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

Paetro, Maxine. [see Patterson, James]


Palmer, Stuart, and Fletcher Flora.

Hildegarde Withers Makes the Scene. Random House, 1969.


Pandian, Gigi.

Artifact. Gargoyle Girl Productions, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco; India; Scotland | series character: Jaya Jones (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery 1) | find it |

Pirate Vishnu. Henery Press, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco; India | series character: Jaya Jones (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery 2) | find it |

Quicksand. Henery Press, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco; France | series character: Jaya Jones (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery 3) | find it |

Michelangelo's Ghost. Henery Press, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco; Italy | series character: Jaya Jones (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery 4) | find it |

Summary: When Jaya's old professor dies under eerie circumstances shortly after discovering manuscripts that point to a treasure in Italy's Park of Monsters, Jaya and her brother pick up the trail. From San Francisco to the heart of Italy, Jaya is haunted by a ghost story inexorably linked to the masterpieces of a long-dead artist and the deeds of a modern-day murderer. Untrustworthy colleagues, disappearing boyfriends, and old enemies -- who can Jaya trust when the ghost wails?

The Ninja's Illusion. Henery Press, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco; Japan | series character: Jaya Jones (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery 5) | find it |

Summary: When Jaya travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay--a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini--for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery. With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what's real and what's a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay's trick, along with Japan's most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician's assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim.

The Cambodian Curse & Other Stories. Henery Press, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco, etc. | series character: Jaya Jones (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery) | find it |

Summary: A treasure trove of nine locked room mysteries, all set in the Jaya Jones world. Appearing here for the first time, novelette The Cambodian Curse. When an ancient and supposedly cursed Cambodian sculpture disappears from an impenetrable museum, and the carving's owner is killed by an invisible assailant while a witness is a few feet away, historian Jaya Jones and her old nemesis Henry North team up to solve the baffling crime. Stories included: "The Cambodian Curse," "The Hindi Houdini," "The Haunted Room," "The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn," "The Curse of Cloud Castle," "Tempest in a Teapot," "A Dark and Stormy Light," "The Shadow of the River," plus bonus novella Fool's Gold.

The Glass Thief. Henery Press, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco; France; Cambodia | series character: Jaya Jones (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery 6) | find it |

Summary: Three unsolved murders spanning seventy years have befallen the same French family, each taking place two nights before Christmas at their Paris mansion—and blamed on the family ghost. When Jaya realizes the truth hits closer to home than she realized, she must risk everything as she flees San Francisco for France and Cambodia to find a missing sculpture known as the Serpent King and stop a flesh and blood killer.


Park, Owen.

The Chinatown Connection. Pinnacle Books, 1977.


Parker, Ann.

A Dying Note. Poisoned Pen Press, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco (1881); Colorado | series character: Inez Stannert (Silver Rush Mystery 6) | find it |

Summary: Saloon owner Inez Stannert has relocated to the former boomtown, San Francisco, where she invests in a music store. The body of a young musician washes up in the filthy Mission Creek canal, and Inez finds herself involved in the investigation.

Mortal Music. Poisoned Pen Press, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco (1881-1882) | series character: Inez Stannert (Silver Rush Mystery 7) | find it |

Summary: San Francisco. Winter 1881-82. All pianist Inez Stannert wants for Christmas is for the struggling music store she owns in San Francisco to be a success. When diva Theia Carrington Drake asks Inez to be her accompanist for several high-profile personal appearances, Inez is thrilled. This is the chance she was waiting for-a way to make some extra money and bring her store into the limelight of the city's polite society to enhance her business. But things are far from pitch perfect. An unknown threat is stalking Theia; her pet bird is found slain, and her signature gown is destroyed. Soon, Inez realizes that a murderer is stalking the city's opera halls, and that it's only a matter of time before Theia is his next victim. She'll have to enlist the help of private investigator Wolter Roeland de Bruijn and uncover the killer before Theia's celebrated voice is silenced-permanently.


Parker, Robert B.

A Catskill Eagle. Delacorte Press, 1985.

| setting: San Francisco; Washington State; Boston | series character: Spenser | find it |

Summary: Boston P.I. and all-around tough guy Spenser is summoned to the Bay Area by a letter from his former lover Susan Silverman telling him that his pal Hawk is in jail in “Mill River, California,” south of San Francisco, on a trumped-up murder charge. Spenser busts Hawk out of jail and they discover that Susan has disappeared, possibly having been kidnapped by her new boyfriend, the son of a local tycoon. While trying to figure out why Hawk was framed and pick up Susan’s trail, they hide out in San Francisco. Eventually, they head north to Washington State and then go on a cross-country chase back to the East Coast, leaving a trail of property damage and dead bodies in their wake, before finally rescuing Susan and serving their country in the way they know best. Editor's note: S.F. mystery expert Don Herron singles this book out as an example of an out-of-town writer having trouble getting his local details straight. When Spenser and Hawk are trying to get out of San Francisco without drawing the attention of the local authorities, they decide to drive south down the Peninsula and around the Bay, rather than cross either the Golden Gate Bridge or the Bay Bridge because they figure that the cops will be watching the cars stopping to pay the tolls -- except for the minor detail that on both of those bridges you stop and pay the toll on the way in to San Francisco, not out of it.

Hugger Mugger. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2000.

| setting: Boston, Georgia, San Francisco | series characters: Spenser | find it |

Summary: Boston private eye Spenser is on the move again. In this outing, he goes to Georgia, and into the world of high-stakes thoroughbred racing, when he is hired by Walter Clive to protect a two-year old colt named Hugger Mugger. The horse, who is supposed to become the next Secretariat, has been receiving threats and Clive wants Spenser to supervise the security operation and find out who is behind the attacks. The investigation takes Spenser, briefly, to San Francisco where he definitely combines business with pleasure when his longtime girlfriend Susan meets him there for a little R&R.


Parkhurst, Carolyn.

The Nobodies Album. Doubleday, 2010.

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


Parkinson, T. L.

The Man Upstairs. Dutton, 1991.


Parnell, Michael.

Shannon. Granada, 1982.


Parsley, Allen.

Doc Be Nimble. Dailey Swan Publishing, 2010.

| setting: East Bay | series character: Dr. Gibson Poldar | tpo | find it |

Summary: Dr Gibson Poldar knows there is always something new to see in the ER. When he encounters a number of identical emergency cases all coming from the local university campus he suspects he may be seeing an emerging public health disaster. As he gets closer to the real truth behind these cases, he is captures and tortured by the Islamic fundamentalist whose experiments in bioterrorism he had exposed. Lust and suspicion are competing forces in the torrid love affair between Dr Poldar and Suraya, a beautiful Muslim lab technician, who is somehow deeply involved in the terrorist plot. As the mystery and romance unfold and head towards their conclusion, a parade of dramatic, poignant, and sometimes humorous patients fill the examination rooms of Dr Poldar's busy emergency ward.

Doc Be Quick. Dailey Swan Publishing, 2012.

| setting: East Bay | series character: Dr. Gibson Poldar | tpo | find it |

Summary: Dr. Gibson Poldar can keep his cool whether a heart attack strikes inside his ER or out on the open road, but when his best narcotics had no effect on the kid with the broken leg, he knew he was in uncharted territory. With a nod to Inspector Poirot, and a little help from the FDA, he follows the trail of counterfeit drugs and pilfered pharmaceuticals that leads to a debt-driven hospital administrator and his partners-in-crime. And with the fetching Eurasion pharmacist Josie Low playing Hastings to Dr. Poldar's Poirot, some very imaginative professional courtesies are exchanged.


Patterson, James.

1st to Die. Little Brown and Company, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: In San Francisco’s Grand Hyatt Mandarin Suite, David Brandt feels he must be the luckiest person on the earth as he celebrates his honeymoon with his new wife Melanie. However, Phillip Campbell ends that happiness by killing the couple in their honeymoon suite. This is the first crime of a vicious serial killer. San Francisco homicide detective Lindsay Boxer struggles with a dangerous blood condition while striving to solve the difficult case before the killer strikes again. She forges an alliance with three other women (a reporter, a medical examiner, and an assistant DA -- they call themselves the Women’s Murder Club) in order to uncover the identity of the culprit without the continual interference of her male superiors and those of her new partners, also mostly men.

