Books by Marcia Muller

Marcia Muller was born in Detroit, Mich., in 1944 and received her bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in journalism from the University of Michigan. Upon graduation she worked for Sunset magazine and then freelanced articles for a number of


THE COLOR OF FEAR by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 8, 2017

"More seasonal goodwill (think of a rainbow-cast remake of It's a Wonderful Life) than misdirection in a story that perfectly illustrates its heroine's bromide: 'When you think about it, all crimes are stupid.'"
Race-baiting violence invades Sharon McCone's Yuletide celebrations. Read full book review >
THE DANGEROUS LADIES AFFAIR by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"The husband-and-wife authors (The Plague of Thieves Affair, 2016, etc.) manage the double plot with professional dexterity. Sadly, though, each of the separate cases peaks around the halfway point before ingenuity and interest fade. And shouldn't the title really be The Dangerous Ladies Affairs?"
The intrepid partners in Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services, land a pair of cases that both begin with adulterous affairs but take them in very different directions. Read full book review >
SOMEONE ALWAYS KNOWS by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 5, 2016

"Fans can expect the workmanlike, uninspired plotting typical of the franchise (The Night Searchers, 2014, etc.), with lots of room for the heroine's and hero's ubiquitous friends and contacts and a particularly neat solution to the opening problem."
Sharon McCone's latest case resurrects a miscreant long thought dead with plenty of mischief left in him. Read full book review >
THE SPOOK LIGHTS AFFAIR by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 3, 2013

"The big mystery is transparent in its outline, and the details aren't interesting enough to keep one reading. Veterans Muller and Pronzini have done better work, both alone and in collaboration."
The year 1895 finds the partners of Carpenter and Quincannon, Professional Detective Services (The Bughouse Affair, 2013) working another pair of cases that turn out to be closely connected. Read full book review >
CITY OF WHISPERS by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 26, 2011

"A glib but neatly plotted adventure from an author whose heroine has almost as many relatives (Coming Back, 2010, etc.) as fans."
Sharon McCone's 29th case is a search for her half brother. Read full book review >
COMING BACK by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 28, 2010

"Glib and heavy-handed. Muller (Locked In, 2009, etc.) tackles security forces run amok with all the subtlety of a supermarket tabloid."
Sharon McCone's 28th case. Read full book review >
LOCKED IN by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 15, 2009

"Proficient and readable, but since very few authors who aren't Nicolas Freeling kill off their franchise heroes, the prospect of McCone's solving her 27th case (Burn Out, 2008, etc.) is never really in doubt."
Sharon McCone almost dies. Read full book review >
BURN OUT by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Oct. 27, 2008

"A bit more self-deprecating humor than usual from McCone and a crisply woven plot. For those readers tired of the McCone-Ripinsky romance, there's much ado about a burgeoning relationship between McCone and a snickering horse."
Sharon McCone fights depression. Read full book review >
THE EVER-RUNNING MAN by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 12, 2007

"The plot hinges on McCone's trust issues, and you probably know already how much you want to read about them. Muller devotees (Vanishing Point, 2006, etc.) will likely hang in there."
A crisis looms in the McCone-Ripinsky marriage. Read full book review >
VANISHING POINT by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 10, 2006

"Like The Dangerous Hour (2004), one of Muller's better efforts, with a strong storyline. Let's hope the bride will soon get over the habit of calling her bridegroom, Hy Ripinski, by his last name."
Not even marriage can slow down Sharon McCone, in her 24th case. Read full book review >
THE DANGEROUS HOUR by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 28, 2004

"One of Muller's better efforts, with a bonus for cat fanciers in need of step-by-step instructions on caring for a diabetic feline."
Sharon McCone, one of San Francisco's busiest, feistiest shamuses tackles her 23rd case. Read full book review >
CYANIDE WELLS by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 16, 2003

"A little hokey sometimes, but Muller's best plotting in years makes it irresistible."
Furloughing Sharon McCone after 22 cases (Dead Midnight, 2002, etc.), Muller delivers a brisk, tidy number without her. Read full book review >
DEAD MIDNIGHT by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 19, 2002

"Typical middling work from veteran Muller (Listen to the Silence, 2000, etc.): a tale that unfolds so rapidly that it's over before you can complain it's the mystery equivalent of fast food."
Feeling despondent over her brother Joey's suicide and guilty that she didn't know him well enough to thwart it, Sharon McCone, San Francisco's female Lew Archer wannabe, is reluctant to handle an investigation into another suicide. Read full book review >
POINT DECEPTION by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 31, 2001

"A jolt of McCone would have gone a long way toward saving this novel-in-distress."
What caused somebody in northern California's Cascada Canyon 13 years ago to massacre two families, children of the counterculture, and how does that mystery tie in with the recent death of Chrystal Ackerman? Read full book review >
LISTEN TO THE SILENCE by Marcia Muller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 19, 2000

