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Page history last edited by Randal Brandt 5 months ago

Jablonski, Carla.

The Gypsy Enchantment. Simon Pulse, 2001.

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

Summary: Three-ring acts and thrice-told tales bring threefold power that never fails. Gypsy legends, Gypsy lore, Gypsy demons haunt no more. Prue is in a serious funk. Her latest photo assignment for 415 is an in-depth article about the Carnival Cavalcade -- circus acts in a tent, and a midway with games and food. Prue hates circuses, but Piper and Phoebe are up for meeting the tattooed snake-charmer, clowns, and especially Ivan, the handsome Gypsy animal trainer. But a dark sign seems to mark him and Phoebe has a vision of Piper -- strangled by a handsome stranger.


Jackie D.

Lands End. Bold Strokes Books, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: In the blink of an eye, Lena Michaels's dreams of college became a distant memory. A robbery gone wrong in her family's locally owned restaurant took the life of her parents. The only witness to the gruesome tragedy was Laura, Lena's nine-year-old sister. Seven years later, the murders remain unsolved and Laura is now a rebellious teenager, dead set on pushing her sister's limits. Amy Kline is a public relations hotshot for the San Francisco Miners football team. Her only focus is keeping her publicity prone clients out of hot water. When Laura's rebellious streak puts her in the sites of the Miners star wide receiver, Lena and Amy will have to face off to protect what is important to them. What neither is prepared for is that the price could be their hearts.


Jackson, Lisa.

If She Only Knew. Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing Co., 2000.

Almost Dead. Zebra Books/Kensington Publishing Co., 2007.

Willing to Die. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2019.

| setting: San Francisco; Montana | series characters: Selena Alvarez & Regan Pescoli | romantic suspense | find it |

Summary: The crime scene is as puzzling as it is brutal. Doctor Paul Latham and his wife, Brindel, are found dead in separate beds in their beautiful San Francisco home, each the victim of a gunshot wound to the head. There are no signs of forced entry, and despite the emptied safe it's clear this murder isn't random. For Detective Regan Pescoli, news of her sister's death brings grief mixed with guilt. She and Brindel weren't close, and Pescoli barely knows her teenage niece, Ivy, a secretive girl who lands on her doorstep in Grizzly Falls, Montana. Though Pescoli is on maternity leave, she's soon mired deep in the investigation headed by her partner, Selena Alvarez. But as the list of suspects keeps growing, so does the body count.

You Betrayed Me. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2020.

| setting: San Francisco; Washington State | series characters: Cahill Family | romantic suspense | find it |

Summary: The Cahills of San Francisco are famous for two things: their vast wealth, and the scandals that surround them. Murder, greed, deadly ambition... some people will do anything to get, and keep, the Cahills' kind of money. Not that James Cahill wants any of it. He's tried to make his own way, less interested in a future inheritance than in his construction company-and in enjoying the many women taken in by the easy charms of a handsome, soon-to-be-rich bad boy. Perhaps there've been too many women. Waking up in a small hospital in Washington State, bandaged and bruised, James barely recognizes the gorgeous blonde who comes to visit. Through the haze of pain and medication, he recalls that she is Sophia, the woman he's been cheating with. Gradually memories return-his girlfriend, Megan, had found out about Sophia. Now Megan is missing, her sister, Rebecca, is hounding him-and police and reporters are asking questions too. James insists he has no idea what happened. Yet he can't escape a feeling of dread.


Jackson, Marian J. A.

The Cat’s Eye. Pinnacle Books, 1991.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Miss Abigail Danforth | pbo | find it |

Summary: Abigail Danforth’s companion, Maude Cunningham, begs her to find the killer who gunned down her beloved fiancé in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Abigail follows the advice of her mentor, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and begins the process of logical detection. With the young writer, Jack London, as her guide, Miss Danforth takes her investigation to the denizens of the Barbary Coast.


Jackson, Melanie.

Carved in Stone. Self-published, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Juliet Henry (A Miss Henry Mystery 10) | tpo |

Summary: Juliet Henry received the invitation to San Francisco with all the enthusiasm she would feel for attending a public execution, but her lover, Raphael, seemed to truly want her company so she had accepted the invitation to Paul House and then packed her duffle with dark, wrinkle-resistant clothing and a collection of sketch pads and pencils. But as so often happens when Juliet travels she stumbles into something more sinister than damaged works of art. This time the oddity is down in the crypt which had supposedly been emptied of bodies. The red-headed corpse she discovers is not a new one, but nowhere near old enough to have belonged to the accused witch whose name was carved into the marker on the violated crypt. Solving a sixty-year-old murder won't be easy, but Miss Henry is dogged about finding the truth-- even when it leads to the darkest of San Francisco's underground movements in the 1950's.


Jackson, Renay.

Oaktown Devil. LaDay Publishing, 1999.

Shakey’s Loose. LaDay Publishing, 2000.

Turf War. LaDay Publishing, 2001.

