Editor’s note: This page is under construction.

* = Author’s own/official websites

Chester Aaron
Dates: b. 1923
Website(s): *

J.L. Abramo
Full name: Joseph L. Abramo
Dates: b. July 23, 1947
Bay Area series character(s): Jake Diamond (3 novels)
Note: Born in Brooklyn, New York; first novel, Catching Water in a Net, won the Private Eye Writers of America award for Best First Private Eye Novel in 2000.
Website(s): *

Mark Abramson
Website(s): *

Rick Acker
Note: Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice; lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Website(s): *

Alina Adams
Website(s): *

Chandra Adams
Note: Chandra Adams is a California native. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Clark Atlanta University where she received an MBA. Throughout her career she has instructed English part-time. Chandra lives in Northern California.

Cleve F. Adams
Full name: Cleve Franklin Adams; pseuds.: John Spain, Franklin Charles (joint pseud. with Robert Leslie Bellum)
Dates: 1895-1949
Series character(s): Rex McBride (1 set in San Francisco); John J. Shannon
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Cleve+F

Kim Addonizio
Website(s): *

Albert W. Aiken
Dates: b. ca. 1846
Note: Born in Boston; popular author of dime novels published by Beadle & Adams under his own name and numerous pseudonyms.
Website(s): House of Beadle & Adams Online (Northern Illinois University Libraries):

Karl Alexander
Website(s): * | Wikipedia *

Jennifer Allison
Series character(s): Gilda Joyce (4 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Charles Alverson
Full name: Charles Elgin Alverson
Dates: b. Oct. 13, 1935
Bay Area series character(s): Joe Goodey (2 novels)
Website(s): Wikipedia: | ChasOnline (featuring “An Unauthorized Autobiography”): *

Poul Anderson
Full name: Poul William Anderson; pseuds.: A.A. Craig, Michael Karageorge, Winston P. Sanders
Dates: November 25, 1926-July 31, 2001
Bay Area series character(s): Trygve Yamamura (3 novels)
Note: One of the most prolific and popular writers in science fiction; won numerous awards, including 7 Hugo Awards, 3 Nebula Awards, and was named a Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Writers of America for a lifetime of distinguished achievement. Wrote 3 mystery novels featuring a Norwegian-Japanese private detective working in Berkeley.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Internet Speculative Fiction db: | Fantastic Fiction: | Thrilling Detective (Trygve Yamamura):

Diane & Jacob Anderson-Minshall
Bay Area series character(s): Yoshi Yakamota (Blind Eye Mystery series) (3 novels)
Website(s): * | Wikipedia (Diane): | Wikipedia (Jacob):

Frank Archer (pseud.)
Real name: Richard O’Connor; other pseuds.: John Burke, Patrick Wayland
Dates: 1915-1975
Bay Area series character(s): Joe Delaney (3 novels)
Other series character(s): Lloyd Nicholson [as Patrick Wayland]

Miles Archer (pseud.)
Real name: Richard Posner
Bay Area series character(s): Doug McCool (2 novels)
Website(s): Murder Express: | Thrilling Detective (Doug McCool):

The Aresbys (pseud.)
Real names: Joint pseudonym of Helen R. Bamberger (b. 1888; aka Helen Berger) and Raymond S. Bamberger
Bay Area series character(s): Parrish Darby (2 novels)
Note: Second novel, The Mark of the Dead (Washburn, 1929), takes place in Hawaii, where Parrish Darby goes to vacation with his best friend before resuming his job at the San Francisco Blade. He and Elizabeth May are now married, but she stays behind in San Francisco.

Campbell Armstrong
Dates: b. 1944
Note: Born in Glasgow, Scotland; author of several international thrillers, including 1 set in San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury) in the 1960s.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Gordon Ashe [see John Creasey]

Gertrude Atherton
Full name: Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton; pseud.: Frank Lin
Dates: October 30, 1857-June 14, 1948
Note: Although not generally thought of as a mystery writer, Atherton wrote one novel, The Avalanche (1919), and a novella, “The Sacrificial Altar” (included in The Foghorn (1934)), that combine mystery and a San Francisco setting.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | The Literature Network:

Ace Atkins
Dates: b. June 28, 1970
Note: Born in Alabama; former staff writer for The Tampa Tribune, nominated for a Pulitzer Prize; lived in San Francisco as a child; now lives near Oxford, Mississippi.
Website(s): *

Darrin Atkins
Website(s): *

Peter Atkins
Dates: b. November 2, 1955
Note: Born in Liverpool, England; has lived in Los Angeles since 1992; screenwriter; has written 2 novels, including 1 set in San Francisco.
Website(s): IMDb: | World Horror Convention 2007 bio:

William Babula
Bay Area series character(s): Jeremiah St. John (5 novels)
Note: Ph.D. (Shakespeare), University of California, Berkeley; Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Sonoma State University; lives in Santa Rosa, California.
Website(s): Sonoma State University: | Thrilling Detective (Jeremiah St. John):

Will Christopher Baer
Dates: b. 1966
Note: Born in Mississippi; worked as homeless counselor, taxi driver, bartender, video store geek, college professor (Evergreen State, Olympia, WA) screenwriter, and journalist.
Series character(s): Phineas Poe (3 novels, including 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Donald Bain
Dates: b. 1935
Series character(s): Jessica Fletcher (Murder, She Wrote) (33 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Note: Author or ghost/author of more than 100 books; recipient of IAMTW’s first Grand Master award.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Ralph “Sonny” Barger
Full name: Ralph Hubert Barger
Dates: b. October 8, 1938
Series character(s): Everett John “Patch” Kinkade (2 novels; 1 set in Oakland)
Note: Born in Modesto, California; founding member of the Oakland, California chapter of the Hell’s Angels; present at the Rolling Stones’ 1969 free concert at Altamont; author of 5 books, including 2 novels (with co-authors Keith and Kent Zimmerman) about the fictional Infidelz MC, based in Oakland, California.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Linda Barnes
Series character(s): Carlotta Carlyle (12 novels); Michael Spraggue (4 novels; including 1 set in Napa Valley)
Website(s): *

K.K. Beck
Full name: Kathrine Kristine Beck Marris; pseud.: Marie Oliver
Dates: b. 1950
Series character(s): Iris Cooper (3 novels, including 1 set in San Francisco); Jane da Silva (4 novels)
Note: Lives in Seattle, Washington; married to crime writer Michael Dibdin (1947-2007); author of 14 novels (3 set in San Francisco), 1 short story collection, and 1 work of non-fiction.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Cozy Mystery List:

James Benét
Full name: James Walker Benét
Dates: b. 1914
Bay Area series character(s): Ben Spencer (1 novel); Allen Tinker (1 novel)
Note: Worked as a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle; also wrote A Guide to San Francisco and the Bay Region (1963, rev. 1966); “Mr. Benét says he ‘was born and brought up in the writing business in the same way that other young men are born and brought up in a family of doctors, coal-mining towns or the hotel business.’ His father is the Pulitzer Prize poet and Saturday Review of Literature editor, William Rose Benét, and his uncle was the poet Stephen Vincent Benét. On his mother’s side, Mr. Benét’s aunt is Kathleen Norris, and her husband is Charles G. Norris, whose brother is Frank Norris. Typewriters pounding on all sides. James Benét graduated from Stanford University in 1935 and his first job was on the staff of The New Republic as an assistant editor. He left the magazine early in 1937 to join the International Brigade of the Spanish Republican Army. At present he and his family live in the West, where he spent most of his youth. Their house is on a San Francisco hillside, with a view of the Golden Gate and room enough for the children as well as a typewriter. He has published articles, reviews and poetry in magazines and newspapers as diverse as The New Republic and North American Review. This is his first novel. He thinks suspense novels are the most vigorous form of contemporary fiction. He is at work on a second one.”--Dust jacket, A Private Killing (1949).
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:

Arthur Asa Berger
Note: Professor Emeritus of Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts, San Francisco State University; author of 60 books on media, popular culture, visual culture, and writing; has authored textbooks, scholarly works, practical manuals, and a series of teaching novels for classroom use; lives in Mill Valley, California.
Website(s): Americana (interview):

A.I. Bezzerides
Full name: Albert Isaac Bezzerides
Dates: August 9, 1908-January 1, 2007
Note: Blacklisted screen writer; “A.I. Bezzerides, son of an Armenian mother and a Greek father, was born in Turkey. The family came to the United States a short time later and settled in Fresno, California. Mr. Bezzerides has himself been a truck driver, and he knows intimately the people of whom he writes and their surroundings. At present he is living in Hollywood.”--Dust jacket, Thieves’ Market (1949).
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Earl Derr Biggers
Dates: August 24, 1884-April 5, 1933
Series character(s): Charlie Chan (6 novels; including 2 set entirely or in part in San Francisco)
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Earl+Derr | The Charlie Chan Family Home: | (focuses on the films)

Juliet Blackwell (pseud.) [see also Hailey Lind]
Real name: Julie Goodson-Lawes; also writes with sister Carolyn Lawes under joint pseudonym Hailey Lind
Bay Area series character(s): Lily Ivory (Witchcraft Mystery series); Mel Turner (Haunted Home Renovation Mysteries)
Website(s): * | *

Meredith Blevins
Bay Area series character(s): Annie Szabo (3 novels)
Website(s): * [not working: Sept. 2, 2009]

Jeff Bogar (pseud.)
Real name(s): Harry Hossent, Ronald Wills Thomas, Leslie T. Barnard
Note: A British author of pulp gangster novels of the 1950s.
Website(s): John Fraser: | GGA website: (includes the cover of Bogar’s Confessions of a Chinatown Moll)

Denniger Bolton
Series character(s): B.B. Rivers (3 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Charles G. Booth
Full name: Charles Gordon Booth
Dates: February 12, 1896-May 22, 1949
Note: Born in Manchester, England; novelist and screenwriter; wrote Academy Award-winner “The House on 92nd Street” (1945); died in Beverly Hills, California.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | IMDb:

Paul Boray [see Jerry Kennealy]

Anthony Boucher (pseud.)
Real name: William Anthony Parker White; other pseuds.: Herman W. Mudgett, H.H. Holmes
Dates: August 21, 1911-April 29, 1968
Note: Born in Oakland, California; author, critic, and editor; popular fiction reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle (1942-1947). Although he was a lifelong resident of the Bay Area, Boucher only set one mystery novel there.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Ramble House: | Internet Speculative Fiction db: | The Berkeley Daily Planet, June 28, 2005:

Robert J. Bowman
Bay Area series character(s): Cassandra Thorpe (1 novel); Jack Squire (1 novel)
Note: “ of The House of Blue Lights [(1987)]...which introduced private detective Cassandra Thorpe and was nominated for the Shamus and Anthony awards. [Bowman] lives with his family in San Francisco”--Dust jacket, The Screaming Buddha (1994).

