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

 

La Tourrette, Jacqueline.

The House on Octavia Street. Beaufort Books, 1984.

 

Lake, Paul.

Among the Immortals. Story Line Press, 1994.

 

Lakin, Howard.

California Noir. DevonBooks, 2012.

| settings: San Francisco, Oakland, Mill Valley | series character: Rick Lang | tpo | find it |

 

Lam, Laura.

False Hearts. Tom Doherty Associates, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Summary: One night Tila stumbles home, terrified and covered in blood. She's arrested for murder, the first by a civilian in decades. The San Francisco police suspect involvement with Verve, a powerful drug, and offer her twin sister Taema a chilling deal. Taema must assume Tila's identity and gather information -- then if she brings down the drug syndicate, the police may let her sister live. But Taema's investigation raises ghosts from the twins' past. The sisters were raised by a cult which banned modern medicine. But as conjoined twins, they needed surgery to divide their shared heart--and escaped. Taema now finds that Tila discovered the links between the cult and the city's underground. Once unable to keep secrets, the sisters will discover the true cost of lies.

 

Lamb, Bette Golden.

The Organ Harvesters. Farther Books, 2014.

| setting: “Sanfrancorp” [San Francisco] (2020) | series character: Zoe Hidalga | science fiction | tpo |

The Organ Harvesters. Book II. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2016.

| setting: "Sanfrancorp" [San Francisco] (2020) | series character: Zoe Hildalga | science fiction | tpo |

Summary: In this terrorizing sequel to The Organ Harvesters, the bloodless war of 2020 has destroyed all governments and left monster corporations in control globally, unhindered to waste the planet's natural resources, and to manipulate the world's population with iron-handed control. There's one last chance to save life on Planet Earth-roaming at large under a death warrant, Dr. Zoe Hidalga leaves behind both her daughter and her lover, mystic Asher Wind Storm, to return to Sanfrancorp to join the Defys, an underground resistance group that has spread throughout the world during the past six years. The time has come for redemption, a time to save the people and shut down The Organ Harvesters and end corporate domination.

 

Lamb, Bette Golden, and J.J. Lamb.

Bone Dry. Five Star, 2003.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | find it |

Sin & Bone. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | tpo |

Bone Pit. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | tpo |

Bone of Contention. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | tpo | find it |

Summary: RN Gina Mazzio returns to San Francisco’s Ridgewood Hospital after a near-death experience in Nevada’s desolate gold country. On her first day in the Ob/Gyn Women’s Health Clinic, a co-worker suffers a mystifying post-abortion death due to sepsis. Two days later, the same thing happens to a clinic patient. Gina thinks it’s an inside job, but gets no support for her theory. Convinced she’s right, she risks everything to dig into the who and why of the deaths. She wants to know if someone is deliberately causing clinic patients to suffer horrible deaths. Fiancé Harry Lucke, who was with Gina in Nevada, is worried about her and postpones taking another travel nurse assignment. Instead, he signs on as an on-call ICU nurse at Ridgewood. To Gina’s delight, and distress, her younger brother, Vinnie, shows up, back from his second tour of duty in the Middle East. He’s received a medial discharge and is deeply depressed and suicidal. Vinnie brings news that Gina’s ex-husband, Dominick, is out of prison and still enraged that she helped put him away for three years -- for almost killing her. Word is that he broke parole and is on his way from New York to San Francisco. Gina sticks with her daring and danger-filled investigation. Her efforts bring her closer and closer to solving the sepsis deaths, but also make her the target of anti-abortion fanatics. As she closes in on the murderer, her ex-spouse arrives in San Francisco, hell-bent on killing her. Gina is faced with having to outmaneuver Dominick while racing to expose the murderer before either can trap and kill her.

Bone Dust. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | tpo | find it |

Summary: Is it possible to get so busy you don't notice a stalker? Actually, it's likely, in a hospital, in the middle of a deadly flu epidemic. Your focus is on saving people, not looking over your shoulder. So it almost happens to San Francisco RN Gina Mazzio, who's further distracted by personal issues. But then a fellow nurse gets killed. Even in the middle of a break-up with a long-time boyfriend, and the chaos of the epidemic, there’s no ignoring that. And the nurse isn't the only one -- a lot more patients are dying than ought to be. Then Gina herself is targeted by the murderer, and her estranged love, Harry Lucke, is the target of her vicious ex-husband. As if that weren’t enough, even nurses aren't immune from the flu -- Gina gets it, and now, sick as the proverbial Fido, she has to deal with not one but two murderers. Plus the mysterious flu deaths.

The Killing Vote. Champlain Avenue Books, Inc., 2015.

| setting: San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Nevada | tpo | find it |

Summary: Seven days! That's the deadline to stop a political-corporate scheme to legally murder vulnerable patients. Ted Yost, a semi-retired journalist, barely starts an investigation into a plot to legalize selective euthanasia when his client's office is blown up, his home is ransacked, his wife is kidnapped, and there's an attempt on his life. What he doesn't know: the conspirators include the nation's largest for-profit healthcare corporation, a powerful D.C. lobbyist, and the White House. Can Ted stop a killing vote by Congress?

Bone Crack. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | tpo | 

Summary: Gina Mazzio, RN, and fiancé Harry Lucke are on the brink of getting married when a childhood friend relocates from the Bronx to San Francisco. Within days, Gina's nurse friend is relating difficult-to-believe horror stories about her new employer, a cardiologist whom she suspects is involved in illicit and deadly medical practices. Gina soon discovers the stories are true -- the doctor is not only acting in an unethical manner, he may also be complicit in two or three hideous murders. That knowledge quickly makes her the new target of the doctor... and a vicious hit man, who is determined to hunt her down and kill her.

Bone Slice. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | tpo | 

Summary: Back from an idyllic beach wedding and honeymoon on romantic Kauai, Gina and Harry have barely unpacked when Ridgewood Hospital sends them off on an intriguing assignment to learn about and report on surgical robotics at a Santa Cruz area hospital. Intrigue turns to fear as they're plunged into the midst of a deadly clash between hands-on-medicine traditionalists and those eager to dive headlong into the futurist whirlpool of robotics. The newlyweds are harassed, threatened, and kidnapped as a result of their efforts to discover who is hacking the robotic units and causing bloody mayhem in the surgery suites. Gina and Harry eventually report back to Ridgewood that robots are not only accurate, fast, and efficient, they can also be used to commit murder.

Bone Point. Two Black Sheep Productions, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Gina Mazzio | tpo | 

Summary: Veterans are being murdered. Long-time fans will rejoice--now we know love does conquer all. Gina Mazzio is pregnant--this after doctors said it would never happen. But five months into her high-risk pregnancy, Gina's veteran brother, who suffers from PTSD, vanishes. Why has he abandoned everyone and everything? Although under bed-rest orders, Gina takes off to find him. What she discovers is that Vinnie's been swallowed up in a derelict, soon-to-close VA psychiatric hospital with a corrupt administration involved in greed, malevolence, and murder. Vinnie could be the next to die.

 

Lamb, J. J.

The Chinese Straight. Ballantine Books, 1976.

| setting: Las Vegas, San Francisco (Chinatown) | series character: Zachariah Tobias Rolfe | pbo | find it |

Summary: The case began with a luscious lovely offering Zach Rolfe an irresistible invitation. The action moved into high gear in an exclusive racing-car meet on a maverick millionaire’s isolated estate. And by the time Zach found himself staring at the mangled corpse of his host, he knew it was too late to put on the brakes -- as he roared along the dangerous curves and vicious twists of a death route that led from Las Vegas to Tahoe to the secret dens of San Francisco’s Chinatown. With a swinging playmate at his side and a pack of savage killers on his trail, Las Vegas’ coolest private eye had to let out all the stops as he headed toward the finish line -- for his quarry or himself.

 

Lamb, John J.

The Clockwork Teddy. Berkley Prime Crime, 2008. (Bear collector’s mystery #4)

 

Lancet, Barry.

Japantown. Simon & Schuster, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco (Japantown) | series character: Jim Brodie (1) | find it |

Summary: Jim Brodie, a San Francisco antique dealer with ties to a Tokyo-based private investigation firm, receives a call one night from a friend at the SFPD: an entire family has been senselessly gunned down in the Japantown neighborhood of the bustling city. As an American born and raised in Japan, Brodie has advised the local police in the past, but when he arrives at the crime scene, the near-perfect murder offers only one clue -- an unreadable scrap of paper that has devastating personal consequences not only for the victims but for Brodie himself. With his array of Asian contacts and fluency in Japanese, Brodie follows leads gathered from a shadow powerbroker, a renegade Japanese detective, and the elusive tycoon at the center of the Japantown murders along a trail that takes him from the crime scene in California to terrorized citizens and informants in Japan. Step by step, he unravels a web of intrigue stretching back centuries and unearths a deadly secret that threatens not only his life but also those of his entire circle of family and friends.

