Tag Archives: San Francisco

SF Booklist (Adult) – Detective

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Detective and Private Investigator mysteries set in San Francisco. Anything in italics is reflective of a series of books featuring the same character. Most mysteries tend to come in series, so don’t be surprised to find other titles by the same authors when browsing at the bookstore.

  1. JL Abramo
    1. Jake Diamon Series
  2. Charles Alverson
    1. Not Sleeping, Just Dead
  3. Diane Anderson-Minshall
    1. Blind Eye Mystery series
  4. William Babula
    1. St. John series
  5. Donald Bain
    1. Martini’s and Mayhem: Murder She Wrote
  6. David Berlinski
    1. Aaron Asherfield series
  7. Meredith Blevins
    1. The Red Hot Empress
  8. Kelly Bradford
    1. Footprints
  9. Richard Brautigan
    1. Dreaming of Babylon
  10. Kate Bryan
    1. Murder on the Barbary Coast
  11. Robin Burcell
    1. Face of a Killer
  12. Dorothy Byrant
    1. Killing Wonder
  13. Chad Calhoun
    1. The Frisco Lady
  14. Jerry Jay Carroll
    1. Inhuman Beings
  15. Michael Castleman
    1. The Lost Gold of San Francisco & Other Works
  16. Whitman Chambers
    1. Dog Eat Dog & Other Works
  17. Leonard Chang
    1. Fade to Clear
  18. Mark Coggins
    1. August Riordan series
  19. Curtis Christopher Comer
    1. Blake Danzig Chronicles
  20. Catherine Coulter
    1. FBI Series & Other Works
  21. Pamela Cranston
    1. The Madonna Murders
  22. James Dalessandro
    1. Bohemian Heart
  23. Kenn Davis
    1. Melting Point
  24. Kyra Davis
    1. Sophie Katz series
  25. Janet Dawson
    1. Jeri Howard Mysteries
  26. Dianne Day
    1. Fremont Jones Mysteries
  27. John E. Douglas
    1. Broken Wings
  28. Stella Duffy
    1. Wavewalker
  29. David Feeney
    1. A Skeleton in the Closet
  30. Denny Martin Flinn
    1. San Francisco Kills
  31. Raymond Fraser
    1. A Change Called Death
  32. James Frey
    1. Came a Dead Cat
  33. Anderson Gabrych
    1. Fogtown
  34. Meg Gardiner
    1. The Dirty Secrets Club
  35. Danielle Girard
    1. Savage Art
  36. Herbert Gold
    1. She Took My Arm As If She Loved Me
  37. Lee Goldberg
    1. Mr. Monk series
  38. Steven Gore
    1. Final Target
  39. Joe Gores
    1. Daniel Kearny Associates & Other Works
  40. Ron Goulart
    1. Ghost Breaker
  41. Linda Grant
    1. Catherine Saylor Series
  42. Stephen Greenleaf
    1. John Marshall Tanner Series
  43. Dashiell Hammett
    1. The Maltese Falcon & Other Works
  44. Dorothy Hannah
    1. Come and Be Killed
  45. TC Harbaugh
    1. The Boy Detectives
  46. John Haskett
    1. Policy Terminated
  47. Edward Hurlbut
    1. Lanagan
  48. Marian Jackson
    1. The Cat’s Eye
  49. Jonnie Jacobs
    1. Kate Austen Mysteries
  50. Bret Austin Jones
    1. Nest of Vipers
  51. Stuart Kaminsky
    1. Poor Butterfly
  52. HRF Keating
    1. Murder by Death
  53. Jerry Kennealy
    1. Nick Polo Mysteries
  54. Laurie R. King
    1. Mary Russell Mysteries & and the Kate Martinelli Mysteries
  55. Andrew Klavan
    1. Weiss & Bishop Mysteries
  56. Chris Larsgaard
    1. The Heir Hunter
  57. John T. Lescroat
    1. Dismas Hardy Series
  58. Will Lee
    1. Cobalt
  59. Hailey Lind
    1. Anne Kincaid Mysteries
  60. Margaret Locke
    1. A Relative Stranger
  61. Lisa Lutz
    1. The Spellman’s Strike Again
  62. Jack Lynch
    1. Bragg series
  63. Tim Maleeny
    1. Cape Weathers Mysteries
  64. Peter Marvalis
    1. San Francisco Noir 1 & 2
  65. Derek Marlowe
    1. Somebody’s Sister
  66. Sujata Massey
    1. The Samurai’s Daughter
  67. Ross McDonald
    1. The Way Some People Die
  68. Melisa C. Michaels
    1. Through the Eyes of the Dead & Cold Iron series
  69. John Miller
    1. San Francisco Thrillers
  70. Richard Morgan
    1. Altered Carbon
  71. Patricia Morrison
    1. Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Filmore
  72. Marcia Muller
    1. Sharon MaCone series
  73. Jim Nisbet
    1. The Damned Don’t Die
  74. Carol O’Marie
    1. Sister Mary Helen Series
  75. Diana Orgain
    1. Kate Connelly Series
  76. Elane Osborn
    1. A Season to Believe
  77. Richard North Patterson
    1. Conviction
  78. Linda Lee Patterson
    1. Edited to Death
  79. Elizabeth Pincus
    1. Nell Fury Mysteries
  80. CE Poverman
    1. On the Edge
  81. Bill Pronzini
    1. The Nameless Detective Series
  82. William Rivera
    1. Panic Walks Alone
  83. Lora Roberts
    1. Murder Follows Money
  84. Alan Russell
    1. No Sign of Murder
  85. Eugene Sawyer
    1. The Coleraine Tragedy
  86. Leslie Scalapino
    1. Dahlia’s Iris
  87. Harry Schezade
    1. The Mystery of Eve
  88. Barry Shannon
    1. The Bold Stroke
  89. Robert Sharpe
    1. The City of Love and Pain & Other Works
  90. Roger Simon
    1. The Big Fix
  91. Carla Simpson
    1. Seduced
  92. Jack Spicker
    1. The Train of Thought
  93. Domenic Stansberry
    1. Dante Mancuso series
  94. Arne Sultan
    1. Hart in San Francisco
  95. Mariann Tadmoor
    1. Murder in San Francisco
  96. Jean Taylor
    1. The Last of Her Lies
  97. Ronald Tierney
    1. Paladino & Lang Mystery & other works
  98. Jim Thompson
    1. Ironside
  99. William Viharo
    1. Love Stories are Too Violent for Me

