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San Francisco Interest: July/August 2010
Staycation Summer Reading--San Francisco Mysteries
If you're staying here in San Francisco this summer, or if you're killing time in between trips, you'll find plenty of mystery and intrigue right in your own backyard. This issue of San Francisco Interest--guest-edited by staff of the San Francisco History Center--features detective stories, mystery tours, noir, haunts, Hitchcock, fog, and old-time crime. Be sure to visit our blog, What's on the 6th floor, for a culinary mystery recipe, a historical walking tour, and more San Francisco mystery-related postings during the months of July and August!
The Maltese Falcon - Dashiell Hammett
Publisher: Vintage Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 08/01/1992
ISBN-13: 9780679722649
ISBN-10: 0679722645
A murder investigation requires private detective Sam Spade--a man of few words who displays little emotion--to become involved in a dangerous search for a valuable statue, in a seventy-fifth anniversary edition of the classic hard-boiled mystery. The book that began the genre. Come be inspired by Dashiell Hammett's typewriter, on display in the San Francisco History Center, courtesy of his daughter, Jo Hammett.
Beat Until Stiff - Claire M. Johnson
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/01/2002
ISBN-13: 9781590580400
ISBN-10: 1590580400
Mary Ryan, a pastry chef at a trendy San Francisco restaurant, becomes entangled in murder, secrets, and intrigue when she discovers the deceased body of an employee in a laundry bag. Mystery with that quintessentially San Franciscan foodie component worked in.
The Big Wake-up - Mark Coggins
Publisher: Bleak House Books
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 11/01/2009
ISBN-13: 9781606480557
ISBN-10: 1606480553
Soon after flirting with an attractive young woman in a Laundromat, Riordan watches in horror as an apparently deranged cable car operator guns her and an older woman down at a cable car stop. Riordan pursues the killer and stops his bloody rampage. The Argentine family of the first victim, 23-year-old Araceli Rivero, hires him to investigate an unrelated matter, the location of Araceli's dead aunt, whose body was transferred from a Milan cemetery to somewhere in the Bay Area. After quickly getting a promising lead, Riordan learns that his clients have been less than straight with him: the missing corpse is actually that of Evita Peron. No. 5 in the August Riordan Mysteries.
She Came by the Book - Mary Wings
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/01/1996
ISBN-13: 9780425151440
ISBN-10: 0425151441
San Francisco private investigator Emma Victor is entrusted with the personal papers of a prominent gay politician assassinated decades earlier, but someone else is willing to commit murder to obtain them, and Emma finds herself unraveling a mess of public affairs and private secrets.A mystery that features archives naturally piques our interest here in the San Francisco History Center.
Guilt - John T. Lescroart
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 09/11/2009
ISBN-13: 9781423386902
ISBN-10: 1423386906
When Mark Dooher becomes a suspect in his wife's murder, all the San Francisco attorney--who gets what he wants, including a beautiful mistress and the power of the Church behind him--has to fear is the truth. Listen to the audiobook version available from the library via Overdrive.
Footsteps in the Fog - Jeff Kraft and Aaron Leventhal
Publisher: Santa Monica Press
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/01/2002
ISBN-13: 9781891661273
ISBN-10: 1891661272
A celebration of the San Francisco films of Alfred Hitchcock, this book examines the master director's familiarity with Northern California and how it greatly influenced his decision to use the Bay Area location in several of his landmark motion pictures. More importantly, this book shows how San Francisco was often the source of inspiration for many of these same cinema classics. The masterpieces that are examined are Shadow of a Doubt, Vertigo, The Birds, Suspicion, Psycho, and Family Plot. Hitchcock fans are taken on a journey around the Bay Area, experiencing cinemagraphic intrigue and learning about Bay Area history, lore, and the timeless elegance of San Francisco and its picturesque surroundings. Hundreds of historical and contemporary photos are included, with an emphasis on those buildings and businesses that no longer exist.
San Francisco Noir - Nathaniel Rich
Publisher: The Little Bookroom
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/10/2005
ISBN-13: 9781892145307
ISBN-10: 1892145308
An entertaining survey of film noir set in San Francisco covers The Maltese Falcon, Dark Passage, Woman on the Run, D.O.A., Point Blank, The Conversation, Vertigo, and The Lady from Shanghai, among others. Looking for more entertainment on a foggy day? come to the San Francisco History Center and watch the selection of noir films set in San Francisco in the Center's video viewing room.
Historic Photos of San Francisco Crime -  Text and captions by Hannah Clayborn
Publisher: Turner Pub Co
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 10/28/2009
ISBN-13: 9781596525344
ISBN-10: 1596525347
An engrossing visual survey from the 1890s to 1960, featuring photographs from the Bancroft Library, the California State Library, Library of Congress, Novato History Museum, The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco, and our very own San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection at the San Francisco History Center.
