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Waddell, E. Lee. [Eleanor Lee Waddell]

Murder at Drake's Anchorage. E.P. Dutton & Co., Inc., 1949.

| setting: Marin County | find it |

Summary: A scandal is brewing at Drake's Anchorage, a posh private school for boys situated on the Marin County coast between Stinson Beach and Olema. The headmaster, Alrik Lind, has been accused of improper behavior by some of the boys and a group of parents is demanding answers. Lind abruptly leaves the school at the beginning of the spring term, casting the school and faculty into disarray. The school’s long-time secretary, Miss Breckenridge, is then fired for listening at keyholes. When her body is later discovered in the woods not far from campus, the investigation graduates from impropriety to murder. This novel contains a somewhat confusing narrative, with a varied cast of characters who start to blend into one another (inexplicably, many of them have Scandinavian names, leading to even further confusion). However, the Marin headlands are vividly described. The novel also contains an amusing reference to the fabled Drake’s Plate of Brass (now housed at The Bancroft Library), which has since been proven to have been an elaborate hoax perpetrated members of E Clampus Vitus (the "Clampers"), a fraternity of California history enthusiasts who were fond of practical jokes.


Walcott, Earle Ashley.

Blindfolded. The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1906.

| settings: San Francisco (Stock Exchange, Chinatown), Oakland, Livermore | Baird & Greenwood 2507 ; Hubin | Herron |

Summary: Giles Dudley arrives in San Francisco to help his cousin, Henry Wilton, in a "delicate" and "dangerous" business venture. But, before Wilton can explain the nature of the plot, he is murdered. Dudley witnesses the murder and catches a glimpse of the face of one of the killers. He also bears more than a passing resemblance to his cousin and is mistaken for Wilton by nearly everyone he meets. At the encouragement of the police, he assumes Wilton's identity and is soon caught up in a variety of situations that he knows little or nothing about: the kidnapping of an unknown boy, a high-stakes stock deal, and a war between two rival gangs (one of which he is the leader). Before he unravels the mystery, the action takes him from Chinatown to the Stock Exchange, from Oakland to Livermore. Originally published serially in The Reader.

The Open Door: A Romance of Mystery--Time, 1905. Dodd, Mead and Company, 1910.


Waldman, Ayelet.

The Cradle Robbers. Berkely Prime Crime, 2005. (A Mommy-Track mystery)


Walker, John U.

Killer Code. BookSurge LLC, 2006.


Walker, Keith.

The Escape. Vantage Press, 1970.

| setting: San Francisco; Redwood City | find it |


Walker, T. Mike.

Voices From the Bottom of the World: A Policeman's Journal. Grove Press, 1969.


Walker, Walter.

The Two Dude Defense. Harper & Row, Publisher, 1985.

Rules of the Knife Fight. Harper & Row, Publisher, 1986.

The Appearance of Impropriety. Pocket Books, 1993.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |

Summary: It's not the best of times from the San Francisco GoldenGaters. Beset by a series of dispiriting defeats, by an oblivious supermarket tycoon/owner fond of equating rebounds with rutabagas, and by a coach rapidly growing weary of trying to motivate millionaires, adolescents, and egomaniacs, the team is mired in fifth place. But as the Gaters embark on a road trip through the Southwest, their win-loss record suddenly takes a backseat to the shocking rumor that somebody on the club is throwing games. Nobody on the Gaters -- from its All-American playmaker to its moody superstar -- is immune to the storm clouds rapidly gathering over the team. And as the players scramble to evade the full-court pressure of the spotlight, San Francisco's leading sports columnist, Colin Cromwell, sets out to report the story that will rocket him to national status. In his quest for journalistic immortality, this Bard of the Boards unearths as many questions as he answers. Why, for example, has dignified team leader W.E.B. Pancake been so secretive about his past? And why has the team's leading scorer, Del Fuego Dixon, stopped handling the ball during the final minutes of close games?


Wallace, David Rains.

The Turquoise Dragon. Sierra Club Books, 1985.

| setting: Oakland, Trinity County, southern Oregon | find it |

Summary: This book is for readers who like a healthy dose of ecology with their mysteries. Horticulturist George Kilgore is making a quiet living growing seedlings and re-foresting logged areas in the Siskiyou Mountains of Trinity County. Kilgore is an ex-forest ranger who used to make quite a bit more money cultivating a higher value crop in the wilderness areas under his care. Then he discovers the murdered body of his friend Tom Blackwell in Blackwell’s Oakland home. Naturally, George is suspected of being the murderer himself by the Oakland police. So, he reluctantly begins his own investigation—which leads him back home to Trinity County in search of a rare blue salamander, the Turquoise Dragon. Along the way George meets a wealthy local landowner with a mysterious and sinister past who wants to hire him to re-forest a large section of his land. He also meets a beautiful herpetologist—rumored to have been the cause of Blackwell’s divorce—who is determined to discover the secrets of the dragons. George puts a lot of miles on his pickup, with several return trips south to the Bay Area and north to southern Oregon, as he uncovers a plot to use the salamanders as pawns in a war over the building of a dam and tangles with smugglers—of both drugs and exotic animals. Editor's note: The fiction debut of noted naturalist-writer David Rains Wallace, whose non-fiction works have earned him the John Burroughs Medal and two Silver Medals for literature about California from the Commonwealth Club of California.



Wallace, Marilyn.

A Case of Loyalties. St. Martin's Press, 1986.

| setting: Oakland; Berkeley; Angel Island | series characters: Sgt. Jay Goldstein; Sgt. Carlos Cruz | Hubin | find it |

Summary: Oakland homicide detectives Sgt. Jay Goldstein and Sgt. Carlos Cruz investigate the shooting death of Clifford Hawkins, a young man with a violent past. The prime suspect is seventeen-year-old Tricia Rayborn, a neighbor of Hawkins who got high at a party and stole a car—the car that eyewitnesses identified as the vehicle from which the murderer fired the fatal shots. As Tricia’s mother, Carrie, fiercely defends her daughter, Cruz and Goldstein dig into Hawkins’s life, trying to figure out why Tricia (or someone else) might have wanted to kill him. They discover that he was a child abuser and a mugger with ties to a mysterious group called Oneida West—a terrorist cult with designs on a violent takeover of the entire Bay Area. The investigation leads from Oakland to Berkeley to a dramatic climax on Angel Island.

Primary Target. Bantam Books, 1988.

| setting: Oakland | series characters: Sgt. Jay Goldstein; Sgt. Carlos Cruz | Hubin | pbo | find it |

A Single Stone. Doubleday, 1991.

| setting: Oakland | series characters: Sgt. Jay Goldstein; Sgt. Carlos Cruz | Hubin; Raphael | find it |

Summary: Three years ago, when a doll with an X slashed across its torso was found near the body of seven-year-old Amy Orett in a lonely Oakland park, local police had only one suspect. The rising young assistant district attorney shockingly agreed that the young girl’s mother was responsible for the brutal crime. Tried for murder, Linda Orett found herself free on a twist of justice and she and her husband Matt fled to a small coastal town in the hope of rebuilding their shattered lives. Now, wounds that had begun to heal—and the case of Amy’s murder—are reopened when another child’s body is found in Oakland, a mutilated doll smiling up in horrid remembrance. For Linda Orett, the days and nights that follow test her limits as she careens deeper into a nightmare where revelations, threats, and events from her own past demonstrate that she may not be able to trust anyone—not even herself.


