long-forgotten Nazi activities in California and almost costs Tony and Gina their lives. California's colorful capital, Sacramento, and its legislative bodies play an unwitting part in this fast-paced and intriguing glimpse into a madman's plan for a new Third Reich.

 

Finch, Phillip.

f2f. Bantam Books, 1996.

Summary: In San Francisco, a serial killer is using the Internet to lure his victims. He devises a game to locate people, then kills them in gruesome fashion and records their death on video tape. But one woman computer expert strikes back.

 

Finnegan, Robert. [Paul William Ryan]

The Bandaged Nude. Simon and Schuster, 1946.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Dan Banion | Hubin; Herron | find it |

Many a Monster. Simon and Schuster, 1948.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Dan Banion | Hubin; Herron; MRJ | find it |

Summary: San Francisco newspaper reporter Dan Banion is “a sucker for people in trouble.” This time out it is Rogan Lochmeister, a World War 2 vet who had a nervous breakdown and suffers from blackouts—both as a result of the horrors he experienced. He has been tried and convicted of a series of murders of young women. While being transferred to a prison for the criminally insane, the police transport is involved in an accident. Rogan escapes and returns to San Francisco, the scene of the crimes, where Banion gets on the case. After meeting Rogan’s sister, Florence, Banion starts to question Rogan’s guilt. The evidence against him was circumstantial and Rogan’s fragile mental condition made him an easy target to take the blame for the killings. As more murders are committed, Banion is determined find Rogan before either the police or a Fascist vigilante group of “two-bit Hitlers” can flush him out of hiding. Robert Finnegan (whose real name was Paul William Ryan) wrote three Dan Banion novels, two of which take place in San Francisco. Under another pseudonym, “Mike Quin,” he worked as a “rank-and-file journalist,” authored several Communist Party tracts, and documented the 1934 San Francisco General Strike (including The Big Strike (Olema Pub. Co., 1949), the definitive contemporary account). He was also a founding member of The Yanks Are Not Coming Committee, a group advocating for the United States to stay out of World War 2. He died at the age of forty-one in 1947.

 

Finney, Jack.

The House of Numbers. Dell Publishing Company, Inc., 1957.

The Night People. Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1977.

 

Finstein, Edward.

Pinot Envy. Bancroft Press, 2013.

| setting: Napa Valley | series character: Woody Robins | find it |

 

Fischer-Dixon, Eva.

The Third Cloud. Xlibris Corporation, 1999.

 

Fish, Robert L. [see London, Jack]

 

Fisher, Steve.

Saxon’s Ghost. Sherbourne Press, 1969.

The Hell-Black Night. Sherbourne Press, 1970.

 

Fitzsimmons, Cortland.

Sudden Silence: The Case of the Murdered Band-Leader. Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1938.

 

Fitzstephen, Owen. [Gordon McAlpine]

Hammett Unwritten. Seventh Street Books, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York (1930-1959) | tpo | find it |

Summary: A worthless bird statuette—the focus of Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. And much more. As Dashiell Hammett closes his final case as a private eye, the details of which will later inspire his most famous book, he acquires at a police auction the bogus object of that case, an obsidian falcon statuette. He casually sets the memento on his desk, where for a decade it bears witness to his literary rise. Until he gives it away. Now, suffering writer’s block, the famous author begins to wonder about rumors of the falcon’s ‘metaphysical qualities,’ which link it to a powerful, wish-fulfilling black stone cited in legends from around the world. He can’t deny that when he possessed the statuette he wrote one acclaimed book after another, and that without it his fortunes have changed. As his block stretches from months to years, he becomes entangled again with the scam artists from the old case, each still fascinated by the ‘real’ black bird and its alleged talismanic power. A dangerous maze of events takes Hammett from 1930s San Francisco to the glamorous Hollywood of the 1940s, a federal penitentiary at the time of the McCarthy hearings, and finally to a fateful meeting on New Year’s Eve, 1959, at a Long Island estate. There the dying Hammett confronts a woman from his past who proves to be his most formidable rival. And his last hope.