Pacific Burn. Simon & Schuster, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Japan | series character: Jim Brodie (3) | find it |

Summary: In recognition for his role in solving the Japantown murders in San Francisco, antiques dealer and sometime-PI Jim Brodie has just been brought on as the liaison for the mayor's new Pacific Rim Friendship Program. Brodie in turn recruits his friend, the renowned Japanese artist Ken Nobuki, and after a promising meeting with city officials and a picture-perfect photo op, Brodie and Nobuki leave City Hall for a waiting limo.  But as soon as they exit the building, a sniper attacks them from the roof of the Asian Art Museum. Quick thinking allows Brodie to escape, but Nobuki ends up hospitalized and in a coma. Brodie soon realizes that, with the suspicious and untimely death of Nobuki's oldest son a week earlier in Napa Valley, someone may be targeting his friend's family-and killing them off one by one.  Suspects are nearly too numerous to name-and could be in the United States or anywhere along the Pacific Rim. The quest for answers takes Brodie from his beloved San Francisco to Washington, DC, in a confrontation with the DHS, the CIA, and the FBI; then on to Tokyo, Kyoto, and beyond, in search of what his Japanese sources tell him is a legendary killer in both senses of the word-said to be more rumor than real, but deadlier than anything else they've ever encountered if the whispers are true.

The Spy Across the Table. Simon & Schuster, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Japan | series character: Jim Brodie (4) | find it |

Summary: Jim Brodie is an San Francisco antiques dealer, Japan expert, and second-generation private investigator. When two theater friends are murdered backstage at a Kennedy Center performance in Washington, DC, he's devastated -- and determined to hunt down the killer. He's not the only one... Brodie flies to Tokyo to attend the second of two funerals, when his friend's daughter Anna is kidnapped during the ceremony. It is then Brodie realizes that the murders were simply bait to draw her out of hiding. Anna, it seems, is the key architect of a top-secret NSA program that gathers the personal secrets of America's most influential leaders. Secrets so damaging that North Korea and China will stop at nothing to get them.

 

Landes, Paul H., and K. Rogers.

Wings to Redemption. Hunter and Gatherer Publishing Company, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco; Sydney (Australia) | series character: Alex Boudreau | tpo |

 

Landis, Jill Marie.

Jade. Jove Books, 1991.

 

Lang, Harry.

The Corpse on the Hearth. Macrae-Smith Company, 1946.

 

Lantigua, John.

Heat Lightning. Putnam, 1987.

| setting: San Francisco (Mission District) | series character: David Cruz | find it |

Summary: Set in the Mission District of San Francisco, this suspense novel captures the claustrophobic atmosphere that twists Central American politics and the innocents caught in the middle. The body of a young Salvadoran refugee granted political asylum in S.F. is found murdered death-squad style: single bullet to the head, thumbs tied behind the back. She's a warning to those who can read the signs. In his search for the killer, police detective David Cruz finds himself in the company of former Gardia generals, closemouthed guerrillas and opportunistic businessmen vultures that feed on the desperate.

 

LaPlante, Alice.

A Circle of Wives. Atlantic Monthly Books, 2014.

| setting: Palo Alto | series character: Samantha Adams | find it |

Half Moon Bay. Scribner, 2018.

| setting: Half Moon Bay | find it |

Summary: Jane loses everything when her teenage daughter is killed in a senseless accident. Jane is devastated, but sometime later, she makes one tiny stab at a new life: she moves from San Francisco to the tiny seaside town of Half Moon Bay. She is inconsolable, and yet, as the months go by, she is able to cobble together some version of a job, of friends, of the possibility of peace. And then, children begin to disappear. And soon, Jane sees her own pain reflected in all the parents in the town. She wonders if she will be able to live through the aching loss, the fear all around her. But as the disappearances continue, she begins to see that what her neighbors are wondering is whether it is Jane herself who has somehow brought the horror with her.

 

Larsgaard, Chris.

The Heir Hunter. Delacorte Press, 2000.

Summary: Nick Merchant is an heir hunter -- a little-known species of private investigator who searches for a dead person’s next of kin when no will exists, and collects a percentage of the estate. Gerald Jacobs is a reclusive millionaire, found dead in a creaky old house in upstate New York. His net worth: twenty-two million dollars. Nick and his beautiful partner (and former girlfriend) Alex Moreno think they’re about to score the payday of a lifetime. Unfortunately, they've got some pretty stiff competition. A rival firm is doing its best to beat them to the punch. And someone else -- someone who knows every dark secret in Gerald Jacobs’s grave -- will stop at nothing to see that no one ever breaks this case. Nick and Alex work against the clock, narrowly eluding their rivals, dodging bullets, and unearthing a history a lot of people would rather keep buried. Moving from San Francisco to New York City, from Geneva to Washington, D.C. -- and dozens of points in between—they struggle to uncover the guilty secret behind a dead man’s fortune.

 

Latson, Allan C.

Slaves of Desire. Forum Pub. Co., 1956.

Summary: A proletarian novel set on the San Francisco waterfront. When Earl Abrams, a university student, goes down to the waterfront to secure a summer job he gets caught up in a web of hate, greed, and murder as union organizers, led by an Australian-born soldier-of-fortune turned labor leader, clash with capitalist shipping companies.

 

Laurence, Gerald.

One Bang-Up Job. Berkley Books, 1989.

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

Summary: Daniel Langer is a smalltime crook with a big plan. By organizing every mobster, petty thief, burglar, and stickup man in San Francisco, he’s going to rob the entire city in one felonious swoop -- every bank, liquor store, pawnshop, and gas station. The payoff is $30,000,000, give or take a few bucks, but the double-cross is priceless. And Langer’s planned every detail, right down to his own death. But what he didn’t plan on was Natalie Dauntless Fisher, a lady private eye who looks like a fashion model, swears like a sailor, and stops at nothing to get her man and the reward.

 

Laurie, Victoria.

Ghouls Just Haunt to Have Fun. Obsidian, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: M.J. Holliday (Ghost Hunter Mystery 3) | pbo | find it |

Summary: M.J. Holliday is off to the Duke Hotel in San Francisco, the most haunted hotel in the U.S., to film a new television show Haunted Possessions. She arrives just in time to find the hotel surrounded by police, firetrucks and onlookers. Someone has fallen out of a window and died. Is it suicide, murder, accident or the paranormal that has caused her death. Before she can solve this violent she must first meet her fellow mediums Bernard Higgins, Madam Angelica Demarche and Heath Whitefeather. Things only get better when an object they are asked to examine for the show -- a knife -- just happens to open a portal in the hotel that releases a nasty demon. (A.E.B.)

 

Lawrence, Cynthia.

Chill Before Serving. Worldwide, 2005.

 

Lawton, Rick.

Chasing Lazarus. Sasha Press, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: Chasing Lazarus is a literary mystery which takes place against a San Francisco background of blazing sun, pea-soup fogs, tony restaurants, the Haight Street Disneyland, and dark, sinister SoMa nightclubs. Harry Mach, a rapacious financial adviser, Judy Ferris, an upright travel writer/journalist, and Marant Olivier, a deadly assassin are all chasing Wiley Brooks. Wiley, a flame-haired CIA interrogator and drug dealer ripped off backers in a drug scheme, left a note about ‘business reversals,’ and jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge. Harry, Judy, and Marant know Wiley faked his suicide, but they have far different reasons for finding him.

 

Leason, Barney.

Grand Cru. Forge, 2001.

| setting: Sonoma Valley | pbo | find it |

Summary: Clara Morelli’s small Sonoma Valley vineyard produces a luscious cabenet. Bertram Hill, a corporation of dubious reputation, wants to take over Morelli Vineyards, making juicy offers almost too generous to refuse. But something smells a little ‘off’ about the pushy Bertram Hill people—especially when they will not take ‘no’ for an answer....

 

Lecard, Marc.

Tiny Little Troubles. St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2008.

 

Lee, Elsie.

Sam Benedict—Cast the First Stone. Lancer Books, 1963.

 

Lee, Patrick. [William Fieldhouse]

Gundown at Golden Gate. Pinnacle Books, 1981.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Tanaka Tom Fletcher (Six-Gun Samurai #3) | pbo | Western Fiction Review | find it |

Summary: Tanaka Tom Fletcher -- an American raised in Japan under the Samurai code of the Bushido -- is in San Francisco on the trail of an agent of his archenemy, Colonel Hollister (who was responsible for the slaughter of Fletcher’s family) who is running for mayor. The Six-Gun Samurai intends to terminate his campaign before it gets to the ballot box...

 

Lee, Valerie.

www.sex.net. Russian Hill Press, 1998.

 

Lee, Will.

Cobalt. Vantage Press, 1999.

 

Leebron, Fred G.

Out West. Doubleday, 1996.

 

Leffland, Ella.

Mrs. Munck. Houghton Mifflin Company, 1970.