Wallace, Michael.

The Man in the Red Convertible. Self-published, 2019.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Quill Gordon (7) | tpo |

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Leah Drake was passing out flyers for her church when she vanished from a remote mountain rest stop. A classmate thought she saw Leah in the front seat of a red convertible speeding down the highway, and Leah's ATM card was used in San Francisco four days later. After that, the trail went cold. When Leah's distraught mother asks Quill Gordon to continue the search in San Francisco, he accepts with little hope of success. But a couple of breaks go his way, and Gordon soon finds himself following Leah's path -- one that leads, ominously, to the city's highest levels of power and prestige.


Wallace, Robert.

Yellow Shadows of Death. Corinth, 1965. (The Phantom detective #9)


Wallace, William E.

The Judas Hunter. William E. Wallace, 2013.

| setting: Oakland | tpo |

I Wait to Die! William E. Wallace, 2013.

| setting: Oakland | tpo |

Summary: A femme fatale named Janice cooked up Redi-Money, the multi-million dollar robbery of a lightly guarded check-cashing outfit that catered to down-and-outers. On the surface, it sounded like the heist of a lifetime. But then dead bodies began piling up and the only question that remained was: whose lifetime were we talking about? Sometimes the stakes are so high that a crime seems too good to be true. That’s the way Redi-Money seemed to Frank when he returned to Oakland from Colorado. Complicating things were the fact that the heist was the brainchild of his best friend’s ‘fiance,’ a femme fatale who oozed sex from every pore and seemed to be dead set on pitting Frank’s crew members against each other. Add a crooked cop to the mix and a payroll from the robbery that was too good to be true and you have the ingredients for disaster.

The Jade Bone Jar. William E. Wallace, 2014.

| setting: Oakland (1947) | tpo |

Summary: A war profiteer, a missing girl and a precious antiquity: Mickey Lynch, private eye, is up to his armpits in intrigue and murder in 1947 Oakland, California. While checking the background of a millionaire tapped for a White House job, Lynch, a former U.S. Marine and Honolulu cop, discovers a real estate scam, political corruption, drugs and treason. He crosses paths with a U.S. Marshal, two crooked FBI agents and a mysterious Brazilian who is a martial arts expert. At the same time, he has to disprove allegations he conspired to commit perjury in a ‘Dear John’ homicide case. As his investigation proceeds, he learns one reason why 127,000 Japanese-Americans were rounded up and imprisoned on the U.S. West Coast during the war, and uncovers a plot to wipe out the African-American blues and jazz scene in Bohemian West Oakland. And Lynch discovers that the object that ties all these threads together is a 600-year-old relic of feudal Japan: a funerary urn made of precious gemstone: the Jade Bone Jar!

Dead Heat With the Reaper. All Due Respect, 2015.

| setting: Oakland | tpo | find it |

Summary: Two novellas. In Legacy, retired steel mill worker Frank Trask is a badass who passes out in front of his Oakland, California apartment and wakes to find he won't live much longer. The news leaves him with a big problem: how to use more than $400,000 in savings. His solution is good but not strictly legal -- and Frank may not live long enough to pull it off. In The Creep, Sergeant Alan Baldocchi survived the IED that killed his armored carrier crew in Afghanistan, but the blast left him so scarred that people he meets look away in disgust. Now a civilian, Baldocchi meets Susan, a nurse who -- against her better judgment -- takes a liking to him. Unfortunately the run-down apartment house they live in is infested by young criminals -- and the leader of the gang has violent plans for both of them.


Wang, Kathy.

Imposter Syndrome. Custom House, 2021.

| setting: Silicon Valley |

Summary: In 2006, Julia Lerner is an orphaned Muscovite with a computer science degree.  Twelve years later, she's one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley, sending sensitive information to her Russian handlers when she's not busy crushing the competition to her social media company employer or being the keynote speaker on work/life balance at yet another conference. Things start to heat up when an underling stumbles on a suspicious use of data, and the two begin an epic game of cat-and-mouse...


Ward, Matt.

Blackout. FirstPublish, 2001.


Ward, Steve.

Odds Against Linda. Ace Books, 1960.


Warmbold, Jean.

June Mail. Permanent Press, 1986.


Warne, Philip S.

Silver Riffle Sid, or, A "Daisy" Bluff: A California Romance. Beadle and Adams, July 21, 1886.

Dan Dirk, King of No Man's Land, or, Lightning George's Last Card: The Frisco Detective's Block Game. Beadle and Adams, March 7, 1894.


Warner, Gertrude Chandler.

The Mystery in San Francisco. Albert Whitman & Company, 1997.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden (The Boxcar children mysteries 57) | juvenile | find it |

Summary: The Boxcar Children—Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny Alden—decide to accept the offer to go to their Aunt Jane and Uncle Andy Bean’s house on Lombard Street in San Francisco. Before they arrive, they each decide on one thing that they want to do on their trip: Henry wants to visit Chinatown, Jessie wants to drive across the renowned Golden Gate Bridge, Violet wants to take a boat trip on the Bay, and Benny desperately wants to ride on a cable car, at least once! When they arrive, their uncle introduces them to his friend Charlie, who is a fisherman working on a pier at Fisherman’s Wharf. Charlie isn’t acting like himself and the Aldens know that something is up, especially when they see a mysterious man lurking around the scene. Charlie later tells them that he had an incident where half of the fish that his boss received was rotten, even though he never sells fish that isn’t of the finest quality. During the Aldens’ visit, Charlie’s gasoline is stolen, his emergency radio wire is clipped, and his fishing nets are cut. Something is definitely up, and it’s up to the Boxcar Children to find out what’s going on. (LRB)


Warner, James.

All Her Father's Guns. Numina Press, 2011.

| setting: Berkeley; San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: Cal Lyte, a gun-loving venture capitalist, is tired of paying alimony to his ex-wife Tabytha. Plotting to blackmail her and derail her campaign for Congress, he enlists the help of their daughter's boyfriend, British academic Reid Seyton, to unearth some Lyte family secrets. But the results turn out to be more than anyone bargained for, in an escalating cycle of revelations that will leave nobody's life the same.


Warner, Penny. [see also Pike, Penny]

How to Host a Killer Party. Obsidian, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco, Alcatraz Island | series character: Presley Parker (Party Planning Mystery 1) | pbo | find it |

Summary: Presley Parker’s party planning business is off to a good start when she lands the job to plan a “surprise” wedding on Alcatraz Island for the mayor of San Francisco. But things don’t go quite as planned when the bride-to-be and another party planner end up dead. Apparently a murderer is on the guest list, and Presley is the prime suspect.