"But if her family gets any more extended, McCone (While Other People Sleep, 1999, etc.) may soon be earning all her fees from her relatives."
Sharon McCone, who has never lacked for relatives in a jam, now finds out they may not be her relatives after all. Read full book review >
McCONE AND FRIENDS by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: April 20, 2000

This collection of eight stories is something of a family reunion for the All Souls Legal Cooperative. Read full book review >
A WALK THROUGH THE FIRE by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: May 11, 1999

"The plotting is heavy-handed, the pace heavy-footed, but McCone admirers will remain unshakeable."
Marketing strategy for Sharon McCone's San Francisco investigative agency seems confined to waiting around for friends or relatives to get in trouble. Read full book review >
WHILE OTHER PEOPLE SLEEP by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 14, 1998

"Starts well, stumbles, never recovers."
Someone is stalking Sharon McCone. Read full book review >
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 1997

"More dutiful than inspired despite its range of duos: a missed opportunity for the editors—the genre's own reigning First Couple—and their readers."
Only a few of the 25 oddly-assorted pairs gathered here are romantic couples (Kelly Roos's Jeff and Haila Troy, Julie Smith's Skip Langdon and Steve Steinman); more often, they're colleagues professional (P.G. Wodehouse's Paul Snyder and Elliot Oakes, R. Austin Freeman's Thorndyke and Jervis, Lawrence Blochman's Dr. Coffee and Dr. Mookerji, Michael Gilbert's Calder and Behrens, Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe, Edward Hoch's Sebastian Blue and Laura Charme, editor Muller's Rae Kelleher and Sharon McCone, editor Pronzini's Sabina Carpenter and John Quincannon, Barbara D'Amato's Suze Figueroa and Norm Bennis) or quasi-professional (Margery Allingham's Campion and Inspector Kenny, Stuart Palmer and Craig Rice's Withers and Malone)—or they're Holmes-and- Watson pairs (Hulbert Footner's Mme. Read full book review >
BOTH ENDS OF THE NIGHT by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 1997

"Another sturdy performance from an old hand."
The insular world of small airports, small planes, stunt flying, and flight instruction is explored in exhaustive detail in p.i. Read full book review >
THE BROKEN PROMISE LAND by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: June 17, 1996

"It's still well worth reading, though, as a piercing study of the smashup of a fictional detective's family."
Sharon McCone's 17th case (A Wild and Lonely Place, 1995, etc.) is a family affair in all the worst ways. Read full book review >
A WILD AND LONELY PLACE by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: Aug. 1, 1995

"Overpopulated and overplotted, but gripping from first-page attention-grabber to last-page irony."
Another chapter in the tension-fraught life of p.i. Read full book review >
TILL THE BUTCHERS CUT HIM DOWN by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 1994

"Not up to Wolf in the Shadows (1993)."
No sooner has Sharon McCone cut loose from the All Souls Legal Cooperative to go it on her own—don't worry, it's an amicable divorce; she's still renting space from them—than her old college friend Suits Gordon, scam artist turned corporate messiah, hires her to find out who's trying to kill him. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Sturdy, professional work from all hands, with something extra from Gorman: altogether an auspicious inaugural."
This mystery analogue to Dark Harvest's Night Visions series gets off to a solid start with a trio of novellas. Read full book review >
WOLF IN THE SHADOWS by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 1993

"Despite its elaborate overplotting and often dull, repetitive inner musings, Muller's latest—largely salvaged by its tense and satisfying windup—is absorbing much of the way and vastly more entertaining than the author's recent outings."
San Francisco-based Sharon McCone, ever resourceful investigator for All Souls Legal Cooperative (Pennies on a Dead Woman's Eyes, etc.), finds her courage and ingenuity tested to the max as she faces a pair of major crises. Read full book review >
PENNIES ON A DEAD WOMAN'S EYES by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 1992

"A heavily overembroidered plot; murky motives; too many characters with unconvincing total recall; glimmers of mysticism and lots of psychobabble—all add up to a dull, disjointed outing for an often engrossing author."
Another convoluted puzzle for San Francisco's Sharon McCone, investigator for All-Souls Legal Cooperative (Where Echoes Live, 1991, etc.). Read full book review >
WHERE ECHOES LIVE by Marcia Muller
MYSTERY THRILLER
Released: July 1, 1991

"Well-done wilderness background, a few mildly intriguing characters, and a terse showdown are the best things in a rambling story that lacks the pithiness and pace of the author's best work."
Sharon McCone, investigator for San Francisco's All-Souls Legal Co-op (Eye of the Storm, etc., etc.), is trying to find out what's going on around the near-ghost town of Promiseville, once a center of gold mining in California's high desert. Read full book review >
THERE'S SOMETHING IN A SUNDAY by Marcia Muller
Released: Feb. 15, 1989

Private-eye Sharon McCone—smartest, most likable of the author's several sleuths (Eye of the Storm, etc.)—is intrigued by her new case: tailing ranch-manager Frank Wilkonson as he covers San Francisco's flower mart and nursery every weekend, obviously looking for someone. Read full book review >