This bibliography has been compiled from several basic sources. The first—and most significant—source is Don Herron. Don Herron is the godfather of San Francisco mysteries. He has been leading the popular Dashiell Hammett walks in San Francisco since 1977. He also has published several articles on collecting San Francisco mystery novels. His earliest article, San Francisco Mysteries (Mystery, vol. 3:2, Sept. 1981), includes a 236-title checklist of San Francisco mysteries. Citations from the checklist are identified as Herron. (The article, without the checklist, has been revised and reprinted in The Argonaut: Journal of the San Francisco Historical Society (vol. 4:1, Summer 1993), Firsts: The Book Collectors Magazine, (vol. 12:4, Apr. 2002) [under title: Murder in the City: San Francisco Mysteries.], and online on Herrons website: http://www.donherron.com/collect_sanfran_mysteries.html [under title: Collecting San Francisco Mysteries].) After collecting San Francisco mysteries for nearly a quarter of a century, Herron donated his collection to The Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley. The Don Herron Collection of San Francisco Mystery Stories contains nearly 200 volumes and is one of the largest collections of San Francisco mysteries under one roof.
The second source is the WorldCat database, an international union list of library holdings maintained by OCLC Online Library Computer Center, Inc. In recent years, the Library of Congress has been giving greater subject access to fiction. Taking advantage of this, I used a combination keyword search of San Francisco mystery fiction (Berkeley mystery fiction, Oakland mystery fiction, etc.) in the Subject index.
Then, I consulted Allen J. Hubins monumental Crime Fiction III: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749-1995 (Oakland, CA: Locus Press, 2001, http://www.locusmag.com/index/cf3cd.htm) on CD-ROM. This amazing database can be sorted by Setting (in this case @San Francisco). After combining these three datasets and eliminating duplicates, the result was the core of this bibliography. Note: In 2006, I Hubinized the bibliography using Crime Fiction IV: A Comprehensive Bibliography, 1749-2000 (Oakland, CA: Locus Press, 2005, http://www.locusmag.com/index/cf4cd.htm). Although the cut-off date remains 2000, Hubin is continuing to revise the bibliography with an online Addenda to the Revised Edition.
The fourth source is An Annotated Bibliography of California Fiction, 1664-1970, by Newton D. Baird and Robert Greenwood (Georgetown, Calif.: Talisman Literary Research, Inc., 1971). This comprehensive listing of California fiction is thoroughly indexed. Citations from this bibliography are identified as Baird & Greenwood.
Fifth are the special issues of Mystery Readers Journal devoted to Bay Area mystery fiction: San Francisco Mysteries (Vol. 11, no. 2, Summer 1995) [Read excerpts here]; San Francisco Bay Area Mysteries I (Vol. 24, no. 3, Fall 2008) [Read excerpts here]; and, San Francisco Bay Area Mysteries II (Vol. 24, no. 4, Winter 2008-09) [Read excerpts here]. Citations from these sources are identified as MRJ.
My friend and colleague, Dan Krummes, (now-retired) director of the Harmer E. Davis Transportation Library at UC Berkeley, has been a fantastic supporter of my bibliographic research. He has diligently forwarded citations to me that he has uncovered in the course of creating his stunning bibliography: Cruel Seas: World War 2 Merchant Marine-Related Nautical Fiction. Thanks Dan! Keep em coming.
Suggestions for improvement, corrections, and additions are always welcome. Please visit the Comments page to contact me.