Excerpt: San Francisco’s North Beach isn’t a beach. It once was. But a portion of the Bay was filled in to make room for more buildings. Now it is a low-rise village tucked in between Chinatown, the Financial District, Jackson Square, and the lofty neighborhoods of Russian Hill and Telegraph Hill.
North Beach is half-tourist and half authentic San Francisco. The neighborhood wasn’t made to look like an old Italian neighborhood. It is an old Italian neighborhood. True, modernity crept in as families died off. A hardware is gone. So are a few family-style restaurants. But the chain stores were kept at bay. There are no Olive Gardens or Starbucks. No Borders. No Banana Republics. No skyscraping office buildings or condominiums.
The Beat Generation was born here and so, perhaps, was the idea of Americans hanging around in coffee houses. It was and still is, in a sadly decreasing way, the neighborhood of poets, artists, writers, philosophers and strippers. Most of the Beats are very old or very dead now.
One of them, old and very recently dead, floats in a shallow pond on a small triangular island at the intersection of three streets. A few feet away from the pond, across one of those streets, was the victim’s favorite watering hole, the Washington Square Bar and Grill. Lovingly called the ‘Washbag’ by its colorful and often celebrity clientele, the landmark has died and been reborn a few times. The cosmic jury is still out on Whitney Warfield.
Synopsis: Sweet William, a handsome, charming and discreet professional companion to the wealthy, needs help. A famous, but not beloved, novelist is found dead. William is the prime suspect. His only salvation is to uncover the real murderer. He can’t do it himself and he can’t go to the police. But, he can provide a list of suspects — prominent figures connected to San Francisco's legendary North Beach — whose secrets may be revealed in the victim's soon-to-be published tell-all.
Private investigator Carly Paladino agrees to take him on as a client. But the question remains: Was the devilish gigolo telling the truth or did she fall under his spell?
Whatever the case, Carly and her streetwise and skeptical partner, Noah Lang, stir up serious trouble when they try to find the manuscript — and the murderer. Much like North Beach itself, the suspects are trying to preserve the image they want the world to see. And it seems one death is not enough to conceal some very inconvenient truths.
Not quite a cozy, but this second in the San Francisco mystery series is a light-hearted tale. Death in North Beach is a “round up all the suspects at the end” kind of mystery and an exciting tour of the City by the Bay.
What The Critics Said:
This is a witty, very engaging entry in what promises to be a thoroughly entertaining new series. — Booklist
The interplay between Carly and Noah is delightful – talk about opposites! — George Easter, Deadly Pleasures
This is a perfect rainy day book! — Ruta Arellano, Sacramento Book Review
Good, dirty fun – with a delightful icing of San Francisco details. — Rap Sheet
The Carly Paladino and Noah Lang Mysteries have “the makings of a superior series. Tierney, author of the Deets Shanahan series, has a winner here.” — Library Journal
Death in North Beach is available in hardback, paperback and e-book at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.