The Night Searchers

Marcia Muller. Grand Central, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4555-2793-9

At the start of MWA Grand Master Muller’s absorbing 32nd Sharon McCone mystery (after 2012’s Looking for Yesterday), Jay and Camilla Givens, an attractive young couple who live in San Francisco’s upscale Russian Hill neighborhood, come to the PI with a disturbing story. Camilla claims that one evening, while walking past a vacant lot, she saw people in hoods about to sacrifice an infant on “an outdoor fireplace, probably bought from Williams-Sonoma.” Jay is skeptical of his wife’s tale, as is McCone, who pegs Camilla as “an emotional defective.” But she agrees to look into the matter, and soon discovers that Jay has ties to a shadowy treasure-hunting cult called the Night Searchers. Accompanied by her handsome nephew, computer whiz Mick Savage, McCone covertly joins the group for a harrowing night on the town. McCone’s daring and smarts make her an irresistible heroine. The brisk narrative vividly evokes contemporary San Francisco. [em]Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary. (July) [/em]