100. Bob Weaving

The Cull

101. Pat Welch

Still Waters

102. BJ West

Fog City Nocturne

103. Gloria White

Ronnie Ventana Mysteries

104. Collin Wilcox

Hire a Hangman

105. Hugh Wiley

Murder by the Dozen

106. Mary Wings

Emma Victor Series

107. Larry Wonderling

The Ultimate Evil

108. Gil Van Wyck

Simon Purvis

109. William Vollman

The Royal Family

110. Fred Zackel

Cocaine and Blue Eyes


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  1. William Viharo
    1. Love Stories are Too Violent for Me

2. Bob Weaving

    1. The Cull

3. Pat Welch

    1. Still Waters

4. BJ West

    1. Fog City Nocturne

5. Gloria White

    1. Ronnie Ventana Mysteries

6. Collin Wilcox

    1. Hire a Hangman

7. Hugh Wiley

    1. Murder by the Dozen

8. Mary Wings

    1. Emma Victor Series

9. Larry Wonderling

    1. The Ultimate Evil

10. Gil Van Wyck

    1. Simon Purvis

11. William Vollman

    1. The Royal Family

12. Fred Zackel

    1. Cocaine and Blue Eyes

SF Booklist (Adult) Sci-fi/Fantasy

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Time travel, rock star elves, death, vampires and werewolves all plague San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area cities in this collection of works by Bay Area authors. I highly recommend the Christopher Moore titles…since those are the only ones I’ve read off this list.