Jack Boyle
Full name: John Alexander Boyle
Dates: ca. 1881-October 1928
Note: Very little is known about the creator of Boston Blackie. In the introduction to the 1979 Gregg Press reprint of Boyle’s only book, Boston Blackie, Edward D. Hoch includes what he believes to be “the most complete account to be written of Boyle’s life.” Since then, a few additional details have emerged. John Alexander Boyle was born around 1881 in California. At the turn of the century, he was working as a reporter for a San Francisco newspaper, specializing in Chinatown and Chinese subjects. By 1909, he was had risen to the position of editor and manager. He became an opium addict, lost his job, turned to petty crime to support his habit, and landed in the penitentiary for a year. Unable to get a job upon his release, he returned to a life of crime, eventually getting arrested for armed robbery. This time he was sent to San Quentin, where began writing stories about Boston Blackie, a safe-cracker and fellow opium addict. The first four stories were bought by The American Magazine and began appearing there in July 1914 under the pseudonym “No. 6066,” Boyle’s prison number. In 1917, after serving a third prison sentence in Colorado, Boyle started publishing stories, this time under his own name, in Redbook magazine. In 1918, the first Boston Blackie film, a silent released under the name “Boston Blackie’s Little Pal,” appeared and was soon followed by a succession of other films. In 1919, Boyle’s stories began appearing in Cosmopolitan magazine. Boyle himself lived in Hollywood for a time, contributing original stories for film melodramas. His last story appeared in Redbook in 1927. Boyle was married twice, first to Hanna Charlotte Petersen (also called Charlotte Violet Boyle) and then to Elsie Thomas. It is possible that his first marriage was never legally dissolved. Boyle died in October 1928 in Portland, Oregon.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia (Boston Blackie): | Thrilling Detective (Boston Blackie):

Marion Zimmer Bradley
Dates: June 3, 1930-September 25, 1999
Note: Born in Albany, New York; pursued graduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley 1965-1967; prolific author of fantasy and science fiction; died in Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley, California; awarded the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement in 2000.
Website(s): Marion Zimmer Bradley Literary Trust: * | Wikipedia:

Richard Brautigan
Full name: Richard Gary Brautigan
Dates: January 30, 1935-ca. September 14, 1984
Bay Area series character(s): C. Card (1 novel)
Note: Not known as a mystery writer, Brautigan wrote several parodies of genre fiction, including two (Willard and His Bowling Trophies, 1975 [sado-masochism], and Dreaming of Babylon, 1977 [detective]) that have a crime background and are set in San Francisco.
Website(s): *

Summer Brenner
Website(s): *

S.G. Browne
Full name: Scott G. Browne
Website(s): *

Steve Brewer
Bay Area series character(s): Matt Donahue; Solomon Gage
Other series character(s): Bubba Mabry; Drew Gavin
Website(s): *

D.W. Buffa
Full name: Dudley W. Buffa
Dates: b. 1940
Series character(s): Joseph Antonelli (7 novels; 2 set in the Bay Area)
Note: Worked as a defense attorney for 10 years; has a Ph.D. in Political Science; novel The Judgment (2001) nominated for the Edgar Award for Best Novel of the Year (2002); lives in Napa Valley, California.
Website(s): * [website not working, 3/2/2009]

Eve Bunting
Full name: Anne Evelyn (Bolton) Bunting; also writes as: Evelyn Bolton; A.E. Bunting
Dates: b. December 19, 1928
Note: Born in Maghera, Ireland; immigrated to the United States in 1958; lives in Pasadena, California; author of over 250 books, many for younger readers. Received the 1993 Edgar Award for Best Juvenile Mystery for Coffin on a Case (1992).
Website(s): Wikipedia: | HarperCollins: | Scholastic: |

Robin Burcell
Bay Area series character(s): Kate Gillespie (4 novels); Sydney Fitzpatrick (2 novels)
Website(s): * | SFGate:

Gelett Burgess
Full name: Frank Gelett Burgess
Dates: January 30, 1866-September 18, 1951
Note: Born in Boston, Massachussetts; graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a B.S., in 1887; artist, art critic, poet, author, and humorist; coined the term “blurb” in 1907.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Gelett | Wikipedia:

Robert A. Burton
Note: Born in San Francisco, California; B.A. from Yale University, M.D. from University of California, San Francisco; former Chief of Neurology at the University of California Mount Zion Medical Center.
Website(s): *

Amy Butcher
Website(s): *

Max Byrd
Full name: William Max Byrd
Bay Area series character(s): Mike Haller (3 novels [the 1st in the series, Fly Away, Jill (1981) is set in France])
Note: Emeritus Professor of English at the University of California, Davis; his second novel, California Thriller, won the Shamus Award of The Private Eye Writers of America; now writes critically-acclaimed historical fiction, including a series based on the presidents, (Jefferson, Jackson, and Grant).
Website(s): UC Davis Dept. of English: | Davis wiki:

James Calder (pseud.)
Bay Area series character(s): Bill Damen (3 novels)
Note: “James Calder lives in San Francisco and is at work on his next novel. He was trained in History and the History of Science and has always been fascinated by the interaction of science and culture.”--James Calder website.
Website(s): * [inactive, Dec. 2012]

Charles W. Calhoun
Dates: Possibly b. June 17, 1889; son of Andrew M. Colquhoun (1847-1935) and Martha (Mattie) Stewart (1874-1939)
Note: Author of -Until Proven Guilty (1917). Catalogue of Copyright Entries, pt. 1, group 2 (Library of Congress, 1910) shows several entries for typescript plays entered for copyright by Charles W. Calhoun, or C.W. Calhoun, of Berkeley. Same person?

Ace Capelli (pseud.)
Real name: Stephen Daniel Frances, Jr.; other pseuds.: Hank Janson, Johnny Grecco, Steve Markham, Tex Ryland, Duke Linton, Link Shelton, Max Clinton, Astron Del Martia, and others.
Dates: March 28, 1917-November 1989
Note: Born in Lambeth, South London; best known under the pseudonym Hank Janson, which is also the name of his main series character; died in Spain (where he was living in 1954 and escaped prosecution under the Obscene Publications Act, which jailed his publisher and distributor, although he later returned to the UK, where he was charged and subsequently acquitted); “one of the earliest exponents of the British pseudo-American gangster books that were all the rage in Britain in the 40s and 50s”--Good Girl Art website.
Editor’s note: According to a personal communication with Steve Holland, ‘Frisco Hi-Jack, the title included in this bibliography, remains unlocated and it’s true authorship unconfirmed. Frances never claimed to have written it, and at least 2 other writers are known to have used the “Ace Capelli” pseudonym [Geoffrey Pardoe and Norman Lazenby; see].
Website(s): Hank Janson Website (Steve Holland): | Wikipedia (Hank Janson): | Telos Publishing: | GGA website:
References: Holland, Steve. The Trials of Hank Janson. Telos Publishing Ltd., 2004. | Personal communication with Steve Holland, March 11, 2009.

Scott Capurro
Dates: b. December 10, 1962
Note: Born in San Francisco, California; stand-up comedian, actor, playwright, and author.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Bernice Carey
Full name: Bernice Carey Williams
Dates: d. February 8, 1990 at age 79
Note: Wrote more than a dozen mystery novels in the 1940s and 1950s; lived in Los Gatos, California; died in Santa Clara, California.
Website(s): Obituary, New York Times:

Kate Carlisle
Bay Area series character(s): Brooklyn Wainwright (Bibliophile Mysteries)
Note: Born in Los Angeles, California; lives in Venice Beach, California.
Website(s): *

Danny Carnahan
Bay Area series character(s): Niall and Rose Sweeney (3 novels; 1 set in San Francisco; 1 forthcoming)
Website(s): *

David Carnoy
Note: Executive editor at CNET; lives in New York City with his wife and children.
Website(s): *

Don Carpenter
Dates: March 16, 1931-July 28, 1995
Note: Born in Berkeley, California; attended University of Portland; received B.S. from Portland State College and M.A. from San Francisco State College.
Website(s): | Wikipedia:

Grant Carpenter
Full name: Luis Grant Carpenter
Dates: February 21, 1865-April 30, 1936
Note: Born in Potter Valley, California, died in Hollywood, California; screenwriter.
Website(s): The Night Tide (Google Books): | IMDb:

Robert Carson
Full name: Robert Pierce Carson
Dates: October 6, 1909-January 19, 1983
Note: Born in Clayton, Washington; died in Los Angeles, California; screenwriter; won Oscar for Best Writing, Original Story and nominated for Best Screenplay (A Star is Born, (1937)).
Website(s): IMDb:

Nick Carter (pseud.)
Series character(s): Nicholas (Nick) J. Huntington Carter (Killmaster) (ca. 261 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Note: House pseudonym used by Michael Avallone, Valerie Moolman, Manning Lee Stokes, Lionel White, Robert J. Randisi, Bill Crider, Michael Collins, Martin Cruz Smith, and others, for the Killmaster series of spy novels published 1964-1990.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Michael Castleman
Bay Area series character(s): Ed Rosenberg (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Whitman Chambers
Full name: Elwyn Whitman Chambers
Dates: 1896-1968
Note: Like Nancy Barr Mavity, Chambers sets several novels in the milieu of Bay Area newspaper reporters. Also, like Mavity, he rarely establishes definite locales, yet the evidence points to Oakland as the scene of most of the action.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Whitman

Charmed series of TV tie-in novels
Authors: Constance M. Burge, Eliza Willard, Brandon Alexander, F. Goldsborough, Rosalind Noonan, Wendy Corsi Staub, Carla Jablonsky, Eloise Flood, Elizabeth Lenhard, Cameron Dokey, Diane G. Gallagher, Emma Harrison, Jeff Mariotte, Bobbi J.G. Weiss and Jacklyn Wilson, Scott Ciencin, Laura J. Burns, Paul Ruditis, Debbie Viguié, Micol Ostow, and Greg Elliot
Dates: 1999-2008
Bay Area series character(s): Prue, Piper, Phoebe, and Paige Halliwell (43 novels)
Note: A series of TV tie-in novels, by various authors, of the WB Network television series, Charmed, which aired from 1998 to 2006. The series, created by Constance M. Burge, follows the adventures of the Halliwell sisters, Prue, Piper, Phoebe, and (later) Paige, who live in San Francisco and possess supernatural powers. They are good witches who battle evil and protect the innocent. Although firmly identified as a fantasy series, the sisters routinely collaborated with the police and FBI in their investigations. Most, but not all, of the related tie-in novels are set in San Francisco.
Website(s): The Charmed Wiki: | Wikipedia: | Cover gallery:

Jennifer Chiaverini
Website(s): *

Angela S. Choi
Website(s): *

Jamie Clevenger
Website(s): *

Susan Brassfield Cogan
Dates: b. 1949
Bay Area series character(s): Lady Margaret, Countess of Chesterleigh (1 novel)
Website(s): *

Mark Coggins
Dates: b. 1957
Bay Area series character(s): August Riordan (5 novels)
Note: Born in New Mexico; attended Stanford University (earning two degrees); currently lives in San Francisco.
Website(s): * [website includes links to slideshows of Coggins’ photographs of actual locations featured in his novels]

Mary Collins
Full name: Mary Garden Collins
Dates: b. 1908
Note: Born in St. Louis, Missouri, her family moved to Berkeley, California, when she was three years old. She attended public schools in Berkeley, Miss Burke’s School in San Francisco, and—briefly—the University of California. From 1941 to 1949, she published six mystery novels, all set in California.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Mary

Grace MacGowan Cooke
Dates: b. September 11, 1863
Note: Born in Grand Rapids, O[hio?]; married William Cooke; first President of the Tennessee Women’s Press Club; lived in Chattanooga, Tenn.; sister of Alice MacGowan.