How to Crash a Killer Bash. Obsidian, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Presley Parker (Party Planning Mystery 2) | pbo | find it |

Summary: The de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is throwing a murder mystery party to raise money, and the notorious yet benevolent philanthropist Mary Lee Miller wants Presley Parker to host it. Though Presley is surrounded by breathtaking artwork, it’s a heated squabble between Mary Lee and her son Corbin that catches her attention. When Mary Lee is found dead with a fake dagger in her chest, Delicia—Presley’s friend and Corbin’s girlfriend—is the key suspect. Presley begins sleuthing to clear her friend and solve the mounting murders, only to find someone wants this life of the party dead.

How to Survive a Killer Séance. Obsidian, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco, Winchester Mystery House | series character: Presley Parker (Party Planning Mystery 3) | pbo | find it |

How to Party With a Killer Vampire. Obsidian, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco (Treasure Island) | series character: Presley Parker (Party Planning Mystery 4) | pbo | find it |

How to Dine on Killer Wine. Obsidian, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco; Napa Valley | series character: Presley Parker (Party Planning Mystery 5) | pbo | find it |


Warner, Ralph (Jake).

Coming of Age in Berkeley. CourtYard Editions, 2018.

| setting: Berkeley | tpo | find it |

Summary: As star-crossed young lovers try to vault the obstacles that separate them, a killer stalks them both. Romance is the furthest thing from Tamiko Gashkin's mind when she drops her copy of the Brothers Karamazov on the path through Faculty Glade on the Cal Berkeley campus. Imagine, then, how stunned this almost 16-year-old brainiac athlete is when she's instantly beguilded by Alec Burns, the shaggy-haired college senior who not only retrieves her book, but pledges his affection. But how is a high school girl who has never been kissed to cope with a far more sophisticated older guy given that almost everyone in their world disapproves, especially Tamiko's protective single mom, Amy? Indeed this modern retelling of the Romeo and Juliet story might have been squelched right there were it not for the appearance of Max, a demonic psychopath from Amy's past ready to destroy everyone in his way. With survival now the overwhelming priority, can there suddenly be room for Alec and Tamiko to be together?


Warner, Ralph (Jake), and Toni Ihara.

Murder on the Air. Nolo Press, 1984.

| setting: Berkeley | tpo | find it |


Washburn, Stan.

Intent to Harm. Pocket Books, 1994.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Toby Parkman | find it |

Summary: At age 31, Toby Parkman changed careers and became a police officer. After starting out in the Patrol division, he gets a temporary reassignment to Sex Crimes, where he is tasked with working on the investigation of a series of brutal, violent rapes. This novel is set in an unnamed city. Is it Berkeley? Here is the evidence: The city is liberal-minded and has a university nestled at the base of the hills and a marina on a bay. The book is dedicated to two Berkeley police inspectors and the author is a former Berkeley Police Reserve Officer. That’s it. The name “California” is only mentioned once—in reference to a bottle of wine. Otherwise, the author goes to great pains to keep the location nondescript. Other possibly identifying details, such as the names of stores, schools, streets, hospitals, and newspapers, are fictitious.

Into Thin Air. Pocket Books, 1996.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Toby Parkman | pbo | find it |


Waters, T. A.

The Psychedelic Spy. Lancer Books, 1967.

| setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) | Hubin | pbo | find it |

Summary: Dr. Lowell Simon Dee -- expert in drugs, aikido, and Oriental languages -- launches a one-man invasion of the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco to thwart a sinister enemy named Wu Ming ("no name"), who has infiltrated the psychedelic movement for obviously nefarious purposes.


Watts, David.

The Lucifer Connection. Majestic Publications, 2015.

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

Summary: Jack Barnstone is an outside-the-box, motorcycle-riding physician who, finding himself in two kinds of trouble, leaves Texas to start a solo practice near Chinatown in San Francisco. When a patient walks in his office with an undiagnosed mortal illness Barnstone's life changes forever.  Finding himself in deeper trouble than ever he must work his way through a malpractice suit, the mistrust of his colleagues and the suspicions of the San Francisco police in order to vindicate himself. Since he has arrived in San Francisco just at the start of the Summer of Love to pursue his quest he has to learn the inner workings of Hippie culture, the sinister workings of the Satanic Church while he is dodging the unpredictable actions of the San Francisco Police.  With help from his new Hippie girlfriend and an old flagrantly gay East Indian assistant coroner he discovers why the case was so difficult to solve, confronts the perpetrator and stumbles upon a well-hidden and sinister web of criminal activity.


Webb, Victoria. [Will Baker]

A Little Ladykilling. The Dial Press, 1982.


Weber, Lin.

The Wine Cellar. Wine Ventures Pub., 2006.

| setting: Napa Valley | series character: Grace Potts | tpo | find it |


Wehen, Joy De Weese.

Stranger at Golden Hill. Duell, Sloan & Pearce, 1961. (Re-issued as: The Golden Hill Mystery. Berkley, 1964)


Weisel, Frederick.

The Silenced Women. Poisoned Pen Press, 2021.

| setting: Santa Rosa | series: A Violent Crime Investigations Team Mystery (1) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Who will speak for those who no longer can? When a young woman is found strangled to death and left on a park bench in Santa Rosa, California, Detective Eddie Mahler and his Violent Crime Investigations (VCI) Team are called to the scene. The crime immediately thrusts Mahler back to two unsolved homicides-young women who were also strangled -- at this same location a couple of years earlier. His inability to find evidence against the man he knows was responsible for their deaths has haunted him since. Now suffering from chronic migraines that affect his vision, Mahler has secretly lost faith in the investigation process, and must rely more than ever on his team. Its newest member, Eden Somers, is a former FBI analyst whose ability to completely immerse herself in the evidence of a case proves both a gift and a curse. While Eden dives deep into the cold case evidence, the rest of the team chase leads to identify the latest victim, and discover that her death might be the work of a different killer altogether. Now Mahler and his team are fighting on two fronts to discover who stole the very breath from these women, and to stop the killer before he silences another victim.


Weiss, Kirsten.

The Metaphysical Detective. Misterio Press, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Riga Hayworth | paranormal | find it |

Summary: When Riga Hayworth finds her new client, Helen Baro, dead, she smells a set up of metaphysical proportions. Now, to find a killer, Riga must travel from San Francisco to the underworld—and make it back alive. Helen believes her husband is trying to kill her. One problem: Helen’s husband is dead. Riga isn’t sure what to think. Is Helen mad? Is someone else trying to harm the woman? Or is this really a case of attempted murder from beyond the grave? But then Helen is found dead, leaving a strange haiku and Tarot for a clue, and Riga is hurtled into an investigation that threatens the detective and those she loves.


Weiss, Mike.

No Go on Jackson Street. Charles Scribner's Sons, 1987.

All Points Bulletin. Avon Books, 1989.

A Dry and Thirsty Ground. St. Martin's Press, 1992.


Weissman, Jerry.