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 1484; Hubin; Baird & Greenwood 1484 |

Summary: Rose Davies arrived in San Francisco twenty-five years ago as a young, naïve girl. She soon began a relationship with her boss, Patrick Leary, that started off innocently enough, quickly turned into a life-changing experience, and ultimately resulted in tragedy. Now, recently widowed and living in a small house in Port Carquinez (patterned after Port Costa), on the Carquinez Straits north of San Francisco, she offers to take Mr. Leary, who is now her uncle by marriage, into her home and provide care for him (he had been crippled and living in a nursing home). Her motive for this seeming act of charity is soon revealed to be revenge -- she plans to murder him. As this novel of psychological suspense unfolds, her plans evolve, get thwarted, and take a shocking turn at the end.

 

Leinster, Murray. [William Fitzgerald Jenkins]

Scalps: A Murder Mystery. Brewer & Warren, 1930.

 

Lelchuk, S. A.

Save Me From Dangerous Men. Flatiron Books, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area; Berkeley | series character: Nikki Griffin (1) | find it |

Summary: Nikki Griffin isn't your typical private investigator. In her office above her bookstore's shelves and stacks, where she luxuriates in books and the comfort they provide, she also tracks certain men. Dangerous men. Men who have hurt the women they claim to love. And Nikki likes to teach those men a lesson, to teach them what it feels like to be hurt and helpless, so she can be sure that their victims are safe from them forever. When a regular PI job tailing Karen, a tech company's disgruntled employee who might be selling secrets, turns ugly and Karen's life is threatened, Nikki has to break cover and intervene. Karen tells Nikki that there are people after her. Dangerous men. She says she'll tell Nikki what's really going on. But then something goes wrong, and suddenly Nikki is no longer just solving a case-- she's trying hard to stay alive.

 

Lenhard, Elizabeth.

Soul of the Bride. Pocket Pulse, 2001.

| based on the television series Charmed, created by Constance M. Burge |

Charmed Again. Simon Pulse, 2002.

| based on the television series Charmed, created by Constance M. Burge |

Date With Death. Simon Pulse, 2002.

| based on the television series Charmed, created by Constance M. Burge |

 

Lescroart, John.

Dead Irish. Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1989.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Dismas Hardy | Hubin; MRJ |

Summary: San Francisco bartender Dismas Hardy-- thirty-eight years old, divorced, ex-Marine, ex-cop, ex-attorney -- is having trouble finding meaning in his life when his boss and best friend Moses McGuire (they served together in Vietnam) asks him to keep an eye on the police investigation into Moses’ brother-in-law Eddie Cochran’s death. To outward appearances, it looks like a suicide. But no one, including his pregnant widow Frannie, can come up with any reasons Eddie would have killed himself; and if Eddie’s death is ruled a suicide, Frannie doesn’t get any of his life insurance. So, with the semi-official assistance of his former patrol partner, homicide detective Abe Glitsky, Hardy begins an investigation that takes him from the industrial center of China Basin to the neighborhoods of the Sunset District and uncovers the secrets of Eddie’s family history.

The Vig. Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1990.

Hard Evidence. Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1993.

The 13th Juror. Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1994.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin |

Summary: A legal thriller featuring a battered San Francisco wife accused of shooting both her husband and her seven-year-old son. When the trial opens she refuses to allow a defense of spousal abuse because of its implication of guilt. This presents her lawyer with a major problem as the prosecution claims she killed the husband for the insurance.

A Certain Justice. Donald I. Fine, Inc., 1995.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin |

Summary: In San Francisco, a black lawyer is mistaken for a killer and lynched by whites. A white bystander trying to save him by cutting the rope is photographed holding a knife and portrayed by a newspaper as the mob’s leader. The city explodes into violence, politicians outdo each other calling for retribution and a decent man runs for his life.

Guilt. Delacorte Press, 1997.

Summary: As chief legal counsel for the archbishop of San Francisco, Mark Dooher could not divorce his wife, therefore he murdered her. So say the police and the novel is the story of his trial, a conflict between a tenacious police detective and the powerful lawyer.

The Mercy Rule. Delacorte Press, 1998.

Summary: Lawyer Dismas Hardy of San Francisco is hired to defend a man accused of mercy killing his father who had Alzheimer’s disease. The man denies administering the deadly morphine, but in that case who did?

Nothing But the Truth. Delacorte Press, 1999.

Summary: In an effort to save his wife, lawyer Dismas Hardy investigates the murder of a woman thrown out of a window. The victim was his wife’s friend and she has been jailed for refusing to reveal a secret that the other confided to her.

The Hearing. Dutton, 2001.

The Oath. Dutton, 2002.

Summary: In San Francisco, Parnassus Medical Group CEO Tim Markham is a victim of a hit and run accident. Tim dies in his company’s Portola Hospital, but the autopsy reveals that his injuries did not kill him. Instead Tim died from an overdose of potassium. San Francisco homicide detective Abe Glitsky believes that the doctor of record Eric Kensing killed his boss because Tim was having an affair with the prime suspect’s wife and the HMO’s cost-cutting measures threatened the lives of his patients. Attorney Dismas Hardy thinks someone else is the killer. Soon evidence surfaces that a serial killer has made the CEO victim number twelve. Now the two best friends, Dismas and Abe, work on uncovering the identity of a murderer before the toll reaches a baker’s dozen.

The First Law. Dutton, 2003.

Summary: It is a little known fact that some selected areas of San Francisco are policed by Patrol Specials, licensed private security specialists accountable to the SFPD. Wade Panos has six areas that he and his team patrol, but they are also into payola, shakedowns, and, when somebody gets in their way, intimidation. Pawnshop dealer Sam Silverman couldn’t afford their rates anymore and suddenly he is robbed and killed. The police led by the Patrol Special’s tips are convinced that bar owner John Holiday and two of his friends are the guilty parties because Wade wants his shop and this is a cheap way to get it. John’s lawyer is Dismas Hardy, who is bringing a civil suit against Wade and his men for brutality and intimidation. Dismas is threatened twice and he thinks Wade is behind the threats to him and his family. To obtain justice, he, his brother-in-law, Lt. Abe Glitsky, and John might have to go outside the law to see justice done.

The Second Chair. Dutton, 2004.

Summary: In San Francisco, Laura Wright and her drama teacher Mr. Mooney are killed in his apartment. Laura’s lover, Andrew Bartlett, the father of her unborn child is arrested two months after the double homicide and charged with special circumstances murder. Amy Wu, an associate in the law firm in which Dismas Hardy is the managing partner, takes the case even though she believes her client is guilty. With his parents’ permission, Amy plea bargains for her seventeen year old client so that he will plead guilty if he’s charged as a minor. She explains to Andrew that he will be remanded to a juvenile youth facility for eight years and then would be a free man. Andrew agrees to Amy’s suggestion since the evidence against him is so overwhelming, but at the last minute he declares his innocence. Dismas takes a more active role in the case, seeking evidence, interviewing witnesses and acting as second chair in Andrew’s upcoming hearing.

The Motive. Dutton, 2005.

Summary: When the fire is doused in Paul Hanover’s Victorian house in San Francisco the charred bodies of two people are found. Dental records show that they are Paul and his live-in lover, but both died from bullet wounds. Inspector Sergeant Dan Cuneo is assigned to the case and he zeroes in on Paul’s daughter-in-law Catherine Hanover as the suspect, in part because she rejected Cuneo’s sexual advances. Deputy Chief Inspector Abe Glitsky is asked by the mayor to oversee Cuneo’s investigation because Paul was a friend and a heavy contributor to her campaign. Cuneo hates Abe and makes a run around him with the district attorney so they take the case to the grand jury where they hand down an indictment. Caroline asks attorney Dismas Hardy to represent her; he agrees to do so because she was his first love and because he believes she is innocent. He has his work cut out for him because the prosecution has an overwhelming amount of circumstantial evidence that shows Caroline had means, opportunity, and motive to kill her father-in-law and his lover.

The Hunt Club. Dutton, 2006.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Wyatt Hunt | find it |

The Suspect. Dutton, 2007.

Betrayal. Dutton, 2008.

Summary: When San Francisco defense attorney Dismas Hardy agrees to clean up the caseload of recently disappeared attorney Charlie Bowen, he thinks it will be easy. But one of the cases is far from small-time -- the sensational clash between National Guard reservist Evan Scholler and an ex-Navy SEAL and private contractor named Ron Nolan. Two rapid-fire events in Iraq conspired to bring the men into fatal conflict: Nolan’s relationship with Evan’s girlfriend, Tara, a beautiful school-teacher back home in the states, followed by a deadly incident in which Nolan’s apparent mistake results in the death of an innocent Iraqi family as well as seven men in Evan’s platoon. As the murky relationship between the US government and its private contractors plays out in the personal drama of these two men, and the consequences become a desperate matter of life and death, Dismas Hardy begins to uncover a terrible and perilous truth that takes him far beyond the case and into the realm of assassination and treason.

A Plague of Secrets. Dutton, 2009.

Treasure Hunt. Dutton, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Wyatt Hunt, Mickey Dade | find it |

Summary: When the body of Dominic Como, one of San Francisco’s most high-profile activists -- a charismatic man known as much for his expensive suits as his work on a half dozen nonprofit boards -- is discovered, P.I. Mickey Dade and P.I. Wyatt Hunt investigate Como’s business associate, Alicia Thorpe -- young, gorgeous, and the sister of one of Mickey’s friends.