John Byrne Cooke
Note: John Byrne Cooke graduated from Harvard University and is an award-winning writer, photographer, and musician, with more than forty years of experience in each of these arts; he is also an actor who has appeared in eleven stage productions and a narrator with experience ranging from voice-over film narration to audio books to live performances with the Grand Teton Music Festival.
Website(s): *

David Corbett
Dates: b. 1953
Note: Worked as a private investigator at Palladino & Sutherland in San Francisco for nearly fifteen years, working on a number of high-profile criminal and civil litigations, including the Cotton Club Murder Case and the People’s Temple Trial. In 1995, he retired from investigative work to open a law practice with his wife, Terri Tessicini, a long-time advocate for the disadvantaged and the AIDS afflicted. She died from ovarian cancer in January 2001, six weeks after Ballantine bought his first novel, The Devil’s Redhead. He currently lives in northern California.
Website(s): *

Donald Corley
Note: Retired pastor of Baptist and Presbyterian congregations; lives in Arkadelphia, Arkansas; self-publishes thriller fiction (available as free pdf downloads from his website).
Website(s): *

Lucha Corpi
Dates: b. 1945
Bay Area series character(s): Gloria Damasco; Dora Saldaña
Note: Nickname: Luz. Poet, novelist, children’s book author; born in Jáltipan, Veracruz, Mexico; moved to Berkeley, California in 1964 when she was 19; has degrees from UC Berkeley (BA, Comp. Lit.) and San Francisco State University (MA, World & Comp. Lit.); lives in Oakland, where she is a tenured teacher in the Oakland Public Schools Neighborhood Centers Program. Has written four mystery novels, three featuring Oakland Chicana feminist private detective Gloria Damasco: Eulogy for a Brown Angel (1992), Cactus Blood (1995), Black Widow’s Wardrobe (1999); and Crimson Moon (2004), introducing a new Chicana PI, Dora Saldaña. According to publisher Arte Público Press, Gloria is the first Chicana detective in American literature.
Website(s): Lucha Corpi on Chicana crime fiction: | LC papers at UCSB: | Essay on Gloria Damasco: | Musings blog (Dec. 10, 2009):

Catherine Coulter
Website(s): *

Frances Crane
Full name: Frances Kirkwood Crane
Dates: October 27, 1890-November 6, 1981
Series character(s): Pat and Jean (Holly) Abbott (26 novels; 6 set in San Francisco)
Note: Born in Lawrenceville, Illinois; educated at the University of Illinois; married to Ned Crane; died in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Some biographies mistakenly list her birth year as 1896. Her series character Pat Abbott is a San Francisco private investigator. After he and Jean are married, their cases take them all over the world. They occasionally return to solve a crime in Pat’s home town.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Rue Morgue Press profile: | Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Frances+Kirkwood | Thrilling Detective (Pat and Jean Abbott):

John Creasey
Dates: September 17, 1908-June 9, 1973
Note: Born in Surrey, England; published over 600 novels under 28 different pseudonyms, including 1 set in the Bay Area (featuring series character Patrick Dawlish as by Gordon Ashe).
Website(s): John Creasey Online Resource: | Wikipedia:

Michael Crichton
Full name: John Michael Crichton; pseuds.: John Lange, Jeffrey Hudson; Michael Douglas (with brother Douglas Crichton)
Dates: October 23, 1942-November 4, 2008
Note: Born in Chicago, Illinois; graduated from Harvard in 1964; earned a M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1969; won an Edgar award for Best Novel, 1969 (A Case of Need; written as Jeffery Hudson); most famous for novels written under his own name, including The Andromeda Strain (1969), The Terminal Man (1972), and Jurassic Park (1990), that were also turned into successful films; died of throat cancer in 2008.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

James Crumley
Dates: October 12, 1939-September 17, 2008
Series character(s): C.W. Sughrue; Milo Milodragovitch
Website(s): Obituary, San Francisco Chronicle (via SFGate): | Obituary, Los Angeles Times: | Wikipedia: | Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind:

Mary Daheim
Full name: Mary Richardson Daheim
Series character(s): Judith McMonigle Flynn (Bed-and-Breakfast series) (24 novels; including 1 set in San Francisco); Emma Lord (Alpine series) (20 novels)
Note: Lives in Seattle with her husband David Daheim; has three grown daughters; has been an Agatha Award nominee and winner of the 2000 Pacific Northwest Writers Association Achievement Award.
Website(s): *

Claire Daniels (pseud.) [see also Jaqueline Girdner]
Real name: Jaqueline Girdner
Bay Area series character(s): Cally Lazar (4 novels)
Website(s): *

Kenn Davis
Dates: 1932-January 12, 2010
Bay Area series character(s): Carver Bascombe (8 novels; 1 written in collaboration with John Stanley)
Note: Born in Salinas, California, raised in San Francisco; artist; former illustrator at the San Francisco Chronicle (1959-1984); brother of author John Trinian (aka Zekial Marko).
Website(s): * | Obituary, San Francisco Chronicle (via SFGate): | The Compleat Kenn Davis (Mystery*File): | The Rap Sheet:

Kyra Davis
Bay Area series character(s): Sophie Katz (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Janet Dawson
Bay Area series character(s): Jeri Howard (10 novels)
Note: Janet Dawson’s first novel, Kindred Crimes, featuring Oakland private investigator Jeri Howard, won the Private Eye Writers of America Best First Private Eye Novel Contest and was nominated for Anthony and Shamus awards as well. She is a member of the Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and has written eight other Jeri Howard mysteries. Previously, Dawson was a newspaper reporter in Colorado and a U.S. Navy journalist. As an officer in the Navy, she was stationed in the San Francisco Bay Area. From 2000 to 2010, she was on the staff at the University of California, Berkeley. She is now on the staff at the University of California Office of the President in Oakland, and resides in Alameda, California.
Website(s): *

Dianne Day
Bay Area series character(s): Fremont Jones (5 novels)
Website(s): *

Jeffery Deaver
Note: Author of sixteen novels of suspense. Has been nominated for four Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America and is a two-time recipient of the Ellery Queen Readers Award for Best Short Story of the Year. A lawyer who quit his legal practice in order to write full-time, he lives in California and Virginia.
Website(s): *

E. Spence De Puy [or De Pue]
Full name: Edward Spence de Puy
Dates: b. 1872
Note: Graduate of the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, 1894; “Dr. Nicholas Stone” originally appeared in Pearson’s Magazine, Vol. 12, no. 2 (August 1904)-v. 12, no. 6 (December 1904), with illustrations by F.X. Chamberlin.

Dirty Harry series of tie-in novels
Authors: Phillip Rock (Dirty Harry); Mel Valley (Magnum Force); Morgan Wesley (The Enforcer); Joseph C. Stinson (Sudden Impact); Dane Hartman (12 novels, 1981-1983)
Dates: 1971-1983
Bay Area series character(s): “Dirty” Harry Callahan
Note: Four movie novelizations, based on the screenplays of the first 4 films starring Clint Eastwood as San Francisco police inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan. No novelization for the fifth Dirty Harry film, The Dead Pool, has been located. Capitalizing on the success of the movies, Warner Books published a series of action novels, by Dane Hartman (pseudonym used by Richard Meyers (b. 1953) and Leslie Alan Horvitz), that continued Harry’s adventures. Although Harry is a San Francisco cop, many of the Hartman novels find him suspended (yet again) from the force for (yet another) violation of procedure, freeing him to pursue cases on a freelance basis outside the city.
Website(s): Pulp International: | Wikipedia (Dane Hartman): | Fantastic Fiction (Dane Hartman; includes cover gallery):

David Dodge
Full name: David Francis Dodge
Dates: August 18, 1910-August 1974
Bay Area series character(s): James “Whit” Whitney (4 novels)
Other series character(s): Al Colby (3 novels); John Abraham Lincoln (2 novels)
Note: Born in Berkeley, California, Dodge originally made his living as a Certified Public Accountant. Drawing on this experience, he wrote his first four novels about San Francisco tax expert turned amateur detective James “Whit” Whitney. Dodge is also the author of several novels set all around the world and a series of humorous travel books. His most famous novel, To Catch a Thief, served as the basis of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic 1955 film starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. He died in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in 1974.
Website(s): A David Dodge Companion: * | Wikipedia: | Golden Age of Detection wiki:

Dr. C.W. Doyle
Full name: Charles William Doyle
Dates: 1852-1903
Note: Medical doctor; born and raised in India; educated in England; lived in Santa Cruz, California; dedicated The Shadow of Quong Lung (1900) to Ambrose Bierce, who was the author’s mentor. Also wrote The Taming of the Jungle (1899).
Website(s): Violet Books: Yellow Peril: (N.B.: The preceding article written by Jess Nevins)

Samuel Adams Drake
Dates: December 19, 1833-December 4, 1905
Note: Born in Boston, Massachusetts; historian; Associated Press correspondent in Kansas; served in the Civil War; most of his works focused on New England and Middle West subjects; m. Isabella G. Mayhew, 1858; m. Olive N. Grant, 1866 (following the death of his first wife); died in Kennebunkport, Maine.
Website(s): Harper’s Magazine: | Obituary, New York Times:

Robert Dugoni
Website(s): *

Susan Dunlap
Bay Area series character(s): Jill Smith (10 novels); Veronica “Vejay” Haskell (3 novels); Darcy Lott (3 novels)
Other series character(s): Kiernan O’Shaughnessy (3 novels)
Website(s): [1998 interview by Sue Trowbridge. 2008 update from Susan Dunlap]

John Dunning
Dates: b. January 9, 1942
Series character(s): Cliff Janeway (Bookman series) (5 novels)
Note: Born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Charleston, South Carolina; with his wife Helen owns and operates Old Algonquin Bookstore in Denver, Colorado; in addition to 5 novels featuring bookseller/ex-Denver cop Cliff Janeway, has written 3 earlier mysteries, 2 non-mystery novels, and 2 non-fiction books about old-time radio.
Website(s): Old Algonquin Bookstore: * | Wikipedia:

Theo Durrant (pseud.)
Real names: Joint pseudonym of Anthony Boucher (q.v.), Terry Adler, Eunice Mays Boyd, Florence Ostern Faulkner, Allen Hymson, Cary Lucas, Dana Lyon (q.v.), Lenore Glen Offord (q.v.), Virginia Rath (q.v.), Richard Shattuck, Darwin L. Teilhet (q.v.), and William Worley.

George Dyer
Full name: George Bell Dyer
Dates: April 12, 1903-November 8, 1978
Series character(s): The Catalyst Club (3 novels)
Note: Born in Washington, D.C.; died in New Hope, Pennsylvania; reporter for the San Francisco Examiner, 1929-1930; instructor in political science, 1950-1967; writer of mystery novels, military nonfiction; founder of the Dyer Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies. The Catalyst Club is a group of six experts who investigate murder collectively in San Francisco and criticize one another’s inferences.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+George

Mignon G. Eberhart
Full name: Mignon Good Eberhart
Dates: July 6, 1899-1996
Note: Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, Mignon G. Eberhart wrote over 60 novels in her long career (which spanned the years 1929-1988 and culminated in a Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1971). Only one, Case Madrone (1980), had a San Francisco setting, using the 1906 earthquake and fire as a backdrop.
Website(s): * | “Mignon G. Eberhart: Death and the Maiden” (Girl Detective website):

Barry Eisler
Dates: b. 1964
Series character(s): John Rain (6 novels)
Note: Born in New Jersey; graduated from Cornell University; spent 3 years with the CIA; author of the best-selling series of thrillers featuring John Rain, a half-Japanese, half-American former CIA operative turned assassin; winner of the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award; lives in Menlo Park, California.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Hugh Ewing
Full name: Hugh Boyle Ewing
Dates: October 31, 1826-June 30, 1905
Note: Born in Lancaster, Ohio; diplomat, author, attorney, Union Army general during the American Civil War, and ex-Minister of the Hague. He was the author of The Black List: A Tale of Early California (1887), A Castle in the Air (1887), The Gold Plague, and other works.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

A.A. Fair (pseud.) [see Erle Stanley Gardner]

Lee Falk (pseud.)
Real name: Leon Harrison Gross
Dates: April 28, 1911-March 13, 1999
Note: American writer, theater director and producer, best known as the creator of the popular comic strips The Phantom and Mandrake the Magician.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Fantastic Fiction:

Christine Feehan
Website(s): *

Michael Fessier
Dates: November 6, 1905-September 19, 1988
Note: Born in Angels Camp, Calaveras County, California (some sources list 1907 as birthdate); editor of the San Rafael Independent Journal in the early 1930s; short story writer; screenwriter and film producer; wrote for television, including the shows “Bonanza,” “Alfred Hitchcock Presents,” and “The Thin Man”; married to British film actress Lilian Bond (1908-1991); one other novel, Clovis, published in 1949; died in Northridge, California.
Website(s): New York Times obituary: | IMDb: | Find A Grave: | Michael Fessier Papers (U. of Oregon):

G.G. Fickling (pseud.)
Real names: Joint pseudonym of Forrest E. “Skip” Fickling (b. April 16, 1925) and his wife Gloria (Gautraud) Fickling.
Series character(s): Honey West (11 novels)
Note: One Honey West novel, Stiff as a Broad (1971), is set—in part—in San Francisco.
Website(s): “Honey West: A Fresh Look,” by Gary Warren Niebuhr (Mystery*File): | Thrilling Detective: | Wikipedia: | IMDb:

Robert Finnegan (pseud.)
Real name: Paul William Ryan
Dates: 1906-August 14, 1947
Bay Area series character(s): Dan Banion (3 novels)
Note: Under another pseudonym, Mike Quin, he worked as a “rank-and-file” journalist, authored several Communist Party tracts, and documented the 1934 San Francisco General Strike (including The Big Strike (Olema Pub. Co., 1949), the definitive contemporary account). Ryan was a founding member of The Yanks Are Not Coming Committee, a group advocating for the United States to stay out of World War II. He was also a sailor, a Hollywood bookstore worker, a writer for the International Longshoreman’ and Warehouseman’s Union and the WPA Writers’ Project, Director of Public Relations, CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations), “CIO Reporter on the Air”, “Daily People’s World” columnist, National Maritime Union broadcast producer, and active in the Communist Party.

Jack Finney
Dates: October 2, 1911-November 14, 1995
Note: Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Author of The Body Snatchers (basis of the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers)
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Anthony Flacco
Website(s): *

J.M./Jay Flynn
Real name: John M. Flynn
Dates: circa 1927-1985
Bay Area series character(s): McHugh (5 novels); Joe Rigg (2 novels)
Website(s): Mystery*File (Bill Pronzini):

Leslie Ford (pseud.)
Real name: Zenith Jones Brown
Dates: December 8, 1898-August 25, 1983
Series character(s): Grace Latham and Col. John Primrose; Evan Pinkerton
Note: Born in Smith River, Califonia; died of pneumonia in Baltimore, Maryland; also used the pseudonyms David Frome and Brenda Conrad. “Leslie Ford (Mrs. Zenith Jones Brown) is one author who can create exciting lives for her heroes and heroines in the calm conviction that their origins can’t possibly be as interesting as hers. Descended from the Calvert family who founded Maryland in 1634, Mrs. Brown first saw daylight in Smith River, California, where her father was a missionary. She was brought up in a papoose basket by a squaw, graduating out of the basket to study at the University of Washington and marry Ford K. Brown, now on the faculty of St. John’s College in Maryland. In addition to mysteries written under the pseudonym ‘Leslie Ford,’ Mrs. Brown also writes detective stories as ‘David Frome.’ Evan Pinkerton, the sentimental Welshman who appears in these, was first imagined during a stay in England. Grace Latham, who follows clues in Siren in the Night and other books ... is an all-American creation—and a personal friend of millions of readers.”--Author bio printed in the Bantam edition of Siren in the Night.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Leslie | “Leslie Ford: The Material Girl’s Guide to Murder” (Girl Detective website):

Elise Fraser
Note: Attended UC Berkeley and Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University. Lived in Berkeley; member of the California Writers’ Club, and the Berkeley branch of the National League of American Pen Women. Author of adult novels, teen and juvenile books, and numerous articles published in more than forty religious magazines.

James N. Frey
Bay Area series character(s): Joe Zanca (2 novels); Odyssey Gallagher (1 novel)
Note: “Internationally acclaimed creative writing teacher and workshop leader”
Website(s): *

Michelle Gagnon
Series character(s): Kelly Jones (3 novels; 1 partially set in the Bay Area)
Website(s): *

Meg Gardiner
Bay Area series character(s): Jo Beckett (4 novels)
Other series character(s): Evan Delaney (5 novels)
Note: Born in Oklahoma; graduated from Stanford University and Stanford Law School; practiced law in Los Angeles and taught creative writing at University of California, Santa Barbara; lives in London.
Website(s): *

Erle Stanley Gardner
Dates: July 17, 1889-March 11, 1970
Note: Born in Malden, Massachusetts; graduated from Palo Alto High School (1909); died in Temecula, California; was an American lawyer and author of detective stories, who also published under the pseudonyms A.A. Fair, Kyle Corning, Charles M. Green, Carleton Kendrake, Charles J. Kenny, Les Tillray, and Robert Parr.
Bay Area series character(s): Terry Clane (2 novels)
Series character(s): Perry Mason (ca. 84 novels and stories); Donald Lam and Bertha Cool (29 novels; written under pseud. A.A. Fair); Doug Selby (9 novels); Gramps Wiggins (2 novels); and others
Website(s): | | Wikipedia: | Thrilling Detective:

Peter Gessner
Bay Area series character(s): Walker (1 novel)
Website(s): *

Katie Gilmartin
Note: Katie Gilmartin received a Ph.D. in cultural studies from Yale, with an emphasis in queer history. After teaching the history of sexuality and queer studies for a decade at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the University of California, Berkeley, and The New College, she became a printmaker. Her prior publications are academic essays based on interviews she conducted with lesbians about their lives in the 1940s and 1950s. She lives in San Francisco.
Website(s): *

J. Lance Gilmer
Note: Author of 3 novels; sportswriter/columnist, San Francisco Examiner (1970-1980); Director of Judicial Affairs, University of California, Riverside (1986-2003); founder/owner, Creative Medialance.

Danielle Girard
Dates: b. 1970
Website(s): *

Jaqueline Girdner [see also Claire Daniels]
Bay Area series character(s): Kate Jasper (12 novels)
Website(s): *

Hal Glatzer
Website(s): *

Lee Goldberg
Dates: b. 1962
Bay Area series character(s): Adrian Monk (Monk series) (15 novels; 10 of which are set at least partly in San Francisco)
Other series character(s): Dr. Mark Sloan (Diagnosis Murder series) (8 novels)
Note: Author of original novels based on popular television shows, including the USA Network series, Monk, created by Andy Breckmann and starring Tony Shalhoub as the San Francisco-based obsessive-compulsive detective Adrian Monk. Goldberg also writes freelance scripts for a variety of television productions.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia: | Thrilling Detective (Adrian Monk):

Paul Goldstein
Dates: b. January 14, 1943
Series character(s): Michael Seeley (2 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Note: Writer, lawyer, teacher; Lillick Professor of Law at Stanford Law School; Of Counsel to the law firm of Morrison & Foerster LLP; expert on intellectual property and copyright law; author of several books on copyright.
Website(s): *

Nadia Gordon (pseud.)
Real name: Julianne Balmain
Bay Area series character(s): Sunny McCoskey (4 novels)
Website(s): *

William C. Gordon
Bay Area series character(s): Samuel Hamilton (5 novels)
Note: Married to Isabel Allende; although written in English, Gordon’s first two books were originally published in Spanish translation (and subsequently translated into other languages).
Website(s): *

Steven Gore
Bay Area series character(s): Graham Gage (3 novels; 2 set at least partially in San Francisco); Harlan Donnally (1 novel)
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Joe Gores
Full name: Joseph Nicholas Gores
Dates: December 25, 1931-January 10, 2011
Bay Area series character(s): Daniel Kearney & Associates (DKA) (6 novels, 13 short stories); Dashiell Hammett (1 novel); Sam Spade (1 novel); and others
Website(s): Thrilling Detective: | Vince Emery Productions: | Mark Coggins on Joe Gores: and | San Francisco Chronicle (February 6, 2009): | New York Times obituary (January 13, 2011)

Ron Goulart
Full name: Ronald Joseph Goulart
Dates: b. January 13, 1933
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Internet Speculative Fiction db:

Deborah Grabien
Dates: b. June 28, 1954
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Margaret Grace (pseud.) [see also Camille Minichino]
Real name: Camille Minichino
Bay Area series character(s): Geraldine Porter (Miniature Mysteries) (4 novels)
Note: The Miniature Mysteries series is set in the fictional city of Lincoln Point, which is located roughly where the real city of Mountain View is situated. The action moves up and down the Highway 101 corridor of the San Francisco Peninsula in both real and imagined locales.
Website(s): *

Will Graham (pseud.)
Real name: William Simon
Bay Area series character(s): Peterson Chace (1 novel)
Website(s): *

Sara Gran
Dates: b. 1971
Series character(s): Claire DeWitt (2 novels; 1 set in the Bay Area)
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Stephen Greenleaf
Dates: b. July 17, 1942
Bay Area series character(s): John Marshall Tanner (14 novels)
Note: Born in Washington, D.C.; award-winning author of the John Marshall Tanner novels, including Strawberry Sunday, for which he was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award; graduate of Carleton College in Minnesota (1964); received his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (1967) and attended the Iowa Writers’ Workshop (1978 and 1979); lives with his wife, Ann, in northern California.
Website(s): Interview with Ed Lynskey (Mystery*File): |

Jackson Gregory
Dates: March 12, 1882-June 12, 1943
Bay Area series character(s): Paul Savoy (2 novels)
Note: Born in Salinas, California; high school teacher and principal; wrote numerous westerns; in his later career he turned his hand to mystery novels, penning one novel about the debonair gentleman thief Ladyfingers and two featuring amateur detective Paul Savoy.
Website(s): Violet Books: Jackson Gregory (Jess Nevins):

Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Website(s): *

Rebecca M. Hale
Website(s): *

Oakley Hall
Full name: Oakley Maxwell Hall; pseud.: Jason Manor
Dates: July 1, 1920-May 12, 2008
Bay Area series character(s): Ambrose Bierce (5 novels)
Note: Born in San Diego, California; graduated from the University of California, Berkeley; founded the writing program at the University of California, Irvine and served as director 20 years; co-founded the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley, an annual writers’ conference, in 1969. He is the award-winning author of twenty-five novels and is best known for Warlock (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and filmed by Twentieth Century Fox in 1959) and The Downhill Racers (basis of the 1969 Robert Redford film of the same name). Early in his career he wrote mystery novels. His first, Murder City, was published in 1949 under the name O.M. Hall. He published five other mysteries under the pseudonym Jason Manor. Later in his career he returned to the mystery genre with the Ambrose Bierce historical mystery series. He and his wife, Barbara, divided their time between their homes in Squaw Valley and San Francisco’s Russian Hill.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Obituary, San Francisco Chronicle (via SFGate):

Gemma Halliday
Website(s): *

Dashiell Hammett
Full name: Samuel Dashiell Hammett; pseuds.: Peter Collinson, Daghull Hammett, Samuel Dashiell, Mary Jane Hammett
Dates: May 27, 1894-January 10, 1961
Bay Area series character(s): The Continental Op (2 novels; 36 short stories, 8 of which were re-worked into the novels); Sam Spade (1 novel; 3 short stories)
Note: Born in Saint Mary’s County, Maryland; died in New York City.
Website(s): The Dashiell Hammett Website (Mike Humbert): | Wikipedia: | Thrilling Detective: | Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Dashiell | IMDb: | | Books and Writers: | Dashiell Hammett tour (Don Herron): |

