Gene Thompson. Murder Mystery (1980) 275 pp.
OK, so Thompson doesn’t get any style points for his title, but the mystery isn’t bad. Sixty-year-old San Francisco attorney Dade Cooley is summoned to Los Angeles by the death of Malibu art dealer Miriam Welles. He is the executor of her estate and is not convinced when the police determine her death was accidental—she was crushed by her husband’s Rolls Royce. The solution to the “murder mystery” revolves around a missing Italian Renaissance painting. Even though Dade lives and works in San Francisco, his clients keep taking him away from the city. The series includes two more titles, both also set primarily away from the Bay Area: Nobody Cared For Kate (1983; France) and A Cup of Death (1987; Los Angeles, again).