Peanut’s Revenge. LaDay Publishing, 2003.

Crack City. Frog, Ltd., 2006.

Sweetpea’s Secret. Frog Books, 2008.

| setting: Oakland | tpo | find it |

Summary: Leading a double life as a mortgage broker and successful hitman, Sweetpea (a.k.a. Horace Boudreaux) doesn’t kill for pleasure, though he’s sadistic enough to smile while doing it, he kills for revenge. Oaktown’s notorious gangster Big Ed Tatum is one of his clients and normally immune from Sweetpea’s wrath. But Big Ed crosses the line when he courts Sweetpea’s older sister Crystal, and worse, almost kills Sweetpea’s little sister Peanut. The hitman is happy to slash Big Ed’s throat in a Vegas parking lot. The dead don’t always stay dead though, as Sweetpea learns. Facing death or possible jail time, Sweetpea has no choice but to take on a pair of ruthlessly amoral, baby-faced thugs working the City Center.


Jacobs, Jonnie.

Murder Among Neighbors. Kensington Books, 1994.

| setting: “Walnut Hills” (Contra Costa County) | series character: Kate Austen | find it |

Summary: While her husband is away in Europe “finding himself,” California suburbanite Kate Austen investigates the death of Pepper Livingston, her neighbor. Two men, Pepper’s husband and a divorced detective, both of whom have their eye on her, help her. The policeman wins out.

Murder Among Friends. Kensington Books, 1995.

| setting: “Walnut Hills” (Contra Costa County) | series character: Kate Austen | find it |

Summary: Art consultant Kate Austen visits a neighbor and finds her dead, pills and whisky by her side. Police say suicide, but as Kate observes, she didn’t like whisky and why kill herself just when she is awarded a handsome alimony?

Murder Among Us. Kensington Books, 1998.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kate Austen | Hubin | find it |

Summary: After an orphaned girl is murdered in a San Francisco park, sleuth Kate Austen, who was her teacher, opens an inquiry. She discovers the girl’s guardian was taking money from her trust fund.

Motion to Dismiss. Kensington Books, 1999.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kali O’Brien | Hubin | find it |

Summary: In San Francisco, a woman he picked up at a bar accuses a computer manufacturer of rape. When she falls off a balcony, police figure it’s murder and finger him as the suspect. Lawyer Kali O’Brien takes the case.

Murder Among Strangers. Kensington Books, 2000.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kate Austen | Hubin | find it |

Witness for the Defense. Kensington Books, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kali O’Brien | find it |

Cold Justice. Kensington Books, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Kali O’Brien | find it |

Intent to Harm. Kensington Books, 2003.

| setting: San Francisco; Lake Tahoe | series character: Kali O’Brien | find it |

Summary: San Francisco attorney Kali O’Brien goes the extra mile for a woman she only knows as Betty when she agrees to meet her in a deserted park near Lake Tahoe. Betty was very insistent on client confidentiality and privilege, making sure that Kali was paid with an anonymous money order so that privilege would cover their first meeting. When Kali and Betty finally meet, they only have time to exchange pleasantries before shots ring out. When Kali wakes up in the hospital, she learns that Betty is dead. The police identify the victim as Betty Arnold, the niece of Faith Foster, a high school teacher who disappeared eight years ago and is presumed dead. Unable to let matters rest, Kali does some sleuthing and discovers that Betty had found proof Faith is alive but is living under an assumed name. She knows that people are trying to find her and once again goes on the run, hoping to shake the determined killer on her trail. Kali is determined to learn why Faith is on the run and bring her out of the cold.

The Next Victim. Kensington Books, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco, Arizona | series character: Kali O’Brien | find it |

Lying With Strangers. Five Star, 2013.

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


Jacobs, Nancy Baker.

Cradle and All. HarperPaperbacks, 1995.

| setting: San Francisco, Northern California, Southern California | MRJ | pbo | find it |

Summary: Young, in love, and eight months pregnant with her first child, Karin Seaton had everything she could ask for. But a tragic car accident that put Karin in a coma for weeks and left her husband and unborn baby dead brought it all to an end. Beside herself with grief, Karin nearly gives up on life until she notices something peculiar about the baby’s death certificate. Could the doctor who delivered her baby have lied about her son’s death? Although still weak from her injuries and thought to be crazy by everyone around her, Karin knows her baby has been stolen and begins to search for him. With the unstoppable determination of a mother’s love, Karin goes up against the powerful and dangerous forces that are trying to destroy her one chance at happiness.

Rocking the Cradle. HarperPaperbacks, 1996.

| setting: Santa Rosa, Northern California | pbo | find it |

Summary: Even though their financial future looked grim, Holly and Alex Sheridan had plenty to be happy about—they were in love, living the life they’d always wanted, and awaiting the birth of their first child. But all that changed when Alex’s private plane crashed into the California coastline. Devastated by the loss of her husband, Holly devoted her time and energies to getting ready for the baby. Little did she know that someone else was preparing for the birth—someone who would force Holly to fight for the life of her son and the right to keep him with her forever.

