SYKM


California Mysteries
Sparkle Abbey
  • Caro Lamont, a pet therapist, and her cousin Melinda Langston, owner of The Bow Wow Boutique, in Laguna Beach, California, in the Pampered Pets mysteries

Alex Abella
  • Charlie Morell: Cuban-American private investigator turned lawyer in Los Angeles, California

J. L. Abramo
  • Jake Diamond: private investigator who is more over-easy than hard-boiled, in San Francisco, California

Cleve F. Adams
  • Rex McBride: private eye in Los Angeles, California

Steve Allen
  • Steve Allen and Jayne Meadows: celebrity crime-solvers in Los Angeles, California

Kevin Allman
  • Kieran O’Connor: freelance journalist in Hollywood, California

Cynthia G. Alwyn
  • Brenna Scott: head of a search team that uses specially trained dogs in Sacramento, California

Jeff Andrus
  • John Tracer: family-man sleuth in Monterey, California

David Anthony
  • Stanley Bass: professional gambler in southern California

Jennifer Apodaca
  • Samantha Shaw: suburban housewife and soccer mom in Southern California

Miles Archer
  • Doug McCool: Vietnam vet and process server in San Francisco, California

Noreen Ayres
  • Samantha “Smokey” Brandon: forensic pathologist in Orange County, California

William Babula
  • Jeremiah St. John: private investigator in San Francisco, California

Lise S. Baker
  • Cal Brantley: female private investigator in San Francisco, California

John Ball
  • Virgil Tibb: homicide detective in Pasadena, California

Dallas Barnes
  • John Stryker: detective sergeant in Los Angeles, California

Richard Barre
  • Wil Hardestyl: Vietnam Vet private investigator in Los Angles, California

Joan Bartlett
  • Berrien Gamble: co-owner of the Nice Skates Ice Arena and an amateur sleuth, in the fictitious costal town of Portugal, 40 miles south of San Francisco, California

Dan Barton
  • Biff Kincaid: stand-up comedian turned amateur sleuth in Los Angeles, California (right below the Hollywood sign)

Milton Bass
  • Vinnie Altobelli: ex-cop coronary survivor P.I. in San Bernadino, California
  • Benny Freedman: private eye in San Diego, California in San Bernadino, California

Karen Grigsby Bates
  • Alex (Alexa) Powell: African-American newspaper columnist in Los Angeles, California

George Baxt
  • Jacob Singer: 1940s Hollywood private eye in Los Angeles, California

David Berlinski
  • Aaron Asherfield: cynical investigator with 3 ex-wives in San Francisco, California

Karin Berne
  • Ellie Gordon: law firm office manager in Orange County, California

Baron R. Birtcher
  • Mike Travis: newly retired cop, building a charter sailing business in Los Angeles, California

Paul Bishop
  • Fey Croaker: a 40-something homicide cop in Los Angeles, California
  • Calico Jack Walker:ex-patrol cop, and Tina Tamiko, his former rookie partner, in Los Angeles, California

Juliet Blackwell
  • Lily Ivory: a witch running a vintage clothing store, Aunt Cora’s Closet, where she can feel vibrations of the past, in San Francisco, California, in the Witchcraft mysteries

Meredith Blevins
  • Annie Szabo:writer and mother, and Madam Mina, a fortune-teller and head of Annie’s late husband’s gypsy clan, in California

Jack Bludis
  • Brian Kane: private eye in Hollywood, California

Todd Borg
  • Owen McKenna: ex-San Francisco homicide inspector turned private investigator, and his Harlequin Great Dane, Spot, at Lake Tahoe, California, and Nevada

Mark Bouton
  • Rick Dover: homicide detective in Los Angeles, California

Alistair Boyle
  • Gil Yates: private investigator, alias Malvin Stark, a nerdy, unsuccessful real estate agent in Los Angeles, California

Ray Bradbury
  • Unnamed writer and amateur sleuth in Los Angeles, California

Jon Breen
  • Jerry Brogan: track announcer at Surfside Meadows in California
  • Rachel Hennings: bookstore owner in Los Angeles, California

Kate Bryan
  • Maggie Maguire: ex-Pinkerton agent in 1870s San Francisco, California

Carter Brown
  • Larry Baker: screenwriter, and his perpetually drunk partner Boris Slivka, in Hollywood, California
  • Rick Holman: private investigator, in Hollywood, California
  • Randy Roberts: lawyer in San Francisco, California
  • Al Wheeler: sheriff’s homicide investigator, in fictional Pine County, near Los Angeles, California

P.A. Brown
  • David Eric Laine: in-the-closet gay LAPD homicide detective

Robin Burcell
  • Sydney Fitzpatrick: FBI forensic artist in San Francisco, California
  • Kate Gillespie: homicide inspector in San Francisco, California

Jan Burke
  • Irene Kelly: newspaper reporter in southern California

Max Byrd
  • Mike Halle: private eye specializing in missing persons in San Francisco, California

Hamilton T. Caine (Stephen Smoke)
  • Ace Carpenter: private investigator in Los Angeles, California

James Calder
  • Bill Damen: filmmaker turned sleuth in Santa Clara, California

Robert Campbell
  • Whistler: sentimental private eye in Hollywood, California

Stephen J. Cannell
  • Shane Scully: police sergeant in Los Angeles, California

Taffy Cannon
  • Roxanne Prescott: in Williamsburg, Virginia, and then San Diego, California
  • Nan Robinson: State Bar Investigator in California

Kate Carlisle
  • Brooklyn Wainwright: a rare book expert in San Francisco, California, in the Bibliophile mysteries

Grace Carroll (Carol Culver)
  • Rita Jewel, selling clothes and accessories to socialites at Dolce's Boutique, in San Francisco, California, in the Accessories mysteries

Sally Carpenter
  • Sandy Fairfax: a ’70s teen idol, now 38 years old and making a comeback, in 1990s southern California

Marie Celine
  • Kitty Karlyle: gourmet pet chef in Los Angeles, California

Peter Chambers
  • Mark Preston: private investigator in Monkton City, California

