Charles Alverson. Goodey’s Last Stand (1975) 232 pp.
After accidentally mistaking the mayor’s cousin for a gunman and shooting him, Joe Goodey’s career as a San Francisco police detective is over. But, his boss offers him a deal that he cannot refuse: resign from the force and get out of town, preferably go to Mexico for six months, then, after things cool down, return and start his second career as a private detective. But Goodey’s exile from San Francisco is short-lived. He is summoned back to the city to investigate the death of Tina D’Oro, San Francisco’s most popular topless dancer. Joe knew Tina slightly, but the mayor, Sanford F. Kolchick, was a much more intimate friend of the stripper. Kolchick wants the murder solved quickly and with his name left out of the investigation. As he uncovers Tina’s mysterious past, Goodey’s investigation takes him from the strip clubs of North Beach to the alleys of Chinatown; from a night in jail to a nursing home to interview an aging gangster; from the office of an unscrupulous plastic surgeon to the mayor’s luxurious home (inexplicably located in Tiburon in Marin County—doesn’t San Francisco have residency requirements for elected officials?). Along the way, Joe discovers that a girl like Tina can never truly escape her past … and that he’s a pretty good private eye.
Setting: San Francisco (North Beach; Chinatown)
1001 Midnights, p. 17-18