Violets are Blue. Little, Brown and Company, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Alex Cross | find it |

Summary: The case is difficult enough for Washington DC police detective Alex Cross because the alleged victim was a good friend. The case turns frightening for Alex when the brilliant but amoral criminal the Mastermind threatens Alex’s children. Alex immediately leaves the crime scene to return home, but the Mastermind reminds the cop you can run, but you can’t hide. Then FBI Agent Kyle Craig calls Alex. Someone has killed two joggers in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Bite marks are all over the victims, much of their blood was drained, and they were left hanging upside down from a tree. The case reads identical to one that they failed to solve in DC fourteen months ago, so Alex immediately flies to San Francisco. Joined by SFPD Inspector Jamilla Hughes, Alex begins to find clues that take the duo into a deadly role-playing underground. However, his children are irate that his work comes first especially with the Mastermind stalking them like a tiger after its quarry. Editor's note: Alex Cross was portrayed on screen by Morgan Freeman in the 1997 adaptation of Patterson’s Kiss the Girls, co-starring Ashley Judd.


Patterson, James, and Andrew Gross.

2nd Chance. Little, Brown and Company, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: After solving a particularly gruesome homicide investigation, Detective Lindsay Boxer is promoted to Lieutenant. Although she is grateful for the promotion, she knows she would never have solved it without the help of her three good friends: Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas, medical examiner Claire Washburn, and Assistant District Attorney Jill Bernhardt. This informal group, known as the Women’s Murder Club, still meets from time to time as a support cell for each other. When Lindsay starts another high profile homicide investigation, being a member of the club becomes very dangerous because the perpetrator marks some of them as his victims. He also kills a young black girl in front of a church, an older black woman in a laundry basement, and a black police officer. The two dead black females are related to police on the force. Lindsay and her superiors conclude that the killer has a grudge against the force. The only problem is they don’t have a clue as to his identity.

3rd Degree. Little, Brown and Company, 2004.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: San Francisco Homicide lieutenant Lindsay Boxer is jogging with assistant DA Jill Barnhardt when the cop sees bruises on the shoulder of her companion. Before she asks about the injury, an explosion occurs in a nearby townhouse. Lindsay rushes inside rescuing a child, but three are dead at the scene. Apparently the terrorist group August Spies successfully targeted a CEO and his family and killed them. Lindsay’s investigation of the crime coincides with the inquiries of Joe Molinari of the Office of Homeland Security. Joe and Lindsay are attracted to one another while Jill’s spouse has turned abusive towards her. Then there are her other two pals that make up the “Women’s Murder Club,” medical examiner Claire Washburn and Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas who help with the case, not realizing the danger as they get to close to the killers.


Patterson, James, and Maxine Paetro.

4th of July. Little, Brown and Company, 2005.

| settings: San Francisco; Half Moon Bay | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: SFPD Lt. Lindsay Boxer and the Women’s Murder Club return for their fourth case. A young girl is killed in crossfire after a routine arrest goes terribly wrong and Lindsay has to defend herself against a charge of police brutality. While awaiting trial, she escapes to her sister Cat’s home in the beautiful town of Half Moon Bay. But the peaceful community there is reeling from a string of gruesome murders. Working with her friends in the Women’s Murder Club, Lindsay finds a link between these killings and a case she worked on years before -- an unsolved murder that has haunted her ever since. As summer comes into full swing, Lindsay battles for her life on two fronts: before a judge and jury as her trial comes to a climax, and facing unknown adversaries who will do anything to keep her from the truth about the killings -- including killing again. It all comes to a head before the big annual 4th of July celebration on the waterfront at Half Moon Bay.

The 5th Horseman. Little, Brown and Company, 2006.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: Keiko, the mother of the newest member of the Women’s Murder Club, attorney Yuki Castellano, collapses and is rushed to San Francisco Municipal Hospital. Apparently, Keiko has had a Transient Ischemic Attack, but seems to be recovering. After accompanying Yuki to the hospital, police detective Lindsay Boxer goes home only to learn later that Keiko suddenly and unexpectedly died. A stunned Lindsay soon learns that the municipal hospital has been a place where too many recent deaths have occurred due to incorrect medication given to patients. Keiko apparently is the latest lethal mistake. Lindsay thinks a warped “angel” of not mercy is killing people just prior to their leaving the hospital. Though her plate is filled with an investigation into the “Car Girls” serial murders, she vows with the help of her Women’s Murder Club members to take down the hospital killer.

The 6th Target. Little, Brown and Company, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: When one member of the Women’s Murder Club is brutally attacked, her three companions work to keep her attacker behind bars, while Lindsay Boxer investigates a series of kidnappings in which children and their nannies are being abducted without ransom demands.

7th Heaven. Little, Brown and Company, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: A terrible fire in a wealthy San Francisco home leaves a married couple dead and Detective Lindsay Boxer and her partner Rich Conklin searching for clues. To add to the mystery, Michael Campion, the party-boy son of California’s former governor, has been missing for a month. As fires continue to devastate rich neighborhoods, Lindsay and her friends in the Women’s Murder Club are in a deadly race to find the arsonists responsible and get to the bottom of Michael Campion’s disappearance. But suddenly the fires are raging too close to home. Frightened for her life and torn between two men, Lindsay must find a way to solve the most daunting dilemmas she’s ever faced—at work and at home.

The 8th Confession. Little, Brown and Company, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: The Women’s Murder Club faces its toughest challenge as Detective Lindsay Boxer investigates the high-profile murder of two San Francisco millionaires and reporter Cindy Thomas digs into the brutal slaying of a preacher with a message of hope for the homeless.

The 9th Judgment. Little, Brown and Company, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Summary: A young mother and her infant child are ruthlessly gunned down while returning to their car in the garage of a shopping mall. The same night, the wife of A-list actor Marcus Dowling is woken by a cat burglar and in just seconds there is a nearly empty safe, a lifeless body, and another mystery that throws San Francisco into hysteria. Before the Women’s Murder Club can piece together either case, one of the killers forces Detective Lindsay Boxer to put her own life on the line -- but is it enough to save the city?

10th Anniversary. Little, Brown and Company, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

11th Hour. Little, Brown and Company, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

12th of Never. Little, Brown and Company, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

Unlucky 13. Little, Brown and Company, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

14th Deadly Sin. Little, Brown and Company, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women’s Murder Club | find it |

15th Affair. Little, Brown and Company, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | find it |

Summary: As she settles into motherhood and a happy marriage, Lindsay Boxer thinks she has found domestic bliss. But when a beautiful, alluring blonde woman with links to the CIA disappears from the scene of a brutal murder at a downtown luxury hotel, Lindsay's life begins to unravel. Before she can track down the woman for questioning, a plane crash plunges San Francisco into chaos and Lindsay's husband Joe vanishes. The deeper she digs, the more Lindsay suspects that Joe shares a secret past with the mystery blonde. Thrown into a tailspin and questioning everything she thought she knew, Lindsay turns to the Women's Murder Club for help as she tries to uncover the truth.

The Trial. Little, Brown and Company, 2016. (BookShots)

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | novella | find it |

Summary: An accused murderer called Kingfisher is about to go on trial for his life. Or is he? By unleashing unexpected violence on the lawyers, jurors, and police involved in the case, he has paralyzed the city. Detective Lindsay Boxer and the Women's Murder Club are caught in the eye of the storm.

16th Seduction. Little, Brown and Company, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | find it |

Summary: Fifteen months ago, Detective Lindsay Boxer's life was perfect -- she had a beautiful child and a doting husband, Joe, who helped her catch a criminal who'd brazenly detonated a bomb in downtown San Francisco, killing twenty-five people. But Joe wasn't everything that Lindsay thought he was, and she's still reeling from his betrayal as a wave of mysterious, and possibly unnatural, heart attacks claims seemingly unrelated victims across San Francisco. As if that weren't enough, the bomber she and Joe captured is about to go on trial, and his defense raises damning questions about Lindsay and Joe's investigation. Not knowing whom to trust, and struggling to accept the truth about the man she thought she knew, Lindsay must connect the dots of a deadly conspiracy before a brilliant criminal puts her on trial.

