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Page history last edited by Randal Brandt 3 years, 5 months ago

Queen, Ellery. [Jack Vance]

The Four Johns. Pocket Books, 1964.

| setting: Berkeley (University of California); Concord; San Francisco (Telegraph Hill); Madera | pbo | Hubin; Currey p. 498 | find it |

Summary: This annoyingly implausible yet also annoyingly predictable yarn finds University of California, Berkeley, Ph.D. candidate and wanna-be assistant professor Mervyn Gray trying to discover the murderer of a co-ed whose body he has found in the trunk of his car. He does not notify the police for fear of not being considered for a teaching position. Suspects include four men named “John”: an accountant, a university librarian, a fashion photographer from San Francisco, and a “beatnik” poet. Locales include the U.C. Berkeley campus, the Claremont Hotel, Telegraph and Ashby Avenues, houses in the Berkeley hills, suburban Concord, and San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill; Gray also makes a quick trip to Madera in the San Joaquin Valley. Written by science-fiction author Jack Vance under the “Ellery Queen” pseudonym. (M.B.)

A Room to Die In. Pocket Books, 1965.

| setting: San Francisco (Sunset District; St. Francis Hotel); Marin County (“Inisfail”) | pbo | Currey p. 500 | find it |

Summary: Ann Nelson, a disaffected elementary school teacher in San Francisco’s Sunset District, is not especially perturbed when she is notified that her father—from whom she has been estranged for some time—has died, but she is convinced that his violent death is not suicide, but should be deemed murder even though it has taken place in a securely locked room. While investigating the substantial sum of money she will inherit (and inadvertently, her father’s death), she meets neighbors and acquaintances in her father’s Marin County neighborhood (in the fictional town of Inisfail, ten miles from San Rafael on a road along the flanks of Mount Tamalpais), including an architect, a building contractor, a chess champion, and a bibliophile. The action is based in Marin and San Francisco, including a brief stint at the St. Francis Hotel and a mention of the Blue Fox restaurant. Written by science-fiction author Jack Vance under the “Ellery Queen” pseudonym.


Quentin, Patrick. [Richard Wilson Webb and Hugh Callingham Wheeler]

Puzzle for Puppets. Simon & Schuster, 1944.

| setting: San Francisco | series character: Peter Duluth | Baird & Greenwood 2539; Hubin; Herron | find it |

Summary: Lt. Peter Duluth, a young naval officer on weekend leave in San Francisco during World War II, only briefly settled into his hard-to-get hotel room on Union Square with his movie-star wife when events arise that lead him to be framed for murder. The story includes “wild pursuits through the dark streets of San Francisco’s Chinatown and the backstage alleys of a circus” -- not to mention a pachyderm with a grudge. (M.B.)


Quinn, Terry.

The Great Bridge Conspiracy. St. Martin’s, 1979.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |


Quirk, Joe.

The Ultimate Rush. Rob Weisbach Books/William Morrow and Company, Inc., 1998.

| setting: San Francisco | Hubin | find it |

Summary: In San Francisco, a roller-blade delivery man who is a computer hacker at night, cracks a fraudulent stock operation by his courier service. The crooks who run it come after him and he must flee with his punk girlfriend.

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