The Big Man's Daughter. Seventh Street Books, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco (1922) | tpo | find it |

Summary: 18 year-old Rita Gaspereaux is suddenly "orphaned" when her con-artist father's illegal enterprise blows up around her. Alone and broke in San Francisco in 1922, she must now navigate his criminal world, all the time haunted by tales of a black bird statuette reputed to possess otherworldly, wish-fulfilling powers. Rita has learned much from her father about the dark fringes of society. But has she learned enough? Fortunately, she is not without her own resources. What helps her most to cope with the greed, cruelty, and deceit around her is her almost obsessive reading of fiction, particularly the novel she possesses (and is possessed by) at the time of her father’s death. This book-within-the-book, a source of escape and solace for the blossoming young con-artist, tells the story of another 18 year-old, a Dorothy G. from Kansas. The two young women couldn't be more different. But as the story proceeds their lives become entwined in unexpected ways.

 

Flacco, Anthony.

The Last Nightingale. Mortalis Ballantine Books, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco (1906) | series characters: Randall Blackburn; Shane Nightingale | tpo | find it |

Summary: On April 18, 1906, the city of San Francisco is rocked to its foundations by the Great Earthquake. But that is just the beginning of the nightmares facing twelve-year-old Shane Nightingale. Shane survives the quake only to witness the horrific murder of his adoptive mother and two sisters at the hands of Tommie Kimbrough. Kimbrough is a budding serial killer whose previous victims had been members of the Barbary Coast riff-raff. After the fire destroys the Nightingale home, all evidence of the killings is erased and Shane becomes just another anonymous orphan in the city. Before the quake, Sergeant Randall Blackburn of the San Francisco Police Department had been on the trail of the Barbary Coast killer, nicknamed “The Surgeon” for the mutilation he performs on the bodies of his victims. When Blackburn meets up with Shane, the two become an unlikely detective duo. Shane has an unusual sense of intuition and deductive reasoning and Blackburn is experimenting with new methods of police work. Together they track the killer. But will they find Kimbrough before he realizes that Shane saw him in the act? Or will Kimbrough finish the job he started in the aftermath of disaster and eliminate the last Nightingale?

The Hidden Man. Mortalis Ballantine Books, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco (1915) | series characters: Randall Blackburn; Shane Nightingale | tpo | find it |

Summary: 1915. A city emerges from the ashes... and so does a killer concealed in its shadows. Nine years after San Francisco’s great earthquake and fires, the city is just beginning to be reborn and is full of possibility. The World’s Fair is opening to herald the completion of the Panama Canal and display exciting wonders and the promise of the new technological age. Yet the primitive past haunts the city’s renaissance. Leaving a trail of brutality, a murderous fanatic secretly stalks one of the fair’s chief attractions: the brilliant mesmerist James “J. D.” Duncan. Homicide detective Randall Blackburn and his adopted son, Shane Nightingale, must combine their intuitive profiling skills deductive techniques to solve a murder that hasn’t happened yet... one that only its terrified intended victim can see coming.

 

Fletcher, Donna.

San Francisco Surrender. Kensington, 1990.

 

Fletcher, Jessica. [see Bain, Donald]

 

Flinn, Denny Martin.

San Francisco Kills. Bantam Books, 1991.

Killer Finish. Bantam Books, 1991.

 

Flora, Fletcher. [see Palmer, Stuart]

 

Flynn, J. M. [see also Flynn, Jay]

Drink With the Dead. Ace Books, Inc., 1959.

| setting: San Francisco | pbo (Ace Double D-379) | Jaffery p. 74 | find it |

Ring Around a Rogue. Ace Books, Inc., 1960.

| setting: San Francisco | pbo (Ace Double D-459; issued with The Hot Diary by H.J. Olmsted) | Hubin; Jaffery p. 83 | find it |