Haunted San Francisco - Rand Richards
Publisher: Heritage House Publishers
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 04/01/2004
ISBN-13: 9781879367043
ISBN-10: 1879367041
Ghost stories from the 19th and 20th centuries, collected by a  San Francisco historian, that are by turns fictional, factual, and/or fantastic. Taps into our fears and fascinations about the ultimate mystery: death. Rand Richards is a local author who did much of his research in the San Francisco History Center.
The Dashiell Hammett Tour - Don Herron, Jo Hammett, Charles Ray Willeford and Mike Humbert
Publisher: Independent Pub Group
Check Library Catalog Pub Date: 03/01/2009
ISBN-13: 9780972589871
ISBN-10: 0972589872
Don Herron has led this San Francisco tour since 1977, which highlights places Hammett lived and worked, as well as settings and points of interest from Hammett's books. The 30th anniversary edition features walking and driving maps, photographs, a thorough brief biography of Hammett, and anecdotes about conducting and researching the tour itself.
Mysterious Events
Unravel the mystery of the motorcycle.
How is Your Motorcycle Running
Lisa Duke, who teaches motorcycle design and maintenance at City College of San Francisco, will show how a motorcycle works and what riders can do to increase fuel economy. The class is geared especially for women and all levels of motorcycle riders are welcome. This is a Green Stacks program.
Main Library, Lower Level, Latino/Hispanic Community Meeting Room, 6-7:30 p.m, 100 Larkin Street (at Grove) and on
Mission Bay Branch Library, 2-4 p.m.
960 4th Street (at Berry)
What is greywater?
Greywater is water from showers, baths, laundry, and bathroom sinks. Benefits of reusing greywater include lowering overall water use, saving energy, providing an alternate source of irrigation water and more. This presentation will show you how to plan and design a laundry-to-landscape greywater system and will also explain other types of greywater systems that might be appropriate for San Francisco homes. This is a Green Stacks program.
Visitacion Valley Branch Library, 4:30 p.m., 45 Leland Avenue (near Bayshore)
Learn more about greywater on
Greywater: Reusing Water for Gardening
Glen Park Branch Library, 6:30-7:30 p.m., 2825 Diamond Street (near Bosworth)
Hear and read the hidden stories of San Francisco seniors.
Golden Voices: Life Stories of San Francisco Seniors
San Francisco seniors share their unique life stories and experiences of love, laughter, hardships, persistence and change, in video and photos at a new exhibition at the San Francisco Public Library.  Come learn about being one of the first male professional ballet dancers in Wales, living in Philippines in the aftermath of World War II, organizing San Francisco's first international film festival, changes in San Francisco neighborhoods over the years, and much more. The Golden Voices project is co-sponsored by, San Francisco Department of Aging and Adult Services, Cypress Lawn, and the San Francisco Public Library.
Main Library, Sixth Floor, Outside the San Francisco History Center, through August 25, 2010
Discover the underground punk rock scene and venue of Club Foot.
Club Foot: Moving in the Direction of History: Artifacts from SF's Art Punk Cabaret
It was 1979, punk rock was just reaching its peak in the Bay Area. The need for a not-for-profit performance space for aspiring Surrealists was absolutely clear.
For eight years in an old storefront on Third Street, Club Foot hosted a wide range of performances – from the heavy hardcore of Black Flag to avant-garde luminaries such as Diamanda Galás. But this was no commercial nightclub. Club Foot proposed that we are all consumers and producers alike, erasing the line between audience and stage. Bands were not booked to simply sell beer. Artists not only ran the show, they may have been living under the stairs. Do-It-Yourself by necessity.
This exhibition offers a rare glimpse into one of the Bay Area's longest running underground venues and unearths many oddities and relics from the private archives of JC Garrett and Cindy Buff. Never before seen in 30 years.
Main Library, Fourth Floor, Steve Silver Beach Blanket Babylon Music Center , through August 5, 2010
Related program to continue the mystery of the underground scene:
CLUB FOOT Presents: A Generous Illusion, Post-Punk SF (1978-82)
The Sex Pistols’ final concert at Winterland in 1978 unofficially declared, “Punk is dead.” Before MTV appropriated punk/new-wave fashion, San Francisco was home to some of the best emerging artists in the world. Mubuhay Gardens, Deaf Club, and CLUB FOOT were just a few of places where it was going down. This special evening of films and live performance includes actor/musician Richard Edson, artist Karen Finley, Christian Marclay of the Bachelors, even, Bruce Geduldig’s Childhood Prostitute (starting JoJo Planteen from Inflatable Boy Clams) and much more.
Main Library, Lower Level, Koret Auditorium, 6-7:30 p.m.100 Larkin Street (at Grove)
Add the mystery books you've read to your summer reading log when you join the Adult Summer Reading Program.
The summer reading program isn't just for kids this year. The Adult Summer Reading Program is a competition between Oceanside Branches and Bayside Branches to see which side of town reads the most this summer!
Adults can sign up for the Adult Summer Reading Program at their local library or on the bookmobile beginning Friday, June 4th. As participants read books or listen to audiobooks, they can check off the number of books read in the sign-up binder at their library. Watch the water gauge at your local library rise for each book read.
Through July 31, 2010.


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