The Zodiac Killer. Pinnacle Books, 1979.

| setting: San Francisco (1968-1969) | tpo | find it |

Summary: A novel based on the infamous serial killings that occurred in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1968-1969. In this version, there is no mystery about the identity of the killer who calls himself “Zodiac.” Robert Bennett is a troubled young man whose sexual frustrations lead him to murder. He begins a twisted correspondence with the police and the newspapers, creating ciphers that purport to contain his identity. When San Francisco Chronicle reporter Paula Avery (based on real-life Chronicle reporter Paul Avery) starts writing about the killings, she attracts Bennett’s attention and becomes a target. Although, just like the real case, the police never learn the killer’s identity, Weissman offers an interesting reason for the cessation of the killings.


Welch, Pat.

Murder by the Book. The Naiad Press, Inc., 1990.

| setting: Berkeley | series character: Helen Black | Hubin | tpo | find it |

Summary: Christmas time in Berkeley, California is coming up grim for Helen Black, PI. Clients have been scarce, and her lover, Freida, is no happier about this new profession of Helen’s than she was about her previous career as a cop. Then Helen lands her first important case. Her client is wealthy lesbian Donna Forsythe, whose lover is a prime suspect in the death of an employee in a bank vault. One of eight bank employees has to be guilty. But which one—and why? Why was only $200 taken from the vault? The Christmas tree in the bank lobby seems significant to the crime—but why? What hidden association did the guilty employee have with the murdered man? And what about Ben, the derelict? Can Helen decipher from his gibberish what he saw on the night of the murder? Suddenly the roster of suspects is reduced by one... and Helen herself is attacked. Whodunnit? And what about Helen’s increasingly prickly relationship with Freida?

Still Waters. The Naiad Press, Inc., 1991.

Summary: Helen and Frieda are at a luxury lakeside resort [‘up in those hills between Berkeley and Orinda’] for a weekend that will, hopefully, mark a new beginning. A weekend to heal the growing rift between them. The discovery of the battered body of a news reporter on the sandy beach changes everything. Because the victim is an old friend of Helen’s, the weekend suddenly turns into a murder investigation and a new case for Private Investigator Helen Black. Does the story the reporter was working on hold the key? Or is her death an ex-lover’s revenge? And what of the attractive, frightened Marta and her link with the enigmatic priest, Father John? Seemingly everyone has secrets. The apparently successful resort is in financial trouble. The hotel guests have their own frictions and deceptions. The angelic beauty of the owner’s daughter masks dark needs... and is a new element to threaten the fragile relationship between Helen and Frieda.

A Proper Burial. The Naiad Press, Inc., 1993.

Summary: Celebrated Berkeley private eye Helen Black returns... for a case that will test her professional mettle—not to mention her personal cool. Cecily Bennett, her newest client, has been brought to Helen by ex-partner Frieda. But to Helen’s consternation, young Cecily has become Frieda’s lover. The case itself is a hornet’s nest. Cecily’s long-absent aunt has been found murdered in an abandoned building near People’s Park. Will Bennett, Cecily’s father and the Governor’s right-hand man, has summoned his considerable influence to muzzle the police investigation and all publicity. Why exactly did Cecily’s aunt return to Berkeley? Roadblocks are thrown up by Cecily’s entire family—especially the fierce, tyrannical matriarch, Lydia. To further complicate matters, a suspicious reporter is investigating Will Bennett and the project he leads, a soon-to-be-unveiled pilot program to aid troubled young people. What does the investigative reporter know? How will Helen get around Will Bennett’s power? And what will Helen do about Cecily’s sudden and disconcerting attraction to her? What about Helen’s unfinished business with Frieda?

Smoke and Mirrors. The Naiad Press, Inc., 1996.

Summary: When a Berkeley community health clinic is besieged by anti-abortion protesters, Helen Black’s ex-lover begs her to help. Realizing that the only way to get information is from the inside, Helen goes under cover and infiltrates the extremist group. Considering all that Helen’s been through in the past, the case seems rather routine—until the threats and vandalism escalate to murder!

Fallen From Grace. The Naiad Press, Inc., 1998.

Summary: When downsized corporate executive and closeted lesbian Leslie Merrick takes a nose dive from an eighth-story window, the cops jump to the conclusion that her death is a suicide. Hired by the dead woman’s mother to clear her daughter’s reputation, Berkeley PI Helen Black discovers that the multinational conglomerate Merrick worked for is rife with political patronage, corporate treachery, sexual harassment, disgruntled employees, vindictive co-workers, and mysterious “vacations.” Although fallout from the investigation quickly puts the private eye at odds with everyone from her new lover to her former police partner, she uncovers nothing to indicate that Merrick’s death was anything but self-inflicted. Could the woman’s fall have been accidental? Or is Helen Black being set up to take the biggest fall of all?

A Time to Cast Away. Bella Books, 2005.

Summary: After serving time in prison, former cop Helen Black returns home to Berkeley, California, hoping to start over... but her new life doesn’t look very promising. Struggling through her days with dull temp jobs, she meets Alice one night at a local bar. A few days after their brief encounter, Helen stops by Alice’s apartment—only to find the woman dead. Soon the police become involved—and her former partner, Manny, treats her like the criminal he thinks she has become. Of course it doesn’t help that his wife just left him for another woman—and he thinks it’s all Helen’s fault. With the world around her spinning, Helen is painfully struggling to find security in her old turf, and wonders if she will ever be able to put the past behind her.


West, B. J., editor.

Fog City Nocturne: From the Casebook of Nick Chambers. Apocryphile Press, 2005.

| setting: San Francisco (1940s) | series character: Nick Chambers | short stories | tpo | find it |

Summary: One detective—six authors. What do you get when a group of writers jointly create a private detective character in the hard-boiled tradition, then go their separate ways to put the poor bastard through his paces? You get Nick Chambers, a down-on-his-luck P.I. who is both comfortably familiar and refreshingly original. In the grim days following the end of WWII, San Francisco is a rough place to try to make a living as a detective. Paying clients are few and far between, corruption is rampant in the highest echelons of city government, and no one seems to be interested in justice anymore. Nick Chambers is the detective you turn to when you can’t afford anyone else. He’s only one step away from being on the streets himself, but manages to scrape by on his wits, perserverance, and a steely conviction that despite all the evidence to the contrary, there are still a few good people left who deserve to have someone watching their backs.


West, Melanie.

Conflict of Interest. DLSIJ Press, 2007.


Westlake, Donald E., and Brian Garfield.

Gangway! M. Evans and Company, 1973.


Westover, Christina.

Precipice. Black Rose Writing, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Virgil Daly | tpo |

Summary: Sometimes in a split second...kill or be killed. It is when the subconscious meets the conscious. That moment, right before you reach the summit of your dreams. For Virgil Daly, it was all of these things and more. A radio talk show host [on a San Francisco station] and passionate artist, Virgil is not sure if he is living life to its fullest. But what he does know is...someone wants him dead. Virgil learns that avoiding confrontation is not always possible, and happiness comes at a price.