  1. Erin Allen
    1. Another Foot in the Grave
  2. David Skibbins
    1. Eight of Swords
  3. Sara Gerstle
    1. Four Ghost Stories
  4. Christopher Moore
    1. A Dirty Job
  5. Melisa C. Michaels
    1. Cold Iron & Other Works
  6. Michael Shea
    1. Copping Squid and other Mythos Tales
  7. William Irwin Thompson
    1. Islands Out of Time: Memoirs of the Last Days of Atlantis, a Metafiction
  8. Laurie Ann Fox
    1. The Lost Girls
  9. Ann Zavala
    1. San Francisco Gold
  10. Jean Fitzgerald
    1. The Golden Gate Bridge Troll


  1. JR Levitt
    1. Unleashed & Other Works
  2. TA Patt
    1. Blood Engines


  1. William Gibson
    1. All Tomorrow’s Parties
  2. Sonia Singh
    1. Ghost, Interrupted
  3. Ron Goulart
    1. After things Fell Apart
  4. Brian Herbert
    1. Prisoners of Arionn
  5. Lisa Mason
    1. Cyberweb & Other Works
  6. John Shirley
    1. City Come a Walkin


  1. Amelia Beamer
    1. The Loving Dead
  2. Edo Van Belkom
    1. Wyrm Wolf
  3. Saje Williams
    1. Tales from Magitech Lounge
  4. John Shirley
    1. Demons
  5. Meljean Brook
    1. Demon Angel
  6. Allyson James
    1. The Black Dragon
  7. Mercedes Lackey
    1. The Fire Rose
  8. RA Ruetter
    1. Lycanthropes and Leeches


  1. Jon Cory
    1. A Plague of Scoundrels
  2. Stephan Dedman
    1. Foreign Bodies
  3. David Rey Echt
    1. Messenger From the Summer of Love
  4. Guillaume Musso
    1. Will You Be There
  5. Susan Squires
    1. Mists of Time
  6. James Swanson
    1. The Stuff Dreams are Made Of
  7. Brad Linaweaver
    1. Sliders: A Novel


  1. Dodie Bellamy
    1. The Letters of Mina Harker
  2. M Christian
    1. The Very Bloody Marys’
  3. Linda Grant
    1. Vampire Bytes
  4. Keith Herber
    1. Dark Prince & Prince of the City
  5. Christopher Moore
    1. Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story
  6. Christopher Moore
    1. You Suck: A Love Story
  7. Christopher Moore
    1. Bite Me: A Love Story
  8. Elaine Moore
    1. Retribution
  9. Clare Willis
    1. Once Bitten
  10. Mary Wolfman
    1. The Curse of Dracula


  1. Felicia Andrews
    1. Moon Witch
  2. Ann Zavala
    1. Crystals
  3. Cameron Dokey
    1. Haunted by Desire (Charmed TV Show)
  4. Elizabeth Lenhard
    1. Charmed Again (Charmed TV Show)

Divisadero – Review

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Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje

Age: Adult

Divisadero tells the the story of a widowed father raising his two teenage girls on a farm in Northern California along with the help of a young man named Coop. Spanning multiple decades, this is a story of a family divided by violence, love and passion. The story spans not only decades, but also miles. The story begins in Petaluma, takes us through the seedy gambling back rooms of Nevada and Las Vegas and into the serene countryside of France.

Divisadero means “division” and that theme is laid out through the novel in various forms. Divisions among families, among boundaries, state lines and emotional connections. The chapters jump from third person to first person, which can be a little confusing at first, figuring out who is narrating. The novel is beautifully written and the characters are  fully dysfunctional. Although the book is set during a specific time frame, it feels ageless to me. As if the events in this book could happen to anyone, anywhere and at anytime. I found the two sisters, Anna and Claire, to be incredibly boring, Anna more than Claire. Although I felt that Coop is the most interesting character in the entire book, I found the gypsy family in France to be intriguing as well. I think Ondaatje could probably write another novel based solely on Part 3 of this book.

A friend recommended this book, particularly because of the poetic prose and the descriptions of the Bay Area, which I loved, and wished there was more of. I took my time reading this book, and I think it was meant to be read that way.

Extras —

There is a great interview with Ondaajte from 2009 with Robert Haas, where he discusses the book during a Story Hour with the UC Berekely English Department.

By Michael Ondaatje
Alfred A Knopf, 2009
ISBN 9780307266354
273 pages


Find this book at your local library


You Suck – Review

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You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Age: Adult

**********SPOILER ALERT***********

This review may contain spoilers for Bloodsucking Fiends.

Read with caution.


