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Southern California mysteries       View List as Printable PDF

Mysteries set in Southern California

A is for Alibi

A is for Alibi
Series Title: Kinsey Millhone Mysteries
by Grafton, Sue

The wife of a hated divorce lawyer becomes the main suspect in his murder and hires private detective Kinsey Millhone to find the real killer.

Angel in Black

Angel in Black
by Collins, Max Allan

In Los Angeles to help launch a West Coast branch of his detective agency, Chicago private detective Nathan Heller becomes caught up in the notorious Black Dahlia homicide when he discovers that the victim, Elizabeth Short, is a young woman whom he had known in Chicago and who had contacted him shortly before her death.

Anonymous Rex

Anonymous Rex
by Garcia, Eric

A down-on-his-luck L.A. private investigator--who also happens to be a dinosaur--explains how the dinosaurs faked their extinction millions of years ago and roam the earth in disguise, while he struggles to uncover the mystery of his partner's death and overcome his dangerous basil addiction.

The Big Sleep

The Big Sleep
by Chandler, Raymond

Philip Marlowe, a private eye who operates in Los Angeles's seamy underside during the 1930s, takes on his first case, which involves a paralyzed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail, and murder.

Black Dahlia

Black Dahlia
Series Title: L. A. Quartet
by Ellroy, James

Bucky Bleichert, ex-prize fighter and policeman, investigates when a young woman's mutilated body appears in a vacant Los Angeles lot.

Blood Reins

Blood Reins
Series Title: Sandra Cameron series
by Joens, Michael

Detective Thomas Rigby of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department investigates the murder of a prestigious horse trainer, a reputed lady's man who once taught Rigby's fellow detective and current girlfriend, the last person who saw the victim alive.

Blood Work

Blood Work
by Connelly, Michael

Eight weeks after a heart transplant saves his life, former FBI agent Terry McCaleb discovers that his new heart came from a murder victim, leading Terry to become involved in tracking down the killer.

Chalk Whispers

Chalk Whispers
by Bishop, Paul

When the sister of an outspoken police commissioner is found murdered, Fey Croaker and the crew of the LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide division turn up a list of high-profile suspects, an underground abused child protection ring, and links to an unsolved thirty-year-old killing implicating a powerful California Supreme Court nominee.

The Clark Gable and Carole Lombard Murder Case

The Clark Gable and Carole Lombard Murder Case
by Baxt, George

While 1939 Atlanta is gearing up for the premiere of Gone With the Wind, Hollywood is experiencing a series of kidnappings targeted at star babies, with the dashing Clark Gable and his glamorous wife Carole Lombard on the case.

Death in Little Tokyo

Death in Little Tokyo
Series Title: Ken Tanaka series
by Furutani, Dale

A femme fatale asks mystery buff and amateur sleuth Ken Tanaka to take on a case for her--which he does on a lark--but he soon finds himself involved in a murder in Los Angeles's Little Tokyo.

Ghosts of Morning

Ghosts of Morning
Series Title: a Wil Hardesty mystery
by Barre, Richard

A mysterious and popular private eye with a deep, dark past, Wil Hardesty is the focus of a gritty novel in which the author plunges further into Wil's dark past to a distant place where murder and friendship collide.

Goodnight, Irene

Goodnight, Irene
Series Title: Irene Kelly series
by Burke, Jan

When her closest friend, O'Connor, is killed by a bomb shortly before he was to solve a 1955 murder, Irene Kelly takes it upon herself to figure out who silenced her friend and why.

A Hard Light

A Hard Light
Series Title: Maggie MacGowen mystery
by Hornsby, Wendy

A beautiful Vietnamese immigrant petitions filmmaker and sleuth Maggie MacGowen to find a scholar who escaped from Vietnam with a fortune in art after the war, leading her straight into a web of lies and betrayals.

The Jasmine Trade

The Jasmine Trade
Series Title: Eve Diamond series
by Hamilton, Denise

The death of bride-to-be Marina Chang in a supposed carjacking sends Los Angeles Times reporter Eve Diamond on the trail of California's "parachute kids," wealthy Asian teens living alone while their parents run Hong Kong businesses, putting her own life in danger as she unravels the mysteries of Marina's life and death.

Jinxed

Jinxed
Series Title: Regan Reilly series
by Clark, Carol Higgins

Hired to find a missing movie starlet, private investigator Regan Reilly finds her search taking her to such sites as a movie set, boutique wineries, and new-age cults, where she meets a host of colorful characters and experiences a range of misadventures.

Killer Commute

Killer Commute
Series Title: Charlie Greene series
by Millhiser, Marlys

When one of her neighbors is murdered Long Beach literary agent Charlie Green must forego her holiday and cope with decidedly strange neighbors, intrusive police, and an unknown killer.

L. A. Requiem

L. A. Requiem
Series Title: Elvis Cole series
by Crais, Robert

When P.I. Elvis Cole discovers that his partner, Joe Pike, was once the lover of a murdered woman, he finds himself going beyond normal investigative procedures and starts to pry into the very private realm of the LAPD's elite Robbery-Homicide Division.

Mumbo Gumbo

Mumbo Gumbo
Series Title: Madeline Bean culinary mystery series
by Farmer, Jerrilyn

Hired to replace a missing L.A. TV show writer, Madeline Bean takes on a quirky staff and every one of its humourous responsibilities while concentrating her efforts on finding the missing writer and uncovering the mystery behind his absence.

Sleeping Bones

Sleeping Bones
Series Title: Kate Delafield series
by Forrest, Katherine V.

Los Angeles's Kate Delafield, a lesbian homicide detective, returns to investigate a murder at the La Brea Tar Pits that spirals into a dangerous case involving scientific revelations, political corruption, and the CIA.

The Viking Funeral

The Viking Funeral
Series Title: Shane Scully series
by Cannell, Stephen J.

LAPD Sergeant Shane Scully discovers that his friend and colleague Jody Dean--who supposedly committed suicide two years previously--has joined a destructive group of rogue cops called the Vikings, who are determined to wreak havoc on the LAPD.

Zen and the Art of Murder

Zen and the Art of Murder
Series Title: Zen Moses series
by Cosin, Elizabeth

Tough Los Angeles private detective Zen Moses finds an unwelcome surprise over a glass of beer in her favorite bar, Father's Office, when she stumbles over the body of her murdered long-lost cousin.