Olive Harper (pseud.)
Real name: Helen Burrell Gibson D’Apery
Dates: 1842-1915
Website(s): Mystery*File: | |

Paul Harper (pseud.)
Real name: David Lindsey
Bay Area series character(s): Marten Fane (1 novel)
Website(s): *

Dane Hartman (pseud.) [see Dirty Harry]

Seth Harwood
Bay Area series character(s): Jack Palms (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Peter Held (pseud.) [see Jack Vance]

Richard Helms
Bay Area series character(s): Eamon Gold (2 novels)
Other series character(s): Pat Gallegher (4 novels); Judd Wheeler (1 novel [forthcoming, March 2010])
Website(s): *

Jenny Hilborne
Website(s): *

Reece Hirsch
Bay Area series character(s): Will Connelly (1 novel)
Note: Partner in the San Francisco office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, specializing in privacy, security and healthcare law. Earned his law degree from the University of Southern California and a B.S. degree in journalism from Northwestern University. Prior to law school, worked as a journalist in Atlanta for several years, including a stint as an assistant editor of a business magazine. For three years, he edited and published an arts and entertainment magazine in Atlanta.
Website(s): *

Rupert Holmes
Website(s): *

Hans Holzer
Dates: January 26, 1920-April 26, 2009
Note: Born in Vienna, Austria; emigrated to the United States in 1938; expert in the supernatural and paranormal; best known for his research on the so-called “Amityville horror;” wrote over 140 books, both fiction and non-fiction, including one paperback original novel, The Red Chindvit Conspiracy (1970), set in San Francisco.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Obituary, San Francisco Chronicle (via SFGate): (reprinted from the New York Times)

Renay Jackson
Dates: b. 1959
Note: Long-time custodian for the Oakland Police Department; recipient of the Chester Himes Black Mystery Writers Award in 2002.
Website(s): * | Interview, North Atlantic Books Blog, Oct. 2008:

Jonnie Jacobs
Bay Area series character(s): Kate Austen (3 novels); Kali O’Brien (8 novels)
Website(s): *

Stanton Jacobs
Series character(s): Jake Oliver (3 novels; 1 set in San Francisco [2 forthcoming])
Website(s): *

Alan Jacobson
Series character(s): Karen Vail (4 novels; 3 set in the Bay Area)
Website(s): *

Hannah Jayne
Full name: Hannah Jayne Schwartz
Bay Area series character(s): Sophie Lawson (The Underworld Detection Agency Chronicles) (5 novels)
Website(s): *

Claire M. Johnson
Bay Area series character(s): Mary Ryan (2 novels)
Website(s): *

Susan Kandel
Dates: b. 1961
Series character(s): Cece Caruso (5 novels; 1 partially set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Frank Kane
Dates: 1912-1968
Series character(s): Johnny Liddell
Note: Frank Kane is the creator of Big Apple PI Johnny Liddell. Kane was a prolific writer with a sensational wit and sense of humor that often came through in his work. He never failed to deliver solid, workmanlike prose that always entertained, and never disappointed. His writing is always powerful ... almost cinematic. Thanks to the technical advise of his brother, who was a NY policeman, Kane’s books are distinguished by a gritty, authentic portrayal of New York cops and their methods. These stories are solid hard-boiled PI stories ... they are fast, tough and exciting. Also wrote under the pseudonym Frank Boyd.
Website(s): Thrilling Detective (appreciation by Kane’s granddaughter Maura Fox):

Jerry Kennealy
Dates: b. May 27, 1938
Bay Area series character(s): Nick Polo (10 novels); Carroll Quint (2 novels)
Note: Jerry Kennealy has worked as a fireman, policeman, and private investigator. In addition to the Nick Polo and Carroll Quint series, he has also written The Vatican Connection and Chasing the Devil under the pen name James Brant and Cash Out under the pen name Paul Boray. He has also written several paperback original stand-alone thrillers, including his first novel Nobody Wins (1978), which is published under the name G.P. Kennealy. He lives in San Bruno, California.
Website(s): Fantastic Fiction: | Profile: | Thrilling Detective (Nick Polo):

Lee Killough
Full name: Karen Lee Killough
Dates: b. 1942
Note: Author of science fiction and horror mystery novels; lives in Manhattan, Kansas.
Bay Area series character(s): Garreth Mikaelian (3 novels; 2 set in San Francisco); Cole Dunavan (1 novel)
Website(s): Murder Express: | Wikipedia: | Fantastic Fiction:

Katheryn Kimbrough (pseud.)
Real name: John M. Kimbro; other pseudonyms: Kym Allyson, Ann Ashton, Jean Kimbro, Charlotte Bramwell, Milt Jaxon, Allyn Keimberg, Zoltan Lambec, Jack Milton
Dates: 1929-2004
Note: Author of the Saga of the Phenwick Women series
Website(s): Fantastic Fiction:

Laurie R. King
Bay Area series character(s): Kate Martinelli (5 novels)
Other series character(s): Mary Russell (7 novels; including 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Andrew Klavan
Website(s): *

J.J. Lamb
Series character(s): Zachariah Tobias Rolfe III (4 novels; 1 set, in part, in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

John J. Lamb
Series character(s): Brad and Ashleigh Lyon (Bear Collector’s Mysteries) (5 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Barry Lancet
Bay Area series character(s): Jim Brodie (1 novel)
Website(s): *

Gerald Laurence
Real name: John Scott G (Gruen)
Note: Gerald Laurence is The G-Man, a recording artist working primarily in the field of dance and techno music. Both are actually pen names, as his full name is John Scott G (shortened from Gruen). As Gerald Laurence, he has published two books, a crime novel called One Bang-Up Job (Berkeley, 1989) and a health book, The Ego Diet (Oak Tree, 1987). As The G-Man, he has released the album entitled Grin Groove (, 2002).
Website(s): *

Victoria Laurie
Series character(s): M.J. Holliday (Ghost Hunter Mysteries) (4 novels; 1 set in San Francisco); Abby Cooper (Psychic Eye Mysteries) (7 novels)
Website(s): *

John Lescroart
Website(s): *

Hailey Lind (pseud.) [see also Juliet Blackwell]
Real names: Joint pseudonym of Julie Goodson-Lawes and Carolyn Lawes
Bay Area series character(s): Annie Kincaid (Art Lover’s Mysteries) (4 novels)
Note: Hailey Lind is the pseudonym of two sisters. Julie is an artist and faux finisher who lives in Oakland; her sister, Carolyn, is a historian and lives on the East Coast. One half of Hailey is a skilled muralist and portrait painter who has run her own faux finishing and design business in the San Francisco Bay Area for nearly a decade. Before pursuing art full-time she worked as a waitress, an ethnographer, and a family therapist. Hailey’s other half has taught in France and all over the U.S., and has published extensively on American women’s history. She currently lives in Virginia with a motley menagerie of rescued dogs and cats.
Website(s): *

Margaret Lucke
Bay Area series character(s): Jess Randolph (1 novel); Claire Scanlan (Supernatural Properties series) (2 novels)
Website(s): *

Richard A. Lupoff
Full name: Richard Allen Lupoff
Dates: b. February 21, 1935
Bay Area series character(s): Hobart Lindsey and Marvia Plum (8 novels, 1 short story collection)
Note: Born in Brooklyn, New York; well-known as an author of science fiction and non-fiction books on comic books and paperbacks.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Lisa Lutz
Bay Area series character(s): Isabel “Izzy” Spellman (4 novels)
Website(s): *

Jack Lynch
Full name: John T. Lynch
Dates: March 12, 1930-May 30, 2008
Bay Area series character(s): Peter Bragg (8 novels)
Note: “Bragg is the very autobiographical creation of John T. Lynch who was born on March 12, 1930 in Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington with a BA in journalism in 1953 he worked for several weekly newspapers around Seattle and then joined the promotion department of a local radio/TV station. He also has worked for TV Guide Magazine and lived briefly in Davenport, Iowa, and Kansas City before returning to the West Coast where he clerked for a year in a San Francisco brokerage house. Lynch began tending bar about 1960 at the No Name, a Sausalito tavern that is mentioned in several of the Bragg novels. He joined the San Francisco Chronicle in 1969, working first at the copy desk and then moving to the city side as a general assignment reporter and rewrite man. Lynch, a shirttail relative of General George Custer, currently lives in Corte Madera, California.” (Robert A. Baker & Michael T. Nietzel. Private Eyes: One Hundred and One Knights: A Survey of American Detective Fiction 1922-1984. Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, 1985, p. 291) All of the Bragg books were published as paperback originals, with The Missing and the Dead nominated for a Shamus award and Pieces of Death nominated for an Edgar. Lynch died in Petaluma, California on May 30, 2008 at age 78.
Website(s): Obituary, San Francisco Chronicle, June 5, 2008: | Obituary, Columns (University of Washington Alumni Magazine), Sept. 2008: | Thrilling Detective (Peter Bragg):

Dana Lyon
Full name: Mabel Dana Lyon; pseud. Dana Hughston (joint pseud. with Josephine Hughston, 1897-1982)
Dates: 1897-1982
Note: Author of several standalone thrillers and mysteries set in California, including The Frightened Child, set in San Francisco and filmed as The House on Telegraph Hill (1951), directed by Robert Wise and starring Richard Basehart and Valentina Cortese. Lyon also wrote two novels with Josephine Hughston (1897-1982): The Bathtub Murder (1933), a fictionalized account of the David Lamson murder case, and You Stand Accused (1937), as by Dana Hughston. Also contributed to The Marble Forest under the joint pseudonym Theo Durrant (q.v.). Starting in 1952, headed the Statistics Department at the Northern California Teamsters Security Fund in San Francisco.
Website(s): ISFDB: | LTL Boards: | “Lady Teamster Writes Her 17th Novel.” The International Teamster, 55, no. 4 (April 1958): 12.

Alice MacGowan
Dates: December 10, 1858-1947
Note: Born in Perrysburg, Ohio; sister of Grace MacGowan Cooke. “She and her sister ... are lit. partners and all work of each passes through hands of both—whether signed by one name or both”--Who’s Who in America, 1906.

Cody McFadyen
Dates: b. 1968
Series character(s): Smoky Barrett (3 novels)
Note: Cody McFadyen was born in Texas in 1968. He designed websites before selling his first novel, Shadow Man, featuring Los Angeles-based FBI agent Smoky Barrett, in 2005. Shadow Man was published simultaneously in the UK and the US, with the UK edition appearing May 2006 and the US edition following the next month, June 2006.
Website(s): *

Marcus McGee
Dates: b. August 8, 1960
Bay Area series character(s): Destiny Mitchell (1 novel); Deuteronomy Saint Claire (1 novel)
Note: Marcus McGee was born in Casablanca, Morocco in 1960; raised in Madrid, Spain, Omaha, Nebraska, and Sacramento, California. Author of novels, plays, essays, and other non-fiction.
Website(s): Amazon:

Cliff McGoon
Website(s): *

Paul McHugh
Website(s): * | *

Neil McMahon

Beth McMullen
Website(s): *

Erika Mailman
Website(s): *

Tim Maleeny
Bay Area series character(s): Cape Weathers (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Lia Matera
Dates: b. 1952
Bay Area series character(s): Willa Jansson; Laura Di Palma
Note: Lia Matera was born in Vancouver, British Columbia and is a graduate of Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, where she was editor of the Constitutional Law Review. She was later a teaching fellow at Stanford Law School. Her first novel, Where Lawyers Fear to Tread (1987), introduced her first series heroine, Willa Jansson, and was nominated for an Anthony Award. Its sequel, A Radical Departure (1988), was nominated for both an Anthony and an Edgar Allan Poe Award. Her third novel, The Smart Money (1988), featured the debut of her second series character, Laura Di Palma. Both characters are San Francisco lawyers with liberal tendencies.
Website(s): *

Nancy Barr Mavity
Dates: b. 1890
Note: Ph.D. in psychology from Cornell; staff of the Oakland Tribune. The series of books featuring Herald reporter Peter Piper are set in the San Francisco Bay Area. However Mavity rarely establishes definite locations. Some action takes place in the East Bay, some in San Francisco. Peter, however, never seems to cross the Bay. Given Mavity’s work on an Oakland newspaper, the fictional Herald must also be located in Oakland.