The Medical Examiner. Little, Brown and Company, 2017. (BookShots)

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | novella | find it |

Summary: A woman checks into a hotel room and entertains a man who is not her husband. A shooter blows away the lover and wounds a wealthy heiress, leaving her for dead. Is it the perfect case for the Women's Murder Club... or just the most twisted?

17th Suspect. Little, Brown and Company, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | find it |

Summary: A series of shootings exposes San Francisco to a methodical yet unpredictable killer, and a reluctant woman decides to put her trust in Sergeant Lindsay Boxer. The confidential informant's tip leads Lindsay to disturbing conclusions, including that something has gone horribly wrong inside the police department itself. The hunt for the killer lures Lindsay out of her jurisdiction, and gets inside her head in dangerous ways. She suffers unsettling medical symptoms, and her friends and confidantes in the Women's Murder Club warn Lindsay against taking the crimes too much to heart. With lives at stake, the detective can't help but follow the case into ever more terrifying terrain. A decorated officer, loving wife, devoted mother, and loyal friend, Lindsay's unwavering integrity has never failed her. But now she is confronting a killer who is determined to undermine it all.

The 18th Abduction. Little, Brown and Company, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | find it |

Summary: For a trio of colleagues, an innocent night out after class ends in a deadly torture session. They vanish without a clue -- until a body turns up. With the safety of San Francisco's entire school system as stake, Lindsay Boxer has never been under more pressure. To solve the School Night case, Lindsay turns to her best friend, investigative journalist Cindy Thomas, as the chief of police and the press clamor for an arrest. Together, Lindsay and Cindy take new approaches, and unexpected facts about the victims leave them stunned. 

The 19th Christmas. Little, Brown and Company, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | find it |

Summary: As the holidays approach, Detective Lindsay Boxer and her friends in the Women's Murder Club have much to celebrate. Crime is down. The medical examiner's office is quiet. Even the courts are showing some Christmas spirit. And the news cycle is so slow that journalist Cindy Thomas is on assignment to tell a story about the true meaning of the season for San Francisco. Then a fearsome criminal known only as "Loman" seizes control of the headlines. He is planning a deadly surprise for Christmas morning. And he has commissioned dozens of criminal colleagues to take actions that will mask his plans. All that Lindsay and the SFPD can figure out is that Loman's greed -- for riches, for bloodshed, for attention -- is limitless. Solving crimes never happens on schedule, but as this criminal mastermind unleashes credible threats by the hour, the month of December is upended for the Women's Murder Club. Avoiding tragedy is the only holiday miracle they seek.

The 20th Victim. Little, Brown and Company, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco: Los Angeles; Chicago | series characters: Lindsay Boxer; Women's Murder Club | find it |

Summary: Three victims, three bullets, three cities. The shooters' aim is as fearsomely precise as their target selection. When Lindsay Boxer realizes that the fallen men and women excel in a lucrative, criminal activity, she leads the charge in the manhunt for the killers. As the casualty list expands, fear and fascination with this suspicious shooting gallery galvanizes the country. The victims were no angels, but are the shooters villains... or heroes?


Patterson, Richard North.

Private Screening. Villard Books, 1985.

Degree of Guilt. Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.

Eyes of a Child. Alfred A. Knopf, 1995.

Silent Witness. Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.

Protect and Defend. Alfred A. Knopf, 2000.

Conviction. Random House, 2005.

Summary: Death row attorney Terri Paget is working the fifteen-year-old capital crime conviction of Rennell Price, who the State of California will execute with a lethal injection in fifty-nine days. Terri realizes that the retarded surly black man is not a good client and her chances of saving him from the death penalty are slim. Terri, with the help of her spouse and son, looks back over time and quickly realizes that Rennell never had much of a defense. The corpse of nine-year-old Thuy Sen was found in San Francisco Bay and the medical examiner immediately concluded that the cause of her death was choking on semen. Broadcast news ran the story with the picture of the young girl as its feature. This led to a neighbor claiming that Payton and Rennell Price, drug dealers, took the child with them while she was apparently coming home from school. Other evidence placed the victim in the Price vehicle. The circumstantial evidence remains overwhelming yet Terri remains convinced that her client is innocent.

Exile. Henry Holt and Company, 2007.

Summary: David Wolfe’s life is approaching an exhilarating peak: he’s a successful San Francisco lawyer, he’s about to get married, and he’s being primed for a run for Congress. But when the phone rings and he hears the voice of Hana Arif -- the Palestinian woman with whom he had a secret affair in law school -- he begins a completely unexpected journey. The next day, the prime minister of Israel is assassinated by a suicide bomber while visiting San Francisco; soon, Hana herself is accused of being the mastermind behind the murder. Now David faces an agonizing choice: Will he, a Jew, represent Hana -- who may well be guilty -- or will he turn away the one woman he can never forget? The most challenging case of David’s career requires that he delve deep into the lives of Hana Arif and her militant Palestinian husband, both of whom have always lived in exile. Ultimately, David’s quest takes him to Israel and the West Bank, where, in a series of harrowing encounters, he learns that appearances are not at all what they seem.


Patterson, Robert.

Man With a Past. London: Frederick Muller, 1963.


Payne, Christopher C.

Duncan's Diary: Birth of a Serial Killer. iUniverse, 2009.

| setting: Palo Alto | tpo | Re-issued: San Francisco: JournalStone, 2012 | find it |

Summary: Duncan is in the throes of a midlife crisis and searching for his own identity. His problems seem no different than other men facing the same issues, but as he struggles through a divorce and the challenges of co-parenting his children, Duncan soon realizes that he feels complete inside only when he begins to secretly explore a world of torture and death -- a world that only he controls. Suddenly, Duncan’s life is no longer normal at all. As Duncan deals with his newfound guilty pleasure of destruction and wickedness, his diary entries reflect a roller coaster psychological journey. Duncan grapples with the ramifications of what he is becoming but at the same time, graphically describes the deaths of several of his victims. Clearly a man caught between his morals and an evil calling. Duncan leads a seemingly typical life during the day, but in the dark of night becomes a monster. Only one man suspects what Duncan is capable of -- his best friend, Sudhir, a detective in the Palo Alto Police Department. Despite Duncan’s cries for help penned on the pages of his diary, he becomes a master at hiding his transformation from ‘the guy next door’ to a masterful serial killer.


Peak, John A.

Spare Change. St. Martin’s Press, 1994.

Summary: In San Francisco, an alcoholic lawyer who has joined the world of the homeless wakes up with a murdered woman by his side. At the request of her sister -- a police officer -- he puts on a suit and sets out to find the killer. A tale of corruption and medical malpractice.

Mortal Judgments. St. Martin’s Press, 1999.

Summary: Lawyer Vicki Shea of San Francisco defends a doctor, accused of malpractice when a patient dies on the operating table. It is a dangerous case as two pathologists Shea hired are murdered and she herself narrowly escapes death.

M and M. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Minotaur, 2002.

Summary: Only a few months old, Charlotte Sanderson is at Gunnison Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, the victim of traumatic brain injury most likely caused by severe shaking or banging. Dr. Vicki Shea, as a pediatrician and former medical malpractice attorney, concludes that someone almost killed the baby, though the mother Julia claims an accident happened. Vicki discounts Julia’s assertion and reports the battering to the authorities. San Francisco Psych Police Officer Tim Murphy handles the abuse case. As the child heals, Julia evidently commits suicide. SFPD closes the book based on a note at the scene, the victim using heroin, her depression over the baby’s health, and her arrest for probable cause. Vicki disagrees with the conclusion. With the help of Murphy, she begins her own inquiries that will lead her into an illegal immigration smuggling ring with a bunch of new kids and more then just threats on her life as the mobsters running the train will kill to keep the business going.


Pease, Howard.