Summary: At long last, ace car salesman Jere Deal has achieved his goal: he is the proud manager of a highly successful dealership located in San Francisco’s auto row, thanks to the financial backing of hard-edged moneyman Udell Bruggeman. There is trouble in paradise however, when Jere learns that a stolen car has surfaced on his lot and has been sold to a loud-mouthed customer. If this one car is hot, there might easily be others. Perhaps honest, hard-working Mr. Deal is at the center of a plot engineered by his competitors to put him out of business for good. Worried that the police will move in and accuse him of unloading stolen vehicles on unsuspecting customers (including the lovely Miss Sammy Travis), Jere decides to take matters into his own hands and do a little investing. Eager to learn the truth in order to salvage his business and his reputation, Deal’s investigation uncovers a network of vicious thugs who would like nothing better than to put Deal out of business once and for all. When several of Deal’s former business associates are found murdered, he quickly becomes the chief suspect, sought by local, state, and federal officials in both the murder cases and as the kingpin of a vast stolen car operation. 

One for the Death House. Ace Books, Inc., 1961.

| setting: San Francisco | pbo (Ace Double D-511) | Jaffery p. 83 | find it |

 

Flynn, Jay. [see also Flynn, J. M.]

McHugh. Avon Books, 1959.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: McHugh | pbo (Avon T-377) | Hubin; Herron | find it |

A Body for McHugh. Avon Books, 1960.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: McHugh | pbo (Avon T-444) | Hubin; Herron; 1001 Midnights p. 256-257 | find it |

The Five Faces of Murder. Avon Books, 1962.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: McHugh | pbo (Avon F-156) | Hubin; Herron | find it |

Blood on Frisco Bay. Leisure Books, 1976.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sgt. Joe Rigg | pbo (Leisure 360) | Hubin; Herron | find it |

Trouble is My Business. Leisure Books, 1976.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sgt. Joe Rigg | pbo (Leisure 384) | Herron | find it |

 

Flynn, Sabrina.

From the Ashes. Self-published, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco (1900) | series characters: Atticus Riot; Isobel Kingston (Ravenwood Mysteries 1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Atticus Riot took a bullet to his head the day his partner was killed. Three years later, Riot returns to San Francisco to put his ghosts to rest, but the abduction of an heiress snags his attention. Two ransom demands are delivered, and the husband of the abducted Isobel Kingston is hiding the truth. The clock is ticking. Can Riot find Mrs Kingston in time, or will she become one more regret among many?

A Bitter Draught. Self-published, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco (1900) | series characters: Atticus Riot; Isobel Kingston (Ravenwood Mysteries 2) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Isobel Kingston is dead. Or so everyone believes. When a mysterious woman writes her last words in sand, Isobel steps out of the shadows to uncover the truth. As she plunges into a storm of betrayal, the winds are determined to throw Atticus Riot on her course, and the two detectives collide in a sea of madness and murder.

Record of Blood. Self-published, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (1900) | series characters: Atticus Riot; Isobel Kingston (Ravenwood Mysteries 3) | tpo | find it |

Summary: An honorable man with a bloody past he can only remember in part, and a woman dead in the eyes of the world, but all too alive. A confessed murderer, and a missing body lures Isobel Kingston into the night, but she finds far more than she bargains for on the foggy dunes. Ambushed and rendered unconscious, she wakes to find herself at the mercy of brutal men. Desperate, she plays her last card: she threatens her captors with the wrath of Atticus Riot. To her surprise, Riot's very name strikes terror into the men, and Isobel begins to wonder what she really knows about the enigmatic man. As Atticus Riot searches for Isobel, regret hounds his every step, and the voice of his dead partner, Zephaniah Ravenwood, pulls him into the past, making him look at events long buried and uncover truths that he's tried hard to forget. When Isobel's trail leads to an old enemy, he's forced to confront his nightmares, and the aching truth that he isn't the man he thought he was.

Conspiracy of Silence. Self-published, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco (1900) | series characters: Atticus Riot; Isobel Kingston (Ravenwood Mysteries 4) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Atticus Riot is left standing over a corpse holding a smoking gun, and he's just realized a dead man could get him killed. Four words, indicating the involvement of a Chinese gang, hold the key to his partner's murder, and mark him and everyone he loves for death. Harried and hunted from all sides, Bel and Riot uncover a web of secrets that ensnares them both. There is only one way out -- a gamble so risky that their lives will never be the same.