Damage. Dutton, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Abe Glitsky | find it |

Summary: His career derailed by the vengeful billionaire Curtlee family for his part in convicting one of their number for murder, former San Francisco homicide detective Abe Glitsky learns that the killer has won a retrial at the same time a star witness has been murdered.

The Hunter. Dutton, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Wyatt Hunt, Mickey Dade | find it |

Summary: Raised by loving adoptive parents, San Francisco private investigator Wyatt Hunt never had an interest in finding his birth family -- until he gets a chilling text message from an unknown number: “How did ur mother die?” The answer is murder, and urged on by curiosity and the mysterious texter, Hunt takes on a case he never knew existed, one that has lain unsolved for decades. His family’s dark past unfurls in dead ends. Child Protective Services, who suspected but could never prove that Hunt was being neglected, is uninformed; his birth father, twice tried but never convicted of the murder, is in hiding; Evie, his mother’s drug-addicted religious fanatic of a friend, is untraceable. And who is the texter, and how are they connected to Hunt? Yet in the present, time is running out. The texter, who insists the killer is out there, refuses to be identified. The cat-and-mouse game leads Hunt across the country and eventually to places far more exotic—and far more dangerous. As the chase escalates, so does the threat, for the killer has a secret that can only be trusted to the grave.

The Ophelia Cut. Atria Books, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky | find it |

The Keeper. Atria Books, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky | find it |

The Fall. Atria Books, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky | find it |

Fatal. Atria Books, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Summary: Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she's happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter. What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate's fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on. Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the cafe Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.

Poison. Atria Books, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Dismas Hardy | find it |

Summary: Dismas Hardy is looking forward to cutting back his work hours and easing into retirement after recovering from two gunshot wounds. He is determined to spend more time with his family and even reconnect with his distant son, Vincent. But Dismas just can't stay away from the courtroom for long and soon he is pulled into an intense family drama with fatal consequences. Grant Carver, the vigorous patriarch of the Carver family and its four-generations owned family business, has been murdered. His bookkeeper Abby Jarvis, whom Hardy had defended on a DUI charge eleven years prior, is the prime suspect after police discover she's been embezzling funds from the company -- but she insists she did not kill her boss. As he prepares to defend her, Dismas investigates the Carver clan and discovers the dark, twisted secrets within the family. It seems that Abby was not the only one who stood to profit from the company's $25 million dollar market value. From jealous children to gold-digging girlfriends, Dismas has his work cut out for him in sifting through mud flinging, backstabbing, and accusations of blackmail. But Dismas not only has to save his client's life but his own, as it soon becomes clear that someone has a painted a target on his back, too.

The Rule of Law. Atria Books, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Dismas Hardy | find it |

Summary: Dismas Hardy knows something is amiss with his trusted secretary, Phyllis. Her out-of-character behavior and sudden disappearances concern Hardy, especially when he learns that her convict brother -- a man who had served twenty-five years in prison for armed robbery and attempted murder -- has just been released. Things take a shocking turn when Phyllis is suddenly arrested at work for allegedly being an accessory to the murder of Hector Valdez, a coyote who'd been smuggling women into this country from El Salvador and Mexico. That is, until recently, when he was shot to death -- on the very same day that Phyllis first disappeared from work. The connection between Phyllis, her brother, and Hector's murder is not something Dismas can easily understand, but if his cherished colleague has any chance of going free, he needs to put all the pieces together -- and fast.

 

Leslie, Jean.

Shoes For My Love. Published for the Crime Club by Doubleday & Company, 1948.

Summary: Barry Barlow, a San Francisco shoe manufacturer, owns a house at Washington and Leavenworth that has been converted into four apartments. After hearing a gunshot one evening, he discovers a beautiful woman in the apartment of one of his tenants, a psychiatrist named Ozzie Fenwick. She has red hair, appears to be drunk, and is standing over the fallen Fenwick with a gun in her hand. Barlow impulsively leads her into his apartment, puts her in his bed, and decides to cover for her when the other tenants come downstairs to investigate. The next morning the woman—who he calls Rusty—says she does not want to go home so he takes her to Fleishhacker Zoo to hide her while he attends to his business. When she then disappears from the zoo, Barlow, irrationally convinced of Rusty’s innocence, begins to investigate. His search takes him all over the city and makes him a prime suspect of the police. Barlow learns that Rusty is really Laurel Winters, a wealthy socialite with a strange family background. After two more murders, Barlow uncovers a sinister conspiracy between Ozzie Fenwick, Rusty’s brother, and a killer.

 

Lester, Meera.

A Beeline to Murder. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2015.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area ("Las Flores") | series character: Abigail Mackenzie (A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery 1) | find it |

Summary: After an injury forced her to leave the police department, Abigail Mackenzie started a second career as a farmer. Raising chickens, harvesting honey from her bee colony, and growing heirloom vegetables on her farmette in the beautiful Bay Area town of Las Flores, Abby has embraced all the benefits of a peaceful life. But when she attempts to deliver her trademark honey to local pastry chef Jean-Louis Bonheur and finds him dead in his shop, her old investigative instincts kick in. After the coroner rules the death a suicide, the chef's handsome French-Canadian brother insists on hiring Abby to find out who really killed Jean-Louis.

The Murder of a Queen Bee. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2016.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area ("Las Flores") | series character: Abigail Mackenzie (A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery 2) | find it |

Summary: Leaving her job as a police officer to become a beekeeper, Abigail Mackenzie is drawn into a murder investigation after her friend is found dead in a mysterious car accident, suspecting that her friend's herbal business holds the key to finding the killer.

A Hive of Homicides. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2017.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area ("Las Flores") | series character: Abigail Mackenzie (A Henny Penny Farmette Mystery 3) | find it |

Summary: After finding her friend Paola injured and next to her dead husband, Abigail Mackenzie investigates the shooting to protect her friend.

 

Lethem, Jonathan.

Gun, With Occasional Music. Harcourt Brace, 1994.

Summary: Gumshoe Conrad Metcalf has problems -- there’s a rabbit in his waiting room and a trigger-happy kangaroo on his tail. Near-future Oakland is a brave new world where evolved animals are members of society, the police monitor citizens by their karma levels, and mind-numbing drugs such as Forgettol and Acceptol are all the rage. Metcalf has been shadowing Celeste, the wife of an affluent doctor. Perhaps he’s falling a little in love with her at the same time. When the doctor turns up dead, the investigator finds himself caught in a crossfire between the boys from the Inquisitor’s Office and gangsters who operate out of the back room of a bar called the Fickle Muse. Mixing elements of sci-fi, noir, and mystery, this is the first novel from the author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude.

 

Leventhal, Stan.

Faultlines. Banned Books, 1989.

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

 

Levin, Donna.

California Street. Simon and Schuster, 1990.

 

Lewellen, T. C.

The Billikin Courier. Random House, 1968.

 

Lewis, Kathleen A.

The 27th Out. Turtleclub, 1996.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Marcy Connelly | Hubin | find it |

 

Lewis, Peter.

Dead in the Dregs. Counterpoint, 2010.

| setting: Napa Valley, Burgundy (France) | series character: Babe Stern | find it |

 

Lewis, Robert K.

Untold Damage. Midnight Ink, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Mark Mallen | tpo | find it |

Summary: A gritty mystery of loss and redemption on the San Francisco streets.... Estranged from his wife and daughter, former undercover cop Mark Mallen has spent the last four years in a haze of heroin. When his best friend from the academy, Eric Russ, is murdered, an address found in his pocket points to Mallen as the prime suspect. As the police turn up the heat and Russ’s survivors ask him to come up with some answers, Mallen sets out to serve justice to the real killer. But first, he’ll have to get clean and face the low-life thugs who want him dead. Surviving drive-by shootings and beat downs, Mallen discovers the motives behind a string of vengeful murders. But turning a life around is hard work for a junkie. Bruised, alone, and written off by nearly everyone, can Mallen keep clean and get back into his daughter’s life?

Critical Damage. Midnight Ink, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Mark Mallen | tpo | find it |

Innocent Damage. Midnight Ink, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Mark Mallen | tpo | find it |

 

Lewis, Shelby.

Sacred Love. BET Publications, LLC : Arabesque, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | romantic suspense | pbo | find it |

Summary: When Great-Uncle Fred invites Bailey Walker and her husband, Sam, to his beautiful estate overlooking San Francisco Bay, Bailey can’t wait to see the sweet old man again. But the visit becomes a nightmare when the aging tycoon is found murdered in his clawfooted bathtub, and Bailey is singled out as the prime suspect. Surrounded by a dark cloud of suspicion, her only hope is the man she married...for better or worse. Sam Walker is no stranger to crime. He and Bailey have investigated any number of baffling cases. Yet never have the two amateur sleuths had so much at stake -- or so much to lose. As Sam coolly sets out to separate the innocent from the guilty, he unearths a twisted history of family loyalty and greed, dirty deeds and shocking secrets. And as danger closes in, he and Bailey must join forces to solve a homicide that will stretch the limits of their devotion.