David Champion
  • Bomber Hanson: ace trial lawyer, and his son and investigator, Tod, based in fictional Angleton, on the central coast of California

Raymond Chandler
  • Philip Marlowe: private eye on the “mean streets” of Los Angeles, California

Leonard Chang
  • Allen Choice: Korean-American Silicon Valley investigator in Los Angeles, California

Sally Chapman
  • Juliet Blake: computer fraud investigator in Silicon Valley, California

Carol Culver
  • Hanna Denton, returning home to take over her grandmother’s pie shop, in fictional Crystal Cove, California, in the Pie Shop mysteries

James Hadley Chase
  • Vic Malloy: private investigator in California

Thomas Chastain
  • Perry Mason, defense attorney in Los Angeles, California

Margaret Chittenden
  • Charlie Plato: country-western tavern owner in San Francisco, California

Baxter Clare
  • L. A. “Frank” Franco: homicide detective in Los Angles, California

Carol Higgins Clark
  • Regan Reilly: private eye in Los Angeles, California

Marcia Clark
  • Rachel Knight: 30-something deputy DA in the Special Trials Unit, in Los Angeles, California

Clyde B. Clason
  • Theocritus Lucius Westborough: elderly scholar of the Roman Empire, in Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California

Mark Coggins
  • August Riordan: jazz bass-playing private investigator in San Francisco, California

Jennifer Colt
  • Kerry and Terry McAfee: twin fledgling investigators in Southern California

Jodi Compton
  • Hailey Cain: 23-year-old West Point dropout, San Francisco bike messenger, later second in command in a gang in Los Angeles, California

Michael Connelly
  • Harry Bosch: homicide detective in Los Angeles, California
  • Mickey Haller: lawyer in Los Angeles, California
  • Terry McCaleb: former FBI man recuperating from a heart transplant, in Los Angeles, California
  • Jack McEvoy: reporter, and Rachel Walling, an FBI agent, in Denver, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California

Bruce Cook (Bruce Alexander)
  • Antonio “Chico” Cervantes: private eye in Los Angeles, California

Rick Copp
  • Jarrod Jarvis: former child-star and gay amateur sleuth, in Los Angeles, California, and London, England

Basil Copper
  • Mike Faraday: hard-boil private eye who quotes Herrick in Los Angeles, California

Lucha Corpi
  • Gloria Damasco: Hispanic detective in San Francisco Bay area in California Brown Angel Mystery

Miles Corwin
  • Ash Levine: former Israeli paratrooper and top detective in the elite LAPD Felony Squad, in Los Angeles, California

Elizabeth Cosin
  • Zen Moses: private investigator and cancer survivor in Santa Monica, California

Michael Craft
  • Claire Gray: theatrical director in Palm Springs, California

Robert Crais
  • Elvis Cole and Joe Pike: pair of Hollywood private eyes in Los Angeles, California

Cheryl Crane
  • Nikki Harper: celebrity realtor and amateur sleuth, in Hollywood, California

John Crowe (Dennis Lynds)
  • Lee Beckett: private investigator in Buena Costa County, California

Laura Crum
  • Gail McCarthy: veterinarian in the Santa Cruz Equine Practice, in Santa Cruz, California

E.V. Cunningham
  • Masao Masuto: private investigator in Beverly Hills, California

Stan Cutler
  • Rayford Goodman: jaded, once-famous private investigator, and Mark Bradley, a gay writer of celebrity biographies, in Los Angeles, California

Carol Culver
  • Hanna Denton, returning home to take over her grandmother’s pie shop, in fictional Crystal Cove, California, in the Pie Shop mysteries
Don Dahler
  • Huck Doyle: pro golfer and non-practicing lawyer working as a private investigator, in Los Angeles, California

Catherine Dain
  • Faith Cassidy: actress-turned-therapist, in Los Angeles, California
  • Mariana Morgan: psychic healer, in Los Angeles, California

Christopher Darden
  • Nicolette (Nikki) Hill: 30-something black prosecutor in Los Angeles, California (by Dick Lochte and Christopher Darden)

Kenn Davis
  • Carver Bascombe: black poet and private investigator, in San Francisco, California

Kyra Davis
  • Sophie Katz: half-Black, half-Jewish mystery writer, in San Francisco, California

Thomas D. Davis
  • Dave Strickland: private investigator in San Jose, California

Janet Dawson
  • Jeri Howardi: private investigator in Oakland, California

Dianne Day
  • Fremont Jones: owner of a typewriter service in San Francisco, California at the turn of the century

David Debin
  • Albie Marx: ex-60's radical and a columnist for a radical magazine in the 90s in Los Angeles, California

John DeCure
  • J. Shepard: lawyer who surfs in Christianitos, California

Kathleen Delaney
  • Ellie McKenzie: newly certified real estate agent returning to her old hometown of Santa Louisa, California

Daniel Depp
  • David Spandau: former movie stuntman, now a private investigator who specializes in serving Hollywood’s elite, in Los Angeles, California

Thomas B. Dewey
  • Mac: ex-cop private investigator, in Chicago, Illinois, and later in Los Angeles, California
  • Pete Schofield: private investigator, and his wife Jeannie, in Los Angeles, California

Margaret Dumas
  • Charley Van Leeuwen Fairfax: heiress, and her new husband Jack, in San Francisco, California

Alice Duncan
  • Mercy Allcutt: former Boston Brahmin, working for a down-on-his luck private investigator, in 1920s Hollywood, California
  • Daisy Gumm Majesty: medium to the rich and famous in 1920s Pasadena, California

Susan Dunlap
  • Vejay Haskell: Pacific Gas & Electric meter reader, in northern California
  • Darcy Lott: movie stuntwoman and Zen practitioner, in northern California
  • Kiernan O’Shaughnessy: former San Francisco medical examiner turned private investigator in La Jolla California
  • Jill Smith: homicide detective in Berkeley, California