 

Follett, Ken.

The Hammer of Eden. Crown Publishers, Inc., 1998.

| setting: San Francisco; California | find it |

Summary: A group of eco-terrorists threaten to start an earthquake and destroy San Francisco unless the government abandons plans to create a dam. They are ignored until the earth trembles and FBI agent Judy Maddox discovers that the technology for a man-made earthquake is available. At which point a race against time gets underway.

 

Fong, George.

The Coldness of Night. Black Opal Books, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco; Sacramento | series character: Jack Paris (2) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Five years ago, Robert Clarion was immersed in that perilous world of double-crosses, late-night drug deals, and constant glances over his shoulder. A dispute with a drug supplier culminated in the kidnapping of Clarion's daughter Rachel. He made a promise to his wife that, if they got their daughter back, he would get out of the drug business and never let anyone stand in the way of his family's safety again. With the help of FBI Agent Jack Paris, Clarion's daughter was rescued, but the person who carried out the kidnapping was never identified or captured. Paris promised that, if anyone came back looking for Rachel, he would keep her safe. Now, after all these years, the nightmare of the past has returned...

 

Footman, Robert.

Once a Spy. Dodd, Mead, 1980.

| setting: San Francisco; Philippines | series character: Harry Ryder (1) | find it |

Summary: Harry Ryder, a former CIA agent, who left under a cloud five years earlier for a marriage to a wedding planner in Orinda and a consulting career in San Francisco, is recruited by a former colleague for a desperate mission to free political prisoners from a heavily-fortified military prison in the Philippines.

 

Forbes, Colin.

Year of the Golden Ape. Dutton, 1974.

 

Ford, Leslie. [Zenith Jones Brown]

Siren in the Night. Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1943.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Grace Latham; Col. John Primrose | Hubin; Herron; 1001 Midnights, p. 260; MRJ | find it |

Summary: Grace Latham, the charming, middle-aged, widow heroine of fifteen of Leslie Ford’s novels, finds herself in San Francisco shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor. She has taken up residence on the fashionable San Joaquin Terrace, a fictional neighborhood nestled between Nob Hill and Russian Hill. During an air raid blackout, one of her neighbors, Loring Kimball, is discovered murdered in his home. Everyone on the Terrace, including his daughter, second wife, step-daughter, protégé, and neighbors, have reasons for wanting him out of the way. Grace’s long-time admirer, Col. John Primrose, arrives to take over the investigation, but even he cannot prevent the killer from striking again. From her excellent vantage point, Grace Latham has a vivid view of wartime San Francisco: “Two great blue battleships lay on either side of Telegraph Hill. Four ships were lying in Dynamite Row, and a submarine, long and sleek and low, was moving from Treasure Island out toward the Golden Gate. A flight of heavy bombers with interceptor planes roaring around was zooming toward Angel Island, in war games that aren’t games any more. A huge old liner that had come through the net just this side of the Golden Gate was maneuvering into her berth in the Embarcadero. I recognized her four slanting stacks, even though she was battered and dirty grey, with no tubbed palms to roll down into the salon as there’d been when I crossed the Atlantic on her one winter. Another passenger ship, smoky black where once she’d been gleaming white and the pride of the Island run, was moving slowly under the Oakland Bridge. A destroyer that hadn’t been there the night before was docked alongside one of the battleships. Up the Bay six freighters were moving together to form another convoy going out on the long voyage. There was a sense of drama and excitement, a grim realization that men and materials were moving to far battlefronts, that only coastal cities can know.”

 

Ford, Steven.

The Protocol. Berkley Books, 2000.

 

Fox, Bill.