Double or Nothing. Five Star, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: Minnesota nurse Ellen Merchand and her sister Claire have arranged for a house exchange with a San Francisco art dealer. What the sisters don’t know is that Herb Carmody plans to use the house exchange as an alibi for his wife’s murder. Then there is Sid Balzarian, a small-time criminal with plans to kidnap Jane Carmody.

Flash Point. Perseverance Press/John Daniel & Company, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Susan Kim Delancy | tpo | find it |

Summary: Someone in the San Francisco Bay Area is using arson to murder new mothers in their homes, after apparently kidnapping their babies. California’s new arson czar, Susan Kim Delancey, takes on this baffling case and soon finds herself warring on several fronts. With the help of her skeletal staff, she must not only catch the elusive killer, she must also fight territorial local officials, the hostile news media, and Sacramento political foes who want her fired. But the biggest battle of all turns out to be the one that threatens Susan’s own life and that of her teenage son.


Jacobs, Stanton.

Voyage of Deception. 1stBooks Library, 2003.

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


Jacobson, Alan.

Crush. Vanguard Press, 2009.

| setting: Napa Valley | series character: Karen Vail | find it |

Velocity. Vanguard Press, 2010.

| setting: Napa Valley | series character: Karen Vail | find it |

Summary: Karen Vail’s boyfriend, Detective Robby Hernandez, has seemingly disappeared into the dense air of a Napa Valley evening. There are no clues to his whereabouts, other than a blood stain—and potential connections to a serial killer operating in the wine country.

Inmate 1577. Norwood Press, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco, Alcatraz Island | series character: Karen Vail | find it |

Summary: When an elderly woman is found raped and brutally murdered in San Francisco, [FBI profiler Karen] Vail heads west to team up with SFPD Inspector Lance Burden and her former task force colleague, Detective Roxann Dixon. As Vail, Burden, and Dixon follow the killer’s trail in and around San Francisco, the offender continues his rampage, leaving behind clues that ultimately lead them to the most unlikely of places: a mysterious island ripped from city lore whose long-buried decades-old secrets hold the key to their case. Alcatraz. The Rock.” Editor’s note: Issued simultaneously as an e-book and in a limited and signed hardcover first edition.


Jacobson, Mark A.

Sensing Light. Ulysses Press, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco (1979) | medical | tpo | find it |

Summary: A stunning story of three doctors' struggles in San Francisco during the first decade of the AIDS epidemic. March, 1979, a young street hustler in San Francisco stumbles into an emergency room with lungs so congested he can barely breathe. Seen by a perplexed medical resident, the patient becomes the first of many thousands to die from a yet-to-be named plague. This is a raw, compelling novel that follows the personal and professional lives of the men and women on the front lines of the emerging AIDS epidemic.


Jaeger, Meredith.

The Dressmaker's Dowry. William Morrow, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (1876) | tpo | find it |

Summary: San Francisco: 1876. Immigrant dressmakers Hannelore Schaeffer and Margaret O'Brien struggle to provide food for their siblings, while mending delicate clothing for the city's most affluent ladies. When wealthy Lucas Havensworth enters the shop, Hanna's future is altered forever. With Margaret's encouragement and the power of a borrowed green dress, Hanna dares to see herself as worthy of him. Then Margaret disappears, and Hanna turns to Lucas. Braving the gritty streets of the Barbary Coast and daring to enter the mansions of Nob Hill, Hanna stumbles upon Margaret's fate, forcing her to make a devastating decision...one that will echo through the generations.  San Francisco: Present Day.  In her elegant Marina apartment overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, Sarah Havensworth struggles to complete the novel she quit her job for. Afraid to tell her husband of her writer's block, Sarah is also hiding a darker secret--one that has haunted her for 14 years. Then a news headline from 1876 sparks inspiration: Missing Dressmakers Believed to be Murdered. Compelled to discover what happened to Hannelore and Margaret, Sarah returns to her roots as a journalist. Will her beautiful heirloom engagement ring uncover a connection to Hanna Schaeffer?


James, Brèni.

Night of the Kill. Simon & Schuster, 1961.

The Shake-Up. Simon & Schuster, 1964.


James, R. Franklin.

The Fallen Angels Book Club. Camel Press, 2013.

| setting: "San Lucian" (San Francisco Bay Area) | series character: Hollis Morgan (1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: The Fallen Angels Book Club has only two requirements: the members must love books and have a white-collar criminal record. Hollis Morgan fits the bill. Left holding the bag in an insurance fraud scheme concocted by her now ex-husband, she served her time and is trying to rebuild her life. All she wants is for the court to pardon her conviction so she can return to law school. After one of her fellow members is murdered in a scenario straight out of a club selection, Hollis is once again the subject of police scrutiny. Refusing to get stuck with another bad rap, she sets out to investigate her fellow club members. Is one of them really blackmailing the others? As a second member dies in yet another book-inspired murder, Hollis realizes that time is running out. Everything rides on her finding the killer -- not just her career aspirations. She must identify the killer before she herself becomes the next victim. Everyone is convinced she knows more than she lets on. But what is it, exactly, that is she supposed to know?