Waking up to find out that the love of his life turned him into a vampire, Thomas C. Flood and Jody embark on a crazy adventure trying to reestablish their lives as a vampire couple in San Francisco.

The summary is a bit lame, I admit. A lot of little things happened in this book, which makes it hard to sum it up in a couple of sentences. Tommy has been turned into a vampire by Jody. As Tommy attempts to understand and deal with his new situation, a number of obstacles get in the way of his happiness with Jody. With their new minion, Abby Normal; The Animals back and more wild and crazy than before; and the constant threat of Elijah coming back to stalk them, Tommy and Jody try to navigate a new life together.

Again, Moore does not disappoint with this sequel. Its funnier than the first, and the characters are more developed, eccentric and very true to the colorful characters of San Francisco.

I love that this book is set in San Francisco and that Moore includes the Emperor as a significant character. For those that are not familiar with San Francisco’s history, the Emperor, also known as Joshua Abraham Norton, declared himself the Emperor of the United States in 1859.

Although mentally unstable, Norton was humored by residents of San Francisco with his delusions.  He made such an impact that even Mark Twain paid homage by modeling the character of the King after Norton in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Twain lived in San Francisco for a brief period during Norton’s reign.

Tommy is still my favorite character, although Abby Normal is a lovable yet creepy goth child who never quite understands the complete danger her life is in throughout the book. Chapters are written from her perspective, and those are the delightful and a great change of pace from the constant battles of Tommy and Jody.

Moore will be coming to the Bay Area to do a reading of the third book in this series, Bite Me in a couple of weeks. I just acquired a copy of his newest book and I can’t wait to sink my teeth into it (corny pun fully intended).

You Suck: A Love Story
by Christopher Moore
William Morrow, 2007
ISBN 9780060590291
328 pages


Find this book at your local library

My reviews of other Christopher Moore titles

Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story – Review

Fool – Review

Tales of the City – Review

A Novel (P.S.)

First Line

Mary Ann Singleton was twenty-five years old when she saw San Francisco for the first time.

The Review

Well, for starters, the opening line of Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin did not give away much of the plot or provide much of a thesis for the story as other novels usually do. The opening line, does however lay the setting for the novel. San Fransisco, and as you keep reading, you find that it is San Fransisco in the 1970s. Although the story starts with Mary Ann’s decision to move to San Francisco at age 25, leaving her home in Cleveland, she is not the central character in this book. San Francisco is a city filled with friends-of-a-friend, that seem to be loosely linked to Mary Ann in one way or another. The central characters revolve around the residents of 28 Barbary Lane; Mona, Brian, Michael (also known affectionately as Mouse), and their landlady, Mrs. Madrigal. As the first book in a series of seven books, Tales of the City simply sets up the scene and characters. For the most part, this book is story of a group of 20-year-olds looking for love, gay or straight love, in San Francisco. There are no clearly defined good guys or bad guys, there didn’t seem to be much conflict or climax in the first book. Towards the end there was a mystery revolving Mary Ann and one of the tenants, Norman Neal Williams, but I felt that the ending wrapped up a little too neatly and the mystery wasn’t very well laid out. There characters are all pretty self-involved, so there wasn’t any one character that stood out from the pack. However, I was interested enough to read the second book in the series, More Tales of the City. I am very glad I kept reading because the sequel is more detailed and well formed than the first book. That just leaves me to confirm that the first book was meant to be an introduction to the characters, and the mysterious Normal Neal Williams was an added element only to create some form of conflict in an otherwise plain story of finding love and acceptance in the city. Each chapter is about two to three pages in length, and tells the story of one of the ten main characters. The characters range from all sorts of personalities and ethnicities that seem to be the core representations of San Francisco. The hippie feminists, the closet gay men, the openly gay men, etc.

My only complaint with the book is that it was written in the 1970s, so therefore, many of the pop culture references, and there were many, would frequently go over my head, so I’d have to stop reading and look up the actors, plays, musicals, scattered throughout the novel. If you lived in San Francisco in the 70s, then this would be a choice read, as you will recognize the locations and many of the references Maupin refers to throughout the course of the novel.


Tales of the City
Armistead Maupin
Harper Perennial, 1978
ISBN 0061358302
371 pages


Find this book at your local library

Buy this book from Better World Books

Buy this book from Amazon