 

Lewitt, Fil.

Tight: A Novel of the 1960s. Fictional Enterprises 2008. 

| setting: San Francisco (1967) | tpo | find it |

Summary: San Francisco, 1967. Tough guy Morry Twych, with his brother Dicky and friend Moosy, has some years previously invented "porno" to replace the old burlesque. They run a successful "theater" downtown. Graduate student Will Rymer has been drafted by the Chicano members of PUS-People Under Slumlords-to be their honky negotiator with the slumlord, a downtown lawyer named Berlitzer. The suave Byron Berlitzer, aka Sleekman, also owns the property where the Twych Brothers operate their theater, and wants a piece of the action. All five men are involved with, maybe even in love with, the gorgeous Li Van Bang, a twenty-year-old Vietnamese-American, who is a clean naive student at SF State by day and a sometime porno film actress by night.

Killer Picture Postcards. Fictional Enterprises 2013. 

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Mercy Torcher; Ed Steadman (Mercy Investigations 1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Set in San Francisco from 1994 to 1998, this novel is divided into three parts: "Getting There is Half the Fun" shows Jack Nowan and Mercy Torcher, who have left their academic jobs in Santa Fe's St. Mello's College (the prequel to this series is Dead White Males) and moved to San Francisco, learning how to become private detectives from their mentor Ed Steadman, an ex-homicide cop and longtime San Francisco PI who wants to retire and sell his one-man agency. The second part, "Up Yours," is written from the point of view of the murderer, Holmes Ruen Prestin, who has abandoned a Japanese wife and daughter in Japan and disappeared back into the US using a stolen passport blank. He has come into an inheritance, and plans mayhem carefully, with self-control and great power. He is both an Aikido martial arts master and a bamboo flute shakuhachi master -- brilliant, mad, steely, a lunatic bent on destruction. The third part, "Postcards from Hell," is again told through the eyes of Jack or Mercy, as Mercy Investigations, with Ed Steadman still around, tries to find the stalker terrifying Mercy's best friend, Barbara "Bitsy" Isles, a single 34 year old investment banker. She and Mercy went to university together. The murderer stalks, and is stalked, to a wicked ending.

Gay Blade. Fictional Enterprises 2014. 

| setting: San Francisco (Castro District) | series characters: Mercy Torcher; Ed Steadman (Mercy Investigations 2) | tpo | find it |

Summary: A vicious crime in the gay Castro District of San Francisco, unsolved by the SFPD, results in the hiring of Mercy Investigations to find the perpetrator. At the same time, US Senator Ruth Fineline is trying to help her grand-niece get out of an abusive and miserable marriage without creating a public spectacle. This second Mercy Investigations novel brings back the agency's crew of four - Steady Ed Steadman, Mercy Torcher, Jack Nowan, and young Reggie Jackson - in a rolling, startling novel of action and intrigue, another outing that contains wit and intelligence as well as the serious process and progress necessary to a thriller.

Revenge. Fictional Enterprises 2015. 

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Mercy Torcher; Ed Steadman (Mercy Investigations 3) | tpo | find it |

Summary: In San Francisco, the founder of the original agency, Steady Ed Steadman, tells the story of a murderous maniac, Ort Baggett, who was released by mistake from prison and intends to get revenge on the man who put him there, Ed Steadman, by murdering him. Meanwhile, in the sub-plots that always show up in this series, young buff black Reggie Jackson, their resident computer expert, is trying to protect lovely Lola Lopez, who works upstairs for La Raza, from a couple of Hispanic gangbangers who are seriously hassling her. Ed is also asked to recover some stolen gems for an old friend dealer after a fancy medical doctor gets hold of a million bucks worth of Albert Belgique’s diamonds and other gems through fraud. And Morry Twych, one of the stars of a previous novel, TIGHT, now pushing eighty but as funny and tough as he was in the 1960s, hires Mercy Investigations to find out who is trying to blackmail him and his still successful Twych Brothers Hydeaway Playhouse porno palace in the Tenderloin District. Through all of this, Ort Baggart, as mean as they come, is stalking Steady Ed in order to kill him.

Convictions. Fictional Enterprises 2015. 

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Mercy Torcher; Ed Steadman (Mercy Investigations 4) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Mercy Torcher goes solo in this 4th of the Mercy Investigations Novels, leaving her partner, Jack Nowan, her mentor Steady Ed Steadman, and their apprentice Reggie Jackson, on their own to run the show in San Francisco, after her father and friend Superior Court Chief Judge Allwin Torcher asks her to come back to Boston, her home town, to look into the possibility that a black man who confessed to a murder did not in fact commit the crime that put him in state prison. She returns without hesitation to help her father, staying in their home on Beacon Hill, but has to go undercover to accomplish her task, working with the Boston Ombudsman for Prosecutorial Misconduct, transforming herself into a Latina from Stockton, from longtime Hispanic residents of California. Mercy's natural olive complexion allows her to pass for many other kinds of people. This assignment gets her involved, way beyond its original intent, with the various mobs of Boston - Irish, Latino, Jamaican, Russian, and the bent cops and officials who help to empower them. Mercy has help available, but is largely on her own, trying to make sense out of a dangerous mess in order to help her father, the Judge, and get back to her home and compatriots in San Francisco in one piece.

While You Were Gone. Fictional Enterprises 2016. 

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Mercy Torcher; Ed Steadman (Mercy Investigations 5) | tpo | find it |

Summary: While Mercy Torcher is back in Boston, undercover to help her father, the Judge, Ed Steadman, Jack Nowan, and Reggie Jackson are left in San Francisco to deal with a rape and attempted murder by a sexual predator of a boy, the nephew of redhead Acton Barr, half Steady Ed's age but attracted to him. Also a particularly nasty bail skip, and a vicious dust-up for Reggie with four white hockey players from SF State, who take issue with a young black man dating a white girl. Into the mix comes a group of would-be male boy predators who must be infiltrated to find out if anything connects. Along with all this, Mercy Investigations adopts a huge unfriendly cat they name Cal, by way of Jack clonking the monster over the head with a trashcan lid. The story begins with Mercy's return from Boston in July of 1999, with Jack becoming Mercy's Scheherezade in order to tell her what she missed.

Stiff. Fictional Enterprises 2016. 

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Mercy Torcher; Ed Steadman (Mercy Investigations 6) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Someone has the audacity to commit a murder in Morry Twych's porno theater, and Morry takes it as a personal affront, hiring Ed Steadman and Mercy Investigations to find out what happened. Meanwhile, Mercy Torcher and her partner Jack Nowan are retained by Joel and Dorothea Rose of Sea Cliff to try to find out who stole their invaluable art collection, get it back, and return it to them. Already stolen once by the Nazis, and finally recovered after great efforts, now it has happened again, right here in San Francisco. The Mercy Investigations crew teams up with Lieutenant "Ant" Antonelli of the Homicide squad in the Tenderloin Precinct, and also with Detective Sergeant Riva Gennaro, San Francisco's only art cop, to try to solve the two capers. Although Steady Ed has dealt with a gem rip-off before, the is the agency's first trip into the increasingly murky and often violent world of art heists and the fences who deal in it.

 

Liebengood, Pete.

Accidental Droning. Xlibris, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area ("San Martin County") | find it |

Summary: Bo Granger loses his job as the manager of a country club golf shop and turns to flying his private drone as a pastime. Accidentally he captures video with his drone of a woman being murdered by drowning. Bo is torn over whether or not to turn his video over to authorities. He is afraid of reprisal by the person who owns the mansion where the drowning took place, and he worries that his invasion of privacy will derail his wife's campaign to become governor of California as she is defined as a state legislator by her privacy platform. Bo endures a series of misadventures as he wrestles with doing the right thing. He is nearly shot to death by a goon hired by the dead woman's husband, he's falsely charged with sexual assault by his wife's housekeeper in a dirty politics scheme, and he gets involved in a torrid romance with a female newspaper reporter who is determined to get the story of a lifetime.

 

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

Feint of Art. Signet, 2006.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Annie Kincaid (Art Lover’s Mystery 1) | pbo | find it |

Summary: Thirty-one-year-old Annie Kincaid is a legitimate artist with an ill-kept secret: she once studied -- and mastered -- the art of fraud and forgery at the knee of her rogue grandfather, master art forger Georges LeFleur. Annie’s uncanny ability to distinguish forgeries from genuine art gets her into trouble when she discovers that the Brock Museum’s new multi-million dollar “Caravaggio” painting is actually a fake. When a janitor is murdered and the Brock’s head curator goes missing, Annie becomes embroiled once again in her grandfather’s world of art felons, forgers, and fakes.