Wheeler, Edward L.

Bonanza Bill, Miner, or, Madam Mystery, the Female Forger: A Tale of the City of San Francisco. Beadle and Adams, December 16, 1879.

Deadwood Dick, Jr., in San Francisco, or, Kodak Kate, the Snap Shot. Beadle and Adams, March 3, 1891.

Deadwood Dick, Jr., Still Hunt, or, The Second Round in a Romance of Baffling Mystery. Beadle and Adams, April 14, 1891.


White, Gloria.

Murder on the Run. Dell Publishing, 1991.

Money to Burn. Dell Publishing, 1993.

Charged with Guilt. Dell Publishing, 1995.

Sunset and Santiago. Dell Publishing, 1997.

Summary: Standing on the same corner in San Francisco where her parents died in a car crash twenty years ago, private eye Ronnie Ventana observes two men dumping a body in the shrubs and becomes caught in the midst of secrets from her own past.

Death Notes. Severn House, 2005.

Summary: When private investigator Ronnie Ventana invites her friend and mentor Blackie Coogan to join her at the comeback concert of Match Margolis, the greatest tenor sax and jazz composer alive, she is not expecting a final—very final—performance. Match seems to owe money all around town, but some very powerful figures illogically don’t seem to want to call in the debt. Much to the annoyance of Lieutenant Philly Post, Ronnie is retained by Sharon, Match’s flamboyant and younger second wife, and finds herself entwined with San Francisco’s shady underworld as the mystery deepens. Death strikes again, and Ronnie herself is in real danger. But from whom? And where and when will the murderer next strike?

Cry Baby. Severn House, 2006.

Summary: After a fifteen-year absence, Ronnie Ventana’s high school friend, Analisa Bugatti, turns up in San Francisco with a couple of babies in tow. During lunch at a Chinatown restaurant, Analisa vanishes, leaving Ronnie with the two kids. Is Analisa in trouble, or simply criminally irresponsible? Rather than plunge the children into the bureaucratic quagmire of Child Protective Services, Ronnie gives her friend the benefit of the doubt and temporarily stashes the kids with a grumbling Blackie Coogan while she sets out to find her friend. What she uncovers is a web of lies and failed loyalties, where the babies are the currency and not the only losers in a high stakes game of greed and need.


White, Stewart Edward.

The Gray Dawn. Doubleday, Page & Co., 1915.


White, Thomas.

The Book of Matthew: A Novel of Suspense. Ithaca, NY: McBooks Press, Inc., 2008.

Summary: Grizzled insomniac San Francisco Homicide Inspector Clemson Yao enlists the help of Angie Strachan—a San Francisco realtor who once tried and failed to become the city’s first female homicide inspector—to help him solve a series of frightening murders. The two face off against a ghoulish, black-humored serial killer who whimsically refers to his grotesque murders as ‘messies.’ Gripped by macabre obsession for a decade, he’s evolved into a grandmaster of slow, anguished death, roaming the globe to catalog the most despicable and clever methods of execution. As Clem and Angie slowly unravel the murderer’s clues, they realize he has his next victim already picked out—and it seems there is nothing they can do to stop him.


Whitney, Phyllis A.

The Trembling Hills. Appleton-Century Crofts, 1956.

The Mystery of the Green Cat. Westminster Press, 1957.


Wick, Carter. [Collin Wilcox]

The Faceless Man. Saturday Review Press, 1975.


Wiecek, Michael.

Exit Strategy. Jove Books, 2005.


Wiehe, Fred.

Night Songs. Authors Choice Press, 2001.

| setting: San Jose; Big Sur | horror | tpo | find it |

The Burning. AmErica House, 2002.

| setting: "Serenity Bay" | horror | tpo | find it |


Wilcox, Collin. [see also Pronzini, Bill]

The Black Door. Dodd, Mead, 1967.

The Third Figure. Dodd, Mead, 1968.

The Lonely Hunter. Random House, 1969.

The Disappearance. Random House, 1970.

Dead Aim. Random House, 1971.

Hiding Place. Random House, 1973.

Long Way Down. Random House, 1974.

Aftershock. Random House, 1975.

Doctor, Lawyer... Random House, 1976.

The Third Victim. Dell Publishing Co., 1976.

The Watcher. Random House, 1978.

Power Plays. Random House, 1979.

Mankiller. Random House, 1980.

Stalking Horse. Random House, 1982.

Victims. Mysterious Press, 1984.

Night Games. Mysterious Press, 1986.

The Pariah. Mysterious Press, 1988.

Bernhardt's Edge. Tom Doherty Associates, 1988.

A Death Before Dying. Henry Holt and Company, 1990.

Silent Witness. Tom Doherty Associates, 1990.

Except for the Bones. Tom Doherty Associates, 1991.

Hire a Hangman. Henry Holt and Company, 1991.

Dead Center. Henry Holt and Company, 1992.

Find Her a Grave. Forge, 1993.

Switchback. Henry Holt and Company, 1993.

Full Circle. Forge, 1994.

Summary: The San Francisco actor and part-time sleuth, Alan Bernhardt, is hired by a millionaire who has stolen works of art and wants to return them so as to save his reputation. Problem is, returning stolen goods is oftentimes harder than stealing them.

Calculated Risk. Henry Holt and Company, 1995.

Summary: In San Francisco, Lieutenant Frank Hastings investigates the death of a blackmailer who was threatening to reveal the homosexuality of a politician. The politician, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, is not cooperating and has powerful friends.


Wiley, Barry H.

Revelations of the Impossible Piddingtons. [United States]: Barry H. Wiley, 2010.

| setting: San Francisco (1895) | series character: Kyame Piddington (Adventures in Second Sight 1) | e-book |


Wiley, Hugh.

Jade, and Other Stories. Alfred A. Knopf, 1921.

Manchu Blood. Alfred A. Knopf, 1927.

The Copper Mask, and Other Stories. Alfred A. Knopf, 1932.

Murder by the Dozen: Twelve James Lee Wong Detective Stories. Popular Library, 1951.


Wilhelm, Gale.