 Sticks & Stones. Camel Press, 2014.

| setting: "San Lucian" (San Francisco Bay Area) | series character: Hollis Morgan (2) | tpo | find it |

Summary: "Sticks and Stones can break my bones...." Despite what the old children's rhyme says, words can cause grievous harm. A lesson ex-con Hollis Morgan, a casualty of her deceased ex-husband's white collar crimes, knows all too well. Now that she has received an official pardon, she is free to pursue her dreams of moving up in the world from paralegal to attorney. While awaiting the results of the bar exam, she hopes to clear the name of a friend accused of libel by philanthropist Dorian Fields, a man whose charitable giving looks a lot like money-laundering. Only problem: the evidence has disappeared and her friend Catherine is found dead. Although initially thought a suicide, Hollis' friend was murdered. Catherine was writing an article about Fields for a tabloid. Hollis and attorney Mark Haddan convince the magazine to let them carry on with the libel defense, but they have fewer than 60 days to prove Catherine's exposé was well-founded. In the meantime Hollis has other distractions; she is also helping to settle the estate of Margaret Koch, a rich client of the law firm whose impetuous actions as revealed in her letters still embitter the lives of those she left behind. And then there are the two men vying for her attention -- one a police detective, the other a private eye. Normally Hollis trusts her built-in lie detector, but in this case, too many people are lying for too many reasons. One of them is not only a liar, but a killer.

The Return of the Fallen Angels Book Club. Camel Press, 2015.

| setting: "San Lucian" (San Francisco Bay Area) | series character: Hollis Morgan (3) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Hollis Morgan is a survivor. She married young to flee an unloving family and ended up in prison, paying the price for her charming husband's embezzlement. After finally obtaining a California judicial pardon, Hollis has climbed the ladder from paralegal to probate attorney at a respected law firm in the Bay Area. Unfortunately her first two cases are trials by fire. One involves a vicious family dispute over a disinheritance of family members who seem ready to stop at nothing to get their share. The other is the murder of her former parole officer, Jeffrey Wallace, whose will and family trust she is retained to file with the court. Too many people have motives and family mourners are few, so she resists processing the estate. Without Jeffrey, Hollis' successful reentry into society would never have been possible. It was he who introduced her to the Fallen Angels -- his other white-collar ex-parolees seeking a second chance. The book club they formed was a comfort and a distraction, until two murders forced them back under the scrutiny of the law. The group disbanded during the ensuing investigation. Now, realizing their debt to Jeffrey, they come together once more, determined to uncover the truth. Although Hollis has met a great guy -- a police detective who knows about her past yet accepts her unconditionally -- she is afraid to trust again. Naturally he doesn't want to see her put her life in danger for the sake of a case, but he also knows she won't stop until Jeffrey's murderer is discovered. As both cases heat up, Hollis finds that probate law can bring out the worst in people and sometimes expose a killer.

The Trade List. Camel Press, 2016.

| setting: "San Lucian" (San Francisco Bay Area) | series character: Hollis Morgan (4) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Hollis Morgan has come a long way since serving time for her ex-husband's white-collar crimes. After receiving a state pardon, she is now a probate attorney at the Bay Area firm where she began as a paralegal. In a case close to home, her manager, George Ravel, inherits a fortune from his newly found birth mother, but her dead husband's heirs are overcome with greed, not grief. They are determined to discredit her will and deny her natural son even one cent of the millions they believe should belong to their father's estate. George asks Hollis to handle the case, but her attention is divided. A dead woman has been discovered with Hollis's business card -- one that dates back to Hollis's years on parole. The police don't believe Hollis's claim that she never met Olivia Shur. As it turns out, she did know the woman, only under another name. At the time of her death, Olivia Shur possessed a list that could end the careers and lives of several public officials and prominent businessmen. Copies of the list exist. Someone believes Hollis has one of them and will go to any extreme to obtain it. To protect her friends and stay alive, Hollis turns to her ex-con buddies from the Fallen Angels Book Club. In this case, there are too many people on both sides of the law who are determined to see her stopped.