Joan M. Drury
  • Tyler Jones: lesbian feminist newspaper columnist, based in San Francisco, California

Michael C. Eberhardt
  • Non-series legal thrillers set in California

Lesley Egan (Elizabeth Linington)
  • Jesse Falkenstein: lawyer in Los Angeles, California
  • Vic Varallo: small-town cop who moves to Glendale, California

Robert Ellis
  • Lena Gamble: young police detective just promoted to the elite Robbery-Homicide Division, in Los Angeles, California

James Ellroy
  • Lloyd Hopkins: detective sergeant in Los Angeles, California

Ron Ely
  • Sands, Jake: retired salvage agent and finder of lost things in Santa Barbara, California

Dianne Emley
  • Nan Vining: homicide detective along with her partner, Jim Kissick, and single mom to Emily, in Pasadena, California

Robert Eversz
  • Nina Zero: smart, sexy photographer in California

Terence Faherty
  • Scott Elliott: 1940s failed actor turned PI in Hollywood, California

Jerrilyn Farmer
  • Madeline Bean: caterer in Hollywood, California

Christa Faust
  • Angel Dare: retired porn star running Daring Angels, an adult modeling agency, in Van Nuys, California

G.G. Fickling
  • Honey West: private eye combination of Marilyn Monroe and Mike Hammer, mostly in southern California

Anthony Flacco
  • Shane Nightingale: 12-year-old orphaned in the 1906 earthquake, and Randall Blackburn, a homicide detective who adopts him, in San Francisco, California

Elaine Flinn
  • Molly Doyle: antique dealer in Carmel, California

Katherine V. Forrest
  • Kate Delafield: lesbian homicide detective in Los Angeles, California

Rebecca Forster
  • Josie Baylor-Bates: criminal defense lawyer in greater Los Angeles, California, in the Witness series

Earlene Fowler
  • Albenia “Benni” Harper: ex-rancher and folk art museum curator in San Celina, California
  • Ruby McGavin, inheriting a ranch in fictional Tokopah County, California, in a suspenseful family saga

Sunny Frazier
  • Christy Bristol: amateur astrologer who works as a secretary in a sheriff’s substation, in the San Joaquin Valley of California

Gwen Freeman
  • Fifi Cutter: bi-racial, 20-something, freelance insurance investigator, in Los Angeles, California

James N. Frey
  • Joe Zanca: ex-boxer private investigator working for The Agency, in San Francisco, California

Scott Frost
  • Alex Delillo: police detective lieutenant in Pasadena, California

Dale Furutani
  • Ken Tanaka: computer programmer in Los Angeles, California

Eric Garcia
  • Vince Rubio: velociraptor and private investigator, in Los Angeles, California

Meg Gardiner
  • Jo Beckett: forensic psychiatrist in San Francisco, California
  • Evan Delaney: adventurous young woman in Santa Barbara, California

Erle Stanley Gardner
  • Perry Mason: defense attorney in Los Angeles, California

William Campbell Gault
  • Brock (The Rock) Callahan: former professional football player turned upscale private investigator, in Los Angeles, California
  • Joe Puma: big, tough private investigator, in Los Angeles, California

Daryl Wood Gerber
  • Jenna Hart: avid reader, admitted foodie, and owner of a cookbook store in the fictional coastal town of Crystal Cove, California, in the Cookbook Nook mysteries

Tony Gibbs
  • Neal Donahoe: Harbor Patrol Officer  in Santa Barbara, California
  • Tory Lennox: U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant in Santa Barbara, California

Jaqueline Girdner
  • Kate Jasper: gag-gift wholesaler in Marin County, California

Hal Glatzer
  • Katy Green: violin player in the Ultra Belles, an all-girl swing band in 1940s California

Lee Goldberg
  • Adrian Monk: obsessive-compulsive police detective, in San Francisco, California, in the Monk TV novelizations
  • Dr. Mark Sloan: Chief of Internal Medicine at Community General Hospital who consults with the LAPD, in Los Angeles, California, in the Diagnosis Murder TV novelizations
  • Charlie Willis: ex-cop turned studio security agent, in Los Angeles, California

Leonard S. Goldberg
  • Joanna Blalock: forensic pathologist in Los Angeles, California

Nadia Gordon
  • Sunny McCoskey: chef in wine country, Napa Valley, California

The Gordons
  • D.C. Randall: a Persian cat in Los Angeles, California

Steven Gore
  • Graham Gage: cop turned private investigator, caught up in international intrigue, based in San Francisco, California

Joe Gores
  • Daniel Kearney Associates: auto repo and skip-tracing firm in San Francisco, California

Ron Goulart
  • John Easy: private investigator in Hollywood, California
  • Groucho Marx: movie star in Hollywood, California

Sue Grafton
  • Kinsey Millhone: private eye in Santa Teresa, California

Linda Grant
  • Catherine Sayler: private investigator in San Francisco, California

Chuck Greaves
  • Jack MacTaggart: lawyer with Henley & Hargrove, the oldest and snobbiest law firm in Pasadena, California

Kate Green
  • Theresa Fortunato: tarot-reading psychic, and Oliver Jardine, a police detective, in Los Angeles, California

Stephen Greenleaf
  • John Marshall Tanner: non-practicing attorney and private eye in San Francisco, California

Lois Greiman
  • Christina McMullen: cocktail waitress turned professional psychologist, and homicide detective Jack Rivera, in Los Angeles, California

Annie Griffin
  • Hannah Malloy and Kiki Goldstein: unlikely pair of 60-something sisters in Marin, California

Terris McMahan Grimes
  • Theresa Galloway: a personnel officer in Sacramento, California

Patricia Guiver
  • Delilah Doolittle: British widow and pet detective and her Doberman pinscher named Watson in fictional Surf City (Huntington Beach), California

Rebecca M. Hale
  • Rebecca, running an antique shop inherited from her Uncle Oscar, and her cats Rupert and Isabella, in San Francisco, California, in the Cats and Curios mysteries

