Susan Dunlap. A Single Eye (2006) 375 pp.
Professional stuntwoman Darcy Lott has an unusual phobia. She has no hesitation about falling off of a high building but is deathly terrified of being alone in the woods. Having found the practice of Zen Buddhism comforting and helpful in dealing with her fears, she decides to attend an intensive two-week long sesshin—retreat—a monastery in the Northern California wilderness north of Santa Rosa. Although she now lives in New York, Darcy was born and raised in San Francisco—where the bulk of her extended family still lives—and the source of her fears has deep roots in the Bay Area. Soon after she arrives at the monastery, the roshi—teacher—Leo Garson, is poisoned and Darcy is drawn into the mysteries surrounding the monastery, including the suspicious disappearance of a student six years earlier. Although the action takes place very nearly exclusively outside of the Bay Area proper, much of the extensive backstory has its origins in San Francisco and Berkeley.
Setting: Northern California (“five hours north of Santa Rosa”)