Marcia Muller. Ask the Cards a Question (1982) 152 pp.
Murder strikes close to home for San Francisco PI Sharon McCone when one of her Mission District neighbors is found dead. The unlikely victim is Molly Antonio, the nicest person in Sharon’s apartment building. There is no shortage of suspects, however, including: Gus Antonio, Molly’s eccentric, estranged husband; Sebastian, a blind man who delivers brushes in the neighborhood; Herb Clemente, who is the director of the local center for the blind; the enigmatic Madame Anya, who also lives in Sharon’s building and tells fortunes at $5 a pop; Mr. Moe, an Arab grocery owner with his own tragic history; and Linnea Carraway, Sharon’s childhood friend who is staying with her. Linnea, who is recovering from a messy divorce, has a serious drinking problem and was the last person to see Molly alive—facts that make it hard for Sharon not to see her as the prime suspect. In the meantime, San Francisco Homicide Inspector Greg Marcus continues to pursue a romantic relationship with Sharon, even though he doesn’t fully respect her as a detective. Before she tracks down the killer, Sharon uncovers an elaborate black market plot operating in the heart of the city.
Setting: San Francisco (Mission District)