Oakley Hall
  • Ambrose Bierceand Tom Redmond: journalists in 1880s San Francisco, California

Mary Bowen Hall
  • Emma Chizzit: salvage dealer in Sacramento, California

Gemma Halliday
  • Tina Bender: gossip columnist with the L.A. Informer, the premier tabloid magazine in Los Angeles, California, in the Hollywood Headlines series
  • Maddie Springer: shoe designer turned crime fighter, in Los Angeles, California, in the High Heels romantic mysteries

Timothy Hallinan
  • Junior Bender: high-end burglar who moonlights as a private eye for crooks, in Los Angeles, California
  • Simeon Grist: four-degreed private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Lorie Ham
  • Alexandra Walters: gospel singer in the fictional town of Donlyn in the San Joaquin Valley of California

Denise Hamilton
  • Eve Diamond: reporter for the LA Times, in Los Angeles, California

Laurell K. Hamilton
  • Meredith Gentry: mortal Faerie princess hiding in Los Angeles, California

Dashiell Hammett
  • The Continental Op: operative with the Continental Detective Agency, based in San Francisco, California

Joseph Hansen
  • Hank Bohannon: ex-sheriff, owner of a horse ranch and crime fighter in Central California
  • Dave Brandstetter: gay death-claims investigator in Los Angeles, California

Paul Harper (David Lindsey)
  • Marten Fane: retired police detective in San Francisco, California

William Harrington
  • Columbo: homicide detective in Los Angeles, California

Will Harriss
  • Cliff Dunbar: former English professor turned private investigator, in Los Angeles, California

Jeanne Hart
  • Carl Pedersen: police detective in fictional Bay Cove, California

Gar Anthony Haywood
  • Aaron Gunner: black private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Richard Helms
  • Eamon Gold: private investigator in San Francisco, California

Randall Hicks
  • Toby Dillon: adoption attorney in California

Bonnie Hearn Hill
  • Newspaper reporters, including Geri LaRue, a hearing-impaired 20-something, in San Francisco, and elsewhere in California

Betty Hechtman
  • Molly Pink: 40-something widow coordinating events in a bookstore, including the Tarzana Hookers, a crochet group in California, in the Crochet mysteries

Echo Heron
  • Adele Monsarrat: hospital nurse in Marin County, California

Naomi Hirahara
  • Mas Arai: Japanese-American Hiroshima survivor, gardener in Los Angeles, California, and sleuth

Tami Hoag
  • Tony Mendez: Sheriff's detective in mid-1980s Oak Knoll, California, in the Deeper than the Dead series

Wendy Hornsby
  • Maggie MacGowen: documentary filmmaker in Los Angeles, California
  • Kate Teague: history teacher in California

Dorothy Howell
  • Haley Randolph: 20-something obsessed with handbags and working part-time at Holt’s Department Store in Los Angeles, California

Roy Huggins
  • Stuart Bailey: private investigator based in Los Angeles, California

David Hunt (William Bayer)
  • Kay Farrow: color-blind photojournalist in San Francisco, California

Morgan Hunt
  • Tess Camillo: single, middle-aged lesbian amateur sleuth who lives with a straight housemate, in San Diego, California

Robert Irvine
  • Vicki Garcia, television reporter in Los Angeles, California
  • Kevin Manwaring: field producer in Los Angeles, California

Lisa Jackson
  • Anthony Paterno: detective in California

Jonnie Jacobs
  • Kate Austen: single mother in Walnut Hills, California
  • Kali O’Brien: attorney in Gold Country, California

Nancy Baker Jacobs
  • Quinn Collins: reporter for the Hollywood Star, in Hollywood, California

Sue Ann Jaffarian
  • Odelia Grey: plus-sized, middle-aged paralegal, in southern California
  • Madison Rose: waitress in Los Angeles, California, in the Fang-in-Cheek vampire mysteries

Brèni James
  • Gunnar Matson: police sergeant in San Francisco, California

Nancy Lynn Jarvis
  • Regan McHenry: real estate agent in Santa Cruz, California

Michael Joens
  • Sandra Cameron: detective in Los Angeles, California

Claire M. Johnson
  • Mary Ryan: pastry chef in San Francisco, California

Linda O. Johnston
  • Kendra Ballantyne: attorney and freelance pet sitter in Los Angeles, California
  • Lauren Vancouver: head of HotRescues, a no-kill animal shelter, north of Los Angeles, California, in the Pet Rescue mysteries

R.T. Jordan
  • Polly Pepper: an aging, legendary TV actress from the golden age, in Hollywood, California
Cady Kalian
  • Maggie Mars: struggling screenwriter and former investigative journalist, in Los Angeles, California

Stuart M. Kaminsky
  • Toby Peters: 1940s Hollywood PI in Los Angeles, California
  • James Rockford: low-rent detective in Los Angeles, California

Susan Kandel
  • Cece Caruso: 40-something biographer of dead mystery writers and fan of vintage fashions, in Southern California

Marshall Karp
  • Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs: police detectives in Los Angeles, California

Faye Kellerman
  • Rina Lazarus: wife of LAPD detective in Los Angeles, California

Jonathan Kellerman
  • Petra Connor: cop in Los Angeles, California
  • Alex Delaware: child psychologist in Los Angeles, California

Jerry Kennealy
  • Nick Polo: private eye in San Francisco, California
  • Carroll Quint: entertainment critic for a newspaper in San Francisco, California

Karen Kijewski
  • Kat Colorado: bar-tending private investigator, in Sacramento, California

Lee Killough
  • Garreth Mikaelian: vampire cop, first in San Francisco, California and later in Baumen, Kansas

Laurie R. King
  • Kate Martinelli: lesbian homicide detective, and her partner Alonzo Hawkin, in San Francisco, California

Peter King
  • Jack London: the author in 1890s (before his famous novels) in San Francisco, California

Mary Kittredge
  • Charlotte Kent: freelance writer in fictional Pelican Rock, Mendocino County, California

