Golden Gate Mysteries

As I mentioned in my review of Anthony Flacco’s book, as a San Francisco Bay Area native, I have a keen interest in mysteries, especially historicals, set in the region. The best resource of information about these books is Randal Brandt’s site, Golden Gate Mysteries, a “comprehensive bibliography of crime fiction set in the San Francisco Bay Area.” Brandt is a librarian at the University of California, Berkeley and by using multiple sources, including the Don Herron Collection of Mystery and Detective Stories housed at Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, he has compiled over 1,500 titles of interest. These include my favorites: the Sister Carol Anne O’Marie series featuring a seventy-five-year-old nun investigating current day crimes, Laurie King’s Locked Rooms featuring Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell, and Dianne Day’s all too short series with Fremont Jones surviving the 1906 quake.

The arrangement is quite simple with entries listed in alphabetical order by author’s last name and multiple books by the same author listed chronologically. Each entry includes basic publication information and there are many helpful, short plot summaries. Books are not limited to the “City by the Bay,” but include settings in the nine regional counties “along with many other real and imagined Bay Area communities.”

Of special interest is the “Extras” page, which includes a geographic index, a special bibliography for books appearing before Dashiell Hammett’s famous novel The Maltese Falcon in 1930, a selection of stories specifically related to the 1906 earthquake, and books with movie tie-ins.


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