B.J. Maylon (pseud.)
Real names: Joint pseudonym of Joan London (1901-1971; daughter of Jack London, 1876-1916) and her second husband Barney Mayes (1905?-1978?)
Bay Area series character(s): Bill King (1 novel)
Note: Wrote one mystery novel, The Corpse With Knee Action (Phoenix Press, 1940), set in San Francisco featuring reporter Bill King.

John Mersereau
Dates: 1898-1989
Note: Born in Manistique, Michigan; moved to Oakland, California in 1907; graduated from Oakland High School; attended University of California. Married Winona Beth Roberts in 1927; two sons, Charles and John, Jr. Moved to the Berkeley hills in 1931. Wrote short stories for pulp magazines; collaborated with Los Gatos writer Owen Atkinson on a number of pulp magazine thrillers under the pseudonym Richard Race Wallace. Lived in Ajijic, Mexico from the early 1960s until 1972; moved to Forsythe, Missouri.
Website(s): Rue Morgue Press profile:

Greg Messel
Bay Area series character(s): Sam Slater (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Susan Cummins Miller
Website(s): Mystery Writers of America:

Valerie Miner
Website(s): *

Paula Minton (pseud.)
Real name: Paul Hugo Little; other pseudonyms: Marie De Jourlet, Kenneth Harding, Leigh Franklin James, Paula Little, Hugo Paul, Sylvia Sharon
Dates: 1915-1987
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Camille Minichino [see also Margaret Grace]
Series character(s): Dr. Gloria Lamerino (Periodic Table Mysteries) (8 novels)
Website(s): * | Interview in San Francisco Chronicle, 10/18/2008:

Richard K. Morgan
Website(s): *

Patricia Morrison
Full name: Patricia Kennealy-Morrison (born Patricia Kennely)
Dates: b. March 4, 1946
Bay Area series character(s): Rennie Stride (1 novel)
Note: Born in Long Island, New York; author of rock criticism and science fiction/fantasy novels; wife of the late Jim Morrison, lead singer of The Doors.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

J.T. Morrow
Full name: James T. Morrow
Note: Freelance illustrator and author. Lives just south of San Francisco with his wife and daughter.
Website(s): *

Milena Moser
Dates: b. July 13, 1963
Note: Born in Zurich, Switzerland; has lived in San Francisco, California since 1998.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia (German):

Walter Mosley
Full name: Walter Ellis Mosley
Dates: b. January 12, 1952
Series character(s): Ezekiel "Easy" Rawlins (11 novels; including 1 set in San Francisco); Fearless Jones (3 novels); Socrates Fortlow (3 novels)
Website(s): * | Wikipedia: | Thrilling Detective (Easy Rawlins):

Eddie Muller
Website(s): *

Marcia Muller
Dates: b. September 28, 1944
Bay Area series character(s): Sharon McCone (29 novels); Joanna Stark (3 novels)
Other series character(s): Elena Oliverez (3 novels)
Website(s): * | Wikipedia: | Thrilling Detective (Sharon McCone):

John F. Nardizzi
Bay Area series character(s): Ray Infantino (1 novel)
Note: Investigator, lawyer, and writer. Lives in the Boston area. Writings have appeared in numerous professional and literary journals, including San Diego Writers Monthly, Oxygen, Liberty Hill Poetry Review, Lawyers Weekly USA, and PI Magazine. His fictional detective, Ray Infantino, first appeared in print in the spring 2007 edition of Austin Layman’s Crimestalker Casebook. Founder of Nardizzi & Associates, Inc., an investigations firm that has garnered a national reputation investigating business fraud and doing trial work. His investigations on behalf of people wrongfully convicted of crimes have led to several million-dollar settlements for clients like Dennis Maher, Scott Hornoff and Kenneth Waters, whose story was featured in the 2010 film Conviction.
Website(s): * | Nardizzi & Associates, Inc.:

Michael Newton
Pseudonyms: Vince Robinson, Mark J. Kozlow, John Cannon, Jack Buchanan (with Steve Mertz), Paul Malone, and Lyle Brandt
Note: A California native, Michael Newton has published 255 books under his own name and various pseudonyms since 1977. He began writing professionally as a “ghost” for author Don Pendleton on the best-selling Executioner series.
Website(s): * | Fantastic Fiction:

Jim Nisbet
Dates: b. 1947
Website(s): *

Sister Carol Anne O’Marie
Dates: August 28, 1933-May 27, 2009
Bay Area series character(s): Sister Mary Helen (11 novels)
Note: Born in San Francisco, Carol Anne O’Marie was a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for more than fifty years. She ministered to homeless women at a daytime drop-in center in downtown Oakland, California, which she co-founded in 1990.
Website(s): | Wikipedia: | Mystery Fanfare:

Perri O’Shaughnessy
Website(s): *

Lenore Glen Offord
Dates: October 24, 1905-April 24, 1991
Bay Area series character(s): Bill and Coco Hastings; Todd McKinnon and Georgine Wyeth
Note: Born in Spokane, Washington; educated at Mills College, Oakland, California; married to Harold R. Offord in 1929; mystery book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle for over 30 years.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:,+Lenore+Glen

Diana Orgain
Bay Area series character(s): Kate Connolly (Maternal Instincts Mystery series; 4 novels)
Website(s): *

Robert B. Parker

James Patterson
Bay Area series character(s): Women’s Murder Club (11 novels)
Website(s): * | Women’s Murder Club: | BookBrowse:

Richard North Patterson

John A. Peak
Bay Area series character(s): Vicki Shea (2 novels); Jeff Talbot (1 novel)
Note: John Peak has spent twenty years working in law enforcement, both as a prosecutor and as an attorney representing police officers in court. He lives with his family in Shadow Hills, California.
Website(s): * [not working: Sept. 2, 2009]

Howard Pease
Dates: September 6, 1894-1974
Series character(s): William Todhunter (“Tod”) Moran (15 novels)
Note: Born in Stockton, California; graduated from Stanford University; author of 22 novels for young adults; outspoken critic of the state of children’s literature in the 1930s, advocating for more books written by male authors and more realism in the stories.
Website(s): | Wikipedia: | Archives & Collections Society: | Old Children’s Books:

Joanne Pence
Bay Area series character(s): Angie Amalfi (14 novels)
Website(s): *

Don Pendleton
Dates: December 12, 1927-October 23, 1995
Series character(s): Mack Bolan, The Executioner (38 novels; 1 set in San Francisco: California Hit, 1972); numerous other series
Note: Born in Little Rock, Arkansas; died in Arizona. Wrote mystery, action/adventure, science-fiction, crime fiction, suspense, short stories, nonfiction, comics, poetry, screenplays, and essays; published more than 125 books in his long career; translated into more than 25 foreign languages. “After producing a number of science-fiction and mystery novels, Don launched in 1969 the phenomenal Mack Bolan: The Executioner, which quickly emerged as the original, definitive Action/Adventure series. His successful paperback books inspired a new particularly American literary genre during the early 1970’s and Don became known as ‘the father of action/adventure.’”--Don Pendleton website.
Website(s): *

Kate Perry
Website(s): *

Thomas Perry
Dates: b. 1947
Series character(s): Jane Whitefield (6 novels)
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Linda Lee Peterson
Website(s): *

Richard S. Prather
Full name: Richard Scott Prather; pseuds.: Douglas Ring, David Knight
Dates: September 9, 1921-February 14, 2007
Series character(s): Shell Scott (41 novels)
Note: Born in Santa Ana, California; spent a year at Riverside Junior College (now Riverside Community College); served in the United States Merchant Marine during World War II; became a full-time writer in 1949; first Shell Scott mystery, The Case of the Vanishing Beauty, published in 1950. One stand-alone novel, The Peddler (Lion, 1952), written under the pseudonym Douglas Ring, set in San Francisco; re-issued under Prather’s name by Hard Case Crime in 2006.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Hard Case Crime:

Bill Pronzini
Full name: William John Pronzini; pseuds: Jack Foxx, William Hart Davis, Alex Saxon, Brett Halliday, William Jeffrey
Dates: b. April 13, 1943
Bay Area series character(s): Nameless Detective (36 novels); Quincannon (2 novels)
Note: Born in Petaluma, California. Certainly one of the most prolific writers of the last several decades, Pronzini has authored or co-authored over sixty-five novels, many of them in the detective and mystery genre. Thirty-one titles (and counting) feature the “Nameless Detective,” a San Francisco-based operative who first appeared in a short story in 1969. The first Nameless novel was published in 1971. Pronzini has received three Shamus Awards—two for best novel and the Lifetime Achievement Award—and six Edgar Award nominations. In May 2008, he was designated a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America. He and his wife, Marcia Muller, live in Sonoma County, California.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Thrilling Detective:

Ellery Queen (pseud.)
Real names: Joint pseudonym, originally, of cousins Frederic Dannay (1905-1982) and Manfred Bennington Lee (1905-1971), who wrote countless novels featuring a detective also named Ellery Queen. The name became a house pseudonym, with other writers using it, including Jack Vance, who wrote 3 novels under the name, 2 of which are set in the Bay Area.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Keith Raffel
Dates: b. 1951
Bay Area series character(s): Ian Michaels (2 novels)
Website(s): *

Virginia Rath
Full name: Virginia Ann McVay Rath
Dates: 1905-October 1950
Bay Area series character(s): Michael and Valerie Dundas (8 novels)
Other series character(s): Sheriff Rocky Allan (6 novels)
Note: “Virginia Rath was a native Californian who for much of her life was active in San Francisco literary circles. Born Virginia [Anne] McVay in 1905, she taught high school in a mountain railroad town, married a railroad telegrapher and worked in a railroad telegraph office during World War II. Her career in writing detective fiction began much earlier, however, beginning in 1935 with Death at Dayton’s Folly, one of the Crime Club mysteries published by Doubleday. The book also marked the first appearance of deputy sheriff Rocky Allan, who appeared in six titles between 1935 and 1939, all with a California setting. In Rocky Allan’s final appearance, Murder with a Theme Song, Virginia Rath’s other series characters also played a role as a married couple named Michael and Valerie Dundas, who invariably used San Francisco as their base of operations. They had arrived on the scene one year earlier (1938) in the book The Dark Cavalier.
   As Rocky Allan faded out of the picture, the Dundases appeared in Rath’s last eight books, including the two from Ziff-Davis. The Dundases are amateur sleuths, but not in the Mr. & Mrs. North vein. He’s a renowned San Francisco couturier and does most of the detective work. Their cases are not cozys exactly; they’re conventional whodunits in the Frances Crane/Leslie Ford mode, usually involving S.F.’s upper crust, but the narration includes scenes from the points of view of other characters, some of whom are more earthy types, and there is plenty of wry humor. Worth reading, says Bill, though he prefers her Rocky Allan stories.
   A Dirge for Her concerns a murdered movie actress, a missing six-year-old boy, blackmail, family skeletons, and a $100,000 ransom demand. A Shroud for Rowena deals with a suddenly vanished heiress, a private eye of dubious repute (again, not “Nameless”), a couple of murders, burglary, and a putative ghost. S.F. settings in both.
   Although Shroud was officially Virginia Rath’s last book, the lady was also one of the authors behind the “Theo Durrant” group pseudonym, there being twelve of them responsible in all, including Anthony Boucher, Eunice Mays Boyd, Lenore Glen Offord and other members of the California branch of the MWA. The book they wrote, The Marble Forest, was published in 1951, but Rath did not live until then, dying regrettably young at the age of 45 in October, 1950.”
FOOTNOTE (1). Virginia Rath’s husband was Carl H. Rath. The town where they lived and where she taught school in was Beckwourth, CA. Looking at the census records for 1930, almost everyone in town worked for the railroad. Beckwourth was named after a rather famous African-American, James Pierson Beckwourth, an early California trader and pioneer.
FOOTNOTE (2). While in the process of jointly preparing these notes on the Fingerprint authors, Steve came across an essentially unknown novel written by Rath, one that appeared four years earlier than the first mystery she did for Doubleday. Never published in book form, “The Murders at Hillside” was the lead story in the July 1931 issue of Complete Detective Novel Magazine, one of the few mystery pulps not completely indexed in the Cook-Miller bibliography. At over 60,000 words in length, a rough count, it is indeed a full-fledged novel. (Sometime pulp publishers exaggerated a little.) None of Rath’s usual series characters makes an appearance, so it not a tale that gained a new title when it was published in hardcover. As a story not known to exist before, its discovery came as quite a surprise.
Written by Bill Pronzini, Victor Berch, and Steve Lewis; from:
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:

Kathryn Reiss
Bay Area series character(s): Julie Albright (American Girl Mysteries) (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Michelle Richmond
Dates: b. 1970
Website(s): *

Douglas Ring [see Richard S. Prather]

Gillian Roberts (pseud.)
Real name: Judith Greber
Bay Area series character(s): Emma Howe and Billie August(2 novels)
Other series character(s): Amanda Pepper (14 novels)
Website(s): *

Lora Roberts
Bay Area series character(s): Liz Sullivan (6 novels); Bridget Montrose (2 novels)
Website(s): *

Cynthia Robinson
Dates: b. 1958
Bay Area series character(s): Max Bravo (2 novels)
Website(s): *

Kath Russell
Full name: Katharine A. Russell
Bay Area series character(s): Nola Billingsly (Pointer Mystery Series) (1 novel)
Website(s): *

Kirk Russell
Bay Area series character(s): John Marquez (5 novels); Ben Raveneau (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Andie Ryan
Website(s): *

Phil Ryan
Note: “For more than three decades Phil Ryan crafted a high profile legal career as a trial lawyer specializing in criminal defense and entertainment law. His celebrity clients included Academy Award winning movies stars, all-star professional athletes, elected public officials, sitting judges, authors and rock stars. The San Francisco Chronicle featured him as ‘San Francisco’s Rock n’ Roll Lawyer.’ In 2006, Ryan commenced his career as a novelist. All Sins Remembered is his debut novel in a trilogy. His second novel, Bella Cora, is set in Gold Rush San Francisco and will be published in 2009.”--Phil Ryan website.
Website(s): *

Marilyn Sachs
Full name: Marilyn Stickle Sachs
Dates: b. December 18, 1927
Note: Born in the Bronx, New York City; author of over 35 books for middle-grade and young-adult readers; Columbia University, M.S. (library science), 1953; children’s librarian, Brooklyn Public Library, 1949-1960; part-time children’s librarian, San Francisco Public Library, 1961-1967; lives in San Francisco.
Website(s): * | Brief Biographies:

Dylan Schaffer
Bay Area series character(s): Gordon Seegerman (Misdemeanor Man Mysteries) (2 novels)
Website(s): *

Nancy Schuepbach lives in Larkspur, California. She worked for six years at the Mane Tamers beauty salon in Fairfax, California and spent time in a mortuary doing hair on the dearly departed, becoming familiar with what goes on behind closed doors.

Stephen Jay Schwartz
Series character(s): Hayden Glass (2 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Kemble Scott (pseud.)
Real name: Scott James
Dates: b. 1962
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Michele Scott
Bay Area series character(s): Nikki Sands (Wine Lover’s Mystery Series) (4 novels)
Other series character(s): Michaela Bancroft (Horse Lover’s Mystery Series) (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Susan C. Shea
Bay Area series character(s): Danielle O’Rourke (1 novel)
Website(s): *

Sidney Sheldon
Real name: Sidney Schechtel
Dates: February 11, 1917-January 30, 2007
Note: Academy Award-winning American writer; Broadway playwright; a Hollywood TV and movie screenwriter; a best-selling novelist. One novel, the medical thriller Nothing Lasts Forever (1994), set in San Francisco.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Sheldon Siegel
Bay Area series character(s): Mike Daley; Rosie Fernandez (7 novels)
Website(s): *

Scott Sigler
Full name: Scott Carl Sigler
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Upton Sinclair
Full name: Upton Beall Sinclair, Jr.
Dates: September 20, 1878-November 25, 1968
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Shelley Singer
Bay Area series character(s): Jake Samson and Rosie Vicente (6 novels); Barrett Lake (4 novels)
Other series character(s): Rica Marin (1 novel)
Note: Grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota; began her working life as a reporter with UPI in Chicago; published one book under pseudonym Claire Kensington; currently publishing science fiction under pseudonym Lee Singer.
Website(s): *

David Skibbins
Dates: b. 1947
Bay Area series character(s): Warren Ritter (Tarot Card Mysteries) (4 novels)
Website(s): *

Tommy Sledge (pseud.)
Real name: Michael David Farrow
Dates: b. 1944
Note: Actor, “stand-up detective,” author of three comedy novels (Eat Lead, Clown!, Kiss It and Die!, and Bullets, Blondes and the Big Ones to Bite); short radio plays (“Tommy Sledge’s Dime Novel”) aired on radio stations across the country; television program (“Tommy Sledge, P.I.,”) aired 1989-1990 on HBO Comedy Channel.

Barry Smith
Full name: Barry R. Smith
Bay Area series character(s): David Moore (3 novels)
Note: Worked as a technical writer and editor at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (University of California); has taught English at the University of Maryland and the University of San Francisco; lives in Berkeley, California.
Website(s): *

Julie Smith
Bay Area series character(s): Rebecca Schwartz (5 novels); Paul Mcdonald (2 novels)
Other series character(s): Skip Langdon (9 novels); Talba Wallis (4 novels)
Website(s): *

Joshua Spanogle
Website(s): *

Jerry Stahl
Dates: b. September 28, 1953
Series character(s): Manny Rupert (1 novel set in the Bay Area)
Website(s): Wikipedia:

John Stanley
Bay Area series character(s): Carver Bascombe (1 novel, written in collaboration with Kenn Davis)
Website(s): *

Kelli Stanley
Bay Area series character(s): Miranda Corbie (1 novel)
Website(s): * | Interview, “Writing on the Wall”: | Interview, “The Rap Sheet,” Feb. 2, 2010:

Domenic Stansberry
Dates: b. 1952
Bay Area series character(s): Dante Mancuso (North Beach Mystery Series) (4 novels)
Note: Born in Washington DC, and grew up in California; currently lives in the Bay Area, with his wife, the poet Gillian Conoley, and their daughter Gillis; his novel, The Confession (2004), set in the Bay Area, received an Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Paperback Original.
Website(s): Interview, San Francisco Chronicle, May 15, 2010:

Danielle Steel
Full name: Danielle Fernande Dominique Schuelein-Steel
Dates: b. August 14, 1947
Note: International best-selling author; born in New York City; lives in San Francisco and Paris; inducted into the California Hall of Fame in December 2009.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Judith Stephens
Website(s): *

Johnny Strike
Note: “Johnny Strike is a lifelong inhabitant of the underworld. Evading prosecution for parole violation as a teenager in Pennsylvania, he moved to San Francisco and eventually cofounded the legendary punk band Crime”--Publisher’s website:

Jennifer Sturman
Series character(s): Rachel Benjamin (4 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Duane Swierczynski
Full name: Duane Louis Swierczynski
Dates: b. February 22, 1972
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Shirley Tallman
Bay Area series character(s): Sarah Woolson (3 novels)
Website(s): *

Charles A. Taylor
Dates: d. 1942
Note: “Charles A. Taylor, 78, blood-&-thunder dramatist of the [18]90s; in Glendale, Calif. Five of his melos were running at once on Broadway in 1892. Some of his plays: From Rags to Riches, Yosemite, The King of the Opium Ring, The Queen of White Slaves. Star of Rags was wide-eyed Laurette Taylor, then his wife.”--Time Magazine, Mar. 30, 1942.

Samuel W. Taylor
Full name: Samuel Woolley Taylor
Dates: February 5, 1907-September 26, 1997
Note: Novelist, scriptwriter, and historian; wrote screenplays for Disney productions, including “The Absent-Minded Professor” (1961) and “Son of Flubber” (1963); descendant of John Taylor, former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; died in Provo, Utah.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | IMDb:

Octave Thanet (pseud.)
Real name: Alice French
Dates: March 19, 1850-January 9, 1934
Note: Novelist, and short story writer. Born in Andover, Massachusetts, the daughter of the Hon. George Henry French, a manufacturer of farm machinery who had held some political offices, and Frances (Morton) French, daughter of a governor of Massachusetts. Before the Civil War, the family moved to Arkansas. Although she was educated at Abbott Academy, in Andover, all her adult years were spent in the South and West. From 1882 her winters were spent in Arkansas, her summers in Davenport, Iowa. She never married, and her chief interest, aside from her writing, was club work; she was president of the Iowa Society of Colonial Dames, and an active member of half a dozen other patriotic and cultural organizations. She started writing for the literary magazines of the East in the early 1880s, and continued to publish books and stories until she was nearly seventy. In 1911, the State University of Iowa conferred an honorary Litt. D. on her. All of her novels and stories were published under the pseudonym of “Octave Thanet.” She received very little publicity during her career and, although her novels were popular, her readers knew nothing of her, many of them not even knowing that she was a woman. Most of her novels are set in the rural villages of Arkansas. Only one novel, The Lion’s Share (1907) set in San Francisco.
References: American Authors, 1600-1900, ed. Stanley J. Kunitz and Howard Haycraft. New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1938, p. 291.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:

Gene Thompson
Bay Area series character(s): Dade Cooley (4 novels)
Note: Native of San Francisco; graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Author of four mystery novels featuring “crusty,” “homespun” San Francisco Dade Cooley and his wife Ellen. The first, Lupe, was published in 1977. This was followed by Murder Mystery (1980; set predominantly in Malibu), Nobody Cared for Kate (1983; France), and A Cup of Death (1987; Los Angeles). Although Thompson’s descriptions of San Francisco are very good, Dade and Ellen don’t spend much time there.