Foghorns: A Story of the San Francisco Water Front. Doubleday, Doran & Company, 1937.

| setting: San Francisco (Waterfront) | Illustrated by Anton Otto Fischer | Hubin; MRJ | juvenile | find it |

Summary: It all begins when Greg Richards, a young college boy who has come [to San Francisco] from Sacramento determined to ship out on a freighter, finds that jobs are scarce. He is about to give up when a stranger offers to sell him his discharge and a blue card, which entitles him to the job of ordinary seaman on the freighter S.S. Araby. Greg is determined not to lose his chance and takes a chance and boards the Araby only to find himself plunged into trouble.” Part of the author’s series featuring Captain Jarvis and First Mate Tod Moran, this novel takes place while the Araby is in port and is set against the backdrop of the “ever recurrent labor troubles that in recent years have brought longshoremen, shipping companies and sailors into conflict."

Long Wharf: A Story of Young San Francisco. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1939.

Thunderbolt House. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1944.

| setting: San Francisco (Nob Hill) | Herron; MRJ | juvenile | Published in paperback as Mystery at Thunderbolt House | find it |

Summary: In 1905, Jud Allen’s mother inherits a mansion at Bush and Leavenworth in San Francisco from her late uncle, Edward “Old Thunderbolt” Judson. Suddenly wealthy, the family moves from Stockton to Nob Hill and begins a new life there. Jud, who was bequeathed Edward’s library, develops an interest in book collecting, rare editions, and early California history. Then, several mysterious things start to happen. Someone starts breaking into the house and stealing books and Jud discovers that one of his books, a history of San Francisco pioneers, has several pages missing—pages that deal with Edward’s notorious past. He searches the city for a complete copy of the book only to find that all copies have been mutilated in the same way. The search eventually leads to the widow and daughter of the book’s author, Gideon Haight, who have had to survive by running a boarding house in the Mission district because Edward ruined Haight financially. The Haight women also know the secret behind the death of Edward’s son, who was killed in the house during his coming-of-age party. After all of the mysteries are solved, the Great Earthquake strikes. Although Thunderbolt House is spared from the quake and subsequent fires, the house is dynamited by the military in order to create a fire break and the Allen family makes plans to return to Stockton.

The Dark Adventure. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1950.

| setting: "Colina" (Santa Clara County) | juvenile | find it |

Summary: Sixteen-year old Johnny Stevens is hitchhiking from his home in Joliet, Illinois, to the home of his Uncle Albert and Aunt Sarah in Colina, California, “a little place near Palo Alto.” He is going to take a job in his uncle’s grocery store, and attend night school, in order to help support his widowed mother and his younger brother and sister. After the car in which he is riding goes off the road and crashes (the driver had a little too much to drink), Johnny is abandoned on the side of the road by the driver and a second hitchhiker. Suffering from amnesia, he is rescued by an elderly couple and given the name Charlie Whipple. Not wanting to be sent to a juvenile detention facility, Charlie takes off on a cross-country journey, meeting up with other “road kids.” He eventually returns to Colina, where he gets involved with Nick Bantry (the second hitchhiker), whom he believes can help him regain his identity. But, Nick is the leader of a gang of teenage marijuana dealers and Charlie gets caught up in a variety of illegal activity -- and gets caught and arrested by the police.

Mystery on Telegraph Hill. Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1961.


Peche, Alec.

Red Rock Island. GBSW Publishing, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco, San Jose | series character: Damian Green (1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Damian Green lives on Red Rock Island, a private island inside San Francisco Bay. His wife and children were murdered by a mistakenly released convict from Soledad Prison seven years ago. Now he occasionally assists the retired detective that solved the murders of his family and they have begun work on cold cases. Through a variety of analytical processes he cut over 200 cold cases down to 5 that the detective has the greatest likelihood of solving. His ability to hack into a variety of databases gives the detective a boost when they focus on the first two of those five cases. Meanwhile the notorious prison gang, the Aryan Brotherhood is known for their patience and their absolute drive to harm anyone that disrespects the gang. Even though it’s been seven years since the detective killed the Brotherhood member that killed Damian's family, she's risen to the top of their hit list. Damian also comes upon a teenager on the run from the men that kidnapped and possibly killed her parents. Damian finds just how good his island security system is consisting of a rich combination of MacGyver like inventions when he has to deploy it to save himself, the detective, and the teenager from the out-of-prison Brotherhood thugs.

Willow Glen Heist. GBSW Publishing, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco, San Jose | series character: Damian Green (2) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Damian Green is a brilliant computer scientist and engineer who assists a retired SJPD detective with solving cold cases. They take on a nearly ten year old bank robbery of a bank in Willow Glen. The robbers made off with $60 million dollars in cash and safe deposit box contents. Law enforcement was dumbfounded that they never found the team or any of the contents. Enter computer expert Damian who has a scientist's way of looking at the money. Also, Hermione's story continues with several attempts made to kidnap her and Ariana. Damian finds new ways to protect the two women and the reason the girl's parents disappeared six months ago. Do the police and FBI catch the bank robbing team in the end?

The Girl From Diana Park. GBSW Publishing, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco, San Jose | series character: Damian Green (3) | tpo |

Summary: Damian Green lives by himself on a remote island in San Francisco Bay, he invents things and can manipulate large amounts of data to find the truth underneath. Damian is asked to assist retired SJPD Detective Natalie Severino with a five-year-old child abduction case. The abduction was a cold case having not been solved in the first year after the child's disappearance from a local park. Meanwhile, Damian and Ariana continue caring for teenager, Hermione, while Damian explores new angles in the search for the girl's parents. While Hermione may not know where her parents are, or if they are even alive after men rushed into their home nearly a year ago, someone else is convinced she does know where they are. That person is planning to use her to smoke out the parents. Damian has his hands full chasing multiple mysteries while protecting the two women he's come to love.

Evergreen Valley Murder. GBSW Publishing, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco, San Jose | series character: Damian Green (4) | tpo |

Summary: Damian confronts criminals all around him and the women he cares about. He's juggling two threats while helping solve a cold case. Ariana, his girlfriend, has a startup company that has garnered the attention of the North Koreans. Why? What could a small startup have, that North Korea wants? Damian's ward, Hermione, has a summer job at his company, working on a smartphone application. Trouble seems to follow the teenager everywhere including into her new summer job. Retired detective Natalie Severino thinks she has a simple solution to find the killer involved in a cold case. A float volunteer in costume is hit with a poisonous dart and dies during the parade. Her idea of how Damien can help solve her case bears far more evidence than she ever expected -- a serial killer with a fetish for murdering float volunteers all over the globe.


Pedersen, John.

The Shaking Reeds. Roadoilers Press, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo |

Summary: When Soren Rauhe accidentally dumps his coffee in the lap of Jenny Farrar, his life of vintage motorbikes, NorCal surf and Irish tunes gets seriously complicated. Thrown together by Jenny’s impending eviction and harassment by her crooked boss, Jarno, they quickly forge a surprisingly tight bond. Jenny and Soren stick together despite her skeptical introduction to late night tune sessions and old-guy motorcycle pals. While Jenny’s boss is desperately trying to locate her to retrieve evidence implicating him in a massive forgery scam, she and Soren slink between his house in the Outer Richmond and his North Beach motorcycle shop trying to remain incognito. An unexplained attack on Soren’s assistant, the ex-Russian rocket engineer, leaves loads of unanswered questions while his childhood friends rally around with questionable success. A chance retelling of an old story involving a mystical accordion with reeds of magical Chinese sword steel further complicates his life. Action, tunes, clues and hints drag Soren and Jenny all over San Francisco and its outlying districts. After Jenny disappears Soren fears the worst and pursues all avenues until they are finally reunited in a ground-shaking conclusion.


Pella, Judith.

Blind Faith. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1996.


Pence, Joanne.

Something's Cooking. HarperPaperbacks, 1993.

Too Many Cooks. HarperPaperbacks, 1994.