Andrew Klavan
  • Scott Weiss: ex-cop owner of Weiss Investigations, and Jim Bishop, an operative at Weiss Investigations with a penchant for violence and a mysterious military past, in San Francisco, California

Dean R. Koontz
  • Odd Thomas: fry cook who can communicate with the dead, in the fictional small town of Pico Mundo, California

Harley Jane Kozak
  • Wollie Shelley: greeting-card artist in Los Angeles, California

Gabrielle Kraft
  • Jerry Zalman: Beverly Hills lawyer and deal-maker, in Los Angeles, California

Joyce Krieg
  • Shauna J. Bogart: serious radio talk show host in Sacramento, California

Rochelle Krich
  • Molly Blume: true-crime writer in Los Angeles, California
  • Jessie Drake: homicide detective in Los Angeles, California

Ken Kuhlken
  • Tom Hickey: private investigator, in California and Nevada, and the next generation, Clifford Hickey

Carroll Lachnit
  • Hannah Barlow: ex-cop turned lawyer in Orange County, California

Mercedes Lambert
  • Whitney Logan: 20-something attorney in Los Angeles, California

Kelly Lange
  • Maxi Poole: reporter for a large television station in Los Angeles, California

Josh Lanyon
  • Adrien English: mystery writer and bookseller in Los Angeles, California

Janet La Pierre
  • Port Silva mysteries, coastal California

Lynda La Plante
  • Lorraine Page: down-on-her-luck ex-cop in Los Angeles, California

Charles Larson
  • Nils-Frederik Blixen: TV producer and amateur sleuth, mostly in Los Angeles, California

Cynthia Lawrence
  • Catherine “Cat” Deean: part-owner of a catering enterprise in Los Angeles, California

Martha Lawrence
  • Dr. Elizabeth Chase: Stanford-trained parapsychologist turned P.I. in San Diego, California

Elmore Leonard
  • Chili Palmer: entertainment entrepreneur in Los Angeles California

John Lescroart
  • Dismas Hardy: ex-cop bartender and ex-Assistant District Attorney turned defense attorney, and Abe Glitsky, a black, Jewish cop, in San Francisco, California

Laura Levine
  • Jaine Austen: freelance writer in Los Angeles, California

Robert S. Levinson
  • Neil Gulliver: former newspaper crime reporter, and former spouse Stevie Marriner, a soap opera star, in Los Angeles, California

Elliott Lewis
  • Fred Bennett: ex-cop, unlicensed private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Elizabeth Linington
  • Ivor Maddox: sergeant at the Wilcox Avenue Station in Hollywood, California

Dick Lochte
  • Serendipity Dahlquist: gum-snapping 15-year-old girl, and Leo Bloodworth, a grumpy 50-something private investigator, in Los Angeles, California
  • Nicolette (Nikki) Hill: 30-something black prosecutor in Los Angeles, California (by Dick Lochte and Christopher Darden)

Sheila Lowe
  • Claudia Rose: handwriting analyst, in Los Angeles, California

Richard A. Lupoff
  • Hobart Lindsey: insurance claims adjuster for valuable collectibles, and Marvia Plum, a black homicide detective, in Berkeley, California

Lisa Lutz
  • Isabele “Izzy” Spellman: 28-year old sleuth working for her parents’ private investigation firm, in San Francisco, California

D.P. Lyle
  • Samantha (Sam) Cody: former LAPD officer, now a sheriff’s deputy in Mercer Corner, California

Jack Lynch
  • Peter Bragg: former reporter turned private investigator and part-time bartender, in Sausalito and San Francisco, California, and elsewhere

Arthur Lyons
  • Jacob Asch: Jewish-Episcopal ex-reporter P.I. in Los Angeles, California
  • Dr. Eric Parker: chief coroner for Los Angeles County, in California

J.T. MacCargo (Peter Rabe)
  • Joe Mannix: private investigator in Los Angeles, California, in “Mannix” TV series novelizations

Ross MacDonald
  • Lew Archer: ex-cop and private eye in Los Angeles, California

Bethany Maines
  • Nikki Lanier: linguist working with the Carrie Mae Foundation, the supposed philantropic arm of a cosmetics company, but really a secret international organization devoted to helping women, based in Santa Clarita, California

Tim Maleeny
  • Sam McGowan: ex-cop in San Francisco, California:
  • Cape Weathers: reporter turned private investigator, in San Francisco, California

Lindsay Maracotta
  • Lucy Freers: children’s film animator in Los Angeles, California

John Martel
  • Non-series legal thrillers set in San Francisco, California

Steve Martini
  • Paul Madriani: defense attorney in California

Lia Matera
  • Laura Di Palma: a corporate lawyer in San Francisco, California
  • Willa Jansson: law student, then lawyer, and a child of idealistic, left-wing parents, in San Francisco, California

A.E. Maxwell
  • Fiddler and Fiora Flynn: knight-errant and an investment banker, in Crystal Cove, California

Cody McFadyen
  • Smoky Barrett: FBI agent who was badly scarred by a serial killer, in Los Angeles, California

Nora McFarland
  • Lilly Hawkins: TV news photographer in Bakersfield, California

Christine McGuire
  • Kathryn Mackay: prosecuting attorney in northern California

Bridget McKenna
  • Caley Burke: 30-something private investigator, in northern California

G. A. McKevett
  • Savannah Reid: ex-cop and owner of a new detective agency in southern California

Neil McMahon
  • Carroll Monks: emergency-room doctor in San Francisco, California

Claire McNab
  • Kylie Kendall: lesbian manager of a pub in tiny Wollegudgerie, Australia inherits 51% of her father's private detective agency in Los Angeles, California

Judy Mercer
  • Ariel Gold: amnesiac television newsmagazine producer in Los Angeles, California

Ken Mercer
  • Will MacGowen, whose heroin addiction cost him his job as narcotics detective with the LAPD, now police chief in the fictional rural town of Haydenville, California

F.M. Meredith (Marilyn Meredith)
  • Doug Milligan: police detective in the fictional beach community of Rocky Bluff, California

