Lenore Glen Offord. Murder on Russian Hill
(1938) 319 pp.
Coco Hastings is young, recently married, gainfully employed, loves
to read murder mysteries, and is a member of the San Francisco smart set.
One morning, while her husband is away on business, she arrives late to
work and finds that her boss, Tony Austin, has not yet arrived. After receiving
a call summoning her to his Russian Hill apartment, Coco finds Tony dead
with a bullet wound in his heart. As Inspector Geraghty of the San Francisco
police leads the investigation, Coco at first likes the idea of helping
to catch real murderer. She soon decides that its not so fun when all of
the suspects are friends—and even she and her husband, who had returned
to the city in time to have done away with Tony himself, come under suspicion
before the killer is revealed. Set in the Bay Area at the time of the construction
of the Bay Bridge, the novel offers a glimpse of the region as it prepares
to transition from the ferryboat era to the bridge era. Coco and her husband,
Bill, live in Berkeley and they commute by streetcar and ferryboat to San
Francisco. While Coco anticipates being able to drive or take a train directly
to the city, she also laments the beloved boats that will soon be forgotten.
Baird & Greenwood 1940