Cooking Up Trouble. HarperPaperbacks, 1995.

| setting: “Hayesville” (North Bay) | series character: Angie Amalfi | pbo | find it |

Summary: Angie Amalfi is off for a week to develop the menu for Hill Haven Inn on the Northern California coastline. It seems like the perfect getaway until she finds herself surrounded by the unhappy investors of the inn. The chef/owner Finley Tay has funny ideas on what constitutes good cuisine and Angie has her work cut out for her trying to convince him that healthy food does not have to be unpalatable. Before she gets a chance to work with him he goes off on one of his evening walks, never to return. Not only that, a storm hits and causes a landslide on the only road that leads to the outside world. When Tay’s body shows up on a cliff it is obvious that he was pushed and that they all trapped with a killer. Angie must discover who the murder is and hopefully she can find something to cook with besides soybeans. (A.E.B.)

Cooking Most Deadly. HarperPaperbacks, 1996.

Cook's Night Out. HarperPaperbacks, 1998.

A Cook in Time. HarperPaperbacks, 1999.

To Catch a Cook. Avon Books, 2000.

Summary: Homicide detective Paavo Smith grew up believing his mother was a good time girl, who always dumped him and his sister with her neighbor when she decided not to play mommy. The only thing he has that was hers is a cheap cameo broach, which he gives to his San Francisco girlfriend Angie Amalfi, who treasures the gift that comes from Paavo’s heart. She wears it every day until the broach falls out of the setting. Angie takes it to a jeweler only to learn the piece is a valuable Russian antique that he wants to buy due to its museum-like quality. Angie refuses to sell it and the jeweler agrees to fix it. As soon as she leaves the store, the jeweler places a mysterious call that puts everyone connected to the cameo in danger. Paavo’s stepfather is in a hospital suffering from a coma after being shot in the head. The jeweler is dead. Finally, numerous efforts to kill Paavo and Angie occur. Paavo believes the current vendetta is tied to something his parents did three decades ago that impacts the Russian Mafia today.

Bell, Cook, and Candle. Avon Books, 2002.

Summary: After numerous false starts, plenty of failures, and quitting several times out of boredom, Angie Amalfi has finally found a business that she does well and that people appreciate. “Commercial Cakes” is doing so well that Angie barely has time to sleep. This frustrates her boyfriend, SFPD homicide detective Paavo Smith, who after much deliberating, has finally worked up the courage to ask her to marry him. Every time Paavo begins to propose, Angie is distracted, called to the phone, or falls asleep. She ends up hiring two employees who are into the Goth scene while Paavo is working on a serial killer case involving Goths. He doesn’t know how, but based on experience with his beloved, Paavo expects Angie is going to become involved in his case even though he hates it when she places her life in danger.

If Cooks Could Kill. Avon Books, 2003.

Courting Disaster. Avon Books, 2004.

Summary: Still between jobs, rich, beautiful and nervous Angie Amalfi is going crazy as she wonders where her engagement party is going to be held and what it will be like. She put the whole affair into her mother’s hands so that she can be in charge of creating her wedding. Her next door neighbor Stan is depressed because Angie is getting married to San Francisco homicide detective Paavo Smith while he failed to get past being a friend in her mind. At a Greek restaurant, Stan sees waitress Hannah and is immediately smitten. They get to know one another, but he quickly concludes that Hannah fears a waiter who happens to be the father of her unborn child. When Hannah goes into labor, Stan takes her to the hospital and after the baby is born he brings them into his home. When the father is killed, evidence points towards Hannah as the prime suspect, but others had a motive to murder the waiter. Stan, with Angie at his side, seeks the identity of the real culprit.

Cooking Spirits. Quail Hill Publishing, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Angie Amalfi | tpo | find it |


Pender, Laura.

Music of the Mist. Harlequin Books, 1993.


Pendleton, Don.

California Hit. Pinnacle Books, 1972. (The Executioner #11)


Perison, Eben Paul.

The Seventh Sin. Onyx, 2000.


Perkins, Michael.

Dark Matter. Blue Moon Books, 1996.


Perry, Kate.

Tempted by Fate. Forever, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Willow Tarata (The Guardians of Destiny Series) | paranormal romantic suspense | pbo | find it |

Summary: Willow Tarata is a Guardian who trusts no one. She hunts those who prey on the vulnerable. And she’s driven by a vengeful goal—find the man who murdered her mother. Yet suddenly Willow’s quarry now has her on the run...straight into the sights of San Francisco’s most dangerous detective. Three bizarre murders have Inspector Rick Ramirez baffled—and determined to uncover the truth. But to catch the real killer, he needs the help of his prime suspect, Willow Tarata, even though this fierce and sexy blonde is challenging his professional cool. And now, unless they believe in each other and trust their deepest instincts, a relentless evil will end both Willow’s and Rick’s life—and claim this Guardian’s extraordinary powers forever....


Perry, Kent.

Quarter Moon Rising. FireWord Publishing, 2000.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: John DeSoto | police procedural | tpo | find it |


Perry, Lynn.

Murder in Red. PublishAmerica, 2003.


Perry, Thomas.

Death Benefits. Random House, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco; Pasadena; New Hampshire | series character: John Walker | find it |

Summary: In Pasadena, California, insurance agent Ellen Snyder approves the payment of a twelve million-dollar death benefit to an impostor. Not long afterward, Ellen vanishes somewhere between the nearby airport and, apparently, Los Angeles. The impostor has also disappeared. A stunned McClaren Life and Casualty hires private investigator Max Stillman to investigate the fraud. After making inquiries in both the Pasadena and the San Fransicso-based home office, Max successfully recruits John Walker, an analyst working for his client, to assist him on the case. Max believes John can help him because he amorously knew Ellen when they were both trainees. John agrees to help because he believes the woman he still loves is innocent of any wrongdoing. With opposite motives, John and Max begin a trek around the country in an effort to locate the money and the two culprits behind the felony.

Silence. Harcourt, Inc., 2007.

| setting: San Francisco; Los Angeles | series character: Jack Till | find it |

Summary: Although set mostly in the Los Angeles area, private investigator Jack Till finally meets up with his quarry, Wendy Harper, whom he had helped disappear six years earlier at Pier 39 after tracking her through Las Vegas to San Rafael. She went underground after realizing someone was trying to kill her because she could tie him to a murder. Now, her former lover—and best friend—has been charged with her murder, and Jack must find her to convince the D.A. to drop those charges against an innocent man for the murder of a woman who is very much alive. Unfortunately, a pair of hired assassins are also on her trail, so finding her and getting her safely back to L.A. is a very delicate (and thrilling) proposition. While in the Bay Area, at Pier 39, the quarry and all her pursuers come together and the trip south begins, leaving a trail of bodies (one a policeman’s outside the rental car terminal at SFO), wrecked cars, and clever feints. (P.B.)


Peterson, Linda Lee.

Edited to Death. 21st Century Publishing, 2005.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Maggie Fiori | find it |

The Devil's Interval. Prospect Park Books, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Maggie Fiori | tpo | find it |


Petrocelli, Bill.

Through the Bookstore Window. Rare Bird Books, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Summary: Gina Perini manages a bookstore in one of San Francisco's most lively neighborhoods. Although she thrives in her world of books, her harrowing escape from the war in the Balkans years earlier remains fresh in her mind. There are still those who are searching for her and who are intent on vengeance. Gina suddenly gets news that someone from her past is still alive -- someone she had given up hope of finding. This sets in motion a chain of events that will stretch across the country and push her love and resourcefulness to the limit.


Phelan, Margaret.

Mandy: A Bizarre Thriller. Pentland Press, 1997.


Phillips, Clyde.

Fall From Grace. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1998.

Summary: While investigating the murder of an heiress in San Francisco, Detective Jane Candiotti has an affair with the main suspect, the woman’s husband. The romance clouds her perception--true he did not do it, but he knows who did.

Blindsided. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 2000.

Sacrifice. William Morrow and Company, Inc., 2003.