Lands End. Kezar Books, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Phil McManus | tpo |

Summary: Meet Phil McManus, native San Franciscan, Baby Boomer, street cop -- a guy trying to make sense of his past and desperate about his future in a rapidly changing world. His 29-year old boss is driving him to retirement after 37 years in the SFPD, just as a surprise romance with a beautiful, self-sufficient, hyper-confident woman offers McManus the promise of a new life. But there is mayhem in Phil's beloved city. When his high school football teammate -- a former NFL player and Assistant SF Fire Chief -- is found stabbed and brutally murdered in the fog at Lands End, McManus becomes a prime suspect. Soon, he will begin to appreciate his mother’s childhood warning: "Don’t get your hopes up, Phil. Just when things go good, they go bad.”

 

Foxx, Jack. [Bill Pronzini]

Freebooty. Bobbs-Merrill, 1976.

 

Francis, George. [George Thornally]

Virgin: The Mystery of Amos Virgin. Livingston, N.J.: URLy Media, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco, Monterey Peninsula (Monterey, Pacific Grove) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Amos Virgin was branded a rapist, a thief, and maybe a murderer. Who was Amos Virgin? He was considered a prodigy and by all accounts the most handsome and desirable young man on California’s Monterey Peninsula in the early 1900s. He confessed to raping several young women. But none of the women complained! Why not? And why did he single out these particular women? Why did he offer no defense at his trial? Sheriff Bill affirmed: ‘Amos is not the vicious criminal that the town of Pacific Grove has made his out to be.’ Winnie, the Sheriff’s beautiful but willful daughter, is sent to interview Amos and falls in love. Was he a vicious criminal; or, was he broken-hearted over the loss of a great love? Can Winnie’s love for Amos save him from himself and keep him from going to prison?

 

Francis, Robin.

All Fall Down. Harlequin Books, 1991.

 

Franck, Herman.

The Post Debutante: Nothing Wakes Up a Debutante Like a Murder Charge. Authors Choice Press, 2000.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | tpo | find it |

 

Frase, H. Michael.

The Last Goodbye. Carroll & Graf, 1998.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |

Summary: On a plane to San Francisco, salesman Josh Mitchell falls in love with Pamela Morrow, a museum director, and they spend an evening together. The next day she is murdered and two things happen: police name Mitchell a suspect and he becomes the target of assassins.

 

Fraser, Elise.

The Emerald Necklace. Van Kampen Press, 1950.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |

Setting: When John Rowland slips his Bible into his pocket and walks out of the mission hall that November night in San Francisco, he begins a strange adventure. For out of the mist steps a woman of breath-taking beauty who calls his name and brings to his startled remembrance his lovely classmate, Kathryn Greig. Kathryn begs him to have dinner with her, saying she needs help. John agrees, but after a mysterious phone call she seems uneasy and in a hurry to have him leave. Casually, she asks him to return a small trinket to a friend, hastily scribbling an address on a card. In his hotel room, John accidentally touches the catch of the jewel case and sees revealed not a trinket but a necklace of fabulous worth. Why John was unable to deliver it, why Kathryn was afraid of the police, why she mysteriously vanished and who gained possession of the necklace form the basis for an absorbing, thrilling mystery.

The Jade Elephant. Van Kampen Press, 1952.

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

Summary: In this sequel to The Emerald Necklace, John and Kathryn Rowland spend time in San Francisco's historic Chinatown to solve the mystery of the jade elephant.

The House on Parnassus. Van Kampen Press, 1953.

| setting: San Francisco | juvenile | find it |

Summary: When fifteen-year-old Judy Mitchell stepped off the boat at San Francisco, little did she realize the many exciting adventures in store for her. Searching for the lost will of Lenea Thackwell brought thrills aplenty, among which were the arrival of an imposter, the ransacking of the Thackwell house, and its burning, among other goings-on. It ends on a happy note as the will is located, and the rightful heir appears.

The Secret of Stanton Rock. Zondervan Publishing House, 1957.

| setting: Marin County; San Francisco | juvenile | find it |

Summary: Mina Todd came to Stanton Rock on a weird and stormy night and to her it looked like... "a great bulk of house, spreading itself over the rocks, seemingly perched on the very edge of the cliff which descended perpendicularly to the Pacific." It wasn't until she actually began her duties as secretary to the master of Stanton Rock that Mina learned of the mysterious passing of her predecessor who had allegedly jumped, a suicide, from one of the windows overlooking the cliff...

