Death in Pacific Heights

Ronald Tierney, Author . Severn $27.95 (214p) ISBN 978-0-7278-6728-5

Tierney's less than impressive first in a San Francisco mystery series introduces a pair of PIs. Carly Paladino, who's just quit her job with a large Bay Area security firm, lands her first solo case: investigating the death of Olivia Hanover, a teenage girl from a socially prominent family whom someone injected with a fatal dose of morphine. Paladino's search for an office leads her to PI Noah Lang, who's looking to share his work space. Conveniently, Lang is helping the defense attorney representing the police's prime suspect in the Hanover case. Meanwhile, a suspicious husband hires Lang to keep an eye on his possibly wandering wife. When Lang hears the gunshot that claims the woman's life, he can't buy into the official line that the death was a suicide. Some prosaic prose (“Life goes on and it doesn't, she thought, whether you like it or not”) and insufficiently interesting lead characters put this a cut below Tierney's Deets Shanahan series (Asphalt Moon , etc.). (May)

PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR
THE BEST NEW BOOKS
PW EDITORS’ PICKS FOR THE BEST NEW BOOKS