Patricia Morrison. Ungrateful Dead: Murder at the Fillmore (2007) 363 pp. [tpo]
March 1966, not quite the Summer of Love: Rennie Stride is twenty-two, with a journalism degree from Columbia, and unhappily married in San Francisco. The source of her unhappiness is not her husband, but rather her husband’s overbearing, and impossibly wealthy, family, who live in a Pacific Heights mansion and have firmly held beliefs in the proper role and attitude for the wife of their son and heir. Rennie, however, has other ideas. She’s a hippie chick, who makes her own clothes, smokes dope, has no maternal inclinations (at least not yet), and dreams of being a rock journalist. So, she has moved into her own flat in Haight-Ashbury and has a job writing about the burgeoning San Francisco music scene for the San Francisco Clarion. When Rennie’best friend, emerging rock singer Prax McKenna, is busted for being at two savage crime scenes—one of them backstage at the newly opened Fillmore Auditorium and the other at Rennie’s own apartment—despite her own problems, Rennie sets out to clear her friend’s name. But nobody expects what happens next. Especially not Rennie.
Setting: San Francisco (Haight-Ashbury; Fillmore Auditorium; 1966)