Shooting Gallery. Signet, 2006.

| setting: San Francisco, Berkeley, Hillsborough | series character: Annie Kincaid (Art Lover’s Mystery 2) | pbo | find it |

Summary: While Annie Kincaid takes a look out the window at an art gallery opening she notices that a piece of modern art is really the corpse of the artist. To top it off a Chagall painting is stolen from the museum next door and her friend Bryon is accused of the theft. When Annie’s mother shows up in town she discovers a connection between her mother, the victim and the prime suspect. With the help of Bryon, her faux art studio employees, a sexy art thief and even her mother, she might track down the stolen painting and a murderer. (A.E.B.)

Brush With Death. Signet, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Annie Kincaid (Art Lover’s Mystery 3) | pbo | find it |

Arsenic and Old Paint. Perseverance Press/John Daniel & Company, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Annie Kincaid (Art Lover’s Mystery 4) | pbo | find it |

Summary: While Annie Kincaid takes a look out the window at an art gallery opening she notices that a piece of modern art is really the corpse of the artist. To top it off a Chagall painting is stolen from the museum next door and her friend Bryon is accused of the theft. When Annie’s mother shows up in town she discovers a connection between her mother, the victim and the prime suspect. With the help of Bryon, her faux art studio employees, a sexy art thief and even her mother, she might track down the stolen painting and a murderer. (A.E.B.)

 

Linscomb, Shadrach.

Sex, Guns, and a Barber. View House Publishing, 2005.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Shelton Parker | tpo | find it |

Summary: For many years, Shelton Parker has been a respected community barber in San Francisco. But his life completely changes one day when two police detectives enter his shop and force him to help solve a dangerous case. Once involving clippers and razors, his life now revolves around guns and sex. It’s a wild and dangerous ride for Shelton, but he does it with style.

 

Lipman, Clayre, and Michel Lipman.

House of Evil. Lion Books, 1954.

 

Lipman, Michel. [see Lipman, Clayre]

 

Lipsky, Eleazar.

The Devil’s Daughter. Meredith Press, 1969.

 

Locke, M. Louisa.

Maids of Misfortune. Self-published, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco (1879) | series character: Annie Fuller (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery 1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: It’s the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie’s husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier, and one of his creditors is now threatening to take the boardinghouse she owns to pay off a debt. Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco’s most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl’s clients, Matthew Voss, has died. The police believe it is suicide brought upon by bankruptcy, but Annie believes Voss has been murdered and that his assets have been stolen. Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn’t leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior. Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco.

Uneasy Spirits. Self-published, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco (1879) | series character: Annie Fuller (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery 2) | tpo | find it |

Summary: It’s the fall of 1879 and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, has a problem. Despite her growing financial success as the clairvoyant Madam Sibyl, Annie doesn’t believe in the astrology and palmistry her clients think are the basis for the domestic and business advice she dispenses, which is making her feel increasingly uncomfortable. Kathleen Hennessey, Annie Fuller’s young Irish maid, has a plan. When her mistress is asked by one of the people in Annie’s boarding house to investigate and expose a fraudulent trance medium, Arabella Frampton, Kathleen is determined to assist in this investigation, just like the Pinkerton detectives she has read about in the dime novels. Nate Dawson, the up-and-coming San Francisco lawyer, has a dilemma. He wants to marry the unconventional Annie Fuller, but he doesn’t feel he can reveal his true feelings until he has figured out a way to make enough money to support her.

Bloody Lessons. Self-published, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco (1880) | series character: Annie Fuller (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery 3) | tpo | find it |

Summary: It’s the winter of 1880, and the teachers of San Francisco are under attack: their salaries slashed and their competency and morals questioned in a series of poison pen letters. Annie Fuller, the reluctant clairvoyant, has been called into investigate by Nate Dawson, her lawyer beau, and the case becomes personal when they discover that Laura, Nate’s sister, may be one of the teachers targeted for attack.

Deadly Proof. Self-published, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco (1880) | series character: Annie Fuller (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery 4) | tpo |

Summary: It’s the summer of 1880, and once again the lovely and inquisitive businesswoman, Annie Fuller, is helping San Francisco lawyer and beau, Nate Dawson, with a troublesome case. Nate’s client, a female typesetter accused of murdering her boss, refuses to help in her own defense. Complicating matters, Nate’s sister Laura insists on getting involved in the potentially dangerous investigation, while Laura’s friend Seth Timmons, troubled Civil War veteran, finds himself a witness for the prosecution. Will Nate be able to win his first big case? Will Laura and Seth find some way of becoming friends? And finally, will Annie and Nate’s upcoming nuptials be derailed by their attempts to track down a killer?

Pilfered Promises. Self-published, 2016. 

| setting: San Francisco (1880) | series character: Annie Fuller (Victorian San Francisco Mysteries 5) | tpo | find it |

Summary: It is the winter of 1880, and the future looks promising for Annie and Nate Dawson. Nate’s law practice is taking off. Annie has made the transition from pretend clairvoyant to a successful financial consultant. And they are looking forward to spending their first Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays together. For Robert Livingston, the owner San Francisco’s newest grand emporium, the holidays don’t look so promising. Not if he can’t figure out how to stop whoever is stealing from his department store, the Silver Strike Bazaar. However, when he hires the Dawsons to investigate, they discover that behind the doors of his “Palace of Plenty,” nothing is quite what it seems.

Scholarly Pursuits. Self-published, 2019. 

| setting: San Francisco (1881); University of California, Berkeley | series character: Annie Fuller (Victorian San Francisco Mysteries 6) | tpo |

Summary: On the University of California, Berkeley campus in 1881, Laura Dawson and her friends face the remarkably modern problems of fraternity hazings, fraught romantic relationships, and fractious faculty politics. While Annie and Nate Dawson and friends and family in the O'Farrell Street boardinghouse await a blessed event, Laura finds herself investigating why a young Berkeley student dropped out of school in the fall of 1880. No one, including her friend Seth Timmons, thinks this is a good idea, since she is juggling a full course load with a part-time job, but she can't let the question of what happened to her friend go unanswered. Not when it means that other young women might be in danger.

Lethal Remedies. Self-published, 2020. 

| setting: San Francisco (1882) | series character: Annie Fuller (Victorian San Francisco Mysteries 7) | tpo |

Summary: Annie has a problem. She has a beautiful child, a loving husband, a well-run boardinghouse with a supportive circle of friends and family, but she’s feeling restless and unhappy.Dr. Charlotte Brown, the doctor who delivered Annie’s baby, has a different problem. The Pacific Dispensary for Women and Children, the clinic and hospital she co-founded, is being threatened by financial and legal difficulties caused by the mysterious illness of a former patient.When Annie takes up the challenge to help Dr. Brown and the dispensary, she will discover that getting back into the business of investigating crimes is exactly the remedy she requires.

 

Lockwood, Jeffrey Alan.

Poisoned Justice: Origins. Pen-L Publishing, 2016. 

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Riley the Exterminator (1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: What if an exterminator learns that the worst pests have two legs? When an activist ecology professor is found dead in his hotel room, the police chalk it up to natural causes, but his wealthy and fiery widow is convinced it's foul play. She needs someone who can operate behind the scenes -- in the dark cracks and gritty crevices of San Francisco. Riley the exterminator fits the bill. Riley's career as a police detective was cut short when do-gooders saw him beat information out of a child kidnapper. Now running his father's pest control business, Riley pursues two-legged vermin on the side. Turned out an ex-con can be licensed as an exterminator but not a private eye. Winged ants and dead flies at the death scene suggest something's amiss to a man who knows insects. The dead professor's students, each harboring a secret, reveal that their environmentalist mentor had plans to take down the pesticide industry. But he needed cash for the operation -- and that put him on a collision course with a most unusual drug lord. When Riley's investigation unexpectedly reveals that the drugs that poisoned his own brother might be connected to the professor's death, extermination is in order. But he'll need to join forces with an intoxicating South African beauty -- a reluctant ally, armed with lethal poison. Can Riley rid San Francisco of its most deadly vermin?

 

London, Colette.

Criminal Confections. Kensington Publishing Corp., 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Hayden Mundy Moore (A Chocolate Whisperer Mystery 1) | pbo | find it |

 

London, Jack, and Robert L. Fish.

The Assassination Bureau, Ltd. McGraw-Hill, 1963. [Completed by Robert L. Fish from notes by Jack London]

 

Long, Claudia.

Weave Her Thread With Bones. Xlibris Corporation, 2000.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Magda Santos | Hubin | tpo | find it |

 

Long, Claudia H.

The Harlot's Pen. Devine Destinies, an imprint of eXtasy Books, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco (1919) | tpo | 

Summary: After World War I, San Francisco is a wild town. Abandoned by her lover, Violetta is swept up in the new, freer ways and becomes America’s first embedded journalist. She finds work in a brothel that caters to San Francisco’s most powerful men, to write her epic story on the conditions of working women. But federal agents looking to clamp down on both vice and workers’ rights don’t take kindly to her modern views. Shorter dresses, fair pay for women, and the dark and frightening world of sex and politics give Violetta a learning experience of a lifetime.

 

Longfellow, Pamela.

