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City of Secrets (A Miranda Corbie Mystery) Hardcover – September 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: A Miranda Corbie Mystery (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312603614
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312603618
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,952,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Stanley brings 1940s San Francisco to life with her meticulously detailed, hard-boiled novel ... It's neonoir in a classical five-act structure, starring one of crime's most arresting heroines: angry, big-hearted, and fearless Miranda Corbie." - Library Journal (starred review)

"Miranda continues to fight the good fight in Hammett's San Francisco, making Sam Spade proud and giving readers a treat." - Barbara Bibel, Booklist

"A superb mystery, a noir tale of high order ... This novel rings across the decades with an eerie truth." - T. Jefferson Parker, New York Times Bestselling Author

"Lean and mean, Kelli Stanley's gritty 1940s-set mystery series gives readers a compelling snapshot of the past--a past as smart, complex and jaded as her lead character, female P.I. Miranda Corbie. A razor-sharp, tightly-plotted noir page-turner." - Allison Brennan, New York Times Bestselling Author

"Kelli Stanley is a writer who knows her place. It's mid-20th century San Francisco, same place Hammett knew, and with a detective as unique and unyielding. If you haven't been reading Kelli Stanley you've been making a mistake and it's time to do yourself a favor: Grab up this book." - S. J. Rozan, Edgar-winning author of Ghost Hero

"The historical details shine in this perfectly drawn mystery.... This shows how historical mystery can not only re-create the sights but also the atmosphere of the time."
--RT Book Reviews (Top Pick!)
 
"Stanley's brittle prose and period touches effectively capture the feeling of ’40s noir."
--Kirkus Reviews
 
"In best pulp fiction style, suspects lounge about with slick hair and cheap suits, blondes are chain-smoking broads, and the nightclubs are smoky and languid."
--Publishers Weekly
 
"Engrossing.... Stanley brings 1940s San Francisco to life with her meticulously detailed, hard-boiled novel."
--Library Journal

About the Author

KELLI STANLEY is also the author of a critically acclaimed Roman Noir series. The first book in that series, Nox Dormienda, won the Bruce Alexander Award for best historical mystery. The second, The Curse-Maker, was also published by Minotaur/Thomas Dunne Books. The first book in the Miranda Corbie series, City of Dragons, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also named one of the 2010 Top Ten Mystery Thrillers by Oline Cogdill and one of the Top Ten Best Fiction by Bay Area Authors by the San Francisco Chronicle. Kelli lives in San Francisco, California.

More About the Author

An award-winning author of crime fiction, Kelli Stanley's first novel in the Miranda Corbie series, CITY OF DRAGONS, was met with overwhelming critical acclaim. It won the Macavity Award (Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award) and was a finalist for the prestigious Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Shamus Award. CITY OF SECRETS, her second novel in the series, won the Golden Nugget Award for best mystery set in California. CITY OF GHOSTS--the long-awaited third Miranda Corbie book--will be published August 5th, 2014.

Stanley also writes a highly-praised series set in Roman Britain, the latest of which is THE CURSE-MAKER. Her debut novel, NOX DORMIENDA, won the Bruce Alexander Award for best historical mystery of 2008.

She makes her home in Dashiell Hammett's San Francisco, earned a Master's Degree in Classics, and loves jazz, old movies, fedoras, Art Deco and speakeasies.

For more information about Kelli's books, please visit her website at http://www.kellistanley.com

About CITY OF GHOSTS:

June, 1940.

Art. Spies. Murder.

For Miranda Corbie, private investigator and erstwhile escort, there are debts to be paid and memories-long-suppressed and willfully forgotten-to be resurrected.

Enter the U.S. State Department and the man who helped her get her license. A man she owes. And playing along may get her a ticket to Blitz-bombed England, if she survives ...

Through sordid back alleys and art gallery halls, from drag dress nightclubs to a Nazi costume ball, Miranda's journey into fear takes her on the famed City of San Francisco streamliner and a ticket to Reno, Nevada, the Biggest Little City in the World ... where she finds herself framed for a murder she never anticipated.

Miranda must learn the difference between reality and illusion, from despair to deceit and factual to fake, as she tries to get her life back ... and navigates a CITY OF GHOSTS.