Summary: Just after San Francisco’s most respected and best-loved citizen, philanthropist Philip Iverson announces a pledge to the children’s hospital, someone murders him in the parking garage of the Golden Gate Grand Hotel. The city is in shock with this high profile homicide. The pressure is on the police for a swift arrest. Homicide Lieutenant Jane Candiotti and her new husband—and “old” partner—Kenny Marks lead the investigation, the first since they married and she was promoted to being his boss by the SFPD. That same evening, a second murder occurs that fails to get more than a slight yawn from the media and even less from the politicians and the police brass. The victim is just a homeless person. However, soon new murders occur tied to the bum’s homicide by the letter S written in blood at the scene. With Iverson’s wife leading the howls for justice and the media and politicos joining in the screaming, Jane has her hands full struggling to solve the Iverson case as well as the five additional murders, especially when a link between the investigations is found that makes her the target of a killer.


Phillips, Edward, and Arthur Rogers.

What the Owl Saw. Self-published, 2014.

| setting: Redwood City (1970) | series character: Rex Nickels (A Rex Nickels Mystery 1) | tpo |

Summary: The year is 1970. The location is Redwood City, an old town about twenty miles from the bustling edges of San Francisco. Rex Nickels is no stranger to strangeness; being a private eye introduces you to some pretty quirky circumstances. But the business with the body in the cemetery? Well, that became a tangled mess fairly quickly. When Hulda Stein-Franken asks Rex to find out who killed her son before the police do, he takes the case. Soon, Rex finds himself breathing the rarified air of the thoroughbred breeding world, sniffing around stables to uncover just what is going on behind the racetracks, and stumbling into his old flame Kay Dale, who also happens to have a secret connection to the dead man.

As Seagulls Watched. Self-published, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco (1972) | series character: Rex Nickels (A Rex Nickels Mystery 2) | tpo |

Summary: San Francisco, 1972. A female corpse is found as day begins at Lands End, the craggy promontory where that enchanting city meets the churning ocean. That same morning private investigator Rex Nichols is called in on a case of a cheating wife. While Rex is in the architectural office of the husband, getting briefed on the woman's activities, news arrives that the Lands End victim is the firm's young bookkeeper. Along with a police detective and a racetrack investigator, Rex joins the murder investigation and is drawn into the deepening mystery. The suspect list grows to include a pole dancer turned psychic, a Nordic gigolo, a socialite snob, a corrupt business icon, and a young architect who sometimes finds reasons to wear a disguise. Ten days after Rex gets involved, a second body is discovered, this time nude, and only a seagull's glimpse from the first...


Phillips, Gary.

High Hand. Kensington Books, 2000.

| setting: San Francisco Bay Area, Las Vegas | series character: Martha Chainey | find it |


Pickens, Lynne D.

Taking Chances. M. Evans & Company, 1991.


Pierce, Rob.

With the Right Enemies. All Due Respect Books, 2016.

| setting: Oakland | tpo | find it |

Summary: Vollmer's a young guy, grows up on ugly streets. He survives by being uglier, hurting people for money, hurting people because he likes hurting people. When he's hired to track down Dust and bring back the money he stole, keeping Dust alive isn't a priority. Neither is keeping anyone else alive, even people he loves. Vollmer's killed people he loves before. With the Right Enemies is the bullet-drenched follow-up to Uncle Dust, Rob Pierce's acclaimed debut novel about a bank robber's disastrous fling with domestic life.


Pike, Penny. [Penny Warner]

Death of a Crabby Cook. Obsidian, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Darcy Burnett (A Food Festival Mystery 1) | pbo | find it |

Death of a Chocolate Cheater. Obsidian, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Darcy Burnett (A Food Festival Mystery 2) | pbo | find it |

Death of a Bad Apple. Obsidian, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco, Northern California | series character: Darcy Burnett (A Food Festival Mystery 3) | pbo |


Pike, Robert L. [Robert L. Fish]

Reardon: A Police Procedural Novel. Doubleday, 1970.

The Gremlin's Grampa: A Police Procedural Novel. Doubleday, 1972.

Bank Job. Doubleday, 1974.

Deadline 2 A.M. Doubleday, 1976.


Piliero, Christopher Rocco.

Sharpshooters. Commonwealth Publications, 1997.

| settings: Napa Valley | pbo | find it |


Pincus, Elizabeth.

The Two-Bit Tango. Spinsters Ink, 1992.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nell Fury | tpo | find it |

Summary: When ex-private investigator Nell Fury is hired by Olive Jones to find her missing twin, she finds herself involved in a world of shady real estate deals, prostitution, pornography, and corrupt politicians in San Francisco.

The Solitary Twist. Spinsters Ink, 1993.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nell Fury | tpo | find it |

Summary: Nell Fury meets Christa Lovett on a flight back to San Francisco. Christa is concerned about the impending marriage of her ex-lover, Ellen Norway, and asks Nell to do a background check on the prospective bridegroom. Ever the sucker for a damsel in distress, or in this case, the distressed damsel, Nell agrees. When Ellen is kidnapped, and Christa subsequently disappears, it soon becomes obvious that everybody has been less than honest and nobody is quite what they seem.

The Hangdog Hustle. Spinsters Ink, 1995.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nell Fury | tpo | find it |

Summary: In San Francisco, the police write off a murder as either gay bashing or Japanese-American bashing, the victim was both. Lesbian PI Nell Fury does not buy it, especially when she learns of a campaign against toxic waste at the scene of the crime, a military base being converted to a park.


Pineiro, R.J.

Breakthrough. Forge, 1997.

Summary: A German spy steals a revolutionary computer chip from a company in Silicon Valley and abducts its chief scientist. So begins an international chase, much of it in Paris, as company owner Jake Fisher, tries to catch the spy with the help of the FBI.


Pitts, Tom.

Piggyback. Snubnose Press, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco; Northern California | novella | tpo | find it |

Summary: When two young girls disappear with a trunk-load of pot, unaware that their payload has been packed with an extra five kilos of cocaine, a lovable loser persuades a sociopathic killer to pursue them across Northern California in a violent, twisted goose-chase that ends in a horrific place none of them could have foreseen.

Hustle. Down & Out Books, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco (Tenderloin) | tpo | Originally published by Snubnose Press, 2014 | find it |

Summary: Two young hustlers, caught in an endless cycle of addiction and prostitution, decide to blackmail an elderly client of theirs. Donny and Big Rich want to film Gabriel Thaxton with their cell phones during a sexual act and put the video up on YouTube. Little do they know, the man they’ve chosen, a high-profile San Francisco defense attorney, is already being blackmailed by someone more sinister: an ex-client of the lawyer’s. A murderous speed freak named Dustin has already permeated the attorney’s life and Dustin has plans for the old man. The lawyer calls upon an old biker for help and they begin a violent race to suppress his deadly secret.

Knuckleball. Shotgun Honey, 2017.

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

Summary: Hugh Patterson is an old-school cop and die-hard Giants fan rooted in the San Francisco Mission District. When he's struck down in the line of duty, the whole city is aghast. But Oscar Flores, a 15-year old Latino boy obsessed with baseball, witnesses the gruesome crime and has a plan to assuage the city's grief and satisfy his own vision of justice. Against the backdrop of a weekend long series with the Dodgers, the gripping crime story plays out against the city's brightest monuments and darkest alleys.

American Static. Down & Out Books, 2017.

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

Summary: After being beaten and left for dead, Steven finds himself stranded alongside the 101 in a small Northern California town. When a mysterious stranger named Quinn offers a hand in exchange for help reuniting with his daughter in San Francisco, Steven gets in the car and begins a journey from which there is no return.

101. Down & Out Books, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco; Northern California | tpo |

Summary: On the cusp of pot legalization in California, Jerry runs afoul of some San Francisco bikers in the marijuana game. He flees straight up Highway 101 to Humboldt County to hide out deep in the hills at Vic's, a reclusive pot farmer and old pal of his tough-as-nails mother. But trouble finds Jerry no matter where he goes and soon the bikers, a pair of stone killers, and a Russian weed tycoon named Vlad the Inhaler are all hot on Jerry's trail. Fallout from the unfolding chaos piques the interest of SFPD detective, Roland Mackie, when he learns Jerry's host, Vic, is somehow involved. It opens a twenty-year-old wound, an unsolved case called the Fulton Street Massacre, and Mackie is willing to do whatever it takes to get a pair of cuffs on the elusive Vic. When Jerry and his protectors are chased off the mountain and back down the 101 to an inevitable showdown back in the Bay, he learns Vic is much more than his host, he's a mentor, his mother's hero, and the toughest man he's ever met.


