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Dead Midnight (Sharon McCone Mysteries) Hardcover – July, 2002


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Product Details

  • Series: Sharon McCone Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089296765X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892967650
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,866,101 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sharon McCone, Marcia Muller's street-smart, San Francisco PI, is still dealing with the emotional aftermath of her brother Joey's suicide when she's hired by Roger Nagasawa's parents to prove that their son died of overwork, and that he was driven to kill himself by the brutal, high-pressure atmosphere at Insite, the hip online magazine that employed him. Enlisting the help of her reporter friend J.D., McCone learns that the magazine is failing, despite the millions in venture capital that's supposedly financing it. The mystery deepens when she retrieves deleted files from Roger's computer suggesting that he knew who was sabotaging the magazine and shared that information, which he characterized as "insurance," with Jody Houston, a close friend, before he jumped off the Bay Bridge. Tracking Houston to an isolated cabin on the Oregon coast, McCone stumbles over the dead body of her friend J.D., and then finds herself framed for his murder. By the time she uncovers the truth about Roger's suicide and unmasks J.D.'s killer, she's confronted her remorse over Joey's death and put a painful part of her own past behind her. As usual, Muller turns in a solidly plotted, well-paced mystery with a heroine who grows in self-awareness and complexity with every new adventure. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Muller and her private eye Sharon McCone have come a long way since Edwin of the Iron Shoes (1977), which introduced McCone and inspired a generation of female mystery writers. Since then Muller's writing has become richer and her novels more complex, with many startling changes in the socially conscious San Francisco detective's life. This is Muller's best yet, with a case that parallels a personal tragedy McCone is trying to understand her brother Joey's recent suicide. Roger Nagasawa, scion of a wealthy Japanese-American family, has killed himself. Roger's heartbroken parents plan to sue his employer, a hip online magazine, for wrongful death because of rumored brutal working conditions. As usual in McCone mysteries, greed and corruption lie beneath the surface. First, Jody Houston, Roger's friend to whom he'd revealed illegal financial activities at the magazine, disappears. Then Max Engstrom, Roger's maniacal boss, tells Sharon that someone is sabotaging his business and one of his backers has vanished. More deaths ensue. After McCone retrieves Roger's computer files detailing his discoveries, she's almost killed. Muller deftly uses familiar devices electronic embezzlement and shady real estate deals in a convoluted but provocative plot. Her love of San Francisco is evident from her vivid descriptions of the city and its history. Although her villains are often obvious, she delves deeply into the human psyche for motivation. Readers will be thoroughly satisfied.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Very easy to read with very engaging characters and good dialogue.
W. Eisenberg
This is the 22nd Sharon McCone novel and Marcia Muller is still at the top of her game.
Silver Springer
As with A Walk Through the Fire, there is just way too much going on in terms of plot.
Cynthia K. Robertson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
As everyone is wont to say: time does fly. It's a quarter of a century since ace mystery author Marcia Muller brought San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone onto the literary scene. McCone was one of the first female PIs, and one of the most compelling. She still is.
It's hard to believe that Muller is getting better because, for many, she started at the top rung of this genre. Nonetheless, "Dead Midnight" is superb, above and beyond her past work.
With this, the 22nd McCone adventure, McCone is still trying to recover from the suicide of her brother. Then, there is another suicide. A talented, hip, young man who has a good job with an online magazine takes his own life. What caused him to leap from the Bay Bridge?
His family's sorrow pierces McCone's heart as she relives the grief she felt and still feels at the loss of her brother. Perhaps it is this empathy that enures her to the danger she soon finds herself in.
Muller is one in a million and so is McCone.
- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Crocker on July 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Dead Midnight by Marcia Muller is a partial return to the old days of Sharon McCone. In this entry to the McCone series, there is no flight in a small plane, no Hy to the rescue, no searching for long lost ancestors [Listen To The Silence is a great, but very different, Sharon McCone novel], and very little travel outside of San Francisco. The book starts with the suicide of Sharon's brother Joey and a case involving the suicide of a young man whose family believes he was worked to death by an online magazine. Contemplating the whys of suicide pretty much go by the wayside as Sharon dives into the daily life of the family she's working for and the excessive goings on at the 'zine. This novel abounds with unlikable folks who deserve to get what's coming to them. On the one hand, the story kept me up to the wee hours of the morning several nights in a row. On the other hand, the story drifted from serious to dark comedy and could have been a little tighter. Call this one a 4.3 star book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By TundraVision on June 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was expecting much more. "Listen to the Silence," the previous installment of Marica Muller's enduring Sharon McCone series, was well worth the price in Hardcover. I could have waited for "Dead Midnight" from the library or in paperback.
"Dead Midnight" brings Sharon off the Rez and back to San Francisco. There are some strange goings-on at an online magazine and McCone is on the case. I got the impression that this is as much a transitional book - getting the characters in the series from the previous book and into an upcoming one - as an independent event. The "special guest stars" in this episode are not well developed and the reader is frequently left wondering: " What's his/her motivation?"
Here's a passage from the book, not meant to be self-descriptive - but could be: "I opened the engine cowling and stared blankly inside. One of those strange memory lapses, like walking into a room and not knowing what you went there for."
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Silver Springer on August 6, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Beginning a Sharon McCone novel is like meeting with old friends: you enjoy finding out what's new with familiar characters and meeting new ones, visiting familiar haunts in San Francisco and knowing you will be entertained from the very first page.
This is the 22nd Sharon McCone novel and Marcia Muller is still at the top of her game. Lots of things have happened to Sharon recently, particularly the suicide death of her brother Joey, only a short time after her father's death. Sharon is wondering if she could have done more to help Joey, when she is offered a case involving another suicide. This case, involving Roger Nagasawa, a young employee in a hip, online magazine, is to investigate whether overwork and mistreatment caused his death and thus could be the basis of a lawsuit against the company. Sharon almost refuses to take the case since it is so close to real life. But she does take it and is soon caught up in the vicious dog-eat-dog world of a dot.com struggling to survive. What did Roger find out about a conspiracy to sink the company and what did this have to do with his suicide? A number of clues surface which show Roger had found things someone wanted to hide Before Sharon finds the answer, an old friend is murdered and some of the evidence points to her.
Woven integrally into the story are threads of venture capital business, computer security, personal privacy, and greed--all which add interest and intrigue to a very fast paced story.
Over the years Sharon McCone has kept the elements that we have enjoyed--her feistiness, ingenuity, and independence but she has also matured, developing a good-sized PI firm and lots of interesting coworkers and supporting characters that we have come to know and love. It just keeps getting better and better....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Karen Potts on October 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Sharon McCone's brother Joey has not been heard of for some time, and when his suicide is discovered, the mystery of his disappearance is tragically solved. Shortly thereafter Sharon is asked to investigate another suicide, that of a young man named Roger Nagasawa. He worked for an online magazine and his parents are attempting to prove that the stresses of his job led to his tragic death. When Sharon begins to investigate, she finds that there are many irregularities in the company's finances, and the executives are treating their employees very poorly. A close friend of Sharon's is killed and her investigation intensifies. This is a typical well-written Sharon McCone mystery and it shows us even more facets of a character which has endured since the late 70's. Marcia Muller continues to write quality books and is to be commended for the consistency of her writing over many years, and the fresh insights she gives us about her main character.
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More About the Author

MARCIA MULLER has written many novels and short stories. Her novel "Wolf in the Shadows" won the Anthony Boucher Award. The recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award - their highest accolade - she lives in northern California with her husband, mystery writer Bill Pronzini.

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