China Blues. Doubleday, 1989.

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown; 1920s) | Re-published, as by Ki Longfellow: Eio Books, 2012 | find it |

Summary: The Roaring Twenties, Chinatown, San Francisco: back-street blues and bathtub gin... hardball mobsters and hardheaded cops... seductive speakeasies and sizzling scandals. As the young Louis Armstrong blows his horn in the infamous Blue Canary, impetuous Nob Hill socialite Elizabeth Stafford Hamilton plunges into a reckless affair with mysterious Li Kwan Won. Unknown to Lizzie, Li is the overlord of the city's vast bootlegging empire -- and archenemy of her powerful husband, the San Francisco district attorney. Suddenly Lizzie's privileged, upper-crust life is shadowed by danger and intrigue -- as she's trapped between her lover and her husband while they battle for control of the city.

 

Longley, W. B.

Chinatown Justice. PaperJacks, 1985.

 

Longstreet, Stephen.

The Pedlock Inheritance. McKay, 1972.

 

Loraine, Philip.

Voices in an Empty Room. Collins [for] the Crime Club, 1973; Random House, 1974.

 

Loughead, Flora Haines.

The Man Who Was Guilty. Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1886.

| setting: San Francisco, San Quentin | Baird & Greenwood 1569; Hubin | find it |

Summary: The story of Philip King, a young San Francisco man who was on his way up in society when he decided to speculate in the stock market with $10,000 he “borrowed” from his employer, the Bank of Yerba Buena. Determined to face his punishment, he pleads guilty and is sentenced to ten years in San Quentin. Upon his release he returns to San Francisco ready to lead a quiet life, earn an honest living, and make restitution to the bank for the money he stole. However, he must first overcome the suspicion and prejudice of a society that does not believe that a man such as he can be redeemed. An interesting portrait of 19th century San Francisco; also somewhat of a polemic against prison conditions, especially when the inmates are children.

 

Lovell, B. E.

...And Incidentally, Murder! Bouregy & Curl, 1952.

A Rage to Kill. Ace Books, 1957.

 

Lowe, Robert B.

Project Moses. Enzo Publications, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (North Beach; Chinatown) | series character: Enzo Lee | tpo | find it |

Divine Fury. Enzo Publications, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Enzo Lee | tpo | find it |

Megan’s Cure. Enzo Publications, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco; the South | series character: Enzo Lee | tpo | find it |

 

Lucas, Michael A.

Devil Born Without Horns. Rudos and Rubes Publishing, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

 

Lucke, Margaret.

A Relative Stranger. St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jessica "Jess" Randolph | find it |

Summary: Beautiful, scandalous Deborah Collington has been found murdered in an alley after an arts-benefit ball. Her valuable diamond-and-emerald necklace is missing. The case comes to San Francisco artist and private investigator Jess Randolph. When the father who abandoned her as a child turns up as the prime suspect, Jess is faced with more than a homicide case -- she must solve the mystery of her own past. Her search to learn the truth about the murder and her family's secrets takes her into a world of art galleries, theaters, marinas, and exotic gems. And soon she finds herself in a conflict that threatens her career and ultimately her life.

House of Whispers. Rockville, Md.: Juno Books, 2008.

| setting: Marin County | series character: Claire Scanlan (Supernatural Properties 1) | pbo | find it |

Summary: After an unhappy divorce, Claire Scanlan is launching a new life and a new career in real estate. She has a chance to sell a spectacular oceanview house in Marin County -- but as the site of a mass murder, the property is not attracting buyers. When Ben Grant, the handsome brother of one of the murder victims, shows her the empty house, Claire experiences strange sensations that are both fascinating and repellant. She’s also fascinated, and not at all repelled, by Ben Grant. But if Claire accepts her new-found paranormal power as real, she must also accept the responsibility for solving a bloody crime -- even though Ben seems to be the prime suspect ...

Snow Angel. Oakledge Press, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Jessica "Jess" Randolph |

Summary: On the eve of a high-profile murder trial, a 7-year-old girl disappears -- the daughter of the San Francisco cop who is the star witness. Was Amy kidnapped to derail the trial, or has one of her feuding parents hidden her away? Artist and private investigator Jess Randolph joins the frantic search for the girl she thinks of as a sister. When a would-be rescuer dies violently, fears rise that Amy is in the hands of a killer. Jess must risk her life and confront her darkest fears as she races time to find the child before it’s too late. The hunt takes her from San Francisco to the snowbound Sierra, and deep into the hearts of two shattered families.

House of Desire. Oakledge Press, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Claire Scanlan (2) | tpo |

Summary: Reluctant psychic Claire Scanlan struggles to accept a talent she doesn't want -- she perceives spirits and strange energies that no one else can detect. At a fundraiser to save a grand San Francisco Victorian, Claire encounters a mysterious young woman, Roxane, who is invisible to everyone but her. Roxane is a "soiled dove" plying her trade in the mansion in 1896. She has discovered a secret portal that lets her slip into the future when she needs to escape the most brutal of the men who buy her favors. When a man is murdered in the mansion, Roxane is the sole witness. Terrified, she returns to her own time and enlists the only true gentleman she has ever met to help her find justice for the victim. Claire's philandering brother-in-law is accused of being the killer. The crime threatens to destroy her family. To clear his name Claire must find the elusive Roxane -- which means risking a perilous journey into the past from which she may never return.

 

Lucke, Margaret (editor).

Fault Lines: Stories by Northern California Crime Writers. Sisters in Crime Northern California Chapter, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area | short stories | tpo | find it |

 

Lupoff, Richard A.

The Comic Book Killer. Offspring Press, 1988.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Hobart Lindsey, Marvia Plum | MRJ | find it |

Summary: The insurance claim sounded perfectly ordinary … a petty burglary … a satchel full of old comics taken from a store on Berkeley’s busy Telegraph Avenue. Then the prices were spelled out: Action Comics #1, $28, 650; Marvel Mystery Comics #1, $27,000; Detective Comics #27, $20,000. And so it went, all the way down to poor, humble Gangsters at War for June 1953, valued at just $3.50. Thirty-five comic books altogether, with a total value of a cool quarter million! That’s what brought pudgy, unassuming insurance adjuster Hobart Lindsey into his first big case—a case that led to a series of murders, a tragedy that took place half a world away and thirty-three years before, and a final confrontation with death one foggy midnight in the middle of San Francisco Bay. An unlikely detective tackling an unlikely crime, Lindsey finds himself facing a game-legged professor with a shadowy past, a beautiful radio broadcaster who runs a radical feminist talk-show, a hard-bitten Irish cop who dotes on arroz con pollo, and a tough homicide investigator who happens to be female, black, and very, very sexy.

The Classic Car Killer. Bantam Books, 1992.

| setting: Berkeley, Oakland | series character: Hobart Lindsey | MRJ; Hubin | pbo | find it |

The Bessie Blue Killer. St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

| setting: Berkeley, Oakland | series characters: Hobart Lindsey, Marvia Plum | Hubin | find it |

Summary: White insurance agent Hobart Lindsey and black detective Marvia Plum team up to investigate a murder on the set of a film about the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black World War II squadron. The investigation leads to a spectacular plane chase.

The Sepia Siren Killer. St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

| setting: Berkeley, Oakland | series characters: Hobart Lindsey, Marvia Plum | Hubin | find it |

Summary: The black-and-white team of investigators, Marvia Plum and Hobart Lindsey, probe an arson fire that was set to destroy the records of a famous black film director.

The Cover Girl Killer. St. Martin’s Press, 1995.

| setting: Berkeley, Oakland | series characters: Hobart Lindsey, Marvia Plum | Hubin | find it |

Summary: A millionaire dies leaving his fortune to the cover girl on an old paperback entitled Death in the Ditch. But where is she? The search for the woman leads investigator Hobart Lindsey into the world of paperback collectors, with a madman on his heels.

The Radio Red Killer. St. Martin’s Press, 1997.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Marvia Plum | find it |

Summary: In Berkeley, California, black detective Marvia Plum is assigned to find the killer of a controversial radio talk show host who was found dead in his station.

One Murder at a Time: The Casebook of Lindsey & Plum. Cosmos Books, an imprint of Wildside Press, 2001.

| setting: Berkeley, Walnut Creek | series characters: Hobart Lindsey, Marvia Plum | short stories | find it |

Summary: A collection of short stories featuring Walnut Creek insurance investigator Hobart Lindsey and Berkeley homicide detective Marvia Plum. Includes: “Star Lotus”; “Black Boy in a Box”; “That Little Toy is Lost”; “Chinese Gunboats”; “Lindsey Chases a Ghost”; “News from New Providence”; “Golden Glory”; and, “Old Folks at Home”. Published simultaneously in hardcover and trade paperback.

