Kyra Davis. Sex, Murder and a Double Latte (2005) 298 pp.
Successful San Francisco mystery writer Sophie Katz—who is half black, half Jewish, and single—has lots of things going for her: she has a nice Russian Hill apartment, her latest book is selling well, she has just finished the manuscript for her next book, and she has a deal in the works to turn one of her novels into a screenplay for an A-list director. But, then the director is murdered in a method reminiscent of a scene from one of his films and Sophie’s Hollywood dreams are dashed. Soon she suspects that someone is stalking her and breaking in to her apartment. When her car is vandalized, she realizes that someone is acting out scenes from her books and fears that there is a serial killer at work and that she is going to be the next victim. Of course, the police think she just has an overactive imagination. So, with the help of her friends (the outgoing owner of a sex toy shop and a gay hairdresser) and her new boyfriend, a sexy Russian-American named Anatoly, whom she meets at Starbucks, uses herself as bait to catch the killer. The title of this “chick lit” mystery is a bit misleading: Sophie spends a lot more time thinking, talking, and writing about sex than actually having any, and her caffeine drink of choice is not a double latte, but rather a “Grande Caramel Brownie Frappucino.”
Setting: San Francisco (Russian Hill; Golden Gate Park Botanical Garden)