Miranda's back. And noir will never be the same.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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For those of you who read City of Dragons, your next fix is available.
Judith Starkston
And Ms. Stanley makes of San Francisco during the early years of World War II come alive as though the she had actually been there.
Marlyn
Miranda Corbie comes to life again in Kelli Stanley's second "City of..." novel.
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
CITY OF SECRETS is the second of Kelli Stanley's award-winning Miranda Corbie novels, which begins within a few months after CITY OF DRAGONS ends. It is still 1940, the setting is still San Francisco, and there is yet another celebration taking place: the beginning of the second season of the Golden Gate International Exposition. Be warned: when you open the book and begin reading the first page, you are leaving the 21st century and wherever you happen to be behind. By page nine, you will be so thoroughly immersed in the San Francisco of the mid-20th century that your contemporary surroundings will seem to be the product of an inferior imagination.

Stanley's imagination, on the other hand, is anything but inferior. She conjures up a time far removed from our own and a place that was once real and is forever exotic. Her characters, from her tough-as-nails heroine to her villains and victims, are twisted archetypes, by turns readily identifiable as such and not so much, easily recognizable but never predictable. This is perhaps most true of Corbie, an escort turned private investigator, who would seem too tough to love without risk until she reveals, however momentarily and rarely, a haunting fragility that stays with the reader long after the tale is told.

So it is that Corbie, who is at times barely making ends meet in her new profession, finds herself compelled to once again take on a case pro bono that the powers-that-be want her as far away from as possible. Page one kicks off with a dead body, that of a model named Pandora Blake, who has been murdered and left with an anti-Semitic slur written in her own blood.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Miranda Corbie comes to life again in Kelli Stanley's second "City of..." novel. Gorgeous, tough-minded (and tough-skinned) Miranda solves two murders and exposes an anti-Semitic eugenics ring (sounds extreme, but Stanley makes it believable) in 1940 San Francisco. Once again, she brings to life the Golden Gate International Exposition in all its tawdry excitement -- indeed, the period detail is incredibly vivid, placing the reader right THERE as Miranda runs all over the Bay area. An exciting and fascinating read, guaranteed to leave you breathless!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. Sadler VINE VOICE on March 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's a man's world. San Francisco in the 1940s. No place for a dame. Yeah, don't tell that to Stanley's hard-boiled female PI, Miranda Corbie, fedora and all.
Two girls are dead, stabbed and left with the word `kike' drawn on their naked body with their own blood. Europe is at war and some factions in the States are dealing with their own anti-Semitic problems. Aryans in America. In this second of a series, following "City of Dragons," Stanley's noir masterpiece takes us into a dark realm of the American historical novel.
With a short, staccato beat, resounding like bullets launched from gangster's machine gun we are led into the world of Miranda Corbie, ex-escort, detective to the stars in the underbelly of the Gayway at The Golden Gate International Exposition of 1940. Corbie breathes in every tune from every juke joint in town, scouring the city with help from a local rag reporter and her Jewish attorney, as they battle to locate evidence to reverse a charge that has led the police to send one of their own to Riker's on a trumped up charge.
Running from an Italian mob boss looking to cut short her charmed life, and one-step ahead of a malevolent police force, Corbie unearths the Nazi's in the backwoods town of Calistoga, just north of town. Lead by an evil dentist, a group of professionals is doing their part to sterilize young Jewish women, by using the guise of abortion clinics.
This book is a blast-from-the-past as Stanley liberally intersperses name brands, musicians, and gangsters from long ago that brings to mind the Humphrey Bogart or Ava Gardner era we have witnessed in the movies. Recently nominated for a Golden Nugget, a special award to be given to the best mystery set in California, I hope this goes on to even more recognition for this very special author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Judith Starkston on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Kelli Stanley has come out with the second in her Miranda Corbie mystery series set in San Francisco in the 30's and 40's--this time someone's killing Jewish women, women whose place on the edges of society makes them particularly vulnerable. No one's going to step up and bring them justice--or so the powers that be hope. They didn't count on Miranda.

Previously I've reviewed Kelli's Roman series, which I love (Nox Dormienda and The Cursemaker), but City of Dragons and now City of Secrets are just as compelling. Kelli is a rising star in the world of mystery authors: Nox won the Bruce Alexander Award, City of Dragons was an LA Times Book Prize Finalist and, most impressively, the Macavity Award Winner for the Best Historical Mystery of 2010. Her tough, noir style, brings us multi-layered characters, fast-paced unpredictable action and a setting that makes you feel like surely your armchair has been transported to San Francisco at that intriguingly rough period at the very end of the 30's.

If somehow you haven't made Miranda's acquaintance yet, you have a double delight ahead. For those of you who read City of Dragons, your next fix is available.
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