Marilyn Meredith
  • Tempe Crabtree: woman deputy of Bear Creek, California, torn between her Native American (Yanduchi) traditions and her loyalty to Hutch, her minister husband

John A. Miller
  • Claude McCutcheon: laid-back bachelor lawyer in the San Francisco-Bay Area, California

Wade Miller
  • Max Thursday: ex-cop private investigator, and Austin Clapp, a police lieutenant, in San Diego, California

Marlys Millhiser
  • Charlie Greene: female literary agent in Hollywood, California

Rick Mofina
  • Ted Reed: crime reporter, and Walt Sydowski, a homicide inspector, in San Francisco, California

Walter Mosley
  • Socrates Fortlow: philosophical ex-con in California
  • Easy Rawlins: black WWII veteran living in 1940s–1950s Los Angeles, California
  • Paris Minton: Watts bookstore owner, and the dangerous but principled Fearless Jones, in 1950s Los Angeles, California

L.A. Morse
  • Sam Hunter: crude private investigator, in Los Angeles, California

Eddie Muller
  • Billy Nichols: boxing columnist for the Inquirer newspaper, in late 1940s San Francisco, California

Marcia Muller
  • Sharon McCone: legal investigator/private eye in San Francisco, California
  • Elena Oliverez: Director of Museum of Mexican Arts in Santa Barbara, California
  • Joanna Stark: Art Security Expert in San Francisco, California

Marcia Muller & Bill Pronzini
  • Sabina Carpenter: a former Pinkerton operative, and her detective partner, ex-Secret Service agent John Quincannon, in late 1890s San Francisco, California

William Murray
  • Shifty Lou Anderson: professional magician and horseplayer in southern California

Jonathan Nasaw
  • E.L. Pender: retirement-aged FBI Special Agent, in Oregon, California, and the Virgin Islands

Michael Nava
  • Henry Rios: gay criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California

Kris Neri
  • Samantha Brennan: fake psychic, and Annabelle Haggerty, FBI agent and true psychic, in Los Angeles, California

Helen Nielsen
  • Simon Drake: Chicago lawyer transplanted to southern California

William F. Nolan
  • Black Mask Boys: 1930s detective heroes in California
  • Bart Challis: hard-boiled private investigator, and his half-brother Nick, in Los Angeles, California

Kem Nunn
  • Non-series surfer-noir set in southern California

Maxine O’Callaghan
  • Delilah West: private investigator in Orange County, California

Diana O’Hehir
  • Carla Day: 20-something, and her elderly father, an accomplished Egyptologist suffering from Alzeimer’s, in California

Carol Anne O’Marie
  • Sister Mary Helen: retired nun in San Francisco, California

Diana Orgain
  • Kate Connolly: office manager, private investigator, and new mother, in San Francisco, California, in the Maternal Instincts series

Denise Osborne
  • Queenie Davilov: struggling screenwriter and investigator in Hollywood, California

Orland Outland
  • Doan McCandler: gay private investigator. and Binky Van de Kamp, his sidekick. in San Francisco, California
Abigail Padgett
  • Barbara Joan “Bo” Bradley: former court investigator, who works as an advocate for the mentally ill and lives with her own manic-depression, in San Diego, California
  • Blue McCarron: independent social psychologist and private investigator living outside San Diego, California

Robert B. Parker
  • Philip Marlowe: private eye on the “mean streets” of Los Angeles, California

T. Jefferson Parker
  • Charles Hood: sheriff’s deputy in Los Angeles County, California
  • Merci Rayborn: sheriff’s deputy in Orange County, California

James Patterson
  • Lindsay Boxer: homicide inspector, Cindy Thomas, a reporter, Jill Bernhardt, an Assistant District Attorney, and Claire Washburn, a medical examiner — founding members of The Women’s Murder Club, in San Francisco, California

Joanne Pence
  • Angelina Amalfi: food columnist and restaurant reviewer in San Francisco, California

Don Pendleton
  • Joe Copp: private investigator in Hollywood, California

Thomas Perry
  • Jack Till: retired LAPD homicide detective, now working as a private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Linda Lee Peterson
  • Maggie Fiore: magazine writer and editor in San Francisco, California

David M Pierce
  • Vic Daniel: 6-foot-7+ cut-rate private investigator, driving a Nash Metropolitan, in Los Angeles, California

Elizabeth Pincus
  • Nell Fury: lesbian private investigator in San Francisco, California

Clyde Phillips
  • Jane Candiotti: homicide inspector in San Francisco, California

Gary Phillips
  • Ivan Monk: African-American private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Robert L. Pike (Robert L. Fish)
  • Jim Reardon: no nonsense, honest cop in San Francisco, California, an incarnation of the character in the Bullitt movie

Richard Prather
  • Shell Scott: 6'2" ex-Marine private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Michael Prescott
  • Abby Sinclair: freelance security consultant who hunts stalkers, and Tess McCallum, FBI special agent, in Los Angeles, California

Bill Pronzini
  • the Nameless Detective: private investigator in San Francisco, California
  • John Quincannon: 19th century private eye in San Francisco, California

Dianne G. Pugh (Dianne Emley)
  • Iris Thorne: investment counselor in Los Angeles, California

Keith Raffel
  • Ian Michaels: Silicon Valley entrepreneur, in Palo Alto, California, in the Silicon Valley mysteries

T.R. Ragan
  • Lizzy Gardner: private investigator who was once terrorized by a serial killer, in Sacramento, California

Misa Ramirez
  • Lola Cruz: budding private investigator at Camacho and Associates, in Sacramento, California

Robert J. Ray
  • Matt Murdock: hard-boiled private investigator based in Newport Beach, California

Philip Reed
  • Harold Dodge: 50-ish, overweight former car salesman, in Los Angeles, California

Robert Reeves [1912-1945]
  • Cellini Smith: accountant for the Mob in New York, New York, turned honest private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Linda L. Richards
  • Madeline Carter: former stockbroker in New York, turned day trader in Los Angeles, California
  • Kitty Pangborn: secretary to private eye Dexter J. Theroux, in 1930s Los Angeles, California