The Bell Tolls. Camel Press, 2017.

| setting: "San Lucian" (San Francisco Bay Area) | series character: Hollis Morgan (5) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Hollis Morgan has survived imprisonment, received a pardon and persevered to finally become a probate attorney. Tough as she is, her newest case will further test her mettle. She discovers her client, Matthias Bell, is a deceased blackmailer whose last wish was to return the damaging documents letting his victims off the hook. It falls to Hollis to give them the good news. But it becomes apparent that Bell was murdered, and the victims of Bell s tolls are now suspects. Hollis' white-collar criminal past has left her with keen survival instincts. A gifted liar, she knows a liar when she sees one. A lot of people in this case are lying and one is a killer. On top of that, she s also representing a dying stripper, a wealthy widow whose estranged daughter spurns her attempts at reconciliation, but whose husband sees the potential inheritance as mending all wounds. Clients aside, Hollis is defensive and wary. Her mother, who hasn't spoken to her for years, needs a kidney, and Hollis is a match, but neither are ready to put away the past. With Hollis' fiancé and emotional support off on an undercover mission for Homeland Security, she must count on her own survival instincts. She is swept along on an emotional roller coaster as her absent love and her family's coldness take their own toll. Work is her salvation. The specter of a killer keeps her focused. Hollis has always had to rely on her wits, but now she finds that others who don't have her well-being in mind are relying on them as well.

The Identity Thief. Camel Press, 2018.

| setting: "San Lucian" (San Francisco Bay Area) | series character: Hollis Morgan (6) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Probate attorney Hollis Morgan is branching out into criminal law. Pardoned after serving time for her then-husband's white-collar crime, she knows something about the workings of the criminal mind. Hollis' first criminal case quickly gets complicated. Her client is a young man initially accused of identity theft, but his charge soon includes murder. Hollis has a knack for detecting lies, and although Justin Eastland lies with every breath, she doesn't believe he is a killer. Eastland is let out on bail as bait, and Hollis struggles to keep her client alive. She enlists the services of her young friend Vince, a former addict she helped get back on track, telling him to not let Eastland out of his sight. At the same time Hollis is handling a sensitive probate matter for a whistle-blower hiding from a revengeful cartel. It has not been easy for Hollis to learn to trust again, and in both these cases, a surprising number of people are not telling her the whole story. She thinks she can sort the truths from the half-truths and the outright lies, but how reliable are her instincts? Hollis' sense of justice does not always consider the law. If she's wrong, her clients aren't the only ones who could lose their lives.

The Appraiser. Camel Press, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area | series character: Remy Loh Bishop (1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Remy Bishop is a thirty year-old divorcee living in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is recovering from being fired as a forensic technician for falsifying lab results. She's determined to clear her name and nail the person who forged her signature. With her parents help, she changes careers. She has just secured her first paid position as an appraiser at the LaneWilson auction house when she takes on a client, a man who wants her to appraise an antique for his aunt. Remy visits the grand mansion and is pleased to find the antique is the real deal. When she returns for a written contract she discovers the client is murdered, the house is empty, there is no aunt and the antique is missing. Remy is the only person who had contact with the man and the antique. Now she's a suspect in his death.


James, Ronald M.

An Adventurous Night. James Milward, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (1992) | series character: Sammy Shovel  (1) | "Second edition. Originally published by Big Sky Press" | tpo | find it |

Summary: Private investigator, Sammy Shovel, is short, slightly overweight, balding, and he dresses like San Francisco's most squalid street people. When a supposed heist falls into his lap, Sammy jumps at the chance to make a few bucks from an unknown victim, by stopping what appears to be a simple robbery. However, the case turns out to be different than anything he's taken on since the death of his partner. Sammy finds himself speeding throughout the streets of San Francisco to head off another senseless murder. The events that follow are beyond his comprehension, and will change his perception of crime forever.

Too Beautiful for Words. James Milward, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (1993) | series character: Sammy Shovel  (2) | "Second edition. Originally published by Big Sky Press" | tpo | find it |

Summary: Private Investigator Sammy Shovel finally gets the client of a lifetime and rushes to claim his jackpot.... Beloved Golden Opportunities CEO, Joel Ceja, is found murdered one foggy morning. Three months after Joel's death, the police are stumped, they still have no clues to his murder. Golden Opportunities' employees feel they're being stonewalled and decide to hire Shovel to assist the police. Sammy accepts, figuring it was nothing more than a local homicide. However, in no time at all, he's mired in international quicksand filled with a worldwide assassinations ring -- and he wants out. But greed overcomes his common sense. He runs from firefight to firefight to get to the truth, but his adversaries dupe him time and again. You may deceive Sammy some of the time. But when he puts it altogether -- run, bother, run for we all know Sammy's a shoot first and ask questions later type a guy.

Waif. James Milward, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sammy Shovel (3) | "Second edition. Originally published by Big Sky Press, November 2015" | tpo | find it |

Summary: A waif hires Detective Sammy Shovel to solve a twenty-two year old murder that her father was accused of. The case seems straightforward. But when it slams into another of his cases, they explode into a fantastic struggle of such magnitude that it leaves Sammy in totally dismay The leads will take him on a perilous journey filled with lies, murderous greed, police corruption, and the extraordinary cirumstances that could get him killed. Bullets, threats, and secution won't stop Sammy Shovel from the truth.


James, Sherri Leigh.

