cover image City of Sharks

City of Sharks

Kelli Stanley. Minotaur, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-00675-2

Stanley’s fine fourth Miranda Corbie mystery (after 2014’s City of Ghosts) finds the tough-as-nails PI planning to leave her beloved San Francisco in the fall of 1940. Miranda will travel to war-torn Berlin seeking her long-lost mother as soon as she can be booked on an ocean liner. But first, she has one last case—figuring out who’s trying to kill Louise Crowley, the assistant to ruthless publisher Niles Alexander. With his reputation of “ruined women and... ruined writers,” Niles—or his athlete son, Jerry, who has a taste for underage prostitutes—would be a more likely target. The complicated, uncompromising Miranda gets a master class in San Francisco publishing with the help of writer Roger Roscoe, and discovers that a missing manuscript about goings-on at Alcatraz, “the city of sharks,” may be worth killing for. Stanley treats the reader to a history of San Francisco landmarks and seamlessly weaves in real figures such as newspaper columnist Herb Caen and author John Steinbeck, adding to the book’s authenticity. Agent: Kimberley Cameron, Kimberley Cameron & Assoc. (Mar.)