The Mystery of the Star Sapphire. Zondervan Publishing House, 1961.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |

Summary: As the lights suddenly went out in the restaurant where he was eating, Bill Whitney desperately clutched the front of his coat where, snugly hidden in a leather wallet, lay fifty thousand dollars’ worth of jewels. Then he grinned to himself. This was not Ratnapura, Ceylon, or some Asian port where thieves stopped at nothing. This was San Francisco. Even so, he breathed with relief as candles were lit throughout the room. But, as gem dealer Sam Rosencranz later told him, Bill seemed to attract trouble. From the night in the restaurant he was a marked man, for it was there that he first saw lovely Avis Draper and her rare cornflower blue star sapphire. She wore the ring casually, yet he could not imagine that its value was unknown to her. Fascinated, he stared at it until he noticed the dark scowl of her escort. As the mysterious events of the following days occurred, Bill became deeper and deeper enmeshed in a sinister plot to rob him of his precious gems. His suspicions were first aroused by a cruel looking man who seemed intent on shadowing him, but it was not until the end of this … mystery that Bill realized how close he came to death, and how God’s purpose was to be fulfilled in his life, and in the life of the gray-eyed girl who wore the star sapphire.

 

Fredsti, Dana.

Plague Nation. Titan Books, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Ashley Parker (2) | science fiction | pbo | find it |

Summary: Having stopped the wave of the undead that swarmed their facility, Ashley Parker and the other wild cards (those immune to the zombie virus) are assaulted by an unknown enemy and forced to travel to a secret laboratory in San Francisco.

 

Free, Frank.

Fly From Evil. Cliffhanger Press, 1986.

 

Freeman, Brian.

The Night Bird. Thomas & Mercer, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Frost Easton (1) | find it |

Summary: Homicide detective Frost Easton doesn’t like coincidences. When a series of bizarre deaths rock San Francisco -- as seemingly random women suffer violent psychotic breaks -- Frost looks for a connection that leads him to psychiatrist Francesca Stein. Frankie’s controversial therapy helps people erase their most terrifying memories...and all the victims were her patients. As Frost and Frankie carry out their own investigations, the case becomes increasingly personal -- and dangerous. Long-submerged secrets surface as someone called the Night Bird taunts the pair with cryptic messages pertaining to the deaths. Soon Frankie is forced to confront strange gaps in her own memory, and Frost faces a killer who knows the detective’s worst fears. As the body count rises and the Night Bird circles ever closer, a dedicated cop and a brilliant doctor race to solve the puzzle before a cunning killer claims another victim.

The Voice Inside. Thomas & Mercer, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Frost Easton (2) | find it |

Summary: Four years after serial killer Rudy Cutter was sent away for life, San Francisco homicide inspector Frost Easton uncovers a terrible lie: his closest friend planted false evidence to put Cutter behind bars. When he's forced to reveal the truth, his sisters killer is back on the streets. Desperate to take Cutter down again, the detective finds a new ally in Eden Shay. She wrote a book about Cutter and knows more about him than anyone. And she's terrified. Because for four years, Cutter has been nursing revenge day after stolen day. Staying ahead of the game of a killer who is determined to strike again is not going to be easy. Not when Frost is battling his own demons. Not when the game is becoming so personal. And not when the killers next move is unlike anything Frost expected.

The Crooked Street. Thomas & Mercer, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Frost Easton (3) | find it |

Summary: San Francisco homicide detective Frost Easton hadn't seen his estranged friend Denny in years. Not until he dies in Frost's arms uttering a final inexplicable word: Lombard. Denny appears to be the latest victim in a string of murders linked by a distinctive clue: the painting of a spiraled snake near the crime scenes. Is it the work of a serial killer? Or is Denny's death more twisted and personal? To find the answer, Frost reaches into a nest of vipers -- San Francisco's shady elite -- where the whispered name of Lombard is just one secret. Now, drawn into a cat-and-mouse game with an enemy who knows his every move, Frost finds there is no one he can trust. And somewhere down the crooked streets of the city, Frost's cunning adversary is coiled and ready to strike again.