Gillian Roberts
  • Emma Howe: 50-something owner of a private detective agency, and Billie August, a young single mother, in Tiburon (Marin County), California

Les Roberts
  • Saxon: actor and private eye in Los Angeles, California

Lillian M. Roberts
  • Andi Pauling: veterinarian in Palm Springs, California

Lora Roberts
  • Liz Sullivan: freelance writer and organic gardener in Palo Alto, California

Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
  • Lily Forrester: Assistant District Attorney in Southern California
  • Carolyn Sullivan: part-time law student and overworked probation officer in Ventura County, California

Erik Rosenthal
  • Dan Brodsky: an unemployed mathematician who pays the rent as a private investigator, based in San Francisco, California

Rebecca Rothenberg
  • Claire Sharples: microbiologist in the San Joaquin Valley, California

Robert Rotstein
  • Parker Stern: trial lawyer who has developed stage fright, in Los Angeles, California

Alan Russell
  • Am Caulfield: hotel detective in San Diego, California
  • Winter, Stuart: private eye in San Francisco, California

Kirk Russell
  • John Marquez: an ex-DEA agent, now an undercover warden with the California Department of Fish and Game
  • Ben Raveneau: an older homicide detective, and his ambitious young partner, Elizabeth la Rosa, in San Francisco, California

Mark Sadler (Dennis Lynds)
  • Paul Shaw: private investigator and partner in Thayer, Shaw and Delaney, in New York, New York and Los Angeles, California

Cindy Sample
  • Laurel McKay: recently divorced soccer mom working at Hangtown Bank, in the gold country town, Placerville, California

Pamela Samuels-Young
  • Vernetta Henderson: African-American attorney at a large law firm in Los Angeles, California

Stephen Santogrossi
  • Tim Ryder: carpenter in Palm Springs, California

Corinne Holt Sawyer
  • Angela Benbow and Caledonia Wingate: 70-something admirals’ widows, in southern California

Elise Sax
  • Gladie Burger: a matchmaker-in-training, and her eccentric Grandma Zelda, in fictional Cannes, California, in the Matchmaker series

Dylan Schaffer
  • Gordon Seegerman: reluctant public defender by day and an enthusiastic lead singer for a Barry Manilow cover band by night, in Northern California

Michele Scott
  • Nikki Sands: in the Napa Valley, California, in the Wine Lover’s Mysteries

Stephen Jay Schwartz
  • Hayden Glass: detective in the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, who also suffers from a sexual addiction, in Los Angeles, California

Barbara Seranella
  • Munch Mancini: 1970s ex-druggie and jailbird in Los Angeles, California

Diane K. Shah
  • Paris Chandler: wealthy young widow, gossip reporter, and sleuth, in 1947 Los Angeles, California

Barry Shannon
  • Revelations St. Jones: private investigator in the manner of Sam Spade and Phillip Marlowe, in San Francisco, California

Dell Shannon (Elizabeth Linington)
  • Luis Mendoza: lieutenant in the Los Angeles Police Department in California

John Shannon
  • Jack Liffey: private investigator in Los Angeles, California

William Shatner
  • Jack Cardigan: 22nd century ex-cop private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Shari Shattuck
  • Greer Sands: psychic and massage therapist with a teenage son, in fictional Shadow Hills, in the mountains above Los Angeles, California
  • Callaway (Cally) Wilde: wealthy socialite, and LAPD detective Evan Paley, in Los Angeles, California

Jeff Shelby
  • Noah Braddock: surfer and private investigator in San Diego, California

David J. Sherman
  • Jack Murphy: ex-cop turned private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Bill Shoemaker
  • Coley Killebrew: ex-jockey turned restaurant owner in Lexington, Kentucky

Barry Siegel
  • Mike Daley: ex-partner in a prestigious law firm, establishing a practice on the wrong side of town, in San Francisco, California

Sheldon Siegel
  • Mike Daley: lawyer and ex-priest, in San Francisco, California

Linda Kay Silva
  • Delta Stevens [Storm], police officer in River Valley, California near Los Angeles

Roger L. Simon
  • Moses Wine: private investigator in Los Angeles, California

Elizabeth Sims
  • Rita Farmer: aspiring actress and single mother, in Los Angeles, California

L.V. Sims
  • Dixie T. Struthers: detective sergeant in the early days of Silicon Valley (late 1980s), in San José, California

Murray Sinclair
  • Ben Crandel: pornographic novel author and amateur detective, in Los Angeles, California

Shelley Singer
  • Barrett Lake: history teacher turned private investigator in Berkeley, California
  • Jake Sands: ex-cop, and Rosie Vicente, a carpenter, in Berkeley, California

Michael Siverling
  • Victoria and Jason Wilder: mother and son private investigator team in River City, California

David Skibbins
  • Warren Ritter: formerly in the Weather Underground, now a tarot card reader, in Berkeley, California, in the Tarot Card mysteries

Kit Sloane
  • Margot O’Banion: a film editor, and Max Skull, a movie director, based in Los Angeles, California

Patricia Smiley
  • Tucker Sinclair: 30-something divorcee and financial adviser, in Los Angeles, California

April Smith
  • Ana Grey: FBI agent in California

Julie Smith
  • Paul MacDonald: ex-reporter and mystery writer in San Francisco. California
  • Rebecca Schwartz: Jewish feminist lawyer in San Francisco, California

Stephen Smoke
  • Derek Cheney: recently retired LAPD chief of detectives, in Los Angeles, California
  • E.L. Nash: police detective in Los Angeles, California

Keith Snyder
  • Jason Keltner: composer and ex-spy in Los Angeles, California

C. J. Songer
  • Meg Gillis: security officer in Los Angeles, California

Rochelle Staab
  • Liz Cooper: clinical psychologist who is skeptical about the paranormal, in Los Angeles, California, in the Mind for Murder mysteries

