Spend some time in The Golden State with these 5 mystery books that take place in California.
1. Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly
“Harry Bosch is back as a volunteer working cold cases for the San Fernando Police Department and is called out to a local drugstore where a young pharmacist has been murdered. Bosch and the town’s three-person detective squad sift through the clues, which lead into the dangerous, big business world of pill mills and prescription drug abuse. Meanwhile, an old case from Bosch’s LAPD days comes back to haunt him when a long-imprisoned killer claims Harry framed him and seems to have new evidence to prove it. Bosch left the LAPD on bad terms, so his former colleagues aren’t keen to protect his reputation. He must fend for himself in clearing his name and keeping a clever killer in prison. The two unrelated cases wind around each other like strands of barbed wire. Along the way Bosch discovers that there are two kinds of truth: the kind that sets you free and the kind that leaves you buried in darkness.”
2. The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia — and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history. Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia — driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead girl’s twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches — into a region of total madness
3. Pot Luck: A James Emerson Harris Mystery by David L. Gersh
“Things always seem to go wrong for Jimmy Harris. The small coastal town of San Buenasara is gripped in a recession. Jimmy’s law practice is in the tank.
“Wee Willy’s is the hot pot company in town. And perhaps a way to stay afloat. Willy wants him to be president. To think, him a president.
“Alas, things are not what they seem. Mysterious shell companies own the stock. The company is broke, even though boxes of cash keep arriving. Jimmy finds himself up to his eyebrows in a struggle between the law and shadowy people who will do anything to get their way. Is it the drug cartel? The Mafia? Or is it the FBI?
“He stumbles. He bumbles. He’s arrested for murder. He needs to find a way through this maze. The alternatives are unthinkable.
“With the help of his once and future wife, Karen, and the resourcefulness of his law partner Clyde, maybe he can find a way out. And of course, Bruno, Karen and Jimmy’s long-haired dachshund, wants to help. He has a nose for mysteries.”
4. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
“A dying millionaire hires private eye Philip Marlowe to handle the blackmailer of one of his two troublesome daughters, and Marlowe finds himself involved with more than extortion. Kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder are just a few of the complications he gets caught up in.”
5. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
“A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett’s iconic, influential, and beloved The Maltese Falcon.”
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