No Letters for the Dead. Random House, 1936.

| setting: San Francisco | Baird & Greenwood 2621 | find it |

Summary: "She went forward and stood in the light steady wind and when she saw and recognized Alcatraz Island a coldness went through her but that was only an instant’s knowing and was swiftly gone. San Francisco grew steep and gray out of thin lavender haze. Gradually the water was patched with moving sunlight and gulls hung white and motionless in the air like painted birds. The boat passed under the bridge and its shadow crossed the deck and people stood looking up into the enormous pattern of steel, crowding slowly forward around Paula and looking up. She saw nothing but the haze lifting and the city growing taller and more distinct. When the boat slipped into its berth she was holding the rail tightly and through her hands she felt the heavy jar and tremble and she trembled and the boat steadied, swaying gently in the water. She was in San Francisco." Koni Tillada is in San Francisco attempting to convince his wife, Georgia, to grant him a divorce. Even though he has a child with another woman, Georgia refuses to set him free. Koni threatens to go to Mexico for the divorce and Georgia pulls out a revolver and commits suicide by shooting herself in the head. Koni, who takes time to write a letter to his lover, Paula, before calling the police is arrested as an accomplice in her death and sentenced to two years in San Quentin. Meanwhile, Paula, a professional pianist, is in New York caring for her baby, Karel, who is extremely ill. When Karel dies, she decides to move to San Francisco to be closer to Koni (he had requested that she not visit him in prison, not wanting her to see him there). Out of money and unable to get work playing piano, Paula resorts to prostitution, eventually becoming the mistress of a wealthy man who sets her up in a beautiful apartment with a view of the new Bay Bridge. Meanwhile, Paula and Koni keep up a regular correspondence, making plans for their life together after Koni is free. But, two months before he is scheduled to be released—on the very day that Paula tells her benefactor that she is leaving him—Koni is killed in an attempted prison break and Paula is forced back into her old life. Editor's note: A frank and sympathetic—although decidedly not graphic—portrayal of a woman with limited choices in life. Gale Wilhelm is best known as the author of two lesbian-themed novels, We Too Are Drifting (1934) and Torchlight to Valhalla (1938), that drew comparisons to Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness. Reprinted in paperback editions under the titles Paula (Lion, 1956) and No Nice Girl (Pyramid, 1959).


Willard, Eliza.

The Power of Three. Pocket Pulse, 1999.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Halliwell sisters (Charmed 1; based on the television series Charmed, created by Constance M. Burge) | juvenile; fantasy | pbo | find it |

Summary: Prue, Piper, and Phoebe Halliwell of San Francisco didn’t think reading a magical incantation would really work. But it did. Now Prue can move things with her mind, Piper can freeze time, and Phoebe ca see the future. They are the Charmed Ones—the most powerful of witches. But being enchanted has a price. There’s a warlock who wants to steal their powers. And he’ll do it any way he can—even if it means killing them!


Willeford, Charles.

High Priest of California. Royal Books, 1953.

Pick-Up. Beacon Books, 1955.

Wild Wives. Beacon Books, 1956. (Issued in tandem with High priest of California, which had been previously published.)


Williams, Brad, and J.W. Ehrlich.

A Conflict of Interest. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971.

A Matter of Confidence. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1973.


Williams, Charles.

Nothing in Her Way. Gold Medal Books, 1953.


Williams, H. T.

Mysteries of San Francisco. Dick & Fitzgerald, 1876.


Williams, Harry Louis, II.

Straight Outta East Oakland: If You Don't Know, You'd Better Ask Somebody. Soul Shaker Publishing, 2008.

| setting: Oakland | tpo | find it |

Summary: Firstborn Walker is a book worm who dreams of attending one of America's most competitive universities. When his best friend is shot through the forehead with a hollow tip bullet, his desire to flee the mean streets only intensifies. Unemployed, he turns to the only person who can help him secure the money he'll need to supplement his scholarship, a childhood friend known as "Drama." Drama is a charismatic, ultra-violent block hog, an East Oakland crack dealer who makes his living with a triple beam scale and an Uzi submachine gun. He assures Firstborn that he can earn the money he needs in just three months. So, Firstborn becomes a member of the Black Christmas Mob. Now the community college valedictorian must struggle to survive in a game laced with gold diggers, contract killers, hard hitters, marks, knocks, snitches and infiltrators; a world where witness tampering, blinding violence, safehouses, and a relentless cop named "the Hawk" become his new reality. Will Firstborn slip up and catch that triple life sentence? Will a vengeful gang leader called "Latin Caesar" blast a hot one through his forehead? Or will he escape the game and graduate from college?

Straight Outta East Oakland 2: Trapped on the Track. Soul Shaker Publishing, 2011.

| setting: Oakland | tpo | find it |

Summary: Crayon has been recruited by a brutal pimp named Phenomenal. She is 15 years old. Her grandmother knows only person who can save her. That individual is her late daughter Maggy's ex-boyfriend, Firstborn. Firstborn has been a year removed from his role as a crack dealer in the bloody streets of East Oakland. He lives a square life in a city where his past remains unknown. Ms. Holmes locates him and pleads with him to come back to Oakland to rescue Crayon. However, the task is easier said than done. Phenomenal is pushing a hard line in the streets. He is a head buster; a drug dealing gun runner with a hand in several illegal enterprises. Firstborn knows of only one person crazy enough to step to Phenomenal. However, he has sworn never to talk to his former best friend Drama again. Can he free Crayon from a living death on the track? Will Firstborn be forced to reunite with the Black Christmas Mob? Will he be dragged down into the depths of hood life never to emerge again?


Williams, Mark London.

Dino Sword. Tricycle Press, 2001.

| setting: San Francisco (1941) | series character: Eli Sands (Danger Boy 2) | juvenile; fantasy | Re-issued as Dragon sword. Cambridge, Mass.: Candlewick Press, 2004 | find it |


Williams, Mary Floyd.

Fortune, Smile Once More! The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1946.


Williams-Fisher, Victoria.

Pescadero Creek. Mirror Publishing, 2010.

| setting: Pescadero/Pacifica | series characters: Rob McAllister and Morgan Warren | tpo | find it |

Summary: Pescadero Creek, near Pacifica, California is the location of a watery grave for beautiful young women who have been raped and strangled to death, and not necessarily in that order. When the bodies of these young women begin surfacing in Pescadero Creek, Special Agent Rob McAllister, the Melvin Purvis of his day, and Dr. Morgan Warren, a young inexperienced Medical Examiner are thrown together to bring the killer of the five-year murder spree to justice. However, while working closely together, they fall deeply in love and unbeknownst to them become targets of the killer themselves. In a town that is already laden with scandal, keeping their romance a secret proves to be just as much of a challenge as cracking the case. As Rob and Morgan strive to find the killer, she proves to be as valuable to him as his lover as she is in solving the crime. Both are faced with the inevitable, what happens to their relationship when the case is solved?

Undercover. Mirror Publishing, 2011.

| setting: Pescadero/Pacifica | series characters: Rob McAllister and Morgan Warren (Pescadero Creek series 2) | tpo | find it |

Remembering. Mirror Publishing, 2012.

| setting: Pescadero/Pacifica | series characters: Rob McAllister and Morgan Warren (Pescadero Creek series 3) | tpo |


Willoughby, Lee Davis.

The Barbary Coasters. Dell Publishing Co., 1983.

Summary: Jean LeClair was a dangerous man, a convicted murderer who ruled San Francisco’s Barbary Coast with an iron fist, destroying anything that stood in his path, leaving countless victims in his wake. When young Beau Ashton, a battle-scarred Southern aristocrat, came to this savage country in 1862 with his beautiful fiancée, Amoreena, he found himself at odds with the all-powerful despot. Challenging the might of the infamous LeClair, Beau was soon caught up in a brutal struggle for life, land and love that would climax in a towering passion, and change for all time the face of the wild Barbary Coast. Editor's note: The 36th volume in the author's The Making of America Series.


