Marcia Muller. Where Echoes Live (1991) 326 pp.
At the request of her friend and All Souls Legal Cooperative colleague Anne-Marie Altman, San Francisco PI Sharon McCone travels to the high desert community of Tufa Lake in Mono County. Anne-Marie is working as chief counsel for a group of environmental activists committed to saving and restoring Tufa Lake (much as the Mono Lake Committee had recently saved Mono Lake from excess diversions by the city of Los Angeles). At Tufa Lake the threat is not diversions, however; it is a potential gold mining operation near a ghost town called Promiseville, being promoted by the Hong Kong-based Transpacific Corporation. Sharon’s investigation starts with a series of suspicious land deals, then takes her back to San Francisco where Transpacific CEO Lionel Ong maintains a home. The case involves land fraud, kidnapping, and murder and introduces Sharon to the mysterious Hy Ripinsky.
Setting: San Francisco (Twin Peaks; Telegraph Hill); Mono County (“Tufa Lake”)