Quintet: The Cases of Chase & Delacroix. Crippen & Landru, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Akhaneton Chase, Claire Delacroix | short stories | tpo | find it |

Summary: The Era of Wonderful Nonsense was over, replaced by the grimmer, grittier world of the Great Depression. But millionaire autodidact polymath Akhenaton Beelzebub Chase and his brilliant, lissome associate Claire Delacroix, live on comfortably in their neo-Tudor mansion. They practice duets on priceless classical instruments, dine on haute cuisine and sip choice vintage wines. It is a milieu reminiscent of the surroundings of Philo Vance, young Ellery Queen, and other amateur sleuths of that bygone era. Chase and Delacroix’s luxuriant lives are interrupted when Captain Cleland Baxter, head of the San Francisco Police Department’s detective bureau, calls on them to solve baffling cases. They must unravel the mysteries of a famous Hungarian actor found dead in his dressing room, two tiny puncture wounds in his neck, a deep-water explorer who disappears from his diving suit forty feet beneath the surface of Monterey Bay, a test pilot who flies an experimental fighter plane into a cloud with a passenger on board and emerges seconds later, alone.

The Emerald Cat Killer. Minotaur Books, 2010.

| setting: Berkeley | series characters: Hobart Lindsey, Marvia Plum | bibliomystery | find it |

 

Lutz, Lisa.

The Spellman Files. Simon & Schuster, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Isabel “Izzy” Spellman | MRJ 2008 | find it |

Summary: Introducing Isabel “Izzy” Spellman: She is twenty-eight years old, with a long list of vices (past and present) and ex-boyfriends, and works as a private eye in the family business, Spellman Investigations, with her father Albert, mother Olivia, fourteen-year old sister Rae, and (occasionally, when he is not off on a “lost weekend”) her Uncle Ray; older brother David (a lawyer) is one of the firm’s chief clients. Working out of the family home in San Francisco (“… at 1799 Clay Street on the outskirts of the Nob Hill district. If you walk half a mile to the south, you’ll reach the Tenderloin -- San Francisco’s heterosexual red-light district. If you head too far north, you’ll land in some variety of tourist trap, whether it’s Lombard Street or Fisherman’s Wharf or, if you’re really unfortunate, the Marina.”) the Spellmans specialize in surveillance and background checks, skills they frequently also put to use on each other and their friends, associates, lovers, potential lovers, etc. This results in complicated family relationships, with love and hate (at times) nearly indistinguishable. When her parents finally -- in her opinion -- cross the line by interfering in her relationship with a dentist, Izzy decides to quit the family business. But, it’s not as simple as that. Still under contract, Izzy is assigned one final job, an ice-cold missing-persons case about a Marin County teenager who disappeared during a camping trip twelve years ago. Then, as she is closing in on the solution, Rae disappears herself and Izzy quickly learns that if your family is in danger it is no laughing matter.  

Editor's note: Nominated for the Anthony Award for Best First Novel, the Barry Award for Best First Novel, and the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery.

Curse of the Spellmans. Simon & Schuster, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Isabel “Izzy” Spellman | MRJ 2008 | find it |

Summary: Isabel “Izzy” Spellman, eldest daughter in San Francisco’s first family of private investigation, is back, still trying to balance her personal, professional, and family lives -- not an easy task when all of your nearest and dearest are highly skilled in the art of surveillance. This time out, Izzy becomes obsessed with her family’s new next door neighbor, a man calling himself John Brown, who -- when questioned -- gives out contradictory personal information and keeps a locked office in his house. Convinced that he is up to something evil, Izzy pulls out every weapon in her investigating arsenal and succeeds in getting herself into both serious legal trouble (she is arrested four times, once for violating a restraining order!) and physical danger before she uncovers the mysterious Mr. Brown’s secret. In the meantime, she also deals with a personal housing crisis, atones for a series of youthful vandalism indiscretions, loses her best friend, helps out her bartender, tries to teach her younger sister, Rae, how to respect other people’s requests for “space,” watches way too many episodes of Dr. Who, and deepens her relationship with Henry Stone, the highly ethical SFPD inspector who led the search for Rae when she disappeared a year and a half earlier. Could he be destined to become Ex-boyfriend #11?

Revenge of the Spellmans. Simon & Schuster, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Isabel “Izzy” Spellman | find it |

The Spellmans Strike Again. Simon & Schuster, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Isabel “Izzy” Spellman | find it |

Trail of the Spellmans. Simon & Schuster, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Isabel “Izzy” Spellman (Document #5) | find it |

The Last Word: A Spellman Novel. Simon & Schuster, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Isabel “Izzy” Spellman (Document #6) | Re-issued as Spellman Six: The Next Generation by Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2014 | find it |

 

Lynch, Jack.

Bragg’s Hunch. Fawcett Gold Medal, 1982.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Peter Bragg (Bragg #1) | Hubin | pbo | find it |

The Missing and the Dead. Fawcett Gold Medal, 1982.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Peter Bragg (Bragg #2) | pbo | find it |

Pieces of Death. Fawcett Gold Medal, 1982.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Peter Bragg (Bragg #3) | pbo | find it |

Sausalito. Warner Books, 1984.

| setting: Sausalito, San Francisco | series character: Peter Bragg | pbo | find it |

San Quentin. Warner Books, 1984.

| setting: San Quentin Prison, San Francisco | series character: Peter Bragg | pbo | find it |

Wolf House. Mystery and Suspense Press, 2002.

| setting: Jack London State Historic Park (Sonoma County) | series character: Peter Bragg | tpo | find it |

 

Lynch, Lee.

Sue Slate, Private Eye. The Naiad Press, Inc., 1989.

 

Lynch, Sean.

Wounded Prey. Exhibit A, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Bob Farrell and Kevin Kearns | tpo | find it |

The Fourth Motive. Exhibit A, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Bob Farrell and Kevin Kearns | tpo | find it |

 

Lyon, Dana. [see also Lyon, Mabel Dana and Hughston, Dana]

The Frightened Child. Harper & Brothers, 1948.

| setting: San Francisco | Reprinted as House on Telegraph Hill (Mercury Publications, 1948) | find it |

The Tentacles. Harper & Brothers, 1950.

| setting: San Francisco; Burlingame; Monterey | find it |

Summary: Roger Trenton, a young San Francisco architect, and his new bride Hilda have set up a new home in Burlingame and are expecting their first child. In Monterey, Roger’s parents -- his overbearing mother Teresa and his overindulgent father Gerald -- live in a large seaside house. Compelled to visit on a weekly basis, Hilda and Teresa slowly come to understand and respect each other while Roger and his father spend their time on the golf course. After Teresa’s death, which immediately precedes the birth of Roger and Hilda’s son, Gerald and Roger decide -- without consulting Hilda—that Roger should give up his job and move his family into the big Monterey house.  Hilda slowly begins to realize that Gerald has a deep hatred of all women and is turning Roger against her. As Hilda desperately tries to reclaim her husband and save her son from her father-in-law’s influence, she can see only one way to escape … murder.

The Lost One. Harper & Brothers, 1958.

| setting: East Bay; San Francisco Peninsula; Delta Region | find it |

Summary: Alice Johnson is an emotionally-disturbed woman whose one goal in life is to be a mother. After her third miscarriage, she resorts to the desperate act of taking another woman’s child from the East Bay hospital where she was recuperating. Afraid to tell her husband, Frank, that she had lost another baby, she passes the child off as her own and they relocate to the California Delta region near Stockton, where Frank has a job waiting for him. Meanwhile, the baby’s real parents, Tip and Muriel Kingsley -- a wealthy couple living on the San Francisco Peninsula -- frantically await news that the baby has been found. As the police diligently keep the case alive, it becomes a race against time to find the child before Alice’s despair and desperation cause her to do permanent harm.

 

Lyon, Mabel Dana, and Josephine Hughston.

The Bathtub Murder. Williams Publishing Company, 1933.

| setting: Stanford University (“Western University”) | Baird & Greenwood 1585 | find it |

Summary: On the campus of “Western University,” south of San Francisco, in a house dubbed the “honeymoon cottage” on Faculty Row, a young woman named Claire Linden is found dead in her bathtub by her husband, Paul Linden. The police quickly rule it a murder and arrest Paul for the crime. Only two people are convinced of Paul’s innocence, his brother (a local doctor) and Wynne “Breezy” West, gal-reporter for the San Francisco Star. Breezy believes in Paul because she has known him for years and they have recently renewed their friendship—a friendship that has advanced to romance, albeit still a platonic one. When their relationship is uncovered by a rival newspaper reporter and splashed across the headlines, it makes it look even more like Paul is guilty. But Breezy continues to investigate, hoping to uncover the real killer before a jury passes a guilty verdict of murder in the first degree.

Editor's note: Although the authors proclaim that “all of the characters in this book are fictitious,” the novel is a thinly disguised account of the case of David Lamson, an editor at the Stanford University Press, who was accused of murdering his wife Allene on Memorial Day, 1933. Numerous aspects of the real-life case are present in the novel, from the date of the murder to the circumstances of the discovery of the body, from the pregnant housemaid to the “other woman” to the outcome of the trial. Stanford Magazine recounted the case in great detail in the Jan.-Feb. 2000 issue.

 

 

 

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