cover image Somewhere in the City

Somewhere in the City

Marcia Muller, . . Pegasus, $15.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-1-933648-34-7

Fans of hard-boiled PI Sharon McCone will welcome the first story collection from MWA Grand Master Muller, who shows she’s just as adept at writing western and ghost tales as detective fiction. Several of the 19 selections feature McCone or her engaging apprentice, Rae Kelleher. In the harrowing title story, McCone seeks a mentally disturbed man trapped somewhere in the rubble of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake. The volume’s best tale, “The Wall,” focuses on the search for a missing teenager and the clues Kelleher unearths in a massive collage on the girl’s bedroom wall. Notable among the western tales, mostly set in turn-of-the-20th-century California, is “The Indian Witch,” about a boy’s brief encounter with a reclusive Native American woman. Muller’s penchant for social commentary may strike some readers as too politically correct, but all will appreciate her gift for good storytelling. (Sept.)