Girl With a Past. Self-published, 2015.

| settings: Berkeley (University of California : 1969; 2008) | tpo | find it |

Summary: UC Berkeley in 1969 could be a murderous place for a Cal co-ed. Lexi Johnson thought tear gas was all she had to fear on the day she was murdered. In 2008, University of California student Alexandra Nichols' interest in Lexi's murder stirs up trouble that forces her to solve the forty-year-old homicide in order to protect her family. Transcendental twists in her dangerous hunt for the serial killer reveals secrets and that she is the Girl With A Past. Multiple shootings and her mother's kidnapping have Alexandra racing to find the persons threatening her and her family. When Alexandra is shot at on campus, she realizes she may know more about the earlier serial shootings than anyone would suspect. Some clues are found in the hippie era, especially the 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco. Armed with her new understanding of the case, Alexandra and her brother, Steven, search from Marin to Tahoe for who wants to kill Alexandra -- and why? Their questions, and hints that they know more that they should, make their parents' old college friends, now pillars of the community, nervous that their secrets will be revealed. Not only might their successful lives be ruined -- they could be ended.

Iced Blue. Black Hawk Press, 2019.

| settings: San Francisco; Los Angeles | series character: Cissy Huntington (2) | tpo |

Summary: A chilling discovery in the Pacific Design Center ruins Cissy's day and sends her down a dangerous path of murder and old family secrets. Cissy's movie star friends and her daughter lend their high-spirits to her search for who is threatening her family. Add in shocking news about Cissy's missing husband, a shoot-out in a mountain blizzard and drama at a San Francisco society wedding of old money Californians for a delicious romp through the wild, beautiful world of the rich and famous.


Janjigian, Ken. 

A Cerebral Offer. Livingston Press, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco (Outer Richmond) | find it |

Summary: Harry Gnostopolos, a one-time filmmaker (literally, one time -- he wrote and directed a critically-acclaimed biopic of Jack Kerouac and then "retired") who, with his long-term girlfriend Dana, owns an small independent movie theater in the Outer Richmond district of San Francisco, is at a crossroads. The theater is in serious financial trouble and Dana has met someone new and wants out of the relationship, the theater business, and the city itself. And Harry has recently developed gephyrophobia, a fear of bridges -- not a good situation for someone in San Francisco. Into this turmoil comes Harry's old friend Jackson Halifax, a successful novelist, and the mysterious, seductive Nadine, with whom Harry shares an immediate, visceral (sort of a mutual "lust at first sight") connection. Jackson and Nadine offer Harry a solution to all of his problems. They are both part of a subversive crew planning a heist that, if they pull it off, could rewrite a major part of U.S. history.


Jayne, Hannah. [Hannah Jayne Schwartz]

Under Wraps. Kensington Books, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sophie Lawson (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 1) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: As a human immune to magic, Sophie Lawson can help everyone from banshee to zombie transition into normal, everyday San Francisco life. With a handsome werewolf as her Underworld Detection Agency boss and a fashionista vampire for a roommate, Sophie knows everything there is to know about the undead, the unseen, and the uncanny—until a rash of gruesome murders has demons and mortals running for cover, and Sophie finds herself playing sidekick to detective Parker Hayes. Dodging raging bloodsuckers, bad-tempered fairies, and love-struck trolls is one thing. But when Sophie discovers Parker isn’t what he seems, she’s got only one chance to figure out whom to trust. Because an evil hiding in plain sight is closing in, and about to make one wisecracking human its means to ultimate power.

Under Attack. Kensington Books, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sophie Lawson (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 2) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: Sophie Lawson, a human agent of the Underworld Detection Agency who is immune to magic, helps a fallen angel search for the Vessel of Souls while a string of killings and destruction has San Francisco’s demon population on edge.

Under Suspicion. Kensington Books, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sophie Lawson (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 3) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Under the Gun. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sophie Lawson (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 4) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Summary: Quick thinking and loyalty have taken human Sophie Lawson a long way in the UDA—along with a healthy dose of magic immunity. But when her old boss Pete Sampson asks for help after a mysterious two year disappearance, she’s determined to find out what high-placed demon has put two ruthless werewolf killers on his tail. Of course, sucking up to her icy vampire department head and negotiating a treacherous interoffice demon battle are the kind of workplace politics that could easily get a ‘breather’ way worse than reprimanded. And sexy fallen angel Alex is doing whatever it takes to heat up Sophie’s professional cool and raise feelings she’s done her best to bury. Too bad their investigation is about to uncover the Agency’s darkest secrets...and powerful entities happy to sign one inquisitive human's pink slip in blood.