Kelli Stanley
  • Miranda Corbie: private investigator, Spanish Civil War nurse, and ex-escort, in 1940s San Francisco, California

Domenic Stansberry
  • Dante Mancuso: private investigator, AKA the Pelican, in the North Beach area of San Francisco, California

Janice Steinberg
  • Margo Simon: California Public Radio reporter in San Diego, California

Reed Stephens
  • Mick “Brew” Axbrewder: unlicensed private investigator in Puerta del Sol, California

Jim Stinson
  • Spencer Churchill (Stoney) Winston: filmmaker at the bottom of the Hollywood food chain, screenwriter, and film workshop teacher, in Los Angeles, California

David Sundstrand
  • Frank Flynn: Bureau of Land Management agent, in the Mojave Desert of southern California, in the Desert Sky mysteries

Shirley Tallman
  • Sarah Woolson: attorney in 19th century San Francisco, California

Elizabeth Atwood Taylor
  • Maggie Elliott: ex-filmmaker and private eye in San Francisco, California

Jean Taylor
  • Maggie Garret: young, lesbian private investigator in San Francisco, California

Joseph Telushkin
  • David Winter: rabbi in West LA (Los Angeles), California

Terri Thayer
  • Dewey Pellicano: who inherits her mother’s quilt shop Quilter Paradiso, in San Jose, California, in the Quilting mysteries

Steven M. Thomas
  • Robert Rivers: burglar and stickup man in Orange County and Los Angeles, California

L.L. Thrasher
  • Lizbet Lange: heiress and ex-waitress in California

Ronald Tierney
  • Carly Paladino: private investigator formerly with a large security firm, and Noah Lang, a streetwise PI, in San Francisco, California

Nichelle D. Tramble
  • Maceo Redfield: disillusioned baseball star and college dropout, in Oakland, California

Robert Upton
  • Amos McGuffin: hard-drinking, golf-playing private investigator, based in San Francisco, California (also in Los Angeles and New York City)

Deborah Valentine
  • Katharine Craig: a sculptor, and Kevin Bryce, an ex-sheriff’s detective, in Lake Tahoe, California

Jack Vance
  • Joe Bain: sheriff in fictional San Rodrigo County, California

Marcos M. Villatoro
  • Romilia Chacón: young bilingual cop in Nashville, Tennessee, later an FBI agent in Los Angeles, California

Ayelet Waldman
  • Juliet Applebaum: public defender turned stay-at-home mom in Los Angeles, California

Marilyn Wallace
  • Jay Goldstein and Carlos Cruz: homicide detectives in Oakland, California

Patricia Wallace
  • Sydney Bryant: private investigator in San Diego, California

Nathan Walpow
  • Joe Portugal: actor and plant lover in Los Angeles, California

Haley Walsh (Jeri Westerson)
  • Skyler Foxe: a gay high school English teacher in Redlands, California, in a romantic mystery series

Joseph Wambaugh
  • Nathan Weiss (Hollywood Nate): a cop dreaming of movie stardom, and a cast of characters centered around LAPD’s Hollywood Division, in Los Angeles, California

Wayne Warga
  • Jeffrey Dean: ex-CIA courier and journalist, now a rare book dealer, in Los Angeles, California

Penny Warner
  • Presley Parker: former abnormal psychological university professor who opens a party planning business in San Francisco, California, in the Party Planning mysteries
  • Connor Westphal: newspaper publisher in Flat Skunk, California

Stan Washburn
  • Toby Parkman: quietly heroic cop in San Francisco, California

Betty Webb
  • Theodora “Teddy” Bentley: zookeeper living on a houseboat on the central coast of California, in the Zoo mysteries

Pat Welch
  • Helen Black: ex-cop lesbian private investigator, based in Berkeley, California

Melinda Wells (Linda Palmer)
  • Della Carmichael: owner of a cooking school and star of “Della Cooks,” a cable TV cooking show, in Santa Monica, California

Robert Westbrook
  • Nicky Rachmaninoff: reluctant cop, divorced father, and jazz pianist, in Beverly Hills, California, in the Left-Handed Policeman mysteries

Carolyn Weston
  • Casey Kellogg: ex-surfer college-grad detective, teamed with Al Krug, a seasoned cop of the old school, in Santa Monica, California

Gloria White
  • Veronica “Ronnie” Ventana: Mexican-Anglo private investigator in San Francisco, California

Teri White
  • Spaceman Kowalski and Blue Maguire: Vietnam vets and cops, in Los Angeles, California

Collin Wilcox
  • Alan Bernhardt: actor-director private investigator in San Francisco, California
  • Stephen Drake: newspaper reporter with ESP in San Francisco, California
  • Frank Hastings: Sergeant (later, Lieutenant) a co-commander of SFPD homicide in San Francisco, California

John Morgan Wilson
  • Benjamin Justice: gay crime reporter and writer in Los Angeles, California

John Morgan Wilson & Peter Duchin
  • Phil Damon: bandleader playing jazz in 1963 San Francisco, California

Mary Wings
  • Emma Victor: private investigator in San Francisco, California

Don Winslow
  • Boone Daniels: private investigator who would rather be surfing, in San Diego, California

Paula L. Woods
  • Charlotte Justice: black woman homicide detective in Los Angeles, California

Stuart Woods
  • Rick Barron: head of security at the Centurion Movie Studio, in 1939 Los Angeles, California

Edward Wright
  • John Ray Horn: former B-movie cowboy star and ex-con turned debt-collector, in 1940s Los Angeles, California

Wade Wright
  • Paul Cameron: private investigator in southern California

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
  • Charles Spotted Moon: attorney and Ojibway tribal shaman in San Francisco, California

Sheila York
  • Lauren Atwill, a screenwriter, and private investigator Peter Winslow, based in 1940s Hollywood, California

Merla Zellerbach
  • Hallie Marsh: publicist, breast cancer survivor, and accidental detective, based in San Francisco, California

Bruce Zimmerman
  • Quinn Parke: phobia therapist and wealthy amateur sleuth, in San Francisco, California