Celia Thomson (pseud.)
Real name: Elizabeth J. (Liz) Braswell; other pseud.: Tracy Lynn
Bay Area series character(s): Chloe King (The Nine Lives of Chloe King) (3 novels)
Note: Writes adult horror novels under her real name and young adult novels under the pseudonym Tracy Lynn. Born in Birmingham, England. Raised in New England; majored in Egyptology at Brown University; now lives in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Website(s): *

Ronald Tierney
Bay Area series character(s): Carly Paladino and Noah Lang (3 novels; 1 featuring Noah Lang only)
Series character(s): Dietrich “Deets” Shanahan (9 novels; 1 set in San Francisco)
Website(s): *

Elise Title
Website(s): *

Nichelle D. Tramble
Bay Area series character(s): Maceo Redfield (2 novels)
Website(s): *

John Trinian (pseud.)
Real name: Zekial Marko
Dates: 1933-May 9, 2008
Note: Television and screen writer; brother of author Kenn Davis.
Website(s): RARA-AVIS: | Mystery*File:

Susan Trott
Website(s): “The First Susan Trott Web Page:”

Robert Upton
Bay Area series character(s): Amos McGuffin (5 novels)
Note: The second Amos McGuffin mystery, Fade Out, takes place in Los Angeles. The fifth, A Killing in Real Estate, takes place entirely in New York, where McGuffin goes after the events of The Fabergé Egg, to retrieve his daughter. At the end, it looks like Amos and his ex-wife Marilyn are reconciling and will be staying in New York permanently. Upton divides his time between New York City and Southampton, N.Y.

Jack Vance
Full name: John Holbrook Vance; pseuds: Peter Held, Ellery Queen, Alan Wade, John van See, Jay Kavanse
Dates: b. August 28, 1916
Note: Known primarily as a science fiction writer, but has written numerous mysteries (11 as John Holbrook Vance; 3 as Ellery Queen); born in San Francisco; attended the University of California, Berkeley (his first published writings were jazz reviews for The Daily Californian), graduating in 1942; a complete set of his entire works has been published in a limited edition, 45-volume set called the Vance Integral Edition.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

Robert E. Vardeman
Full name: Robert Edward Vardeman; pseuds: Daniel Moran, Karl Lassiter
Dates: b. 1947
Bay Area series character(s): Peter Thorne (3 novels)
Note: Primarily a science fiction writer; has written fantasies under the pseudonym Daniel Moran and westerns under the pseudonym Karl Lassiter; wrote three novels set in San Francisco about Peter Thorne, psychic investigator.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia: | Fantastic Fiction:

William T. Vollmann
Full name: William Tanner Vollmann
Dates: b. July 28, 1959, in Los Angeles, California
Website(s): Wikipedia:

E. Lee Waddell
Full name: Eleanor Lee Waddell
Dates: October 13, 1905-June 22, 1975
Note: Born in Pennsylvania the youngest daughter of Rev. John Milligan Waddell (1864-1953) and Nellie L. Waddell; trained as a teacher and later worked as a high school secretary in Mill Valley, California. In 1949, Princeton Alumni Weekly, in a column on the “Daughters of ‘86” (her father graduated from Princeton University in 1886), had this to say: “A budding writer of mystery stories is Eleanor Lee Waddell. Eleanor was in war work in Okinawa doing a specially creditable job of filing data. She flew the Pacific from Frisco. When that work was finished, she returned to America to take a secretarial course and meanwhile is giving some study to story writing, with encouraging success” (Princeton Alumni Weekly, 49, no. 16 (Feb. 4, 1949): 12). She died in Paradise, California, an unincorporated town in Butte County.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:

Earle Ashley Walcott
Dates: November 19, 1859-1931
Project Gutenberg edition of Blindfolded:

Ayelet Waldman
Dates: b. December 11, 1964
Series character(s): Juliet Applebaum (Mommy-Track Mysteries) (7 novels; 1 in which part of the action takes place in the Bay Area)
Website(s): * | Wikipedia:

John U. Walker
Note: “Author John U. Walker has worked for almost 20 years in the local information technology industry and has used this experience to craft his debut novel, “Killer Code.” This work of murder mystery fiction is set in the Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains, where Walker himself has spent much of his life as a long-time resident of La Selva Beach. After earning a Comparative Literature degree from UC Berkeley, Walker began his long foray into the high-tech business world. He has worked in capacities ranging from engineering to management for several companies in and near the Silicon Valley. He is currently developing and delivering training to engineers at Cisco Systems, where he has been working for the past 11 years. In “Killer Code,” the protagonist, Casey Mannis, is a washed-up computer engineer who finds himself forced to solve a murder amidst the fast-paced, high-pressure world of software development. The book combines the suspense of murder with comedy and a look inside the high-tech industry ...”--GT Weekly.
Website(s): * [not working: Dec. 24, 2008]

Marilyn Wallace
Full name: Marilyn Weiss Wallace
Dates: September 21, 1941-July 29, 2006
Note: Born in New York, N.Y.; married to Bruce Wallace; two sons; previous careers as English teacher, pastry chef, and vice president for Western Logic Corp. in San Anselmo, California; longtime editor and contributor to Sisters in Crime.

Penny Warner
Bay Area series character(s): Presley Parker (Party Planning Mysteries) (2 novels)
Other series character(s): Conner Westphal (7 novels)
Website(s): *

Mike Weiss
Bay Area series character(s): Ben Henry (3 novels)
Note: Reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle; his work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Esquire, The Guardian, and many other publications; author of the acclaimed Ben Henry mystery series and the Edgar Award-winning Double Play: The San Francisco City Hall Killings.

Donald E. Westlake
Full name: Donald Edwin Westlake; pseuds.: Richard Stark; Tucker Coe; Samuel Holt; Edwin West; and others
Dates: July 12, 1933-December 31, 2008
Note: Born in Brooklyn, N.Y.; died on New Year’s Eve 2008 in Mexico; prolific author of more than 90 books; won three Edgar Awards, an Academy Award nomination for his screenplay “The Grifters,” and the title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America in 1993; first novel was published in 1960, his latest novel, Get Real, is scheduled to be released in April 2009; wrote one novel, Gangway! (1973), with Brian Garfield, set in San Francisco.
Website(s): * | Wikipedia: | Obituary, San Francisco Chronicle (via SFGate): | Obituary, The Telegraph (UK):

Gloria White
Bay Area series character(s): Ronnie Ventana (6 novels)
Website(s): *

Stewart Edward White
Dates: March 12, 1873-September 18, 1946
Note: Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan; died at age 73 in Hillsborough, California.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | The Literature Network:

Phyllis A. Whitney
Full name: Phyllis Ayame Whitney
Dates: September 9, 1903-February 8, 2008
Note: Born in Yokohama, Japan; childhood spent in Japan, China, and the Philippine Islands; after her father’s death, she and her mother moved to San Francisco, later living in Berkeley, California, and San Antonio, Texas, Chicago, Staten Island, New York, and northern New Jersey; author of numerous juvenile mystery novel; winner of the Grand Master award for lifetime achievement from the Mystery Writers of America, and an author the New York Times once called the “Queen of the American Gothics”; passed away at the age of 104.
Website(s): *

Michael Wiecek
Website(s): *

Fred Wiehe
Website(s): *

Collin Wilcox
Dates: September 21, 1924-July 12, 1996
Bay Area series character(s): Lt. Frank Hastings; Alan Bernhardt (2 novels)
Other series character(s): Sam McCloud (3 novels; television series McCloud)
Note: Born in Detroit, Michigan; died in San Francisco of cancer at age 72. Also wrote under pseudonym Carter Wick.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Hugh Wiley
Dates: February 26, 1884-December 30, 1968 in Berkeley, California
Website(s): Thrilling Detective:

Gale Wilhelm
Dates: April 26, 1908-July 11, 1991
Note: Born on in Eugene, Oregon; lived in Berkeley, California for most of her adult life; best known for her lesbian themed novels, We Too Are Drifting (1935) and Torchlight to Valhalla (1938); died at home in Berkeley.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | Gay Bears (UC Berkeley):

Charles Willeford
Full name: Charles Ray Willeford III
Dates: January 2, 1919-March 27, 1988
Series character(s): Hoke Moseley (4 novels)
Note: Born in Little Rock, Arkansas; died in Miami, Florida.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Lee Wilson (pseud.)
Real name: Laura Elizabeth Lemmon
Dates: May 25, 1917-October 26, 2003
Note: In the 1950s, lived in Glendale, California and worked as an instructor at the Palmer Institute of Authorship in Hollywood. In 1959, at age 41, married William B. Anson in California (apparently the couple had also been wed the previous year in Las Vegas). By the 1990s, the Ansons had moved to Atascadero, California (San Luis Obispo County), where Laura died.
Website(s): Golden Age of Detection wiki:

Mary Wings
Dates: b. April 14, 1949
Bay Area series character(s): Emma Victor (5 novels)
Note: Born in Chicago, Illinois; writer, artist, and musician. Retired from writing and now splits her time between San Francisco and her studio in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Don Winslow
Website(s): *

Mildred A. Wirt
Full name: Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson; also wrote under pseud. Carolyn Keene
Dates: July 10, 1905-May 28, 2002
Series character(s): Nancy Drew and several others
Note: First author to write under the pen name Carolyn Keene; contributed to 23 of the first 25 originally published Nancy Drew mysteries; also wrote several other series, including some under her own name.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Simon Wood
Dates: b. April 14, 1968
Note: Born in Taplow, England; lives in California; writes thriller, crime, and horror fiction; also writes under the pseudonyms Simon Janus and Simon Oaks.
Website(s): *

Cornell Woolrich
Full name: Cornell George Hopley-Woolrich; pseuds: William Irish; George Hopley
Dates: 1903-1968
Website(s): Wikipedia:

William Worley
Full name: William Thomas Worley, Jr.; also wrote under unknown pseudonym(s)
Dates: April 22, 1915-May 27, 1988
Note: William T. Worley was born in Glendale, California and moved to Utah in about 1930, where he attended the University of Utah. After World War II, he returned to California and attended San Francisco State College. He taught English at Lowell High School in San Francisco from at least the mid-1950s until at least the 1970s. He wrote short stories for pulp magazines and published one novel, My Dead Wife (1948) under his own name. He told his Lowell students that he had published subsequent mystery novels under a pen name, but refused to reveal the name (or names) he used. Worley died in San Francisco in 1988.

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Dates: b. September 15, 1942
Bay Area series character(s): Charles Spotted Moon (4 novels)
Note: Born in Berkeley, California.
Website(s): *

Yellow Bird (pseud.)
Real name: John Rollin Ridge
Dates: 1827-1867

Laurence Yep
Full name: Laurence Michael Yep
Dates: b. June 14, 1948
Note: Born in San Francisco, California. Attended Marquette University; graduated from University of California, Santa Cruz. Earned a Ph.D. in English at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Author of numerous juvenile fiction and non-fiction works.
Website(s): Wikipedia:

Al Young
Dates: b. 1939
Note: Poet Laureate of California, 2005-2008.
Website(s): *

Fred Zackel
Note: Teaches at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. Trivia buffs should note that the 1983 TV adaptation of Cocaine and Blue Eyes was co-produced by O.J. Simpson, who also starred as Zackel’s detective, Michael Brennen. “Look at it this way,” Zackel says: “I was discovered by Ross Macdonald and O.J. Simpson. That can haunt you in the wee hours of the night.”
Website(s): January Magazine:

Merla Zellerbach
Full name: Merla Burstein Zellerbach
Dates: August 27, 1930-December 26, 2014
Bay Area series character(s): Hallie Marsh (6 novels)
Note: Native San Franciscan, civic leader, author, philanthropist, TV personality, former columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle (“My Fair City,” 1962-1985), former editor of the Nob Hill Gazette (1995-2007); majored in pyschology at Stanford University; author of novels (first novel, Love in a Dark House, published in 1961) and non-fiction on health issues; died at age 84 of pancreatic cancer at her home in San Francisco.
Website(s): * | SFGate, Nov. 23, 2008: | SFBayStyle, Nov. 28, 2009: | Obituary, SFGate, Dec. 27, 2014:

Bruce Zimmerman
Dates: b. June 11, 1952
Note: Novelist, screenwriter, television producer.
Website(s): Wikipedia: | IMDb:


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