Under a Spell. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sophie Lawson (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 5) | paranormal | pbo | find it |

Under the Final Moon. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Sophie Lawson (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles 6) | paranormal | pbo | find it |


Jewell, A. B. [Matt Richtel]

The Man Who Wouldn't Die. William Morrow, 2019.

| setting: Silicon Valley | series character: William "Fitch" Fitzgerald | tpo | find it |

Summary: Silicon Valley scion Captain Don Donogue is dead under mysterious circumstances. Signs point to murder. Just ask Captain Don himself. He's been sending messages about his suspicious death from beyond the grave. Yep, he's been tweeting from the afterlife. Could life after death be Silicon Valley's latest innovation? This is the mystery that confronts the only sane person left in a region gone mad with greed, William Fitzgerald. Fitch. He's a world-class detective -- tough, stoic, carries a big stick and a flip phone. He's a bad fit for Silicon Valley, where couples are so anxious to get into the best free-play kindergartens that they get on the waiting list as soon as they freeze their eggs. One day, a woman knocks on Fitch's door. She's got a handful of cash and a wild story: She says that her father was Captain Don, or is Captain Don. He was killed, or maybe not. Fitch takes the case and goes into the belly of the Valley, discovering that life and death -- well, sometimes they're just another transaction.


Johnson, Claire M.

Beat Until Stiff. Poisoned Pen Press, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Mary Ryan | find it |

Summary: Pastry chef Mary Ryan is thirty-four years old, divorced, and in a bad mood. She works at American Fare, a trendy San Francisco restaurant owned and operated by celebrity chef Brent Brown, and is still grieving over her failed marriage to a S.F.P.D. homicide detective. When she arrives at work early one morning and discovers the body of one of her employees stuffed into a laundry bag, Mary feels compelled to investigate -- much to the chagrin of her ex-husband Jim, his former partner, Inspector O’Connor, and her worried mother. Mary’s investigation takes her all over San Francisco and uncovers some of the dirty secrets hidden in the American Fare closet -- Brown’s philandering, the hiring and manipulation of illegal aliens, blackmail, and creative accounting.  She eventually discovers that the murder was more than just a random crime -- and puts herself squarely in the path of a killer.

Roux Morgue. Poisoned Pen Press, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Mary Ryan | find it |

Summary: San Francisco pastry chef Mary Ryan is back at her old alma mater. Initially ecstatic to be teaching, Mary finds herself trying to straddle both worlds, caught between her original mentors and her contemporaries. To make matters worse, Homicide Detective O’Connor has enrolled as a student, claiming to be on disability leave from the San Francisco Police Department. In the middle of this turf war, Mary is confronted by the dean, Robert Benson. Mary must either force Coolie Martin to leave the school or lose her job. Why would Coolie’s father, a member of the Board of Directors, allow this to happen? But when the faculty and staff begin dying, Mary thinks that Coolie’s forced exit might only be part of a larger, more sinister plot. Acting on a hint from O’Connor, Mary contacts the only person who can help her: nemesis Thom Woods. Will Mary and Thom uncover the truth before another chef bakes his last pie?


Johnson, Gladys E.

Moon Country. The Penn Publishing Company, 1924.

| setting: San Mateo County (Pescadero) | Baird & Greenwood 1327 | find it |

Summary: As children growing up on the San Mateo County coast near Pescadero, Quentin Lloyd and Joan Pride were fascinated by tales of fabled Spanish treasure. Legend had it that Joan’s grandfather, Ol’ “Sinful” Pride, had lured a ship filled with gold onto the rocks with a false lighthouse and had hidden the treasure in a cave on the coast. On the night that Quentin and Joan were going to go try to find the treasure once and for all, Quentin’s family is shocked to learn of his father’s suicide in San Francisco. They abandon their house for the city. Years later, after his family’s fortune had been ruined in the 1906 earthquake and his health severely damaged after being gassed in France during the war, Quentin returns to his childhood home, and finds a drifter named Riddle squatting in the house. Joan has also just returned, in order to care for her aunt, and she and Quentin renew their friendship. Then strange things start happening. First, “Portuguese Maria,” a slightly deranged, alcoholic, old woman -- who had fueled Quent and Joan’s childhood fantasies -- is murdered in her home. Quentin then starts hearing strange noises in his house, leading him to think (against his better judgment) that perhaps the old place is haunted. Then he discovers another body on the beach, this time it is a Portuguese laborer. While he is trying to get someone to help him drag it to higher ground, the undertow takes it back out to sea. Joan’s aunt and her longtime servant, Ada Sterritt, both begin acting very strangely. After Quentin evicts Riddle, someone takes a shot at him and he and Joan become convinced that the key to the mysterious events is that long-lost treasure. Riddle comes back and he, Quentin, and Joan make a fantastic discovery. Buried in a secret room of the house is a chest filled with gold and jewels ... “The man looked up. ‘I think it’s [sic] earthquake loot, Joan. Treasure stolen from San Francisco during the earthquake of nineteen-six when the business district and half of the best homes in the city were leveled by fire. Look, there isn’t a coin here that bears a later date-mark than nineteen-five. This glass was probably the show-case in some jewelry store. This’ -- his hand swept toward the gleaming jewels in the tray -- ‘probably the loot of several stores and wealthy homes as well. The gold coins were doubtless stolen.’  ‘By glory, Mr. Lloyd, I bet you struck it!’ boomed Riddle. ‘Somebody made a haul in the three days when the city was burning and homes were left wide open. Why, people run away an’ left their valuables lyin’ right out in plain sight an’ sneak thieves struck a harvest.’” (p. 272-273)


Johnson, Rudolph, Jr.