 

French, James Robert.

Lady Midnight. Concrescent Letters, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area | paranormal | tpo | find it |

Summary: Fifteen years ago, they murdered her lover and pinned the crime on her. Now, Andrea Styx uses her psychic abilities and occult training in the service of an organization dedicated to the downfall of a corrupt system. But the arrival of a new protege brings her past screaming to her own back door, and awakens dobuts about the purpose to which she has dedicated her life. She has a plan. The Cosmos has other ideas....

 

Frey, James N.

The Long Way to Die. Bantam Books, 1987.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Joe Zanca | Hubin | pbo | find it |

A Killing in Dreamland. Bantam Books, 1988.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Joe Zanca | Hubin | pbo | find it |

Came a Dead Cat. St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Odyssey Gallagher | Hubin | find it |

Summary: Odyssey Gallagher, a 35-year old private investigator in San Francisco with a Ph.D. in English Literature, is hired by wealthy Aletha Holmcroft to find her husband’s mistress, Rachel Collins. Mrs. Holmcroft is convinced that Rachel is dangerous and deranged—Rachel threatened her husband in a nasty confrontation at their club and then a cat with a slit throat appeared on their doorstep. Odyssey, who has a brown belt in aikido, drives a souped-up, banana yellow Camaro, and has a somewhat annoying habit of quoting literary authors, takes the case but soon comes to believe that Rachel is not the threat that Mrs. Holmcroft has made her out to be. The case gets complicated when Charlie Gore, an unscrupulous P.I. with whom Odyssey once had a romantic fling—and to whom she is still inexplicably attracted—shows up. He has been hired by Mr. Holmcroft to do the exact same thing as Odyssey—find Rachel Collins—and wants to renew their relationship and work together. Then the bodies start piling up and Odyssey needs to find the killer before she becomes a victim herself.

 

Freytag, Joseph.

The Mercenary. Pinnacle Books, 1977.

 

Friedman, Lawrence.

Death of a Wannabe. Quid Pro LLC, 2011.

| setting: San Mateo | series character: Frank May | tpo | find it |

 

Friedman, Mickey.

The Fault Tree. E.P. Dutton, 1984.

Paper Phoenix. E.P. Dutton, 1986.

 

Frost, Frank.

Bay to Breakers. Fithian Press, 2002.

Summary: A seriocomic novel about five people training to run in the annual Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco. While this is not strictly a mystery novel, the central story revolves around Janey, a nurse at UCSF who is being stalked by an ex-cop intent on raping and torturing her. Can Janey and her new friends stop him before he catches up to her?

 

Fuchs, Jake.

Death of a Dad: The Nursery School Murders. Creative Arts Book Company, 1998.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Maren Matthews | Hubin | tpo | find it |

Summary: ‘Caleb’s dad. He’s all bloody on the corn meal table!’ Thus is announced the murder in Death of a Dad. Hoping to restore the serenity of her calm and happy Berkeley nursery school, Maren Matthews, a mild-mannered teacher married to a grouchy English professor, becomes an unwilling amateur detective. When the murderer claims two more victims—a gloomy clown turned porno actor and a mom with a double life—Maren must clear her colleague Judy’s good name by investigating the nursery school’s moms and dads. Maren’s search for the killer teaches her more than she ever wanted to know about the fissures and fault lines running through the lives of these comfortably-off, Volvo-driving Berkeley professionals—and through her own life and marriage as well.

Death of a Prof: The Nursery School Murders: II. Creative Arts Book Company, 2001.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Maren Matthews | tpo | find it |

Summary: Maren Matthews, nursery school teacher and wife of an eccentric Edith Wharton scholar, finds the body of a prestigious English professor hacked to death on her kitchen floor. Hyenas and other wild beasts; neurotic, demanding nursery school parents; bogus cures for impotence; and the values and quirky goings on of a Berkeley culture both academic and affluent—all swirl together into a gently satirical, murderous stew.

 

 

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