Plate, Peter.

Sleepwalkers. Self-published, 1985.

Summary: In this novella, Faceless James Kunkler is in prison, serving a life sentence on conspiracy charges. He has been inside for three years when he wins an appeal and is released on his own recognizance pending a new court date. On his way out, he is warned to stay away from Sgt. Lackner, the San Francisco police officer who arrested him. Back in San Francisco, he breaks into an abandoned Victorian on Oak Street and retrieves a handgun he had hidden there three years earlier. He encounters ghosts in the house, meets up with his former friends Reyna and Charlene, has a violent encounter with Lackner, and exacts his revenge.

The Final Chapter. Self-published, 1986.

An Exploded View. Self-published, 1987.

Summary: A surrealistic, stream-of-consciousness journey through the San Francisco criminal justice system. During his trial, the narrator, known only as ‘A___’, recalls various episodes involving sex, drugs, and violence.

Black Wheel of Anger. Self-published, 1989.

One Foot Off the Futter. Incommunicado Press, 1995.

Summary: Our narrator is Coddy, an underpaid, sleep-deprived, overweight police officer. Between arresting dopefiends and robbers, Coddy—with the help of his partner Bellamy, a homeless cop—is engaged in a battle with squatters for possession of an abandoned Victorian building in San Francisco’s Mission District. When the two cops narrowly miss catching the armed robber of a Mission Street liquor store, a game of hide and seek ensues that escalates into a catechism in destruction. Editor's note: This is the first novel in the author’s Mission Quartet.

Snitch Factory. Incommunicado Press, 1997.

Summary: Charlene Hassler, a social worker at the huge, anthill-like Department of Social Services complex on San Francisco’s Otis Street, is a literary tour de force. Straight out of Dante’s Inferno, [the] DSS is an eternal holding pen of unfulfilled needs and desires. Charlene is under investigation, and snitches are everywhere. A co-worker is murdered. Charlene’s boss and former mentor spends amorous afternoons with her arch-enemy. The custodian burglarizes her desk, then shoots her in the knee after he imagines she’s ratted on him. As the anger and chaos at DSS reach epic proportions, we witness the strange heroism of Charlene’s co-workers when they foil a hold-up; her boss’s real vulnerability after a suicide attempt; and Charlene herself triumphantly winning her personal battle for romance in this true human comedy. Editor's note: The second novel in the author’s Mission Quartet.

Police and Thieves. Seven Stories Press, 1999.

Summary: The narrator, Doojie, is a small-time dealer who lives in a garage behind a Laundromat with his two partners in crime. They sell dope of questionable quality at reasonable prices. But when one night Doojie sees a renegade cop shoot an unarmed Mexican, he knows that things are about to change. Soon he and his buddies are running for their lives. Editor's note: The third novel in the author’s Mission Quartet.

Angels of Catastrophe. Seven Stories Press, 2001.

Summary: A cop is gunned down and unless Ricky Durrutti, a petty criminal with a short biography and a long rap sheet, can figure out who the real shooter is, he’s a dead man. From Hunt’s Donuts, opposite where the killing took place, to his room in the El Capitán Hotel, from the blue glass and steel Federal Building off Golden Gate Avenue to the Ritmo Latino record store, and from the Roxie Cinema on 16th Street to the ramshackle Victorian homes of Treat Street where Lonely Boy lives, the chase is on. Salvadoreño gangs and Mexicans, cops and Jewish gangsters, drag queens and heroin addicts, speed freaks and low rent hookers, low-lives rising to the challenge of making sense of murder. Editor's note: The fourth work in the author’s Mission Quartet, set in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Fogtown. Seven Stories Press, 2004.

Summary: One foggy day in San Francisco brings together bloody ghosts, a dandyish thug, capricious cops, a suicidal punk rocker, a hyperliterate slumlord, and a sweet old lady sent by God to hand out cash from a hijacked armored car. Editor's note: Author Peter Plate taught himself to write fiction during eight years spent squatting in abandoned buildings in San Francisco.

Soon the Rest Will Fall. Seven Stories Press, 2006.

Summary: Slatts Calhoun and Robert Grogan saw things in San Quentin State Prison that were a far cry from the safe existence of working at a nine-to-five job, paying the mortgage, being married, and having children. They witnessed rapes and riots, convicts getting shot by guards, stretches in solitary confinement, lousy food, and no privacy. But when they are paroled and let out onto the gritty streets of San Francisco, they discover new complications: the two men had been cell mates and lovers; Robert has a wife and kid on the outside; and the two separate worlds are about to collide.

Elegy Written on a Crowded Street. Seven Stories Press, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Dirty in Cashmere. Seven Stories Press, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |


Platt, Kin.

The Pushbutton Butterfly. Random House, 1970.


Polster, James.

Brown. Longstreet Press, 1995.


Ponti, James.

Golden Gate. Aladdin, 2021.

| setting: San Francisco; Northern California | series: City Spies 2 | juvenile | find it |

Summary: Fourteen-year-old Sydney is a surfer and a rebel from Bondi Beach, Australia. She's also a field ops specialist for the City Spies. Sydney is excited to learn that she'll be going undercover on the marine research vessel the Sylvia Earle. But things don't go exactly as planned, and while Sydney does find herself in the spotlight, it's not in the way she was hoping. Meanwhile, there's been some new intel regarding a potential mole within the organization, offering the spies a lead that takes them to San Francisco, California. But as they investigate a spy who died at the Botanical Gardens, they discover that they are also being investigated. And soon, they're caught up in an exciting adventure filled with rogue missions and double agents!


Potter, Jerry Allen.

A Talent for Dying. Fawcett Popular Library, 1980.

If I Should Die Before I Wake. Fawcett Popular Library, 1981.


Prather, Richard S. [see Ring, Douglas]


Preston, Douglas J.

The Kraken Project. Forge, 2014.

| setting: Various places, including San Francisco | series character: Wyman Ford | find it |


Price, Carole.

Twisted Vines. Five Star, 2012.

| setting: Livermore Valley | series character: Caitlyn Tilson Pepper (A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery) | find it |

Summary: After inheriting a vineyard and two Shakespearean theaters in the Livermore wine region from a mysterious aunt, crime analyst Caitlyn Tilson Pepper's life is turned upside down after two arson attempts at the Elizabethan Theater, a failed attempt on her life, and questions surrounding her aunt's autopsy.

Sour Grapes. Five Star, 2014.

| setting: Livermore Valley | series character: Caitlyn Tilson Pepper (A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery) | find it |

Summary: When the home security alarm awakens Cait in the middle of the night, she assumes there are bugs in the new system and has it checked out the next day. When the security company technician arrives, he finds a halberd -- a Shakespearean weapon -- and a knife on the ground, which are construed as evidence of an attempted break-in. Cait recognizes the knife. It's the same military combat knife found on Hank Dillon, the bank robber she shot and killed two years ago while on duty as a cop in Ohio. She calls the Livermore Police to report the incident. With plays opening at her Shakespearean theaters that weekend, her main concern is the safety of the actors and her guests. When Cait's friend with the Columbus PD looks into the bank robber's background, he learns three things: Hank Dillon, who was black, was adopted into a white family before such adoptions were commonplace; his blood brother, Wally Dillon, who was left with his single-parent mother, has been asking about Cait; and the knife used in the robbery is missing from the property room. All facts indicate that Wally is seeking revenge for his brother Hank's death at Cait's hands.


Pronzini, Bill. [see also Foxx, Jack]

The Stalker. Random House, 1971.