Wilson, Gar.

Welcome to the Feast. Worldwide, 1985. (Phoenix Force #17)


Wilson, Lee. [Laura Elizabeth Lemmon]

This Deadly Dark. Dodd, Mead & Company, 1946.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |

Summary: Matt Foster, police reporter for the San Francisco Globe, receives an anonymous tip about the recent murder of local merchant Albert Farrel that has all of the newsmen scrambling for scoops. He goes to meet the source and is viciously attacked and blinded by a knife-wielding assailant. The tipster, a young man named Spud Hollis who had been fired by Farrel, is quickly arrested for the murder and attack. Even though Foster is convinced of Spud’s guilt, he agrees to keep investigating at the insistence of R.B. Clancy, a new girl in town, up from Los Angeles where she works for a Hollywood news magazine. In order to get closer to the dead man’s family and associates, he moves into the rooming house where the suspiciously un-grieving widow is living. With Clancy acting as his eyes, Foster begins to suspect that Spud is being set up as the fall guy as he uncovers details about Farrel’s involvement with a local gangster in a numbers racket. Foster is able to turn his disability into an advantage during the climactic fight with the killer in a darkened, windowless room.


Wilson, John Morgan. [see Duchin, Peter.]


Wings, Mary.

She Came in a Flash. Women's Press, 1988; New American Library, 1989.

She Came by the Book. Women's Press, 1995; Berkley Prime Crime, 1996.

Summary: In San Francisco, the opening of a lesbian and gay archive is interrupted by the poisoning of its director. Suspects include a lesbian writer who hated the director for trying to steal her partner. PI Emma Victor investigates.

She Came to the Castro. Women's Press, 1997; Berkley Prime Crime, 1997.

Summary: Lesbian private investigator Emma Victor of San Francisco is hired to retrieve a compromising videotape of a mayoral candidate. The assignment deteriorates into a gunfight, the blackmailer is killed, and the ransom money and videotape disappear.

She Came in Drag. Berkley Prime Crime, 1999.

Summary: Halloween is creeping up on San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood, setting the stage perfectly for mischief, mayhem—and murder. Plied by a large donation to the Women’s Cancer Information Center, Dr. Rita Huelga has outed her now-famous high school sweetheart—rock diva Audra Léon—on a national trash TV talk show. Once Rita starts getting death threats, it’s P.I. Emma Victor on bodyguard duty. But as Emma gets to know the headstrong research scientist better, she is convinced that there must have been more to Rita’s motives than meets the eye. And when a third party is murdered, Emma finds herself unraveling a plot that started years before. As factions—from the Lesbian Revengers to an army of Audra Léon drag queen look-alikes—gather to mark All Hallow’s Eve, Emma has an agenda of her own—preparing for a trick that promises no treat


Winslow, Don.

The Trail to Buddha's Mirror. St. Martin's Press, 1992.


Winter-Damon, T., and Randy Chandler.

Duet for the Devil. Necro Publications, 2000.

Summary: A brutal and grim tale of the Zodiac Killer, serial slayers, drugs, dark gods, black magicks, detectives, and a dog—a road trip to oblivion.


Wirt, Mildred A.

Through the Moon-Gate Door. Cupples and Leon Company, 1938.

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown) | series: A Mystery Story for Girls 5 | juvenile | find it |


Witter, L. J.

Tenderloin. Self-published, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco (Tenderloin | tpo | find it |

Summary: Tenderloin; besides being a cut of beef is also the name of a particular neighborhood in San Francisco. It was -- and still is -- a colorful place where hard working folk rub elbows with prostitutes, druggies, and the homeless. The story, "Tenderloin" focuses on two of the many homeless folks in the Tenderloin...an ex-cop; Danny Brogan, and an ex-College Professor, James "Smitty" Smith. Tenderloin tells of these two desperate souls as they struggle to survive their environment. It is also a story of a demented soul who being a third generation San Franciscan finds the state of the Tenderloin intolerable and employs brutal methods to 'cleanse' his beloved City! Nick Pelligrini is a young, aggressive, Homicide, Detective. A fan of Sherlock Holmes he longs for the case whereby he can emulate his hero. In essence: Tenderloin is the story of conflicting personalities, characters and morals, which intersperse as in vortex.


Wohlforth, Tim.

No Time to Mourn. Quiet Storm Publishing, 2004.

| setting: Oakland (Jack London Square) | series character: Jim Wolf | tpo | Re-issued: [Ashland, Or.]: Krill Press, 2012 | find it |

Summary: Susan has come to Big Emma’s on Oakland’s Jack London Square to hire PI Jim Wolf to find her husband’s killer—and to protect her from a man called Red. Wolf takes her case, but Susan is soon murdered. Then an attempt is made on Wolf’s life ... and the hunter becomes the hunted. With the help of two very different but important women in his life, Lori Mazzetti, his former lover whom he can no longer live with but can’t seem to survive without, and Connie Hernandez, an investigative reporter for the Oakland Tribune, Wolf sets out to track Red down. Now it’s personal. The bullets fly and the blood flows, but Wolf is just getting started.

Epitaph for Emily. Krill Press, 2013.

| setting: Oakland (Jack London Square) | series character: Jim Wolf | tpo | find it |

The Curse of the Chameleon. Krill Press, 2014.

| setting: Oakland (Jack London Square); San Francisco | series character: Jim Wolf | tpo | find it |


Wolfe, Susan.

The Last Billable Hour. St. Martin's Press, 1989.

Escape Velocity. Steelkit Press, 2016.

| setting: Silicon Valley | tpo | find it |

Summary: Georgia Griffin has just arrived in Silicon Valley from Piney, Arkansas, on very bald tires, having firmly rejected her beloved father's life as a con artist. Her father is in jail and a certain minister is hugging her mother for Jesus while eyeing Georgia's little sister, Katie-Ann. Georgia desperately needs to keep her new job as a paralegal for Lumina Softward so she can provide a California haven for her sister before it's too late. While she's still living in her car, Georgia realizes that incompetence and self-dealing have a death grip on her new company. She decides to adapt her extensive con artist training -- just once -- to clean up the company. But success is seductive. Soon Georgia is an avid paralegal by day and a masterful con artist by night, using increasingly bold gambits designed to salvage Lumina Software. Then she steps into the shadow of a real crime and must decide: Will she risk her job, the roof over her sister's head, and perhaps her very soul?


Wonderling, Larry.

The Ultimate Evil. Cape Foundation Publications, 2005.


Wood, K.M.

Death by Revelation. Sequoia Press, 2013.

| setting: San Francisco; Berkeley; Venice Beach | tpo | find it |

Summary: In the shadows of a derelict beachfront apartment, a woman finds the crouching form of her cousin, dead by her own hand. But what brought about the decision to die? The irrational promptings are the ones that can lead to the deepest truths, and for Bella Marx, these are bound up with a disturbing sense that someone -- a person unknown -- was involved in this most final of decisions. A story within the story leads to ambiguities, uncertainties, and questions of identity that are the conditions of Bella’s search. From Venice Beach to Berkeley and San Francisco's western edge, she follows a tenuous thread of taunting and sinister clues in a journey of revenge and self-discovery. Suicide can be murder.


