Re: RARA-AVIS: Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to Southern California

From: Joy Matkowski (
Date: 31 May 2004

Barbara Seranella's Munch Mancini is an ex-addict trying to go straight as a car mechanic, despite the old friends and relatives who'd drag her back. Not much glamor or romance, just hard work trying to stay out of trouble and do what's right, with mundane work and fears. I like the series a lot. Try one.
    I don't know the Stansberry, but I do know maybe half of the others, and I'll comment on what's left tomorrow.

Good night for now, Joy

William Denton asked:
> The 1 May 2004 issue of BOOKLIST (from the American Library Association,
> so North Americans can probably find it at their local library) has a
> feature called "A Hard-Boiled Gazetteer to Southern California," by Bill
> Ott. Below are all the books he mentions, which are mostly series. Some
> seem a bit light on the hardboiled/noir credentials (excepting Ellroy, Mr.
> Lankford, Crais, etc.), but many names are either new to me or ones I've
> only seen on bookstore shelves. What's the verdict on, say, Seranella's
> Munch Mancini series? And has anyone read Stansberry's MANIFESTO FOR THE
> DEAD, where Jim Thompson is ficionalized?
> Santa Barbara
> Sue Grafton's Kinsey Millhone series
> Downtown Los Angeles
> Joseph Wambaugh's cop novels
> James Ellroy's LA Quartet
> Hollywood
> Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware series
> John Morgan Wilson's Benjamin Justice series
> Paula L. Woods's Charlotte Justice series
> Elmore Leonard's two books with Chili Palmer (inc. GET SHORTY)
> Steven Bochco's Eddie Jelko books
> Domininc Stansberry, MANIFESTO FOR THE DEAD (2000), which is a
> "fictionalized treatment of the last days of noir master Jim
> Thompson"
> Robert Ferrigno's Jimmy Gage series
> Edward Wright's John Ray Horn series
> Terrill Lee Lankford, "a Mark Hayes novel," i.e. EARTHQUAKE
> WEATHER (2004) which is the only such thing
> Stuart Kaminsky's Toby Peters series
> Robert B. Campbell's Whistler series
> Laurel Canyon and the Hollywood Hills
> Robert Crais's Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series
> Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series
> South Central LA
> Gar Anthony Haywood's Aaron Gunner series
> Walter Mosley's Easy Rawlins series
> Gary Phillips's Ivan Monk series
> John Shannon's Jack Liffey series
> West Valley
> Faye Kellerman's Peter Decker/Rina Lazarus series
> Santa Monica
> April Smith's Ana Grey series
> Barbara Seranella's Munch Mancini series
> Elzabeth M. Cosin's Zen Moses series
> Orange County
> T. Jefferson Parker's Merci Rayborn series
> Palm Springs
> Michael Craft's Claire Gray series
> San Diego
> Steve Martini's Paul Madriani series
> Jack Trolley's Tommy Donahoo series

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