Like many of us who love mysteries, I have Bouchercon fever. It's a disease that comes around just about this time every year when I start planning and looking forward to Bouchercon, the annual mystery fiction conference.
Of course, I registered myself, my husband and my brother-in-law Peter about two years ago, but there is still time to sign up for Bouchercon, which will be Oct. 14-17.
And the fact that it is in San Francisco is an even more incentive -- the city and the area offers so much to do.
One way I soothe Bouchercon fever -- and this will work for you -- is to start looking at mysteries and crime fiction set in or around the area.
And San Francisco offers so much fodder for wonderful novels and movies.
So, this will be a regular/irregular feature that will continue until Bouchercon starts. By that I mean, I will write these posts when I feel like it.
So, first up, let's look at short stories collections.
San Francisco Noir (2005, Akashic Books) Akashic Books could publish Yellow Pages Noir and I would probably be enthralled. Akashic is keeping the short story alive while publishing series of terrific short stories that look at various cities and their specific neighborhoods. Be sure to read David Corbett's "It Can Happen" about a family inheritance in Hunter's Point. and Kate Braverman's funny "The Neutral Zone," a classic tale of love and hate of two bipolar people in Fisherman's Wharf. Domenic Stansberry's "The Prison" is set on North Beach. Eddie Muller, who is Bouchercon's toastmaster, takes us South of Market with Kid's Last Fight, the story of a very long day.
San Francisco Noir 2: The Classics (2009, Akashic Books) Akashic takes us back with classic stories by, among others, Mark Twain, Jack London, Ambrose Bierce and, of course, Dashiell Hammett, who by law must be included in any discussion of San Francisco crime fiction.
San Francisco Thrillers (1995, Chronicle Books) The eclectic collection shows the timelessness of San Francisco. Stories set in the 1900s could easily be set in 2010. Oscar Lewis' true-crime piece "The Phosphorescent Bridal" concerns a controversial trial, but unless you had been told it took place in the late 1800s you might wonder why
you had missed it on TruTV. Dashiell Hammett, course, is here with "Fly Paper." Marcia Muller checks in with an excerpt from "Deception" and Jim Thompson's "Ironside" has a familiar ring. There's also some script from Alfred Hitchcock's "Vertigo." Francis Bruguiere's photos look as fresh as when they first appeared -- in his 1919 book "San Francisco."