Wood, Simon.

Working Stiffs. Blue Cubicle Press, 2006.

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

Summary: A volume of short crime stories set in the milieu of the working world. Three of the stories, “A Break in the Old Routine,” “Officer Down,” and “The Fall Guy” (actually, a novella) take place in the San Francisco Bay Area. Welcome to the working week.

Paying the Piper. Leisure Books, 2007.

| setting: San Francisco | pbo | find it |

We All Fall Down. Leisure Books, 2008.

| setting: Marin County | pbo | find it |

Terminated. Leisure Books, 2010.

| setting: South Bay | pbo | find it |

The Fall Guy. Comet Press, 2011.

| setting: East Bay | tpo |

The One That Got Away. Thomas & Mercer, 2015.

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

Deceptive Practices. Thomas & Mercer, 2016.

| setting: East Bay | tpo | find it |

Summary: Olivia Shaw grew up poor on the wrong side of the tracks, but with her thriving real estate practice and a solid marriage, her life finally feels stable.... until she discovers her husband is cheating. Enraged, her sister offers a solution: Infidelity Limited, a firm that promises to rough up her husband and scare him straight. Overnight, Olivia's life is upended as she, like all of Infidelity Limited's clients, is drawn into a dark web of blackmail and murder. Now, Olivia is emerging as a prime suspect in her husband's death. As a dogged detective closes in, she has only one option -- take down Infidelity Limited before it's too late.

Saving Grace. Thomas & Mercer, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco | series characters: Fleetwood and Shiels (2) (sequel to: Paying the Piper) | tpo | find it |

Summary: Former reporter Scott Fleetwood and his family are still recovering after tangling with a notorious kidnapper, the Piper, when another kidnapper grips the city. The Shepherd has snatched a young girl from a vacationing family. Other than money, he has one demand: he'll talk only to Scott. Special Agent Tom Sheils is on the case and will watch over Scott every step of the way. The Shepherd promises the girl's safety as long as Scott follows the rules of his game. Forced to trail the kidnapper's twisting lead -- and haunted by the last victim he failed to save -- Scott is desperate to keep the past from making a brutal comeback. But just when Scott and Sheils think they're winning and that it will all be over soon, the Shepherd ups the stakes. Scott begins to realize he's a pawn in a scheme that runs deeper than greed...and colder than death.


Wood, Simon, and Robert Pratten.

Lowlifes. Zen Films, 2011.

| setting: San Francisco | tpo | find it |

Summary: Larry Hayes is a San Francisco Police Detective who thinks his life has already hit rock bottom. He’s lost his family to divorce and he’s clinging to his career by a thread. All this stems from a painkiller addiction he can’t kick that he picked up from an on-the-job injury. But there’s another level for Hayes to fall as he finds out when he wakes up in an alley after a bad trip with no memory of the last four hours. He thinks this is the wakeup call he needs to turn his life around, his problems intensify when he receives a call from a homicide inspector. Hayes’ informant, a homeless man named Noble Jon, lies dead two blocks away, beaten and stabbed. The eerie pang of guilt seeps into Hayes. During his lost four hours, he’s been in a fight. His knuckles are bruised and there’s blood under his fingernails. Is he Jon’s killer? The mounting evidence says so. To add insult to injury, his wife has employed a P.I. to dig up dirt on him to ensure she gets sole custody of their daughter. Hayes mounts an off-the-books investigation and disappears amongst the city’s homeless community to stay one step ahead of a murder charge.


Woolrich, Cornell.

Rendezvous in Black. Walter J. Black, 1948.


Worley, William.

My Dead Wife. Simon and Schuster, 1948.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |


Wren, Richard L.

Casey's Slip. Poor Richard Publishers, 2010.

| setting: Oakland | tpo | find it |

Summary: In Oakland, Casey, a young self-proclaimed sailboat bum, is unexpectedly charged with a murder when he delivers a boat to the wrong slip. Trying to prove his innocence he gets entangled with crooked cops, motorcycle gangs, murderers, and kidnappers.

Joshua's Revenge. Poor Richard Publishers, 2012.

| setting: San Francisco (Chinatown); Yosemite National Park | series character: Joshua Rogan | tpo | find it |

Summary: Joshua is a world renowned Martial Arts expert working as a Yosemite Park Ranger. He is assigned the task of finding and eliminating a Chinese gang that is killing and eviscerating Yosemite Park bears for Chinese medicine and that have killed his Ranger partner. The chase ranges from the back woods of Yosemite to the back alleys of San Francisco’s Chinatown. Kidnappings, murders, gang warfare and treachery challenge Joshua’s Ninja and Karate expertise as well as his mental creativity. It's one man against several gangs. Twists and turns abound as Joshua tries to solve the case and save his own hide.

Justice for Joshua. Poor Richard Publishers, 2014.

| setting: Oakland; Yosemite National Park | series character: Joshua Rogan | tpo | find it |

Summary: Enraged by the senseless shooting of his wife and baby daughter in Oakland, Joshua vows to use all his martial arts expertise to track down the gang responsible. The police are uncooperative, the gang is vicious, connected and willing to torture and threaten death to him. Can a Yosemite Park Ranger defeat a sociopath and his gang that kill for kicks?


Wright, Bradley.

Old Gold Mountain. Black Opal Books, 2018.

| setting: San Francisco; France | tpo | find it |

Summary: Justin Vincent is a San Francisco based artist who leads a secret double life as a cat burglar. He likes the freedom, money, and self-determination his unusual career provides but also increasingly feels that it is a life he fell into by accident. When a valuable painting is stolen from his lover, Valerie, Justin agrees to use his underworld contacts and knowledge of the black market to help. The search leads him to an antiquities dealer who has fallen on hard times and a mysterious European middle man. With the help of his friend Ashna, a skilled hacker, and Gabrielle, owner of an art gallery in Nice, Justin gathers clues that lead him to a mysterious chateau in the South of France and a dangerous web of secrets and lies. To escape with his life and complete his objective, Justin's skill, luck, and perseverance will be tested to their utmost limit.


Wuamett, Victor.

Teardown. St. Martin's Press, 1990.

| setting: San Jose | series character: Chase Randel | find it |

Summary: In San Jose, California, Chase Randel, a real estate broker and recovering alcoholic, plans to turn the Pioneer Building, a deserted downtown “teardown,” into a chic nightspot that will earn him a quick half-million dollar proft and instant respectability. When Ed Bailey, his longtime friend and former owner of the old building, is found murdered at the bottom of an elevator shaft, Randel, along with spunky reporter Molly Gish, who becomes his lover, assumes the dual role of broker and sleuth in an attempt to solve his friend’s murder.

Deeds of Trust. St. Martin's Press, 1991.

| setting: San Jose | series character: Chase Randel | MRJ | find it |


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