Opium. Mona Publishing Co., Ltd., 1980.


Johnston, William.

The Picture Frame Frame-Up. Western Publishing Company, 1969.


Johnstone, William W.

Power of the Mountain Man. Kensington Publishing Corp., 1995.


Jolivet, Myra.

Pushed Times, Chewing Pepper. Pushed Times Publishing, 2014.

| setting: Oakland | series character: Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis | tpo | find it |

Summary: Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis is a rare woman. She is marked for murder while a suspected accessory to the mysterious murder plot. She is a trained family therapist who has a difficult time tolerating her own family for more than lunch. She is a contemporary California native with old world, Louisiana Creole roots. Her aunts and grandparents regularly talked to the dead and cast spells. They thought everyone did. In one year, Sarah's life is a haze of martini hangovers, a stalker, the wrong man, fights with a bitch cousin and the voodoo wisdom of her Aunt Cat. Then comes Michael ... and it gets worse. Deception and disappointment bring Sarah the hardest times she's ever known and propel her into a new life. The Creoles say, "Pushed times will make a monkey chew pepper." It means that challenging times inspire unique actions. Sarah learns to use her psychic gifts for guidance and to open her mind to unique actions. Her worst year becomes the best life-changing time of her life. Editor's note: Originally published by BookLocker.com in 2013.

Secrets, Spells and Snake Eyes. Pushed Times Publishing, 2017.

| setting: Oakland | series character: Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis | tpo |

Summary: Back home from a Godforsaken Louisiana family reunion, Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis jumps heart first into a murder investigation with her hot and sexy former attorney, Manuel. It's a new life for the Oakland family therapist, post-scandal. Manuel's client is charged with murder and he wants Sarah to use her gift of visions to help his investigator find the real killer. In her unique and humorous style, Sarah brings her head-spinning psychic intuition, large vodka bottles and a few other surprises to the case. Yadira Lopez's stepson is the accused, but Sarah feels there's something spine chilling and eerie about Yadira. Sarah props up her visions with help from some unbelievable sources. And if the case weren't complicated and odd enough, Sarah's nemesis, Cousin Stacy, shows up in California to stay awhile. Her year will be mysterious and murderous with a touch of crazy! Life remains a contrast of contemporary northern California and old-world Louisiana Creole traditions for Sarah. She is a trained family therapist with volatile relationships. Her background of science and logic is defiled by persistent visions into the future. And while it is Creole tradition for a woman to marry, Sarah has had many loves, but no husband. In Secrets, Spells and Snake Eyes, Sarah's second journey, she learns to handle her mystical second sight and prepares to fall in love, again. We laugh and feel a bit tipsy from all of the action and the Sunday martini brunches with her girlfriends. Laissez les bon temp rouler, mon cher!


Jones, Bret Austin.

Nest of Vipers. SterlingHouse Publisher, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco (1870s) | series character: Briston Hawkshaw (The Hawkshaw Chronicles) | find it |

Summary: Briston Hawkshaw, a “personal agent,” or private detective, has set up shop in San Francisco in the 1870s. Hawkshaw’s latest assignment: to find a missing military regiment and their commander. How can a regiment go missing? Hawkshaw immediately sets out to discover the answer. Following a trail of suicide, murder and the death of his friend, he uncovers a diabolical plot to re-ignite the flames of war and throw the nation into chaos yet again. Hawkshaw must use all his powers of detection and every ounce of his courage if he is to save the Republic, stave off an attack on San Francisco -- and prevent the assassination of President Ulysses S. Grant.


Jones, Cleo.

The Case of the Fragmented Woman. St. Martin’s Press, 1986.


Jones, Proctor.

Ransom of the Golden Bridge. P. Jones Pub. Co., 1983.


Jordan, B.B.

Principal Investigation: A Scientific Mystery. Berkley Prime Crime, 1997.

| setting: San Francisco (DeYoung Museum, Pacific Heights), San Francisco Peninsula | series character: Celeste Braun | pbo | find it |

Summary: Dr. Celeste Braun was all too familiar with the deadly Eke virus -- years ago, her mentor had developed an effective treatment. Now, as Principal Investigator in the virology labs of Bay Area University [Stanford University?], Celeste encounters the possibility of a frightening new outbreak... This time, science is in the wrong hands -- and the world is about to witness an epidemic of human corruption as fatal as any microbe. One man claims to have the cure to a mutant strain. And for the sake of money and power he’s holding the whole world hostage. There’s one more problem Celeste has to face... What if the cure doesn’t work?






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