The Snatch. Random House, 1971.

| settings: Hillsborough (San Mateo County); San Francisco | character: Nameless Detective | Herron | find it |

Summary: The first novel in the long-running “Nameless Detective” series. The private detective is forty-seven years old, he is an ex-San Francisco cop, he lives alone in a flat in a Pacific Heights Victorian, he has a girlfriend named Erika, he has a good working relationship with the local police, and he collects and reads 1930s and ‘40s pulp magazines. The only thing the reader is not told is the detective’s name. In the affluent Peninsula town of Hillsborough, fifteen miles south of San Francisco, the young son of self-made millionaire Louis Martinetti has been snatched from his school and is being held for ransom. The detective is hired to be the bag man for the ransom drop. It was supposed to be a simple job, but when someone hijacks the ransom money the kidnapper ends up dead and the detective is seriously wounded … and no one knows where the boy is being held. Martinetti asks the detective to stay on the job. The investigation leads back to San Francisco and uncovers several dirty family secrets. A shorter, different version of the novel appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine in May 1969 under the same title.

The Vanished. Random House, 1973.

Undercurrent. Random House, 1973.

Blowback. Random House, 1977.

Labyrinth. St. Martin’s Press, 1980.

Hoodwink. St. Martin’s Press, 1981.

Dragonfire. St. Martin’s Press, 1982.

Scattershot. St. Martin’s Press, 1982.

Bindlestiff. St. Martin’s Press, 1983.

Case File. St. Martin’s Press, 1983. [short stories]

Cat's-Paw. Richmond-in-Virginia: Waves Press, 1983.

Nightshades. St. Martin’s Press, 1984.

Quicksilver. St. Martin’s Press, 1984.

Bones. St. Martin’s Press, 1985.

Quincannon. Walker and Company, 1985.

Deadfall. St. Martin’s Press, 1986.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Small Felonies. St. Martin’s Press, 1988.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | short stories | find it |

Jackpot. Delacorte Press, 1990.

Breakdown. Delacorte Press, 1991.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Epitaphs. Delacorte Press, 1992.

Quarry. Delacorte Press, 1992.

Demons. Delacorte Press, 1993.

Blue Lonesome. Walker and Company, 1995.

Hardcase. Delacorte Press, 1995.

Sentinels. Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1996.

Spadework: A Collection of "Nameless Detective" Stories. Crippen & Landru, 1996. [short stories]

Illusions. Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1997.

Boobytrap. Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 1998.

Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services. Crippen & Landru, 1998. [short stories]

Nothing But the Night. Walker and Company, 1999.

| setting: Russian River Region | find it |

Crazybone. Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 2000.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

In An Evil Time. Walker and Company, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Step to the Graveyard Easy. Walker and Company, 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Bleeders. Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 2002.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Spook. Carroll & Graf Publishers, Inc., 2003.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Scenarios: A "Nameless Detective" Casebook. Five Star, 2003.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | short stories | find it |

The Alias Man. Walker and Company, 2004.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Nightcrawlers. Forge, 2005.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Mourners. Forge, 2006.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

The Crimes of Jordan Wise. Walker and Company, 2006.

| setting: San Francisco | find it |

Savages. Forge, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Fever. Forge, 2008.

| setting: San Francisco, Las Vegas | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Schemers. Forge, 2009.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Betrayers. Forge, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Camouflage. Forge, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Hellbox. Forge, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco; Gold country | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Kinsmen. Cemetery Dance Publications, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco; northeast California | series character: Nameless Detective | novella | find it |

Femme. Cemetery Dance Publications, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | novella | find it |

Nemesis. Forge, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Strangers. Forge, 2014.

| setting: San Francisco; “Mineral Springs” | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Vixens. Forge, 2015.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Revenant. Cemetery Dance Publications, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco Peninsula | series character: Nameless Detective | novella | find it |

| Summary: Revenant: A spirit come back from the dead in human form. Last year, Peter Erskine was in a horrible car accident that left the driver of the other car, Antanas Vok, mortally wounded. Before he dies, Antanas vows to Peter's face that he will have unholy revenge for what Peter has done. Now, one year later, Peter and his wife Marian have begun to see a figure that looks unmistakably like Antanas Vok stalking them. A figure that leaves no trace except the scent of dead flesh. They soon learn that Antanas was a member of a devil cult and a sacrilegious black host is delivered to their house. With nowhere else to turn, they call the Nameless Detective. The Nameless Detective is intrigued by the particulars and takes the case because it sounds interesting. What a hell of an understatement that will turn out to be...

Zigzag. Forge, 2016.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Summary: Two novellas and two short stories featuring the Nameless Detective. "Zigzag" is an original novella, in which a safe and simple accident investigation becomes the unraveling of a twisted murder scheme. "Grapplin," which first appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, deals with the kind of missing person case that can end in only one of two ways, closure or heartbreak. In the second short, "Nightscape," readers discover how, indeed, one thing just leads to another (first published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine as "The Winning Ticket"). The final work, "Revenant," is another original novella and entangles Nameless in a weird crime with fearful occult overtones.

The Violated. Bloomsbury, 2017.

| setting: "Santa Rita" | series character: Griffin Kells | find it |

Summary: In Echo Park, in the small town of Santa Rita, California, the mutilated body of Martin Torrey is found by two passersby. A registered sex offender, Torrey has been a suspect in a string of recent rapes, and instant suspicion for his murder falls on the relatives and friends of the women attacked. Police chief Griffin Kells and detective Robert Ortiz are under increasing pressure from the public and from a mayor demanding results in a case that has no easy solution. Pronzini cleverly unfolds the case through alternating perspectives -- Martin Torrey's wife, caught between her grief and the fear her husband was guilty; the outraged husbands of the women violated; the enterprising editor of the local paper; the mayor concerned most with his own ratings; the detectives, often spinning in circles -- until a surprising break leads to a completely unexpected conclusion.

Endgame. Forge, 2017.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Nameless Detective | find it |

Summary: The Nameless Detective has taken many cases over the years, and this is one for the books. Or rather, two cases that will test his agency's resources. Love is in the air... more to the point, love gone awry. One case involves a woman whose husband died accidentally in a remote cabin in the Sierras. The wife isn't buying that her husband was alone, and is determined to find out his secret and get closure, in spite of any potential heartbreak. The other case is a missing person -- but the person missing was agoraphobic and never left the house. The husband swears that while their relationship was strained due to his wife's condition, he was still in love with her. He begs Nameless to clear him and find his wife before the cops come for him. 

The Bags of Tricks Affair. Forge, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco (1890s) | series characters: Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon | find it |

Summary: With two con games being run by two deadly villains, Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon are forced to split up, but when Sabina's life is in danger, John realizes just how much she means to him.

The Flimflam Affair. Forge, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco (1900s) | series characters: Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon | find it |

Summary: Carpenter and Quincannon Professional Detective Services is a fixture in San Francisco at the dawn of a new century. Sabina and John will protect their clients, doing what is necessary to run the dregs of society into the arms of the law. Sometimes that involves brute force. Other times, a more subtle touch is needed. Professor A. Vargas, medium extraordinaire, and his partner, Annabelle, don't use picks to open locked doors, and most certainly don't use violence to get what they want. Instead they prey upon hopes and fears to swindle bereaved patrons. Soon John and Sabina find themselves in a dusky room, preparing to take the lying duo down. Then a knife flashes ... and our detectives must discover who is conning whom. Before they themselves are dispatched.

The Stolen Gold Affair. Forge, 2020.

| setting: San Francisco (1900s) | series characters: Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon | find it |

Summary: Despite the fact that his wedding is right around the corner, John Quincannon takes on what may be his riskiest assignment: going undercover into a gold mine to ferret out a gang hijacking high-grade ore before it reaches the surface... John discovers the clever methods by which the scheme is being worked and exposes the conspirators... following him leads to an unexpected rendezvous with Sabina, who has uncovered vital information about the thief's true identity and whereabouts. Working together, they corner their quarry in a wild battle aboard a speeding train.

The Paradise Affair. Forge, 2021.

| setting: San Francisco (1900s); Hawaii | series characters: Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon | find it |

Summary: Quincannon's pursuit of two con men who have absconded to Hawaii with a considerable sum of his employer's assets dovetails nicely with Sabina's vision of a second honeymoon. But neither is wont to stay out of trouble, and Sabina inadvertently becomes involved in a locked room/dying message murder in Honolulu.


Pronzini, Bill, and Collin Wilcox.

Twospot. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1978.



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